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The necessity of external DACs and possible recommendations. - Page 2

post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, I appreciate you taking the time to explain it all to me in detail. I am new to all of this and there is loads of information available which I find quite hard to follow.

I still dont entirely understand how the amplifier specifications relate to the specifications of headphones in terms of compatability. There are headphones out there with various impedances yet an amplifier can be compatible with multiple headphones which may differ in their impedance. The way I see it is that while those headphones with various impedances will work with the same amplifier well, they will have different volumes at diffferent stages. The more impedance there is, the more resistance the amplifier has to go against meaning it requires more power to drive volume in the headphones. So high impedance headphones will need the volume button to be adjusted at a higher stage than for low impedance headphones. Sorry if I still cant get the grip of things tongue.gif

Also judging by what Fylzka posted, it is harder to drive power to higher resistances as I just mentioned. Hence at 600Ω the amp can only provide 100mW.

I am also concerned of potential ways of damaging headphones or amplifiers. is there anything I have to be aware of when using my high impedance headphones in order to prevent damaging them? Also, the Custom One Pro that I have, have a impedance of only 4 Ohm which is extremely low. Does that mean that they are incompatible with amplifiers and certain DACs? I know the purpose of those types of headphones is for use with phones and other low powered devices but I was thinking maybe there would be qualitative increase of sound delivery. If I were to use the DAC (Dragonfly Red) with the Custom One Pro without any further amplification would it work well? The DAC itself does have some amplification power but nowhere near the amount actual amps have. Because I understand that amps can damage low impedance headphones.

Either way, this is what I have decided to do. I am going to be getting a DAC namely the Audioquest Dragonfly Red as suggested by billbartuska, I will be getting it in one or two weeks time. Then the amplifier will follow, the Beyer Dynamic A 20. The DT 1990 Pro should arrive in 3-6 days, so I am expecting them next week.

Once again, thank you guys for all the clarification. thumb.gif
Edited by Cybertox - 9/18/16 at 4:27am
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post #12 of 44
Everything that I can find says your Custom One Pro headphones are 16Ω.

You don't need to use an amplifier (nor would you want to) with the Dragonfly Red, it has a built in amp.

Just plug it into a USB port and plug your phones in.

Here's my setup.
Note the external USB power and Audioquest interconnect to my amp.

I don't use headphones with the Dragonfly as the Yamaha orthodynamic headphones (HP-1 Mario Bellini edition) I have, that despite their age (they were made from 1975 to about 1990), can give even an electrostatic a run for their money, they are nowhere near the sound capability of the Dragonfly.


 
 
Edited by billbartuska - 9/18/16 at 5:35am
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post #13 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

Everything that I can find says your Custom One Pro headphones are 16Ω.

You don't need to use an amplifier (nor would you want to) with the Dragonfly Red, it has a built in amp.

Just plug it into a USB port and plug your phones in.

Here's my setup.
Note the external USB power and Audioquest interconnect to my amp.

I don't use headphones with the Dragonfly as the Yamaha orthodynamic headphones (HP-1 Mario Bellini edition) I have, that despite their age (they were made from 1975 to about 1990), can give even an electrostatic a run for their money, they are nowhere near the sound capability of the Dragonfly.


 
 

But that is what I was initially planning to do when using my DT 1990 Pro, I would connect the Dragonfly to the desktop, then the AMP to the Dragonfly and then eventually the 1990 to the AMP. Or are you referring to the situation when using the Custom One Pro? By the looks of it I would also need an external USB power adapter which would interconnect my desktop with the Dragonfly, is that also another neccessary component, how come I cant connect the Dragonfly directly to my PC?

Edit: A Dragonfly cannot be connected to an amplifier, I need a DAC which can connect to amplifiers. That is the problem. Or can it???
Edited by Cybertox - 9/18/16 at 6:36am
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post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cybertox View Post

By the looks of it I would also need an external USB power adapter which would interconnect my desktop with the Dragonfly, is that also another neccessary component, how come I cant connect the Dragonfly directly to my PC?

Edit: A Dragonfly cannot be connected to an amplifier, I need a DAC which can connect to amplifiers. That is the problem.

You're making this to be much more complicated than it is. Yes, a Dragonfly can connect directly to an amplifier, headphones or both.

A separate USB power supply is not needed but will greatly improve the sound quality that you get, as will using audiophile quality cabling and interconnects. The 5V supplied to USB ports by a computer is just not up to audiophile quality. Its filled with noise and voltage spikes. This is the one that I use: Aqvox



And since you Bose(????) speakers also have an internal amplifier you could do this:



I tried to imply this in my previous posts (Bose????), "the Yamaha headphones are nowhere near the sound capability of the Dragonfly", but I guess I'll come right out and say it.

The Dragonfly Red (or pretty much any high end DAC) will far exceeds the capability, sound quality wise, of your headphones, your Bose speakers, the headphones you plan to buy or the amp you plan to buy. To fully take advantage of what the Dragonfly can do, sound quality wise, you'd need to spend thousands of dollars on upgrading those components. That's not to say it won't make a very noticeable improvement to the sound you get and be a great investment for future upgrades.
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post #15 of 44
Thread Starter 
Yes but will the amplifier in the Dragonfly Red be powerful enough to drive the 250 ohm 1990 Pro? The above depiction is entirely applicable when using the Custom One Pro and it makes great sense. However, since when dont we need an amplifier anymore? I guess what you have depicted above applies to how things will be set up until I get the A 20 amplifier. Then I will have the following set up.

Desktop - USB Power Supply - Dragonfly Red - Analog interconnect - A 20 Amplifier - DT 1990 Pro

Concerning the players. I am well satisfied with Foobar2000, iTunes is something I use on my Macbook when I am away from home, its easily manageable library and simple design are the main reasons why I use it. JPlay seems to have many issues, especially for a software which costs 99 euros, I read the forum and there are numerous threads describing issues which users continously come across. I might give it a try though as it has a free trial but I doubt I will go ahead and buy it. What do you think of AIMP?

And yes, The Custom One Pro are 16 and not 4 Ohm, my bad.
Edited by Cybertox - 9/18/16 at 8:24am
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post #16 of 44
Why do you want to spend $600 on an amp you don't need and that may degrade the sound quality of the Dragonfly?? Though my Dragonfly is connected directly to a Yamaha amplifier for playback through my speakers, but directly to my headphones when I want to listen to music and not disturb others in the house.

Any software/hardware has load of complaints from idiots.
Just go read the MS forums about Win 10 - heck, of you read the video card threads on this forum you would think on board video was the way to go!
JPlay is no different.

I've tried a half dozen players, foobar and iTunes included, all have their strengths and weaknesses.I do use Media Monkey on my workshop computer and A FLAC player on my iPhone for playing music while I work in my workshop. But if your single concern is the best sound possible, that's JPlay.
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post #17 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

Why do you want to spend $600 on an amp you don't need and that may degrade the sound quality of the Dragonfly?? Though my Dragonfly is connected directly to a Yamaha amplifier for playback through my speakers, but directly to my headphones when I want to listen to music and not disturb others in the house.

Any software/hardware has load of complaints from idiots.
Just go read the MS forums about Win 10 - heck, of you read the video card threads on this forum you would think on board video was the way to go!
JPlay is no different.

I've tried a half dozen players, foobar and iTunes included, all have their strengths and weaknesses.I do use Media Monkey on my workshop computer and A FLAC player on my iPhone for playing music while I work in my workshop. But if your single concern is the best sound possible, that's JPlay.

I dont want to spend such a big amount of money but the amplifier is something I see as neccessary for a pair of headphones with 250 ohm. I have my doubts that the Dragonfly Red will have enough power for the DT 1990 PRO. Also, how is the amplifier going to degrade the sound of the DAC? If you think that the DF Red is going to be enough for something like the DT 1990 Pro then thats great, means I will have to spend less money to enjoy my new pair of headphones, however if in the future I would like to get an amplifier I would like it to be well compatible with the DAC that I own that wouldnt be difficult to set up as a whole.

You are right about JPlay, I should try it out myself before drawing any conclusions, but 99 euros for an audio playing software is not very cheap.

So should I really go ahead and get a DragonFly Red? Would it make sense to get it if I were to use it with an amp possibly sometime in the future?

Concerning the USB Power Supply, could you link me to it? I went to their online shop but couldnt find it, they are established in Germany which is great as it is located closely to Switzerland. So getting the device wont prove to be difficult.

Also below is the list of things I am considering to get.

Dragonfly Red (CHF 229)
Beyer Dynamic A 20 (CHF 430)
Audioquest RCA/Jack Tower (CHF 29)
Edited by Cybertox - 9/18/16 at 10:43am
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post #18 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
One of the headphones I ended up using a lot with the DragonFlies is the Hifiman Edition-S. Both units have more than enough power to drive this headphones and volume always had to be turned down by a lot. The S sounds very engaging and musical with the DragonFly units and depending on tuning I was in the mood for I switched between the faster Black and the smoother Red. The Sennheiser HD650 with its 300Ohm impedance is a harder to drive headphone and while I still prefer to listen to the HD650 on tubes, especially the Red Dragonfly made it sound very engaging and musical. Volume wise you of course have to seriously turn it up but there is headroom left.

Sennheiser’s HD800S with the bigger bass and thicker mids sounds surprisingly nice on the Black but it sounds even better on the Red. Good bass, good mids but at higher volumes the sound seems to start to distort, I still recommend a full sized desktop unit for this kind of headphones. Beyerdynamic’s DT770Pro is an easier drive headphone and so neither of the DragonFly units had a problem with it. With the Black you get good and full bodied bass and good speed overall. With the Red I find the bass to lose a little of control and I prefer the faster sounding signature of the Black with this headphones.

So according to a Dragonfly Review done by Headfonia. The Dragonfly Red can drive 250 ohms and does not lack power. As mentioned it was sufficient enough for the DT770Pro which are also 250 ohm headphones just like the DT1990PRO that I have ordered.

I am gonna be ordering my Dragonfly Red soon, will refrain from getting an external amplifier, at least for now.
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post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cybertox View Post

I am gonna be ordering my Dragonfly Red soon, will refrain from getting an external amplifier, at least for now.
That's being smart.

With your speakers and present headphones I don't think a linear power supply for the Dragonfly will make any noticeable difference.I seriously believe that adding a component to any HiFi system will only show an improvement in sound quality if that system is capable of playing the difference the new component produces.

Any improvement from a linear power supply will be lost on the muddy mess that comes out of, basically, any, small, computer speakers or inexpensive headphones. They just can't reproduce the subtle difference in waveforms necessary to hear the difference. Your new BeyerDynamic DT 1990 Pro - maybe.

And think about this when considering new components:
The highest fidelity available, at least, this planet, is live, un-amplified acoustic music. Anything that you put between that and you ears can only degrade the sound quality. There is no component that can reproduce sound that well. Yes, some components will degrade the sound less than others and some can change the sound, but none can improve it.

Good luck and enjoy your new stuff.

addition:
If you're going to try Jplay be sure and download ASIO, WASSAPI and Kernel Streaming drivers and compare the differences.
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post #20 of 44
Thread Starter 
The Audioquest Jitterbug looks like a very good USB filter, it is also available in Switzerland for a rather decent price, might go ahead and get it.
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