Total set up - tips?

Hi everybody

I am totaly new to the audio scene but i allways had a love for music.
A couple of months back my journey started with a Beyerdynamic Mmx 300 gen powered by a Soundblaster x G6. Putting this dac/amp in direct mode gives the headphones a nice sound i really like, it really sounds nice!

But by the end of this year i am planning on upgrading to something bigger and better.
Because i am kinda new i wanted to lay out my plans on what i am planning to purchase (not all at once but eventualy i want everything on this wishlist)

I was thinking of buying the Aune x8 as a dac because this dac gives a really nice option to quickly switch op amps and have different sounds without putting to much money in different gear just to get a different flavour of sound. and most reviews i have read really seem okay to say the least. opinions?

I would feed this into a Asgard 3 from shiit to get the power i need for future headphone purchases.
As far is i have read comments on this forum it also seems like a legit good pick for a desk setup.
one of my future heaphone purchases would be the Monolith M1060 for something really opposite of the mmx 300 i have right now.

But now the thing i struggle with… it’s putting speakers into the mix of all this. I was thinking to go with Paradigm SE Atom’s as passive nearfields…i think i would prefer passive speakers because it gives more options, but this means using one of the pre amp out puts from either the asgard or aune dac into maybe a Topping Pa3, i don’t know if that’s a good option? suggestions? maybe it’s worth getting a second dac and a better amp?

The other route would be to go with active speakers…i also have two options i would prefer: Mackie MR624 or kali lp6’s but i am really stuck with al these options…

I am kinda sure about my headphone setup beeing Aune x8 into Asgard 3 … but for speakers , i really need a little help on how to go about this… i am open to all suggestions or changes. My budget for the whole setup would be around 1000 - 1500 euro give or take with speakers included.

I am really into price to performance ratio but i really want to get a serious setup after loving these Beyerdynamics to death for their awesome sound.

I don’t really know where i should post this thread so feel free to move it.
Thanks for reading this story i wrote, i am looking forward to all the tips and tricks you guys can suggest!

It’s a solid dac, but imo it is a bit pricey for what it is, but if you find opamp rolling pretty appealing you can do that, but imo it doesn’t transform the dac or anything, just more subtle changes. What main sound signature are you going for here?

That would be a solid choice imo, would be pretty nice

Hmmm, so current day, imo I wouldn’t recommend the m1060 as I think it’s kinda been bested by other options in the current market and has issues that are hard to deal with, what type of sound are you thinking of going for?

If this is a desk setup, this would work just fine, the atom se are pretty solid, and the pa3 is real nice for the price, you could just use the line out for the amp and then max the preout on the aune to go to the speakers and control volume from the amp

Thanks for the quick reply!

I like nice subtle details in music but i am sensitive to high treble so some high hats will really hurt my ears. imo the beyers i have at this point is a good reference point of what i like… it gives a lot of detail and really good imaging which i love!, but when the low end kicks in it sounds really controlled and can dig deep when it needs to… that’s kinda the best break down i can give of what i look for. i am open for other options that fit this need.

The reason i wanted to go with the M1060’s was because of it beeing a open back planar… it’s really the total opposite of a closed back dynamic i have right now. I would like to expierence different sounds that wont break the bank. Like i said earlier i am sensitive to high treble sounds but in love with detail and imaging with some good low end…perfectly i would like to end up with a openback planar just to get that expierence.

Thanks for giving a thumbs up on the asgard and paradigm setup, atleast i got some of the puzzle figured out :smiley:

In that case, what I would say is that you would want to go with something like a topping e30 imo, it would offer you a bit warmer and smoother sound that imo is a better value than the x8 from my experience. You would just grab a simple rca splitter to route it to the headphone and speaker amp

I think if that’s the case, the m1060 isn’t the smoothest in it’s treble and it can bother people. I think if you are after detail and imaging, and wanted to try something pretty different, the hifiman sundara is pretty neutral and very impressive for the price, a step up from the m1060 imo. It’s a lighter sound but very refined, and still has very good bass in extension and quality, and doesn’t seem lacking to me. It’s got great detail with an even mid range and treble that is prominent but pretty smooth and not harsh

Asgard 3 is a very solid amp, and also not harsh so it’s a good pick for this situation imo. The paradigms are very balanced speakers and the pa3 drives them well, but I might be slightly concerned about treble, the pa3 is a tad brighter leaning amp imo, you might want to see if you can get something like an emotiva basx a100 but that’s most likely not available where you are, perhaps going a bit higher on the amp front might pay off. Can you get a denon pma600ne? That would be pretty resolving yet also not be that harsh either, an onkyo a-9110 is also a nice alternative imo

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The hifi salesmen at our store told me that getting a ‘‘too cheap’’ dac would come back and bite me in the ass… but the things they’re suggesting are like 800 euro solutions so yeah… you can imagin the look on my face :smile: haha would a d50s fit better into this or issent this a upgrade to the e30? just throwing out a suggestion…and why would the ditch the idea of a aune x8?

I also had the sundara on my list of headphones so maybe spend a bit more and get those instead … like you can see in my posts , i am new getting in everything audio , i just have a love for good music, now i just want to make the jump and expierence the land of quality sound ^^

as of speaker amps, our store sells Cambridge audio and Marantz… a colleague suggested getting one of the Cambridge amps since they match a lot of speakers really well. The Denon shouldent be any problem since we also retail Denon and that amp also has a dac and amp in one i see. I also had my eye on the emotiva amp , i can order it from the french website i believe. what would you recommend the most? Get like a dac - amp in one for the speakers instead? like a cambridge or denon amp … or using a dedicated dac running into like let’s say a emotiva basx a100?

edit: would you also suggest getting a sub to pair with the atom’s ? or do these give enough low end on nearfield use?

So I can see where he is coming from, my personal advice is to grab something cheap and good that does the job well for the price until you can save up for something in that 800 range where stuff starts to be more than a marginal upgrade, I think there is a performance gap from 200-700 for dacs imo

Imo it’s only a slight upgrade in detail and technicalities, and also is pretty bright which I would be concerned with from what you have said, so I personally would stick with the e30

So I did a small write up of the aune x8 if you are interested, it might answer some of your questions

Gotcha gotcha, a good goal indeed lol. I personally think it’s worthwhile to spend the bit extra on the sundara for exchange for a fair bit higher preforming headphone imo

Good picks, what models can you get and for what prices, and how much would the denon be? Want to make sure you are getting a good value for now

How much could you get it for?

I think it would depend on what you can get the amps for. I would personally use the dac in the headphone setup also for the speakers as typically for the most part from my experience the separate dacs tend to outperform those in a midrange receiver.

I think initially I would wait on the sub, but later on you can grab one for sure, I think they have enough low end nearfield but also don’t expect too much from one. It would also depend on what amp you go with for how you would integrate the sub

Thanks for the headsup now i start to understan where the prices are comming from and how to go about choosing the equipment suited for my wants and needs. Going about your advice i will leave the topping d50s behind and go with either the e30 or the aune and i lean towards the aune a bit more.
It really looks nice on a desk and reading your opinion piece i feel the aune will fit my wants more than my needs but yeah … thats just me i geus :smiley: thanks for putting my eye onto other options but the next upgrade wont come annytime soon after this, this will be treat for myself after a years hard work :smiley: haha

i have put the sundara in place for my next headphone purchase!

The emotiva is priced at a 350 euro withtout shipping so the price might be around 350-400 euro.

After your advice i took a look into the amplifier line of cambridge and i can get most cambridge amps 200 euro cheaper than retail… so the cx 61 is priced at 899 , i would buy it for around 650-699’ish…
My colleague said to me that i should buy such a amp to future proof myself cause the cx61 has good power and a pretty good dac he said…and in the future i would be able to just hook up a sub and if i ever wanted other speakers that need more power i wouldent need to worry about a good amp anymore…

but that beeing said if that’s the case i need to skip the headphone part for now and just get me a good stereo amp and speakers and be done for now, so now i am in this cross roads… do i buy a powerfull enough amp with pretty good dac and some nice nearfield bookshelfs, or do i make a compromise and get , headphone, dac , headphone amp , a cheaper but good enough amp and speakers all at once …

but maybe you would advice to get the emotiva amp instead and be done?
i am happy to hear your opinion on this take, but a big thank you is allready in place…
i have come further in these few comments than the last couple of days reading into reviews.

That’s a bit too pricy imo, I would pass at that price

How much is an AXA35? That’s a solid piece, it would depend on how much you plan to spend in the future for speakers if it’s worthwhile to upgrade to the cx61 imo. The AXA35 does not have a sub out, but instead you would just grab a sub with speaker level inputs instead and be just fine. You could go for the cx61, but you would really have to plan on upgrading to the 1k mark for speakers, also the dac inside there isn’t as nice as the aune as well imo

Yeah on Amazon it’s only 230 dollars… but getting that into Europe is pretty expensive it seems :pensive: i looked it up and it’s 350 free shipping…

I only chekked cx61 and 80…both were 200 cheaper than retail but Axa 35 also is a solid pick indeed, but would 35 watts a channel be enough?

Have you heard the new MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE 2 yet? We Will get a demo of those in a couple of weeks in our store but i was wondering if you had a opinion on these?

Now the list is almost done :blush: Will be happy to round up this wishlist and start buying this setup piece by piece :grin:

For near field that would be plenty, and it’s 35 watts of quality power so personally I wouldn’t be concerned unless you wanted to use them in a larger room

Yes, very nice speakers overall, although a tad picky on placement but overall a bit more balanced warmer sound with solid low end for a bookshelf, good detail, and overall a pretty pleasing sound. The fit and finish is nice

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Well i gues i Will just ask for a sound demo in our shop when they come and show the bronze series. The hifi sales person was really enthousiastic about these bookshelfs. We Will just hook up the axa35 and see what sound comes out of it and maybe even try a cx61 just to a/b and see where the money difference sits at…

Allright, i can’t thank you enough for your insights! Once i start buying the gear i Will dm you with my findings :blush: in a month or so i am driving to a shop to listen to the mackie mr624 And Kali lp’s to see if i really wanna go passive or active, but for nearfield passive you would still recomend the Paradigm atoms? ( This is my last question on this topic, lol) .i am so new to all of this and i am so excited to start this journey :grin:

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Perfect, a great way to figure out what you would like :+1:

Yes, they are pretty solid, but also try out other passive speakers near you, just try as many as you can lol

We have Tower speakers in our shop costing 20k a pair…that sound…crazy, i can’t even put to words how that sounds…it’s insane how nice…so i know what you Mean…all of them sound different…

We also have a full blown Dolby Atmos 5.4.2 setup…those 4 speakers in the ceiling and a sub left and right …we watched a movie after hours with that setup on a 4k streamer…that is something else #dreams :see_no_evil:

So my ears have been stimulated ever since to search for something i can afford

But for now i Will settle for something i can enjoy when i come home after a long day of work, sit back and chill :blush:

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