First Time Desktop Advise, AMP, DAC (UK)

Hey Guys,

New here and to audio stuff tbh, run my brain ragged with ebay, aliexpress and audiosciecereview. Any guidance I can get would be grand. FYI I’m in the UK. Budget £200 ish.

I mainly use X2HRs (love them) and ATH-50 for closed (love these less) at my desktop. Run these off my motherboard currently. Lot of gaming (Just enjoyment not competitive), music, youtube etc.

Looking to pick up some speakers for my desktop. Looking at the moment like a pair of Cambridge Audio SX-50. So I need an AMP, and I’d like to move to a DAC and AMP for my headphone usage.

Leaning towards

Topping MX3: looks OK. Would really like 6.5mm but oh well. About £100.
Fiio K5 Pro: Love the look of this but what’s the best way to pair with the passive SX-50? £150

I’d love to start a stack and get flexibility with that. Anything work around my budget?
Looked to death on aliexpress at SML, Topping, sabaj etc.

Any help would be great.

Schiit is quite expensive here in the UK.
Need low output impedance on the headphone amp. Used to have a FXaudio dac x6 but 10ohm output.

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So at this price point you might be a tad limited, you could perhaps go for a topping d10 and a topping pa3 stack for the speakers, wait a bit, and then later down the line grab a headphone amp (as the headphones you have aren’t too amp sensitive)

Thanks M0N,

I hear good things about the D10, but like the D30 for the optical in.
PA3 looks great. Would you say to add the A50 as the headphone amp?
Output Impedance a bit high for my stuff?

D30 works just fine then, no issues

The a50 isn’t great imo. So no magni 3+/heresy, can you get a monolith liquid spark over there? Also you would grab an rca splitter to use both the headphone and speaker amp at once. Also this is most likely over budget correct?

There is a Schiit UK dealer, but all currently out of stock. magni 3+ runs around £115. Liquid spark I can look for.

Budget wise D30/E30, Liquid Spark and PA3 would be ok. Would that seem ok by the sounds of it?

That would be my pick imo, it would allow for the most flexibility and also for a good balance of quality on all fronts. With all in ones, one or two things might be lacking, like with the mx3 the headphone amp and speaker amp are pretty meh, with the fiio the headphone amp is good but the dac isn’t as good (I do like the k5 pro though). Whereas with the d30 + pa3 + either liquid spark or the magni 3+ or heresy if you can get it you will have solid components all around and less compromise

Great help M0N, thanks a ton.

Any thoughts on the D30 vs E30?

So the e30 is pretty sweet, but personally depending on the price I’m not sure it’s worth it for this use case, although I do think it’s higher preforming than the d10 and d30 imo

Cheers M0N thanks for the help. Grabbed a liquid spark around £70.

That’s a pretty good deal, hope you enjoy it :+1:

Cheers mate,

FYI if someone is reading, I ended up going for the Liquid spark, Topping E30 and PA3. About £240 total.

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Ah that’s a fair bit cheaper than I thought it would be