Looking for ideas for upgrading my DAC/Amp

Hi guys,

I’m pretty new to the hobby so please forgive my lack of knowledge in this area. I am looking for ideas on improving my headphone dac/amp and getting gear that i can grow into.

I listen mostly to portable gear so far with a decent selection of budget to TOTL iems. I mostly stream using my Galaxy S22 into either an iFi xDSD gryphon or a FiiO BTR7. I’m pretty happy with these , however Im looking to improve my desktop setup. For this I mostly stream off my PC into a Scarlett 8i6 audio interface and then a SMSL M500 Mk III. I currently have a small selection of headphones, including a HE1000 v2, Dan Clark Aeon 2 noire, 6XX, and Focal Clear.

I see that the Bifrost 2/64 + Burson Soloist 3xp combo is pretty popular, but I want to make sure im headed in the right direction before i drop $2k more into my chain.

I’d like to get the most open, spacious, detailed sound from my current cans and set myself up well for future purchases of higher impedence headphones.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

I think the Bifrost/Soloist combo would serve you well. I don’t own the Bifrost, but I have used it extensively and for two days recently comparing it to the new Modi Multibit 2 and I would say that it is the best DAC I have heard in it’s price range for staging and rendering spacial cues. I do own the Yggdrasil and when I was demoing TOTL headphones recently it paired very, very well with the HE1000SE in particular and I think the Bifrost brings a lot of the same mojo to the table as the Yggy. I have owned a few Burson products as well, though not the Soloist 3XP, and I have always found their amps to be very musical and top notch performers. Given all that, I don’t think you can go wrong with that combo.

FWIW, I have also always found the DCS/MrSpeakers Aeon and Ether series headphones I have owned at various points to have a nice synergy with my various Burson amps and combos.

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Thank you. I think i might go for that combo then. Much appreciated.

Anytime, brodeo! Happy to help. If you do go with that setup do me a favor and come back here, make another thread, PM me or something and let me know how it works out for you. I think it sounds pretty great in theory so I’d be interested to hear/read how it performs in reality. I’d bet the farm that it’s a pretty sweet combo.

Anyways, happy hunting! :+1::sunglasses:


I have the Bifrost 2/64 + Burson Soloist 3XP combo with the supercharger and I can confirm that it is a great combo. I don’t own the HE1000, but I use it to drive my Arya SE and I have been enjoying it thus far. I hope you will enjoy that combo as much as I have. Happy listening.

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Thanks for the replies, guys. That does it. I’ll pull the pin and go for the Bifrost and Burson then. Sold!


Another related question. What do you guys use to EQ? I want a chain that is really versatile . I love my gryphon because of the xbass and xspace and my btr7 because of the PEQ in the app.

I rarely use EQ. I have Equalizer APO on my laptop and I have Wavelet amongst others on my phone, but I mostly only use them when trying to confirm a certain thing I’m hearing in a specific track or transducer or trying to put a driver through its paces or something. I also own a Subjective 3 and a Lokius as hardware EQ/tone controls for minor tweaks on the fly, but I don’t use them often either. I try to find headphones that I enjoy without EQ and use them to make unique signal chains that match given situations and give me different perspectives on music.

Thanks. I guess i am less of a purist. I mainly enjoy EQ to play with the sound signature and see what i like. The software options don’t seem to work with streaming platforms, so i was wondering if adding a hardware EQ would be as much fun to play with. I’ll look into the options you mentioned .

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I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a purist. I used to EQ everything and I had even developed my own target curve. Eventually what I wanted from my music listening experience changed. That’s all.

For hardware EQs, I have only used the two I mentioned as well as the Loki Mini and they are all great for making quick adjustments on the fly. Obviously, they aren’t nearly as precise as software EQ, but they do what they do very well and without degrading the music.

I didn’t know that Equalizer APO didn’t work with streaming services. I use Qobuz a ton, but I guess I must have only used the software when listening to my downloaded library. On Android I
also use UAPP which has a built in PEQ suite that is very good.

Anyways, I wish you luck finding something that works for you. Happy listening!

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Thanks. I’ll explore UAPP more as well to see if it can work with Tidal/AMHD.

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BTW, on Android Wavelet works as a systemwide EQ so it should work with any app you’re using to play music including Tidal and AMHD.

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Awesome. You might just save me an unneeded purchase. I’ll explire wavelet too .

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