First Enthusiast Setup

Hey Guys, newcomer here. I tried a friends “high end” setup a few days ago and immediately went into research mode to create my own enthusiast grade audio solution.

A bit of background for what I want to use this setup for:

Games- FPS, RPG and RTS. Not looking for a super competitive setup. I would rather “experience” my games than go into ultra tryhard mode
Movies- All kinds of movies
Music- My taste in music is wide from Bluegrass to Alt Rock (Tool) to Hip Hop and back to classical.

Right now I am looking at:

Schiit Modius DAC
Drop 789 Amp
Sennheiser 58X Jubilee

I am planning on running this balanced between the DAC and Amp, but I was wondering if there is anything I’m missing or should consider. Do I need to replace the stock 58X cable? Is there a better bang for the buck with any of these components?

Any feedback is greatly appreciated!


Oh wow. $500 on dac/amp and $160 on headphones? Well…I guess you are all set for future upgrades. Seems a little overkill for 58x’s

I am actually the opposite of you right now. $100 Schiit Fulla and $600 DT 1990 pro.

Just got the dt 1990 pros though. Had the 58x before it. Definitely see a dac amp upgrade in the near future. Not even sure I would go as high as you are looking at though.

I’d swap the 789 for the Asgard 3.


First - welcome to HiFiGuides!

One upside to everything you listed is if you don’t like it, it will easily re-sell. And you could save a few $$$ by picking them up used. Some of this is a matter of taste, but going to the Asgard 3 instead of the Drop 789 is probably smart. You are “limited” to single ended that way. But consider that an upgrade path for your future (ie adding a Geshelli Erish running off the balanced Modius output). The Asgard 3 is tough to beat price/performance, and gives you tons of flexibility in headphone upgrades.

have fun!

yea i figure I can start with a pair of headphones that are good value and then go from there up the cost mountain haha


Given the powerful amplifier setup you’re looking at, maybe worth asking if you might look 6xx vs 58x.
The 58x is a bit “thicker” on lower frequencies, but besides that its only other benefit it offers is a little bit cheaper and half the impedance (so it easier to power). In the range you are looking, you won’t have power worries.

You’re already getting a lot of A3 suggestions here, so I won’t pile on that part.

If you did go the route of a balanced amplifier, you would need to get a balanced cable for either of those Sennheiser’s to run them that way. I think these headphones are a solid all-arounder, neutral-warm. Their biggest demerit is typically the way they are a bit “in your head”, not a great sense of space or much fine nuance about how sounds spread across that virtual stage.

why should i swap the 789 for the asguard 3? the asguard doesn’t have a balanced output and if I get a balanced cable for the 58x ill have a completely balanced setup from start to finish.

the 6xx is on the list for sure. Over the next year im sure i will add 2 or 3 new pairs of headphones to this setup.

I’m suggesting considering the 6xx over the 58x unless that’s a done deal.
You don’t need both, unless you’re a crazy person like, uh… me.

The question I’ll pose to the balanced question, without asserting a judgement, is why?
I’m not poo-pooing balanced, but it seems like the “balanced topology is the grail and numbers are all” beyond any other question about the sound is a problem for me.

While fully balanced setups can be extremely powerful for a given price, if that power advantage over the alternatives at the same price is completely unnecessary - why are we doing it?

Like I said over the next year I plan on expanding the collection. I’m very interested in the 6xx, verum 1, sundaras, k702’s and the dt 1990’s :slight_smile:

Talking balanced vs unbalanced can get into the weeds very quickly. But it’s worth noting that the 789 is not internally balanced. It has balanced in and balanced out, but the THX circuit in the middle is single ended. There’s a conversion that happens at the input and output. There is some benefit to running balanced in since it is higher voltage (ie lower signal to noise ratio). And there is a benefit to balanced output (ie more power). But this particular amp doesn’t really have the balanced low noise benefit. It just leverages the low noise single ended THX circuitry.

Something like the Erish or Jotenheim are truly balanced all the way through.

So if you get the 789 it’s really a single ended amp with some balanced features around it. Not that that’s necessarily bad. Just know what you are paying extra for.

And even that said, balanced isn’t always superior to single ended. It’s all about implementation. A lot of people recommend the Asgard 3 because it nails the implementation. I would read through the Asgard 3 thread and see what people are saying there.

That said, even with the 789 you’ll have a lot of fun. Pick one and listen with your own ears and decide. You can always return the amp or sell it if it’s not to your taste.

(Note that the dt1990 you mentioned is single ended, and requires careful modification to run balanced.)

Balanced is not the holy grail that people who are clueless claim it to be.

How a particular technology/amp sounds depends purely on the designer’s skill and the budget they’re working with.

You may prefer the 789 or the Asgard 3. Most like the A3 better. So you’re getting the suggestions you’re getting.

Someone finally said it… absolutely agreed… not necessary… especially for like 58x jubilee of all things that can be driven off phones and a lot of motherboards… you do not even remotely need that much power let alone spending $500+ on an amp and dac for a $150 headphone is a bit absurd imo as well. Kinda lopsided decision making here as 58x doesn’t really scale and synergize to high degrees either… regardless if its balanced or not.

well the other issue is that with balanced amps all the better hardware, power, and time mainly goes into that balanced port rather than the single ended which is why amps like liquid platinum sound quite a bit different between the two. Though it seems to give people this crazy impression that balanced is king or something.

the 789 is just… so bad. I am not even going to sugar coat that in my opinion… its loved by so many and yet it makes my headphones sound like garbage to me. Anemic, hollow, sharp, overly neutral, no real character to it… its just… stale. Absolutely will take an asgard 3 over that amp any day of the week. Course thats my opinion but I know a lot of others who have had that same result on the THX amps… its all measurement based which is complete crap… you can measure all you want, but there’s a lot of sound qualities that don’t show up in those measurements.

What about getting the MAGNIUS/ MODIUS stack?

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Downgrade to KPH30i and K5 Pro. Buy an ounce of weed. /s

This is a well regarded portion of many audiophile signal chains :sunglasses:


++ soundstage
++ detail

damn you can buy like 2 .5 ounces over here with that

Here in Oregon there is place selling $60 ounces. Music has never sounded better.

Also congratulations to New York for doing the right thing. Now I can come visit.


Here in Mass we’ve had weed legal for a bit now so sourcing that particular amplifier isnt an issue lol

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