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Best way to improve headphone tone

wizardy

New here
I just discovered that using an external high quality DAC with a good headphone amp will compltetly change (better) sound quality of the axe fx
Anyone else is using an external dac with their axe ?
Btw im using audeze lcd2 headphones with wadia 121 dac connected via AES
 

rsf1977_again

Forum Addict
I don't think I would say "completely change" the sound quality. In my experience with the two external headphone options I've tried, they have sounded considerably better, especially in respect to the low end response. I wouldn't break the bank on this, but if you have the funds available go for it, and do some A/B tests.
 

wizardy

New here
I don't think I would say "completely change" the sound quality. In my experience with the two external headphone options I've tried, they have sounded considerably better, especially in respect to the low end response. I wouldn't break the bank on this, but if you have the funds available go for it, and do some A/B tests.
I still need to do more testing but I think that upgrading the DAC improves overall guitar response and sound. Not just the low end.
I'll try it through my poweramp / cab tonight and see how it works
 

mmunoz

New here
I have both Audeze LCD2 and LCD3 (kind of prefer the last one in general although the LCD2 still has better low end) and a headphone amplifier (Schiit Mjolnir) and pretty happy with that setup. I use it mainly for production purposes (where it is important to discern details when mixing and mastering) not only for playing guitar through the Axe, where i dont think you need all that.
 

aleclee

Forum Addict
I'd be very surprised if the issue was in the DAC since I believe it's the same DAC used for Output 1. More likely is that the headphone amp is more capable than what's in the AxeFx.

I have no inclination to try anything beyond plugging my 64Ω DT-880s into the headphone jack. Obviously I'm definitely not so interested in improving my headphone experience to drop $1K on cans. If I were, I could see how one might be looking to wring every iota of sonic quality out of the system.
 

vinnieRice

Inspired
I've recently started going AFX into Metric Halo IO via AES and monitoring from the Metric Halo. There is a small but definite quality bump, particularly in the bass end. My ability to completely lose 2 or 3 hours riffing in the USA Lead amp has been enhanced.
 

Humidfume

Inspired
It's the age old comparison of colour vs technical transparency. Theoretically with utter transparency you can achieve anything.. But if something gives your tone a colour without searching for it then it's just as valid a win. Just comes down to personality and personal preference I guess!
 

steverosburg

Veteran
I'm with Alec here. I use a Nuforce Icon HDP with my DT-880's, but that's primarily because I have 600Ω cans and the Axe-Fx headphone output just doesn't have sufficient power for them.
 

Lkdog

Veteran
I run the Axe 2 output into a Mackie 1202 mixer (all tone controls flat), and plug my headphones into the mixer headphones jack.
Not sure I hear any real difference from direct into the Axe 2 headphones Jack.
I tend to like neutral response.
 

luke

Fractal Fanatic
I have the LCD-2s, they are flat. If you don't like what you are hearing, it is because the presets need work. Coloring the tone between the Axe and the Audeze will result in undesirable recordings that will be lacking that intermediary coloration.
 

vinnieRice

Inspired
It does. It uses better converters than a Metric Halo. That said, many converters color the sound and people interpret that as "better". The Axe-Fx DACs are designed to be completely neutral.
Fair enough. Let's say then that it sounds a subjective 'nicer' out of the MH headphone amp than the AFX headphone amp.

It's of no significance; it's simply set up this way for recording and I noticed how good it sounded through the MH IO.

The MH units are undoubtedly 'coloured' and purposely so.
 
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