Amp for Hifiman Arya

I got myself a Hifiman Arya (non-stealth) during the open-box sale around Christmas on the Hifiman store, and now I’m considering an amp (and maybe DAC) upgrade.

I currently have a Schiit Modius and Magnius which I am currently happy with, so an upgrade wouldn’t feel necessary for me if the improvements weren’t sufficient.

I got the Arya because I was looking forward to the soundstage, the size/scale/life-sized sound, and the detail retrieval over something like a Sundara. It has not disappointed. So if I was to upgrade my amp (and DAC), I would want an improvement in those categories (particularly soundstage and instrument separation), and extra bass and warmth would be a bonus. I just don’t want to sacrifice the reasons I bought the headphones. I also don’t particularly worry about measurements of the amp, I’m focused on the final result of what I can hear.

As for the DAC, I listen to my music 99% on Apple Music and can’t tell the difference between AAC and lossless, so I feel like it wouldn’t be useful for me to upgrade my DAC. But maybe there are real improvements that I don’t know, in which case please share!

The amp currently at the top of my list is the Liquid Platinum since I’ve heard it’s a good combination with the Arya. I also wouldn’t be tube rolling, I will find tubes I like and stick with them. DMS also did a review of the FiiO K9 Pro which seems enticing, but it may not have sufficient power to drive the Arya. Though I don’t listen above 80dB and my Magnius volume knob is barely turned on high gain, like 10-11 o’clock.

If anyone has suggestions that are around/below $800 (I don’t want to go much past that) that pair well with the Arya and increases soundstage/instrument seperation, it would be greatly appreciated!

And if you could provide information on the type of improvements I would notice by upgrading, that is what I’m really looking for! Or maybe you think the Schiit Modius/Magnius are sufficient, in which case it would be useful to know that too.

Thanks for your help,
Bradley

I’m using a Bifrost 2 > Jotunheim 2 > Arya v2 and love it.
Guess I have a thing for 2’s :wink: Just adding the Jot 2 should work.
I do have almost 5k songs of Flac files.

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Same set up and sounds great. I’m going to jump on a Burson Soloist 3xp at some point but that’s a bit out of OPs requested budget. Despite that people say the pairing is magical

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I have the Arya stealth and run it with the Burson Sololist 3X which is above the price range but you can find it close to your price range on sales. I much prefer my Arya’s with that type of sound signature rather than some more clinical like Topping Amps. There are a lot of solid options at the 500 to 800 price range.

One comment, if you have a local dealer that has gear setup that you can try, go in and try out Arya’s on different DACs and Amps. See what resonates with you and go with that.

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I think you would notice more of a difference long term if you listened to lossless rather than upgrading your DAC, or AMP for that matter.

Lossless, depending on the provider will give you more of what you want. It will sound less compressed, treble will be less harsh, seperation and soundstage WILL be better.

You need time to adjust to listening to it. Getting a new DAC/AMP typically creates a placebo effect whereby you are listening more intently at louder levels and it sounds more detailed and “better”

Im not saying an upgrade wouldn’t be beneficial, but upgrading that far without the source material following is a mistake.

100% do this if you can regardless!

Oh in terms of amps for the Arya, I have RNHP and G111 with mine.
RNHP cannot power them at-all.
G111 just about gets there but I know there’s more to be had with a better amp, I believe to get the best out of the Arya’s you need something in the >1K range of amp. Like Violectric’s or Burson’s

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bit late to this but…

I’ve been trialling various HPs trying to find something that really satisfies and realise I’ll need to spend some real money.

However , as it stands, I listen with ATH-M50x headphones, (well I had to start somewhere , right?) with a Dragonfly Cobalt ( I know it’s a marmite DAC but that’s what I’ve got),
either:
-on my iPhone
or
-on my (secondhand) 2019 iMac

All my CDs are on my iMac or iPhone , lossless, but mostly I listen to streamed music. I tried TIDAL and will resub if I get the Ayra because the quality is so much better there but mostly I currently listen to Soundcloud (80%) and Spotify (10%) and Youtube (10%). I know the quality is rough but I struggle to find the Music I like on Apple or TIDAL.

… Im not sure I want to change where or how I listen to music too much. i.e. I’m not keen on having equipment on shelves with long wires or stacked high on my desktop or if I can avoid it.

The M50x is a party animal, (loud and coarse as Im sure you all know) which is fine for a while but subtle it ain’t ,it’s devoid of soundstage and long long listening sessions are out. I tried the 400+ ohm R70x and there was no problem with volume, usually set to about 70% iMac volume. I’m currently trying the Sundara and whilst it’s OK with my current set up and MUCH easier to listen to for long periods, it’s not amazing. So I’m looking at the Ayra. I am lusting after better soundstage mostly, but the improved bass (over the Sundara) and general precision and separation etc over the M50x,is important too. The Arya is a lot of money for me so the less I need to spend on new DAC/AMP the better.

However I do realise that I’ll be limiting what I can get out of Aryas by limiting the quality of the rest of the equipment but still hope I’ll be ‘pleased’ with them on something like my current set up, i.e.e will they still shine COMPARED TO the Sandara. Is that possible or would I absolutely waste money getting the Arya with current set up, i.e.e do I HAVE TO upgrade my DAC/AMP to get enough out of them to warrant the cost? How much difference would a better DAC/AMP make

I do have an old Marantz AMP in the loft that was all singing and all dancing when I first got it about 15 yrs ago; might that be pressed into service here at all? (I’ll have to get it down to remember what model).

If I REALLY have to have buy more equipment to get enough from the Ayra to hear a big enough difference over the Sundara then I will, but will probably have to defer the purchase though Im hungry for a better experience, but if I can get away with less for a year while I save up for the extras that would be better, but only if I can get something better than I currently get out of the Sundara.

thanks

I’d take a look at the XS it’ll get you most of what the Arya has but a lot more friendly on the wallet.
I’d also look at an amp and DAC before you decide on a bigger planar, they really do need power to sound proper.

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Thanks for your advice

I had the Arya for a couple of months and tried many combinations with them. The most fun and enjoyable combo was the SMSL HO200/DO200 without a doubt. Soundstage, detail, 3 filters but they really went nuts with the color setting selection for variety. The Topping A90/D90SE was right up there also. The upper mids can sound forward on the Arya, but a DAC filter with more of a treble rolloff kept me from having to equalize. The one thing I remember about it was you get used to them, and then putting any other headphones on was a disappointment :slight_smile:

I’ve got a micro iDSD Signature for sale that allegedly pairs beautifully with your Arya.

Case in point: iFi Micro iDSD Signature Review (ARYA OWNERS, PAY ATTENTION) - YouTube

PM me with any questions!

EDIT: just realized this is an old post. oops.