Buying new Gear and need some advice

Hey there,

so after reading for some time now in this forum (wich I very much enjoy) I gathered some Information but am overwhelmed but it slightly so would love Your advice and thoughts.

so where am i comming from?:
I used for around 5 years the O2 Amp + Dac Combo with a Beyer DT880 Pro 600 Ohm and was very pleased with it. I bought a Oppo PM-3 around 2 or 3 years ago as a mobile solution. Beginning of this year, I got the DT 1990 Pro and I’m loving them. I shared the Headphone with my wife, wich loves them, too. Long story short, we need another pair. We thought about the Sundara but thats around 100€ cheaper than the DT 1990 Pro and she wants them more.

She wants to take my O2 + Dac Combo and I get a new Amp and DAC. Budget is 500€, max. 700€.

So I read about some other amps and dacs and found following interesting:

  • Schiit Asgard 3

  • Lake People G111 / G105

  • Aune X1s or X7s

  • RNHP

  • JDS Labs Atom

  • JDS Labs EL AMP

  • JDS Element

  • Schiit Modius

  • Aune X8

  • JDS Labs Atom Dac

  • JDS Labs EL DAC

  • Topping E30

So what are my “needs”?
I found myself enjoying details, clearity and instrumental seperation. I don’t know how to describe it. I like clear sound so I can distinguish instruments or the parts of a mix (bassline, vocals, different instruments) and not everything is a “soundwall”. I know that that depends heavily on the mix itself but I don’t know how to discribe it xD.
I want to drive my DT880 Pro 600 Ohm aswell with that Amp aswell as the ability to drive something like a HEDDphone or Hifiman Arya wich I might get in some years.

After all I have read, I thought the RNHP should be the perfect pick for me but that seems to discharge into the headphone when turning of and shouldn’t be turned on with the headphones plugged in to reduce load on the amplifier. Since I’m always leave my headphones plugged in (the cables slide of the desk when not plugged in)
But I don’t know if that is even as much a problem to leave them plugged in.
Im also not shure if the power-output is enought if I would upgrade to something like a HEDDphone or Arya later on.

I read about the Lake People G111 because someone mentioned he/she liked them more over the RNHP and would sound cleaner.

The Aune got good reviews from Zeos, aswell as the Atom and EL Stack from DMS, so thats where I got them from.

Overall I’m leaning towards the Asgard 3 atm because its often suggested and should have enough power for a later upgrade. I would pair it with a Modius or would a DAC-Card or another DAC better?

Whats Your opinion for a good matchup? Am I missing something? Im living in Germany, so its more difficult to get gear from something like Geshelli Labs here.

Thank You very much for Your time!!!


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I have both the Dt1990 and the RNHP and Imo they complement well each other, just got the RNHP a few week ago so I need more time with them. As for the discharge you mentioned I really am not bothered by it.

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RNHP pairs the 1990 incredibly well though very expensive. Can’t speak on lake people. Would definitely recommend the asgard 3 though if you decide on not going with the RNHP, I use the asgard 3 with the 1990 myself sounds great, and modius is said to dial back the treble a bit and sound really clean, also completes the stack with the asgard. Topping E30 is nice too good all rounder budget dac if your wanting to save money I do think this is a real good safe option.

RNHP + Modius/E30 or Asgard 3 + Modius/E30(I think this may be more well rounded and cater to a wider variety of headphones personally) would be my suggestion. Can’t really speak for lake peoples amps haven’t tried them

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I wrote the RNHP G111 comparison thread. They are both neutral, but the RNHP would be better for you based on the fact it has a smaller soundstage, so details are easier to hear.

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hmm just a thought here but an option would be an asgard 3 and a dac (e30 or modius would be good) to power your 1990’s and/or sundara’s and future headphones and also grab a darkvoice 336se to power your 880’s… I don’t think it would fit your 500 budget but would definitely fit your 700 budget… I say this because the 880’s are really really nice on an otl tube amp

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Thank You all for Your recommendations! :slight_smile:

@Davidibiza good to hear that. Regarding the discharge, is it controllable via the volume how much discharges in the Headphone? Do You keep Your headphones plugged in while turning on and of?

@Falenkor thanks for the input. The Asgard seems hard to get in Europe atm so I will write the EU-Distributor to get more info on Stock-Times :slight_smile:

@Hazi59 Thanks, yeah I remember :slight_smile: I found that post very interesting and thats the reason Lake People is even on my list. The second reason I am so heasitated to pick up the RNHP is the output Power. I would love to use all my current gear (DT 1990 Pro, DT 880 600 Ohms and Oppo PM-3) on the new Amp. The Power-Rating of the RNHP is very low in comparison to the Asgard or the Lake People. Do You know, if the DT 880 600 Ohm Version would be propertly driven by the RNHP?
Tbh the latest Zeos Review made me question, if even my current O2 Amp drives the DT 880 to full extend regarding dynamics. That makes me quite uncertain if the RNHP would be the right pick in terms of power.

@donjklassen tbh I never thought about a Tube-Amp. Can You discribe how the DT 880s Sound change from solid to tube?

Thank You all so much :slight_smile: !

The only one that may give you issues is the 880 600 ohm. What I would suggest if you can do it financially is get a solid state amp and a tube. The DT 880 sounds great running off tubes. How it would sound on a tube amp depends on the amp and what tubes you use. Normally tube amps help with soundstage and add depth and dynamics to the way a headphone sounds.

Maybe an Asgard 3 and a Darkvoice 336se? Combined, they’d cost about the same as the RNHP. Not only that, but the both amps have plenty of power.

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How does the Asgard compare to the RNHP? How much better is the RNHP for my preferences?

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The pop is the same regardless of the volume. Sometimes I plugged them before turning the amp on and sometimes after… Not very worried about that. I keep always the volume at a minimum before pluggin in any headphone though, that will save your eardrums of accidental deafening lol.

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Well, I think they are both good amps, but the RNHP is a little better as far as detail is concerned and is a tier above the Asgsrd. You could always grab the RNHP and a tube amp later if you cant swing it financially. Maybe buy the RNHP and either a Darkvoice 336se or Bottlehead Crack later on.

As far as dacs ar concerned, the topping e30 or Aune X8 makes the most sense based on your preferences.

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Also keep an eye for used RNHP in Headfi. I got mine for 320 euros used two months ago, that will give you margin to get an used Dark Voice for say 150 euros or so. My recommendation is to buy used whenever you can so you can improve your knowledge of audio gear and sell those parts you don’t come to like without an economic loss.


I really liked the 880 on the darkvoice… the low end will be more lush and present… stage width and depth will improve… an overall improvement in musicality and body

I think with the a3 and dv you’ll see a marked improvement over what you’re currently using :+1:

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Amps like the Lake People g1111, RNHP and gilmore lite mk2 are on the next level from the amps you mentioned. the E30 will be just as good as the others mentioned i think. sigma delta dacs dont improve that much till the 1000 dollar range i hear. The r2r dacs are pretty good. i just got the Schiit bifrost and its fantastic

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I guess I will go with a Asgard 3 with E30 (or Modius) and maybe a Dark Voice (I could see that with another E30 in the living Room with the DT 880s and the DT 1990 Pros on my and my wifes Desk).
I guess I order a RNHP aswell to compare to the Asgard to wrap my head around the question if double the price is worth it for me.

Thank You all for the Input. I will contact Schiit-Europe now and will gather everything and report back how it turned out :slight_smile:


If you get the asgard and rnhp i would love to hear how they compare

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You can put a multibit dac in the Asgard for an extra 200$. you might want to consider that over the E30. the modi multibit is 250$

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Thought about that but for 200 bucks I would rather get the Modius for the different Interfaces (Coax, Toslink and USB). That leaves the option to add a CD Player to it later on or switch to Toslink if USB is giving me problems (Windows Updates are quite distructive lately xD)


I think the Modius is a delta sigma DAC. but i hear its very good

FYI: I went with a Topping E30 and Lake People G111.

Thanks for Your support and all the information :slight_smile: Now I have the feeling, I made a good decision for the next years to come (next project is the HEDDPhone but that will take some time to safe up for xD)

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