DAC/amp Pairing w ZMF Atticus

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by Gruss Gott, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Gruss Gott

    Gruss Gott Almost "Made"

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    Hey Experts, So because I'm already mega blowing my budget, I'm trying to come up with a "reasonable" setup for a new set of ZMF Atticus's

    I'm thinking the choices are:

    (1.) Modi / Valhalla
    I've heard the Atticus sounds great with the Valhalla, and I love the tube amp look, albeit have zero experience with them. If the Val is a much better pairing than the M3, I'm thinking this should give me much better sound than option 2, and I can upgrade the DAC next year.

    (2.) Modi Multibit / M3
    I have optical s/pdif input and will be using 24b/96k max files so the Modi Multibit option would allow me a cleaner DAC connection, better DAC, and the external power supply ... but the M3 might not be a good pairing with the Atticus, although next year I could jump up to an awesome tube amp and continue using the Modi Multibit.

    (3.) Ifi iDSB BL
    Portable, powerful, does it all ... but ... might not be the best pairing with the Atticus and an upgrade next year would require both a new DAC and a new amp.

    Your thoughts?

    EDIT: the Jot is out of the price range as trying to keep it ~400 or less
     
  2. k4rstar

    k4rstar Sad on the inside

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    No Valhalla. Too dynamically compressed, weaksauce in the bass which defeats the purpose of a closed flavor can. Was not a good pairing with the Eikon when I tried it, did not play to any of its strengths and highlighted all the weaknesses.

    iDSD is dry and slightly warm in both tone and timbre with a standard Brit-Fi lower treble accentuation. Better than Mojo, worse than balanced Geek Out.

    Modi Multibit is too dark and bassy for your dark and bassy cans. Go for neutral-ish regular Modi 2U instead. Magni 3 should be fine.
     
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  3. Gruss Gott

    Gruss Gott Almost "Made"

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    Interesting ... Zach recommended Val for the Atticus ... I wonder if the driver material affects things? The FR curves look very similar between the two, but the Atticus routinely is called out for meatier bass
     
  4. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    Do you own any DACs or amps to work with now?
     
  5. k4rstar

    k4rstar Sad on the inside

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    Maybe, I forget the Atticus is a high impedance bio-cell. Check out this dudes review, he talks about the pairing: http://aornic.com/reviews/2017/4/30/zmf-atticus

    Still don't think the bass will be ideal.
     
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  6. Gruss Gott

    Gruss Gott Almost "Made"

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    Just the mojo - I'm in that weird place of trying to figure out what and where to "invest" versus fill a gap. In short, should I use my budget to build around the headphone, DAC or amp?

    For that reason I was thinking of building around the Atticus with MM and bringing in more amps as time goes on. Pretty common and boring question I suppose.
     
  7. k4rstar

    k4rstar Sad on the inside

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    Try this: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...dget-among-headphones-amps-and-dac-source.57/
     
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  8. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

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    Well, one might consider leaving your Mojo in place as your DAC, for budget reasons. Then you can spend your budget all on amp. That brings all kind of options on the table. If you like soldering you could go BH Crack. Or go with a DAC-less Jot. Or go with one of the many new Massdrop offerings. Yada yada yada...
     
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  9. psuKinger

    psuKinger Rando

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    A *lot* of people on here have a *lot* more experience and insight WRT hifi headphone rigs... so feel free to take everything I have to say with a grain of salt. BUT, in general, I'm personally a big believer in:
    1) Transducer (headphone or speaker) is #1 priority
    2) Amp/power to drive transducer is#2
    3) Source Material (files, for me at least) and DAC is #3

    ... in terms of what makes the biggest bang for the buck impact to performance, that's the order-of-precedence, at least in my opinion.


    The approach I recently took (which at least at first glance may appear to fly in the face of the above, despite my belief that the above is accurate) was to try to "buy once" in terms of a proper DAC/AMP that would let me not second-guess my "infrastructure" with which to drive headphones and convert 1's and 0's to analog. I went with a Schiit Jot. Now I feel like I'm in a pretty good spot to audition/try-out/buy/live with a whole bunch of different mid-priced transducers and zero in on what I like and where I may want to go from here...
     
  10. Gruss Gott

    Gruss Gott Almost "Made"

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    So did I! Just last year in normal time ... but that's like 7 years ago in audio-time.
     

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