Headphones,amp/dac and then what?

I’ve soon as the THX 789 hopefully arrives in June, nearly complete my journey for the good sound in to my ears.
So, gear list starting with headphones:

Hifiman 4xx, Sennheiser HD 58x, Beyerdynamics dt1990. ( all with stock cables)

Dac/amp : Aune x1s 10th anniversary edition and soon the awaited 789.

Now to the source and the question in hand.

Should I just continue with Spotify premium on my win 10 computer or perhaps step in to the FLAC world and use foobar2000?

As I understood from other www people, saying that the most important thing for sound quality are the headphones and then dac/amps and then lastly the actual source.( FLAC,mp3 etc)

For me, being that old geezer that I am (53)and with equally old ears and likely low HZ capabilities, does it matter from what source that I get the sound?

I understand that all to compressed music will destroy any kind of joyful experience and likewise bad studio recordings can also do the same.
What I am trying to say is it worth for me, to ripp some CD’s or enjoy the full content of millions of song’s at, for an example, Spotify or Tidal?

Many thanks and good luck with this nice forum!
I have had followed both Mr Z and Mr DMS on YouTube for a long time and i am grateful for all the interesting rewievs that you both have giving us during this time.

Regards from Sweden

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I used Spotify premium for a while and switched to Tidal about a year ago. I personally could not hear the difference between Tidal and FLAC, not sure if my ears aren’t “trained” to hear the differences(IMO that’s just you convincing yourself there is a difference) or if my hearing just isn’t that great, so I just stuck with Tidal. It might be worth setting up a test for yourself with the same song on the three platforms (Spotify, Tidal, and FLAC on Foobar). If you can tell the difference between them go with what sounds best.

Hope this helps!


Keep Spotify. If there is a difference it‘s way to small to invest into it (I couldn‘t hear one). If I was you I would rather upgrade Headphones or buy a Tube Amp.


Agree here. A tube amp is gonna do a lot more to change the sound than going from Spotify to Tidal for literally twice the money per month (assuming you’re upgrading to HiFi, otherwise all you’re doing is losing your playlists).

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If you can hear the difference between a decent MP3 and a CD, moving from Spotify to Tidal will be relevant to you. Otherwise, you’re golden on Spotify.

Later on, that 789 does benefit from a decent balanced DAC and balanced headphones. Those 58X get too loud at 9:00 on that setup, and would literally explode at max volume, so I recommend a Nobsound balanced preamp to keep things under control when using easy-to-drive cans with the 789 and balanced.

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Found something here…anyone tried it?


Has anyone listened to Tidal Master decoded with MQA? I’ve been listening for about a month through their App (OSX, iOS) and it sounds pretty damn good. So much so that I’ve ordered a couple of MQA devices to get the final “unfold”.

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