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Tube Amp to replace Xonar STX

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey, guys and gals.
I am in the process of building a new system.
Mini Itx APU system.
As of now, I have a pair of Senn HD 598s that I am running through an Xonar STX.
I did notice a BIG improvement with the Xonar over the OBS, so I don't want to use the OBS.
With the new build, I wont be able to use my sound card due to the only pcie slot will be occupied by a 290/290x/780/780ti gpu.
I plan on running a pair of good pair of studio monitors though it, and upgraded headphones in 6-8 months.

$200-$250 budget-Not to exceed $300
Mostly for music (Slayer to Johnny Cash) Games and movies.
This might turn into an HTPC in the future.

Question(s):
What would be a comparable Tube Amp to the Xonar?
(I really like the looks of the Tube Amps, BUT...I want the best bang for the Buck-Nothing too ugly)
Do I need a DAC and an Amp?

I looked at a few, here is one that I like (looks) Little Dot MK2 MKII -is it any good?

Thanks

-dimwit-
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post #2 of 7
Hi,
I'm pretty new to audio so not perfectly sure about anything but i'll try to help.

I got my first basic audio setup recently.

I'm using my rampage iv black edition mobo's on board audio and connecting it to a Schiit Vali AMP (119$) connected to my DT990 Pro's (got for 136$) any ways my mobo says its able to power up to 600 OHM head phones and they do but when i plug it into my Amp the sound just has more depth and feeling to it. (It can also go way louder than safe levels lol)

The only amp i could realty recommend would be the Schiit Vali though since i haven't tested any others.
If your going to be using the headphones for gaming I wouldn't recommend getting and external DAC since if i'm not mistaken external DAC's wont be able to use Dolby surround for the headphones to give you good spacial recognition in games. You would need a sound card or on-board for that.

Good luck.
post #3 of 7
I was in similar position about a month ago (switched from HD Titanium ) and bought Aune T1 (DAC/amp via USB)+ few tubes -they can be very addictive and cost few bucks but T1 is tube buffer and you can buy steel pin tubes for $10~50 on ebay ,I absolutely love T1 ,my DT880's and HE400 sound sweet
http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq

P.S. if you gaming a lot you will have to get use to the cleaner sound that DAC will offer compared to sound card,I would recommend good quality headphones also,there are few other options out there like SS DAC/amp but if you in to tubing ..T1 is very nice option
Edited by coolhandluke41 - 1/12/14 at 7:53am
    
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post #4 of 7
Here ya go.

Aune T1 for 120: http://www.head-fi.org/t/695369/aune-t1-6922-eh-silver

And then you can buy the schiit vali. You can have a tube dac and a tube amp within your budget.
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post #5 of 7
Schiit Modi+Vali.
post #6 of 7
If you will be getting rid of your soundcard you will probably need a dac as well. When you say you will upgrade your headphones in the future, upgrade them to what? I recently purchased this amp to pair with my hd650s and love it. The bottlehead crack, it runs around 270 ish for a kit so you need to build it yourself.

http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php/products/crack-otl-headphone-amplifier-kit

But depending on what you plan to upgrade your headphones to in the future my suggestion may change.
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies +1 to all.
With the info you have given me, I will start to research them and see what my best option would be.

Again Thanx

-dimwit-
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New One
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Windows 8 64bit Crossover 27" Max Nighthawk X8 (Browns) SeaSonic X Series X-850 
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