Mayflower arc or jds atom, OL Dac stack?

I’m searching for my first dac/ amp and I’m deciding in between this two. Which one is best overall? Or you guys have any other option? My headphones are the sennheiser hd 58x jubilee.My budget is around $300

Thanks in advance.

the Atom is very highly reviewed so I would recommend it. I haven’t tried the Mayflower, but listening to the Atom on a friends setup is great. Apologies to get off topic, but how do you feel about the 58x, I’ve been looking at them for a while.


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I’ll be completely honest. That’s my first audiophile headphones, always had gaming headsets in the past. But I feel really happy with my purchase, hope this help you.


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Atom runs circles around the Mayflower and 02. Atom and a Topping D10 is a hard combo to beat for only $180. Save the rest of your budget for your next headphone upgrade…trust me, it will happen :laughing:

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My preference is for the Atom, and measurements back it up. Best price to performance available.

[EDIT] Don’t listen to me, just do what sherm said. :smile:

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I would say we were in a similar situation. I’ve gone through the rounds of gaming headsets until I thought the 58X was the answer.

My Atom just arrived and I tried it with the 58X. The Atom definitely delivers. Not just a little difference either, and I’m coming from a GSX 1000, a gaming-centric amp, which I love for the convenience of preset/buttons for EQ, 2.0/7.1 gaming toggle, speaker out, mic in, etc (which is more on the same level as the ARC).

Though I will admit I first slid the GSX 1000 in the DAC role, which is not ideal, as it maxes out at 96.0 kHz @ 24 bit. The Atom was a massive improvement.

Then I decided to try my MB which has the fancy dual DAC audio ACL1220 chipset to get that “wow” factor again coming from no amp. MB was pure echo chamber garbage.

Then I messed with the sound settings of my OS. It freakin supports 32-bit @ 192 kHz! I’m not going to do an A/B comparison with a “premium” gaming motherboard vs the Atom. But at a higher setting, it is surprisingly good, especially on the 58x.

All I can say is to check your output settings on your MB to the highest possible format it supports (if you haven’t done so already) and enjoy until you get your Amp. Of course, your mileage may vary.

I added screen shots for reference, to the folks who have yet to acquire an amp, and have capable on-board sound.
USB output

MB with ACL1220

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so, your MB deliver better sound quality than the GSX1000?

I initially liked the 7.1 features of the GSX , EQ , soundstage enhancements, etc, but it limits to 16bit/48khz. When you switch to music at 2.0, it remains at 16bit/48khz.

Gaming, 16bit/48khz is no big deal, but for music it sucks. You have to switch to the highest sample rates, to get HD mode 24bit/96khz in the OS. It’s kind of a pain to toggle. Same type of thing if you toggle 7.1 with Sonic or Atmos, it will bring your system sound down to 16bit and it won’t ever go back up, unless you manually change it back.

But overall, when I set the OS to 32/192, it was a good enough gaming experience at 2.0, also the realtek HD Audio Manager software had settings to drive higher impedance headphones, at least for ALC1220 chipset.

Though I’ve convinced myself to continue to use the GSX, for the extra gaming features (chat mix, mic in, speaker toggle).

I took my Atom to work as I listen to music more there.