Help required please. choosing a amp to go with a dac

I am new to this forum and would like to start off with how grateful I am already to have gained a lot of valuable knowledge to help in my choice and to have narrowed it down to a two way decision.

I have decided on the DAC which is going to be the Denafrips Ares 11.

The help that I need is would the Lake People G111 or the Lehmann Audio Studio Cube headphone amp be best for the DAC . The Lehmann is a class A amp would this be a better choice.

The set up will be used for listening to my Music through headphones from a computer enviroment.

Thank You


What headphones do you plan to use, and what type of sound signature are you after? Both the lake people and lehmann are pretty solid (although I do prefer the g111 with a combo like this dac wise, but it will depend on the headphone)

Hello Mon
I have the AKG 702 at the moment and also the Audio Technica ath msr7 . I notice there is too much bass enthasis on my audio Technica whereas the AKG are to me a much nicer sounding headphone. I do intend to look deeper into upgrading my headphones and any advise from you would be great. I like the DAC from what I can tell it has a great sound stage this is what I really want to experience.


Gotcha, I can see that

You have a lot of options for sure, what budget are you mainly considering and what do you like about your 702, and what would you change?

Gotcha, so if you are looking for soundstage, to me the g111 has a larger and more immersive stage than the lehmann so that would be my pick then if you were really in it for stage

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What I am really looking for is clarity and seperation from the instruments, this is what I truly want to experience . In the past I have enjoyed as a hobby electronic music using Daws such as Cubase and Ableton live through my computer but never really getting what I thought was the best from the sound. Hence now when I have left all that behind and wish to simply listen to music I still want to have that clinical precission to the instruments. If money was no problem then I had thought of even going with the vioelectric v200 but that kinda blows my budget for future headphones so that’s where I am at Mon on this purchase.

The answer to what I like about my 702’s is actually feeling the music what I would change or want is simply more clarity and detail.

So if you are looking for more clarity, detail, and separation, the original focal clear might be up your alley. While you wouldn’t have as large of a stage as the akg, it would have a smaller, more spherical stage with much better depth and accurate placement in that stage. It is very detailed and nuanced without shoving it in your face or being overly harsh or sharp. It’s also decently organic although a bit on the dryer side of things. Pretty linear and neutral signature imo. Very dynamic as well which is pretty impressive. I have not heard the MG yet so I can’t comment on that

I also think actually a beyerdynamic t1.2 could be something to try (do not get a gen 3), while not as clear and clean sounding as the focal, it would have a wider and more spacious stage, with very good separation and good detail, not as much as the clear but still very good. Treble can get a bit hot at times but I think on the source gear with like a g111 + ares ii it shouldn’t be a problem. It does have better tonal density and thickness than the focal.

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Thank you Mon for taking the time and really helping me in my decision. It’s very clear to me that I will now be getting the Lake People G111 with the ares 11 and stick with my 702,s until the funds allow the Focal even though the focal is a lot more expensive that the beyerdynamic I will wait until I can afford the Focal.
I am sure I will be enjoying the use of the new Dac and Amp with the AKG in the mean time.

Yeah for sure, out of curiosity what are you currently running at the moment for source gear?

My source is simply the Asus Pro Gaming motherboard on the computer which has it’s own dedicated headphone amp built in. So as you can see I think I am going to be in for a treat when I get the Dac & amp and start to listen through them. I think it’s going to be quite a revelation.

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The G111 + Ares II should be pretty solid for the K702, which if I’m not mistaken needs a bit of current and G111 should be able to supply that. The combo also adds a bit of warmth and density to the more leaner sounding of the K702, so don’t expect too clinical sound from it but it’s still pretty analytical with a good amount of details, and you’re pretty much future proof for a while for sth like Focal Clear or T1.

Also from what you’ve said it sounds like you don’t like too much bass, the G111 + Ares II whilst not too much will still give you some bass impact and if you want something a bit leaner with more control I’d consider a Soekris 1321 instead to pair with the G111

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Thank’s Mochimashu, it’s going to be quite a adventure for me and I am looking forward to this journey.

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It should be a fun journey! It’s pretty refreshing to see that you’re willing to settle on a solid source gear before upgrading the headphones, and you’re probably aware that it won’t bring as big or immediate a noticeable improvement as spending the same amount of money on headphones. But still personally I think this approach is worth it because you’re not hindering the performance of your headphone and get disappointed about new purchases.


Oh for sure :+1:

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Yes after spending some time reading on this forum I got the feel that this approach would get the foundation laid down then the headphones later on can be the treat. I knew I wanted to go down this route also as my computer as good as it is is not exactly made for sending out great sounding music. So I decided I needed a amp and the DAC first.


I have spent the past 3 weeks both on youtube and then across the internet building up a little knowledge and getting to this point of knowing what I want in equipment and then asking on here what exactly would you recommend that way then I can get into the purchase with no remourse and start to enjoy what I have purchased knowing I have got the best that I can afford .


Looks like you have done some good research! Great stuff! Coming from PC audio will be night and day with basically any decent setup honestly.

Since you already have an idea what you want and others can advise you better on that I’ll just give you the same advice I was given coming back into HIFI.

It’s really easy to get caught up in the numbers and chasing the “best” we can afford. While there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with buying some nice gear from the start, I HIGHLY recommend starting with a really clean (transparent) budget stack or all in one.

While you may save money buying less gear, you are also just as likely to be really happy with that budget stack. Ultimately allowing for different/better headphone sooner which would have a greater impact on your experience once you have moved away from PC MOBO audio.

There are plenty of really well regarded budget stacks from several brands like schiit, JDS, Topping and all of them sound great and can drive the majority of headphone out there.

I personally love my E30/L30 stacks and Atom stack.

the more gear you listen to the more you will have informed opinions about what YOU like. its all about you after all… so spending over 500 on an Amp is totally ok but what do you measure its value/performance against?

if you think their is even a chance of you upgrading more in the future i’d start with an affordable (to you) transparent stack. You will be better prepared to observe differences in you gear moving forward.


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How would you define what’s clean and transparent? Whilst the Ares II is slightly warm, I’d still consider a G111 clean and transparent

I’d consider the G111 as one of the best 500USD amp, and Ares II one of the best 700USD DAC and I think many here would consider the same. Whilst budget stuff from JDS or Schiit are decent, from this perspective I’m not sure they have better value than the pairing OP has chosen.

If OP wishes to upgrade, isn’t it better to just skip the entry tier?

That’s true, like u can buy a Liquid Spark and an Atom to find out if u prefer neutral/clinical or warm sound


all good points

You want me to define transparent while acknowledging Ares II isn’t in the same sentence… kinda sounds like “i agree but don’t think you understand what your saying”

so we will go with “well-measuring” not adding colour or distortion that some may find “musical” or “relaxed” generally a good measuring device is pretty transparent. i guess you need convincing???

I was referring to it as a cohesive stack. so if dac is warm, it affects everything down stream… why not stay neutral and get warm headphones? then you can try something else without changing more gear…

also never knocked value or quality… simply said coming from PC audio you don’t have much insight to compare your new gear in those terms… sure it sounds better but does it sound 700 times better than the onboard audio? harder to compare than a cheaper stack that already sounds arguably great…

I’m sure he will love literally anything that isn’t onboard audio but why not start at a cheaper tier to get that insight? both strategies are good, i just think starting with more expensive gear based SOLELY on internet review vs actual time with said gear is a slippery slope.

IMHO if your buying better gear initially to “save” money i would argue you do yourself a dis-service. you have zero evidence to suggest a cheaper stack wouldn’t still sound a world better and it could/should affect how you measure value moving forward.

just friendly advice, love the music AND the journey :slight_smile:

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While I agree this stack would be a lot to spend for only a k702, and also that starting from the bottom and moving up is worthwhile, I’d really disagree with the whole transparency thing, the numbers don’t mean jack in the end. Sure it looks good on paper, but it doesn’t mean it sounds good. Personally I find the topping l30 a pretty poor sounding amp in most regards (limited bass response, poor resolution, unimpressive dynamics, lackluster timbre, limited stage), but find the atom a lot more capable overall, even though they both measure quite well.

There are plenty of good 100 buck amps like a monolith liquid spark or a schiit magni 3+, or perhaps a geshelli archel2 gmr, you can get good stuff in that range, but there’s also noticeably better above (and alot of these 100 buck stacks sound more similar than different so it’s not like it’s that hard)

Almost any of the amps and dacs that many perceive as colored measure flat fr wise, so that would be uncolored? It also comes down to harmonics and distortion characteristics, but many amps fall well above the threshold for thd and sinad actually causing any issues. From my experience these measurements generally are independent of actual sound quality and performance

Ideally you want to pair the coloration of your stack to accommodate the coloration of the headphones in mind, as the end result is the goal. And coloration is simply not frequency response, it can involve all sorts of things like presentation, dynamics, spatial recreation, timbre, etc.

Yep, having some context and experience to compare against is valuable

Nope, but if you were expecting that, then you were extremely misguided lol. Also it’s very hard to put any number on the perceived changes anyways as it highly depends on the person

Sure, but I wouldn’t start at the bottom of the bottom if you don’t have to

I think if you wanted to start off and not spend so much off the bat, a lake people g103s and an allo revolution dac is a great choice imo, very solid and still a noticeable upgrade over what you have @Bigtel, then you could move up when you decide to take the next step for headphones. Would be a noticeable step up from the 200 buck stacks, but might leave a bit to be desired if you end up moving to something like a clear or t1.2, but you can upgrade then

I would agree, since you would essentially be guessing what your sonic preferences are really without knowing (by trying things in person), and also wouldn’t be planning for synergy needs of future upgrades or changes