Question for audiophiles about AMPs and DACs?

What the difference between the two and do I need them both for the best fidelity? Also, good AMP and DAC combo for the Sennheiser HD 820, please (under $700.)

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Do you mean amp? If so it's not an acronym (and isn't written with capital letters) it's just short for amplifier. An amplifier takes a tiny signal and amplifies it (make it louder) so it can drive speakers. 

    A DAC is a digital to analogue converter and converts a digital signal to an analogue one. 

    The two things are completely different.

    I can't see why you'd need a DAC for a set of headphones and the idea of buying an amplifier to fo with a set of headphones is, to me, the wrong way around! For recommendations you need to tell us what you are going to be using the amplifier for.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Amplifiers increase the strength of the audio signal so that they can drive either speakers or headphones. There are preamps, which are used to receive signals from music sources such as CD, turntables etc. and amplifies them before feedin them to the power amp. The power amps take the signal from a preamp and amplifies it to drive speakers or headphones. The volume control is located on the preamp. The power amp only a set of RCA inputs and speaker outputs, no volume knob or connectors for music sources. The integrated amp combines the preamp and the power amp into a single chassis to save space and manufacturing cost. Separate preamp and power amp allows people to upgrade either the power amp or the preamp separately. There is also the receiver, which adds a tuner to the integrated amp, which does not come with a tuner.

    If all you want is to drive a pair of headphones, you can also buy a headphone amplifier, which is smaller in size than an integrated amp or receiver.

    The DAC is the Digital to Analog converter. It converts digitally encoded sound to analog so that the signal can be amplified. The DAC comes with CD players, DVD and blu-ray players and MP3 Players and also smart phones so unless you want a better DAC than the ones that come with the CD player, DVD player or blu-ray disc player, you won't need one. Any resonably good integrated amp or receiver can probably be used to drive your headphone. You only need a really good amp if you have exotic speakers that require a lot of power.

  • 1 month ago

    See my answer to your other posting of the same question. 

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