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DAC/Amp for HD650 - Which one should be bettter?


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Need the help of someone who knows about DAC and Amps, please... I have a Sennheiser HD650, and to drive it I got the well known Beyerdynamic A200p and, in my computer, a Motherboard which has the following specifications of audio (see the image below). As you can see, it uses Cirrus Logic CS4398 as a DAC and a Texas Instruments LM4562 as an amp... Question is: which one should give me a better sound with the HD650, the A200P or the Motherboard? (yes, Im too noob to hear the difference for myself). Thank you.

 

 

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If you can't hear the difference it doesn't matter.

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Just want to know which dac/amp is better. The CS4398 is 24/192 while the a200p's is 24/96. The a200p sounds louder, but I have the impression that the sound of the motherboard has a bit more of details, I could be wrong though, because Im not an expert when it comes to audio... Thats why I want to know which one of these dac/amps is better...

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Just want to know which dac/amp is better. The CS4398 is 24/192 while the a200p's is 24/96. The a200p sounds louder, but I have the impression that the sound of the motherboard has a bit more of details, I could be wrong though, because Im not an expert when it comes to audio... Thats why I want to know which one of these dac/amps is better...

 

The A200p is not a very good DAC/amp. The Oppo HA2 is much better, and the Dragonfly series are waaaaaay better. But even so, you won't get best performance from the HD650 until you get an amp with more power than the USB provides. Look at the 650 impedance curve for example.

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The A200p is not a very good DAC/amp. The Oppo HA2 is much better, and the Dragonfly series are waaaaaay better. But even so, you won't get best performance from the HD650 until you get an amp with more power than the USB provides. Look at the 650 impedance curve for example.

 

Actually, according to many reviews, the A200p is one of the best portable dac/amps for HD650, that's why I bought it. The motherboard dac/amp is not USB though, it uses the 3.5mm plug.

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Actually, according to many reviews, the A200p is one of the best portable dac/amps for HD650, that's why I bought it. The motherboard dac/amp is not USB though, it uses the 3.5mm plug.

 

Your preference is fine with me, but do check the impedance curve and note the huge hump at 100 hz - that's where you'll lose bass impact due to lack of power.

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Your preference is fine with me, but do check the impedance curve and note the huge hump at 100 hz - that's where you'll lose bass impact due to lack of power.

 

 

What about the DAC and Amp of my motherboard that I mentioned earlier?

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An ODAC will provide a good, strong signal to a nice amp like the Project Ember MkII.

 

 

Not planning on buying new DACs or amps, at least for now, just want to know which would be better, the A200p or the motherboard's DAC and Amp that I mentioned?

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What about the DAC and Amp of my motherboard that I mentioned earlier?

 

I don't ever use those**, preferring the USB DACs, but you might find that you'll get more power from that board, which would improve the bass response compared to the tiny A200p. At least make the comparison.

 

**Generally, the forum here deals with so-called audiophile gear, and while some of the internal PC sound cards can sound that good, for some reason they're just not listed as audiophile gear at headphone sales dealers. Generally speaking, but there may be an exception somewhere.

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I don't ever use those**, preferring the USB DACs, but you might find that you'll get more power from that board, which would improve the bass response compared to the tiny A200p. At least make the comparison.

 

**Generally, the forum here deals with so-called audiophile gear, and while some of the internal PC sound cards can sound that good, for some reason they're just not listed as audiophile gear at headphone sales dealers. Generally speaking, but there may be an exception somewhere.

 

Got it, thanks. Well, as I said, Im a noob when it comes to audio, but I do know PC hardware, this is the best ddr3 motherboard for sale, so if there is exceptions, that would be one.

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Got it, thanks. Well, as I said, Im a noob when it comes to audio, but I do know PC hardware, this is the best ddr3 motherboard for sale, so if there is exceptions, that would be one.

 

Good - that should take care of the sound quality issues. Hopefully the board will drive the headphone better than the little USB DAC.

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Need the help of someone who knows about DAC and Amps, please... I have a Sennheiser HD650, and to drive it I got the well known Beyerdynamic A200p and, in my computer, a Motherboard which has the following specifications of audio (see the image below). As you can see, it uses Cirrus Logic CS4398 as a DAC and a Texas Instruments LM4562 as an amp... Question is: which one should give me a better sound with the HD650, the A200P or the Motherboard? (yes, Im too noob to hear the difference for myself). Thank you.

 

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]25982[/ATTACH]

 

Sennheiser are bundling these together:

Sennheiser HD 650 Apogee Groove - Audiophile Headphones HiFi-Stereo

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Need the help of someone who knows about DAC and Amps, please... I have a Sennheiser HD650, and to drive it I got the well known Beyerdynamic A200p and, in my computer, a Motherboard which has the following specifications of audio (see the image below). As you can see, it uses Cirrus Logic CS4398 as a DAC and a Texas Instruments LM4562 as an amp... Question is: which one should give me a better sound with the HD650, the A200P or the Motherboard? (yes, Im too noob to hear the difference for myself). Thank you.

I would recommend something that can drive heavy loads (the 650 has a 300ohm driver). I would bet something as small as the A200p does not have enough juice to allow you to hear the diff.

 

So this post isn't very useful except to state that a proper amp will make a big diff with the HD-650. See my profile: the Headroom amp makes a massive diff w the 600/650, not much with the others.

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1.7Vrms isn't much for driving 300 Ohm cans. You could use your computer's dac and run a $99 Schiit Magni to your phones:

 

Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 260mW RMS per channel


Power = (Voltage^2)/R, V = Sqrt(0.26W/300 Ohms) > 8V

Over 8Vrms is way plenty.

-----------------------------

 

From this review of the A200P by "Patrick" on Amazon:

 

"...With the same Wolfson WM8740 DAC as much expensive AK JR, both deliver very clean neutral sound with details. The output is not as strong as AK JR. A200P can't drive 600ohm Beyerdynamic T1 but strong enough to drive my 70ohm Audeze LCD-2..."

 

and this by "shotgunshane":

 

"...Other features include a Wolfson WM8740 DAC chip, volume control of 135 steps, and an estimated 11 hour play time. Output impedance is an importantly small 1.1 Ω and outputs 1.7 Vrms in the USA version.

 

Both the USA and EU versions default to being volume limited (to 150 mVrms, in accordance with EU-50332-2) but the USA version allows for volume limit override by holding down the play button for a few seconds. Once the volume limit is removed, the A200p restarts the volume at its lowest setting as protection feature..."

 

So even going over a tiny 0.15 volts is a PITA. Forget the A200p!

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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I would recommend something that can drive heavy loads (the 650 has a 300ohm driver). I would bet something as small as the A200p does not have enough juice to allow you to hear the diff.

 

So this post isn't very useful except to state that a proper amp will make a big diff with the HD-650. See my profile: the Headroom amp makes a massive diff w the 600/650, not much with the others.

 

 

Hmm, I got the A200p because of some reviews... now with some people saying it is not that good Im planning to sell it =(

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1.7Vrms isn't much for driving 300 Ohm cans. You could use your computer's dac and run a $99 Schiit Magni to your phones:

 

Maximum Power, 300 ohms: 260mW RMS per channel


Power = (Voltage^2)/R, V = Sqrt(0.26W/300 Ohms) > 8V

Over 8Vrms is way plenty.

-----------------------------

 

From this review of the A200P by "Patrick" on Amazon:

 

"...With the same Wolfson WM8740 DAC as much expensive AK JR, both deliver very clean neutral sound with details. The output is not as strong as AK JR. A200P can't drive 600ohm Beyerdynamic T1 but strong enough to drive my 70ohm Audeze LCD-2..."

 

and this by "shotgunshane":

 

"...Other features include a Wolfson WM8740 DAC chip, volume control of 135 steps, and an estimated 11 hour play time. Output impedance is an importantly small 1.1 Ω and outputs 1.7 Vrms in the USA version.

 

Both the USA and EU versions default to being volume limited (to 150 mVrms, in accordance with EU-50332-2) but the USA version allows for volume limit override by holding down the play button for a few seconds. Once the volume limit is removed, the A200p restarts the volume at its lowest setting as protection feature..."

 

So even going over a tiny 0.15 volts is a PITA. Forget the A200p!

 

 

What about this amp used on my motherboard? --> LM4562 | Audio Operational Amplifier | Operational Amplifier (Op Amp) | Description & parametrics

 

Also, I heard that the Bottlehead Crack is a "perfect choice for HD650", is this true? Also, it is 3 times the price of the Magni, do you think it is worth it?

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Quick question: equalizers used to increase sound volume worsens the quality of the sound?

 

Yes. Many modern recording and "remasters" are already brickwalled at or near the 0 db maximum volume, so there is no headroom. If you set the equilizer into the "+" area to boost the volume, you are likely to create clipping and/or distortion.

If you are going to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of headphones, get a decent head amp with sufficient power to drive them cleanly with room to spare for even low-level recordings.

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What about this amp used on my motherboard? --> LM4562 | Audio Operational Amplifier | Operational Amplifier (Op Amp) | Description & parametrics

 

Also, I heard that the Bottlehead Crack is a "perfect choice for HD650", is this true? Also, it is 3 times the price of the Magni, do you think it is worth it?

 

1) Okay, I looked at the motherboard and its reviews. First, the noise and distortion figures are total fabrications, I expect you would 30 dB = 1000x the noise energy at the outputs. Reviewers compared it to a $30 or $70 sound card at best. You see, a noisy motherboard feeds the DAC chip and the opamp, but not with clean power. Those chips don't cost a fortune, but supplying them with the clean power to approach their rated specs is costly.

 

2) The LM4562 is a great opamp, but its output voltage depends on its supply voltage, which you didn't supply. Most important, it's not rated for loads under 600 Ohms or capacitive loads above 100pF, so I wouldn't expect it to behave well with your phones. It's not designed to run headphones at all, though it won't break while doing so.

 

3) Tubes sound great but there are so many variables here. You're looking at a used piece unless you can solder and carefully follow schematic and have other tools at your disposal...assuming the kit is still available (not sure). You need to hear some headphone amps at home. To get some experience with tube sound, I recommend you try a $350 Schiit Lyr 2 or a $170 Vali 2 and return the one you can live without. Obviously, I'm very biased towards that company. Or if you want a dac and amp in one box consider the http://ifi-audio.com Micro iDSD. But there are so many. The *critical* spec is how much power at a 300 Ohm load, go for at least 150mW.

 

Quick question: equalizers used to increase sound volume worsens the quality of the sound?

 

Yes. Many modern recording and "remasters" are already brickwalled at or near the 0 db maximum volume, so there is no headroom. If you set the equilizer into the "+" area to boost the volume, you are likely to create clipping and/or distortion.

If you are going to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of headphones, get a decent head amp with sufficient power to drive them cleanly with room to spare for even low-level recordings.

 

^^^ This.

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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1) Okay, I looked at the motherboard and its reviews. First, the noise and distortion figures are total fabrications, I expect you would 30 dB = 1000x the noise energy at the outputs. Reviewers compared it to a $30 or $70 sound card at best. You see, a noisy motherboard feeds the DAC chip and the opamp, but not with clean power. Those chips don't cost a fortune, but supplying them with the clean power to approach their rated specs is costly.

 

2) The LM4562 is a great opamp, but its output voltage depends on its supply voltage, which you didn't supply. Most important, it's not rated for loads under 600 Ohms or capacitive loads above 100pF, so I wouldn't expect it to behave well with your phones. It's not designed to run headphones at all, though it won't break while doing so.

 

3) Tubes sound great but there are so many variables here. You're looking at a used piece unless you can solder and carefully follow schematic and have other tools at your disposal...assuming the kit is still available (not sure). You need to hear some headphone amps at home. To get some experience with tube sound, I recommend you try a $350 Schiit Lyr 2 or a $170 Vali 2 and return the one you can live without. Obviously, I'm very biased towards that company. Or if you want a dac and amp in one box consider the http://ifi-audio.com Micro iDSD. But there are so many. The *critical* spec is how much power at a 300 Ohm load, go for at least 150mW.

 

 

 

 

 

^^^ This.

 

I can't test them at home, I have to pick one and live with it, I live in Brazil so I have to import things like that from USA, because it's not available here =( The Lyr 2 is $450, the Valhalla 2 is $350 though, also I've seen in some discussions that the Magni would fit better with the HD650 than the Vali, so... I don't know. If I buy a expensive amp like the Lyr or Valhalla am I going to need a DAC too? Or the DAC of the motherboard is good for it?

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