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DAC/Headphone amp needed.

SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian

So my current set up is not working properly. I currently have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 that I use for recording guitar and such. Out of the 1/4" jacks on the 2i2 I have my Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers and I have a pair of Sennheiser HD558s I use on the front. The problem is with the 2i2 though. It keeps crashing itself and I have to go into my playback devices, disable and re-enable it to get it to work again. When it stops working, any audio playback stops and any video that is playing alongside stops as well, e.g. Youtube.

So my question is about something that is suitable to use for playback. The 2i2 does a great job as an input source, but falls short with playback. So I am looking at a Schitt Magni 2 and a Schitt Modi 2. I am in uncharted territory though for someone with my audio background. Looking at the Magni, I should be able to use the RCA outputs to send signal to my Klipsch speakers and run the headphones off of the front. So the signal flow would be TOSLink > Modi 2 > RCA > Magni 2 > RCA > Klipsch/HD558s or am I looking at this all wrong or is there a better solution? I don't want to spend the money on something that isn't going to do exactly what I want. Use speakers and headphones with the same device. Thanks and please help.

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Comments

  • KarmaKarma Likes yoga Icrontian
    edited Feb 2016

    So you would have to get the Magni 2 Uber to get the preamp output. You can't use them both at the same time however I don't see why that would ever be done. Keep in mind though the Magni only acts as a preamp so if you ever decide to get passive speakers it won't be enough to power those, but with your current setup it should work just fine.

    The magni defaults to the headphone jack. So when a pair of headphones are plugged in the preamp output is muted. Unplug the headphones to use the preamp.

    On the Schiit's themselves they are absolutely fantastic. The Schiit Stack will be able to power you through pretty much every upgrade to your headphones. Which let's be honest you are going to end up doing.

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian

    Awesome @Karma. Oversight on my part. I don't plan on going passive with speakers or if I did, I would change the setup entirely. Looks like I'll be getting some stuff in the mail soon.

  • KarmaKarma Likes yoga Icrontian

    One of us. One of us. WE ACCEPT HER WE ACCEPT HER. One of us. One of us.

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian

    Looks like I should get the Uber version of both devices. I think I want TOSlink and USB so I have options. I don't think I'll upgrade headphones though. The 558s suit me just fine. Any real listening is done with the Onkyo and Athena AS-F2s :tongue:

  • KarmaKarma Likes yoga Icrontian

    Pshhh son. KEF Blades or bust.

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian

    @Karma said:
    Pshhh son. KEF Blades or bust.

    I shit diamonds so 30k on a speaker is nothing.

  • KarmaKarma Likes yoga Icrontian

    Don't forget about Like the 50k + on all the other stuff too.

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Feb 2016

    Begin threadjack:

    I recently purchased my first really nice headphones, the OPPO PM-3. @Thrax & @BlackHawk immediately told me on Twitter I now need more audio stuff (of course), a DAC & amp. I am just plugging these into my MacBook Pro; does it really matter? I'm already super happy with the sound quality and I'm not keen to part with hundreds of dollars more for this adventure.

  • KarmaKarma Likes yoga Icrontian
    edited Feb 2016

    Honestly not really. You are probably getting around 85% out of the headphones as is. If you want you can pickup something like a fiio portable dac amp combo pretty cheap. But those oppos are only 26 ohm so you shouldn't have too much issue powering them.

    Are they as loud as you want are they as crisp as you want? If both are yes and you're happy I wouldn't bother.

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian

    @Karma said:
    Are they as loud as you want are they as crisp as you want?

    Does a DAC/amp improve the sound quality when the volume is turned down? When I have the volume up (say 45-75% of the MBP's volume range) they are absolutely brilliant. When I have it at more like 20-30% they still sound better than my previous headphones but it's not the same level of ridiculously-better.

  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseur There's no place like 127.0.0.1 Icrontian
    edited Feb 2016

    @Linc said:
    Begin threadjack:

    I recently purchased my first really nice headphones, the OPPO PM-3. @Thrax & @BlackHawk immediately told me on Twitter I now need more audio stuff (of course), a DAC & amp. I am just plugging these into my MacBook Pro; does it really matter? I'm already super happy with the sound quality and I'm not keen to part with hundreds of dollars more for this adventure.

    I said it more in a circle jerky sense due to the influence of /r/headphones. If you're happy with the loudness, looking at the source audio may be cheaper for now (unless you splurge and get everything in LP's). I also don't know the quality of your MBP's DAC. Might want to see what others with Macs do when it comes to high end headphones.

    Also, there's this test.

  • KarmaKarma Likes yoga Icrontian

    @Linc said:

    @Karma said:
    Are they as loud as you want are they as crisp as you want?

    Does a DAC/amp improve the sound quality when the volume is turned down? When I have the volume up (say 45-75% of the MBP's volume range) they are absolutely brilliant. When I have it at more like 20-30% they still sound better than my previous headphones but it's not the same level of ridiculously-better.

    Yeah. That's mostly the amp though, not so much the DAC. The MBP DAC is probably fine, what are you listening to?

  • KarmaKarma Likes yoga Icrontian

    @BlackHawk said:

    I said it more in a circle jerky sense due to the influence of /r/headphones. If you're happy with the loudness, looking at the source audio may be cheaper for now (unless you splurge and get everything in LP's). I also don't know the quality of your MBP's DAC. Might want to see what others with Macs do when it comes to high end headphones.

    I never understood the point of buying LPs for albums that were completely recorded and mixed digitally.

  • LincLinc Bard Detroit, MI Icrontian

    This article suggests my late 2013 MBP already has a brilliant DAC built in. I did find the mentioned Midi controller and crank up the frequency to 96MHz, but to be perfectly honest I can't tell if there's a difference.

  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseur There's no place like 127.0.0.1 Icrontian

    @Linc said:
    I did find the mentioned Midi controller and crank up the frequency to 96MHz, but to be perfectly honest I can't tell if there's a difference.

    You would need good hearing and good source media (the music). Try getting your favorite album in lossless or try this link for a simple test.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Feb 2016

    I guess my shit is good.

  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseur There's no place like 127.0.0.1 Icrontian

    Did you actually notice a difference or did you guess?

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    Oh I definitely noticed a difference

  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    edited Feb 2016

    @primesuspect said:
    Oh I definitely noticed a difference

    I didn't :/ I probably have the deaf.

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Feb 2016

    A decent headphone DAC/AMP is the FiiO E10K. Can find it for less than a hundo online. Definitely eliminated distortion on my headphones at higher volumes, and made bass less muddy.

    Doesn't take a tarded expensive gold coated silicone aerogel tube AMP resistorphone to do some good. The truth is that most onboard sound devices don't drive high-end headphones at the right impedance, and this is irrespective of the DAC quality.

    SonorousBuddyJ
  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian

    Anybody know anything or have opinions about this DAC/Amp combo? I find myself without speakers for my desktop at home now. Thinking about just picking this up to drive my headphones until I figure out what speakers to get next.

    https://www.massdrop.com/buy/udac-3-amp-dac?mode=guest_open

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian

    Magni 2 and Modi 2 Uber versions inbound. Will report upon arrival.

    troll
  • trolltroll Windsor, Nova Scotia Icrontian

    That is a nice little Schiit stack @Sonorous, I think you will be very pleased with the performance.

    Sonorous
  • trolltroll Windsor, Nova Scotia Icrontian

    @ardichoke said:
    Anybody know anything or have opinions about this DAC/Amp combo? I find myself without speakers for my desktop at home now. Thinking about just picking this up to drive my headphones until I figure out what speakers to get next.

    https://www.massdrop.com/buy/udac-3-amp-dac?mode=guest_open

    I wouldn't bother, depending on your headphones there is not a lot of output to it.

  • ardichokeardichoke Icrontian

    @troll said:

    @ardichoke said:
    Anybody know anything or have opinions about this DAC/Amp combo? I find myself without speakers for my desktop at home now. Thinking about just picking this up to drive my headphones until I figure out what speakers to get next.

    https://www.massdrop.com/buy/udac-3-amp-dac?mode=guest_open

    I wouldn't bother, depending on your headphones there is not a lot of output to it.

    Not a lot of output in what way? The reviews I've been able to dig up of the uDAC 3 seemed to indicate that it easily pushed the testers headphones beyond the threshold of comfortable listening without even turning it all the way up.

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian
    edited Feb 2016

    @ardichoke said:

    @troll said:

    @ardichoke said:
    Anybody know anything or have opinions about this DAC/Amp combo? I find myself without speakers for my desktop at home now. Thinking about just picking this up to drive my headphones until I figure out what speakers to get next.

    https://www.massdrop.com/buy/udac-3-amp-dac?mode=guest_open

    I wouldn't bother, depending on your headphones there is not a lot of output to it.

    Not a lot of output in what way? The reviews I've been able to dig up of the uDAC 3 seemed to indicate that it easily pushed the testers headphones beyond the threshold of comfortable listening without even turning it all the way up.

    At 16ohm it outputs 80mW. So depending on the impedance of your cans, they may work fine. Every time the impedance doubles, the wattage halves. So at 32ohms you would get 40mW and so on and so forth. Sennhieser Hd600s have an impedance of 300ohms. This DAC/amp would do nothing for those and several other mid to high end headphones. As a comparison, the Magni 2 outputs 260mW at 300ohms a channel.

    This looks pretty awesome.

    Apparently my impedance calculation is off according to Schitt's spec sheets. Either way the point is, as impedance increases, wattage (voltage) drops and achievable SPL decreases due to how efficient a speaker is or is not. A 80mW amp at 16ohm loads is still pretty bad for even something like my 558s.

    troll
  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian

    Guys. This Schitt is awesome.

    troll
  • KarmaKarma Likes yoga Icrontian

    Working well for ya?

  • SonorousSonorous F@H Fanatic Virginia Icrontian
    edited Feb 2016

    @Karma said:
    Working well for ya?

    I'm willing to admit that the HD 558s are underwhelming when powered property :grumble:

    I'm starting to see the rabbit hole.

    troll
  • KarmaKarma Likes yoga Icrontian

    @Sonorous said:

    @Karma said:
    Working well for ya?

    I'm willing to admit that the HD 558s are underwhelming when powered property :grumble:

    I'm starting to see the rabbit hole.

    hahahaaha upgrade-itis

    troll
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