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Hello

 

im after a headphone amp to pair with my focal utopias and can’t decide between schiit audio Asgard 3 or the ifi micro idsd black label. 

i will be using an sp1000 and a source. 
 

look forward to hearing your thoughts on these two or open to suggestions. 
 

Thanks

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25 minutes ago, MichaelD1 said:

Hello

 

im after a headphone amp to pair with my focal utopias and can’t decide between schiit audio Asgard 3 or the ifi micro idsd black label. 

i will be using an sp1000 and a source. 
 

look forward to hearing your thoughts on these two or open to suggestions. 
 

Thanks

Neither will quite do the Utopia justice.

 

Do you have a budget?

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1 minute ago, Bengineer said:

Neither will quite do the Utopia justice.

 

Do you have a budget?

I liked the idea of the ifi because of its semi portability, but then found the Asgard because it is a good performer at its price. As I think I only need a amp as the DAC in the sp1000 is pretty decent?

 

my budget was going to be around $1000, am prepared to go alittle more for the right product. 
 

im using a cardas clear cable with a 1/4” if that helps

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Asgard and the iFi are great units, but they aren't Utopia level.

 

Cayin IHA-6 can be had for $1000 delivered, new.

 

Questyle CMA600i similar, built in "ok" DAC that you can just bypass.

 

Auralic Taurus MK2 though hard to find now.

 

Topping A90. @BlueOceanBoy has the Utopia and a A90 laying around, may comment on the pairing.

 

 

Edited by Bengineer
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32 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Asgard and the iFi are great units, but they aren't Utopia level.

 

Cayin IHA-6 can be had for $1000 delivered, new.

 

Questyle CMA600i similar, built in "ok" DAC that you can just bypass.

 

Auralic Taurus MK2 though hard to find now.

 

Topping A90. @BlueOceanBoy has the Utopia and a A90 Laing around, may comment on the pairing.

 

 

Thanks for your thought! I’ll have a look at the options!

 

as I only see myself using the single ended outputs and not the balanced do you believe will power the utopias better?

 

Like the look of the Topping A90 so interested in hearing what @BlueOceanBoy has to say

Edited by MichaelD1
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Hi Michael,

Ben is correct (IMO) about the amp pairings with Utopia. In theory, given their impedance and sensitivity, they should be easy to drive. And to some extent, they are. However, beware the easy numbers! Utopias are picky! They can sound thin and bright, even with high performance (and priced) amps. I feel this is why they can get a bad rap from a lot of people. The A90 is adequate with Utopias. I use it with a D90 for away from home duties as they complement each other quite nicely. But....I use a Stellia with them as I want closed. You might be mindful of the DAC pairing too as this can push them into that bright territory. I'd be thinking about Schiit Lyr 3 and Cayin i-HA6. You could move up to Questyle CMA600/800R or iCAN for a "warmer" presentation. And upwards! If you find the right pairing, the Utopias can really sing and you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much rich sound they can produce.

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7 minutes ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

Hi Michael,

Ben is correct (IMO) about the amp pairings with Utopia. In theory, given their impedance and sensitivity, they should be easy to drive. And to some extent, they are. However, beware the easy numbers! Utopias are picky! They can sound thin and bright, even with high performance (and priced) amps. I feel this is why they can get a bad rap from a lot of people. The A90 is adequate with Utopias. I use it with a D90 for away from home duties as they complement each other quite nicely. But....I use a Stellia with them as I want closed. You might be mindful of the DAC pairing too as this can push them into that bright territory. I'd be thinking about Schiit Lyr 3 and Cayin i-HA6. You could move up to Questyle CMA600/800R or iCAN for a "warmer" presentation. And upwards! If you find the right pairing, the Utopias can really sing and you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much rich sound they can produce.

Appreciate your response!

 

i did have a look at the the lyr 3 and quite liked the hybrid option. I’m going to do some research on the cayin and see how that compares. 
the main reason I got the cardas clear cable was to hear just the music as intended, compared to the black dragon that gave the utopias a warmer sound. 
 

The dac I’d be using is the one in the sp1000 which I’ve found good with my iems. I haven’t personally tested it much with the utopias. 

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15 minutes ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

Hi Michael,

Ben is correct (IMO) about the amp pairings with Utopia. In theory, given their impedance and sensitivity, they should be easy to drive. And to some extent, they are. However, beware the easy numbers! Utopias are picky! They can sound thin and bright, even with high performance (and priced) amps. I feel this is why they can get a bad rap from a lot of people. The A90 is adequate with Utopias. I use it with a D90 for away from home duties as they complement each other quite nicely. But....I use a Stellia with them as I want closed. You might be mindful of the DAC pairing too as this can push them into that bright territory. I'd be thinking about Schiit Lyr 3 and Cayin i-HA6. You could move up to Questyle CMA600/800R or iCAN for a "warmer" presentation. And upwards! If you find the right pairing, the Utopias can really sing and you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much rich sound they can produce.

In hindsight, how were they off the Gumby/Molly? Too bright for me there still, but that's just my preferences I think. Would probably get used to it 

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1 hour ago, BlueOceanBoy said:

Dual AKM4497EQs should be fine with any of the amps we mentioned. A musical DAC.

Great thanks! 
looking at the topping a90 seems to be a little powerhouse and plenty of good reviews. Also like the schiit jotunheim (your thoughts on this)?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 27/07/2020 at 5:54 PM, Bengineer said:

In hindsight, how were they off the Gumby/Molly? Too bright for me there still, but that's just my preferences I think. Would probably get used to it 

Utopia on the Gumby/Molly was not for me.

 

It was just missing something and perhaps the tubes on the Molly weren't suited.

 

Utopia are amazing on V281 :)

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