Welcome to the forum. The gurus I’m afraid are still asleep. Give them a few hours…
@Khanabadhosh So here’s what I think.
The Dragonfly Cobalt is a good piece of equipment. I do think it is over priced though. It is fairly common knowledge that Planars usually do better with more power and better amplifiers. Sure, they may reach max volume, but they don’t run properly necessarily with that tiny amount of power.
In the lower range, I would recommend something like a Schiit Asgard 3, and a good DAC as well, or if you want something smaller and portable that works with a phone, an Xduoo XD-05 Plus.
What would your budget be if you were looking at getting a better amp or amp/dac?
He can just use his dragonfly for a dac imo. I agree the Asgard 3 will give more control and impact to the sundara, but it also most likely sounds pretty fine off the dragonfly tbh, but the Asgard 3 would be an upgrade
True, I did sort of forget that the DAC itself in the Dragonfly was good!
Thank you for your warm welcome. I am a patient man. Besides my Missus wouldn’t take it too kindly if I spend more money on the audio obsession immediately after spending a packet on the Sundara. As per her logic, why should someone spend money on a headphone when they are given away for free with cell phones and on Big Bus tours!
The plan is to spend between $300 and 500 to upgrade. Sadly, no places where I can try and buy in Mumbai, India. Also, most equipment, if available, is priced at a steep premium over the US Prices.
Hence, I try to get as much prior information as possible before I order from say AliExpress and wait for 2 - 3 months for delivery. Alternately, the choice is to have an acquaintance carry it over from the US during their annual vacations.
I was looking at the SMSL SP200 THX 888 (AliExpress) or the Schiit Heresy with Loki (for a bit of warmth). Will take a look at the Asgaard.
Personally I don’t think the thx is a good pairing with the sundara, I think it gets a bit too harsh and analytical. The heresy and Asgard 3 pair well, so does the monolith liquid spark if you want a smoother and warmer sounding amp
If you want a touch of warmth then the Magni 3+ would better suit you. If you plan to get the THX anyway later on, Mangi 3+ all the way to spare getting the Loki. If you plan to get the Asgard 3, get the Magni Heresy.
But I just don’t think he should get a thx if he gets an Asgard 3 or magni heresy imo, as you will already have equal or greater sound quality than thx imo
For the last couple of days I have been going Sundara to SP200 and I am really enjoying it. It sounds a little more “open” than the Burson Fun, which sounds smoother.
You must be very sibilance and harshness insensitive!
It’s probably not that large, the sundara isn’t that amp picky so it most likely plays fine with the thx. It wouldn’t be my first pick but I think if you have a thx it works just fine for the sundara no problem
Not at all. Just sold my Beyer’s for that reason. I didn’t like the Beyer’s on it and I don’t like the Grado’s on it. I think SU-8 to SP200 to a bright headphone is a bad match. I don’t find these bright. A little peaky maybe, sounds like a bit of sparkle, but I enjoy it.
On the Burson Fun they are much smoother, but not as much fun.
Well then, if you like it, then I guess there isn’t much of a problem. Whatever you have the most fun with.
I am super curious to see how they (and the Elex’s) sound on a Liquid Platinum.
I am going to reply to my own post here because I can not edit it.
Before too long I grew tired of this combo. It was brighter than the Burson Fun, which I thought meant more fun. After a couple of weeks, the novelty quickly wore off.
What do you guys think of pairing Sundaras with tube amps like dark voice. ? I’ve heard it’s not a great pairing but maybe others have more experience
Generally speaking, OTL tube amps don’t pair well with planars and other low impedance headphones due to the high output impedance. There are a few exceptions on the upper end of the spectrum from what I understand, but I think there would likely be some wonky FR behavior from the Dark Voice and most budget OTL amps. A hybrid like the Liquid Platinum, however, has a solid state amp with a tube preamp, so they are a safer bet to get some ‘tube’ sound without the impedance mismatch issues.
That said, I don’t have either the Sundara or Dark Voice to test it.
its not good for reasons @FiCurious has laid out… they perform much better on solid state but may be okay with a hybrid
Ok thanks. Others have mentioned similar reasons. I’d like to understand the physics behind it. Why so dynamic drivers work well and planar magnetic not work well generally? And what is it about the higher end ones that may allow them to work well? I wonder if anyone knows about this stuff and can explain it in relatively lay terms