I’m planning on getting an Arya in the next year or so, but I only have a Magni/Modi which I know won’t be enough to drive it well, plus I want balanced. I’m really hoping not to have to pay more than $500, $600 max, for the Amp/DAC combo.
I think my top options are the Magnius/Modius stack, or a THX 887/789 with a balanced DAC. I feel like I want more power than the THX 788 would provide. I don’t need any special features, just clean, powerful, and a good pairing with the Arya. I don’t see myself upgrading beyond an Arya for a long time, if ever. Maybe I’ll get a Focal Elex/Clear at some point. I’m sure any upgrade would be good for my 6xx (keeping) and Sundaras (selling for Arya) while I save up.
Would the Schiitius stack be good for me? Or is a THX or some setup I haven’t heard of better for the price range? I also know people like the liquid platnium, but I think that’s outside what I want to pay in the somewhat near future. If my DAC would play nice with that, that’d be a bonus.
Stay far far away from 789s. A90 is a direct upgrade in every way and I’d be careful looking for a hyper analytical amp. Something with some color is definitely better for Arya’s.
You might also consider stepping down the headphone to be able to afford a better source chain.
So you’re currently looking at Arya ($1500) + DAC/amp ($500-$600) …you could instead get an Ananda or used Edition X V2 ($700), a Liquid Platinum ($500-$800), and a Geshelli J2 ($300) and still be under the $2000 total budget that you were looking at spending with the Arya setup.
I’d stay away from THX if you are looking for the big sound stage that hifiman is known for. My 788 and 887 are the most narrow sounding amps I have had. I would give a look at the Singxer SA1, it has a wider stage, sounds smooth (not in a bad way) and has as much detail compared to the 887/788. It might also be a good choice over the A90 as the A90 might get to analytical with the Arya as another post pointed out.
Soundstage is a definitely one of the reasons I want the Arya! Good to know