And run the Asgard off your integrated audio on your mobo? No man. Don't do that. Get the Magni2/Modi2. Keep in mind that the Ubers DO sound better and you also get dual outputs on the amp with the uber so you can get the modi's audio quality out to speakers.
An alternative to the Magni/Modi would be Dragonfly/Magni 2 uber. That'll cost you $300 just the same as it'd cost you $300 to get the magni 2 uber with the modi 2 uber. It really comes down to what your tastes in music are. If possible, have a listen to both (I doubt this is possible) and decide which DAC you like better.
The Modi does have the advantage out of the box of playing back 24/192 while the Dragonfly is limited to 24/96 so that's something to consider as well, as you will no doubt become a snob and start listening to 24 bit audio once you have your setup.
I have a $500 Teac UD 301 DAC into the $250 Asgard powering $550 Hifiman HE400i and it sounds freaking spectacular. The Magni/Modi combo may be cheap, but it has sound quality that rivals many $500 dac/amp combos. It really is good schiit.
I will say this for Schiit- I have yet to read a single comment by a disappointed customer. Everybody says the same things "I couldn't believe how good it sounded for only X dollars". "It's so well built for how cheap it is". etc etc.
Keep in mind that Schiit is built in the USA. Not just assembled in the USA, built in the USA. Even the metal chassis is made in a shop in the USA. I personally would much rather have an electronic product made in the US or Japan or Great Britain or Germany than from China, Vietnam, Taiwan, etc (though Taiwan is by far the best of those countries).
If you are disappointed with the Schiit stack I will be stunned. It really is that good.
Remember- amps have to warm up and headphones have to break in. Let the amp get toasty for an hour before you use it the first time, and remember that your headphones will break in over time and sound better.
You can give some audio massaging a try- using the HPET clock in windows, getting the free version of Fidelizer, running Windows 10 (which sounds better than 7 or 8), running everything to the DAC via ASIO, etc etc.
Once you get your hands on this stuff you will be hooked. Take that as something to look forward to and as a warning. If you like the experience, and you will like the experience, odds are that in 10 years you will have a $2000 headphone amp and $2000 headphones. It's a disease, much like alcoholism. Few people are able to stay at the entry level once they get a taste of MID-FI audio. And it is MID-FI. HI-FI comes at a much higher price.
Btw what made you decide on the DT990s? Have you listened to them? Have you considered any other headphones? You know that the sound varies tremendously from one can to the next right?
I would urge you to go to HIFI shops, Guitar center, long and McQuade, whatever you have in the area, and listen to as many headphones in your price range as you can. You may be surprised at what you end up choosing. Buying headphones or speakers blind is a bad idea. Sound is subjective. While visuals are much easier to agree on, sound is not. Anybody can look at a 4K TV and tell you it is sharper than a 1080P TV, but often, two people will listen to the same track at 16/44.1 and then 24/192 and not agree on which sounds better. I may like KEF, you may like PSB. I may l ike a warm, smooth sound, you may like an aggressive bright sound. I may love bass, you may hate bass. I listen to Rock, you listen to country, etc. Every individual will have specific needs based on HOW they hear (everybody hears differently) and WHAT they hear (different people hear different frequencies differently) and what they WANT to hear. That's why there are 250 million headphones out there right now in all shapes and sizes and budgets.
Going on reviews is risky. Sure, it SOUNDS like what your'e after. The reviewer says it's warm, bass heavy, smooth. But then you listen to it and it's not smooth ENOUGH or there's MORE bass than you like or it's not AS warm as you wanted. Or maybe that snap in the background of your favourite song isn't coming out the way you wan t it to.
Soundstage is another thing you have to consider with higher end headphones, which you might not even be aware of if you just have cheap earbuds now, and the shape and size of a soundstage can not be conveyed in words.
Go to a Hifi shop, bring along some snacks, camp out there, listen to everything they have, then make a decision.
To make that experience bullet proof, you will need a laptop, the schiit stack, and a cooperative store. Take your laptop in with your favorite tracks (DO NOT USE MP3s FOR THE LOVE OF GOD) hook up your schiit stack, and start testing their headphones. That way you know EXACTLY what you are going to get.
I've showed up at a store with my own gear. It's not as unusual as you might think. We're an anal retentive bunch, audiophiles. Join us and you might find that your anus gets a little retentive as well
.Edited by mistersprinkles - 10/25/15 at 12:10pm