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Desktop headphone systems anyone?

Buddy Shagmore

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I succumbed, once again, to my hi-fi/head-fi jones today. I have been good since February, when I bought a Schiit Lokius eq for my main system. I have been impressed with the Lokius, so Schiit products have been on my radar. 

I decided I "needed" a second system, in my office, dedicated to headphone only use. I already have the fabulous Heritage Klipsch HP-3 cans, so

all I needed was a streamer, DAC, and headphone amp, and associated cables. 

So I ordered an ifi Zen Stream, Schiit Bifrost DAC and Jotunheim headphone amp. Both have balanced XLRs. I hope it all works out well. 

I was working within a budget, didn't go high-end by any means lol. A couple of years ago, I ordered a Klipsch headphone amp, but they were discontinued, and I had to cancel my order. 

Anyone else do something similar? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got it up and running after some initial issues pairing the ipad with the streamer. This is a great alternative to my main system and the ability to achieve an audiophile headphone experience is a real pleasure. Oh yeah,  I sprung for the Lokius 6-band tone control too. Balanced XLR connects throughout.


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  • 1 month later...

  Well, I got the Schiit stack up on hockey pucks yesterday. It really enhanced the low end. optimizing punch and definition. 👊

I think the mids are a bit more defined too.

  Still enjoying with my HP-3s. I also put the Lokius tone control on the bottom, as it is recommended to give it some distance from any nearby transformer...in the Jotunheim.

   So am I the only one here with a desktop head-fi system??


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My headphone setup is much more simple:  a pair of AudioQuest NightOwl headphones, driven by an AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt DAC/amplifier.  The sound is really good.  With the DragonFly Red and, later, the DragonFly Cobalt, I get the cool sensation of punchy headphones.  It has to be an aural illusion, but with some recordings I get the sensation of being hit by speaker-type sound waves.


While the system is not exactly desktop, it's usually plugged into my iPad or MacBook Pro, so it's almost always stationary.  The DragonFlys plug into a USB port and bypass the DAC in the source unit.  The difference between plugging Into the headphone socket (using the source unit's DAC) and plugging into a USB port (using the DragonFly's high quality DAC), combined with the extra power from the DragonFly's amplifier, makes a really good pair of headphones into a great pair.


With your setup, how many pucks are you using, three or four?  Using three tends to diminish any wobbles due to variations in the surface of the desktop, the bottom of the unit resting on the pucks, and the pucks themselves.  Of course, whichever arrangement sounds the best is the right one.


And as for your comment that you didn't go high end by any means, I'd suggest that your stack of Schiit is some premium s**t.  I'm sure that it gives you a really fine listening experience.

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