Jan 12, 2019143 views

Sennheiser HD6xx + THX AAA 789 + ?

Audio noob here. Just picked up HD6xxx's and THX AAA 789 and the pair sounds fantastic but unless I max the gain knob they just simply don't get loud enough. I have a Sennheiser GSX 1000 gaming dac that I can output via 3.5 jack to rca or Scarlett 2i2 interface via balanced 1/4 to xlr to the 789 but don't have balanced cables for my HD6xxx. Debating on spending $70 on periapt cables for balanced output or $110 on a FiiO K3 amp to add to the equation but I don't know if it would diminish the quality running to the K3 to my 789 then to my headphones. Leaning towards the K3 though because I also have Audio-Technica ATH-AD700x's that I really like to use for some metal cause the drums sound so sick so I would benefit from the slight bass boost with the K3 as well. Thoughts? Would it be stupid to run from K3 to 789? Or is the balanced cable for the better headphones the better option? Appreciate it!!

789 SE output is underpowered for HD 6XX. You need to change to balanced cable. Then you'll have no problems. Generally amplifying and amplified output is not your best bet. I'd look for an external DAC and balanced cable for HD 6XX.
Should have to turn up the volume/gain on the output of your motherboard. Go into the system device settings and make that change. It should help. I have the THX AAA 789 but am using an external dac. My 6xx have no problem outputting sound. My gain setting stays in the middle.
I am surprised that you aren't getting enough power from the single ended. Either I have really sensitive ears or your deaf (no offence). Because I got the HD 600 which is connected to my SMSL SU-8 DAC and I get enough power to drive them. I never turn them past 4 on the 2nd gain switch.
  1. What's your source? Are you running it from a PC, phone, phono, etc?
  2. If you're not using the balanced out on the THX AAA 789 you're missing out on a lot. That amp's SE connection is just a** in comparison.
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Yeah my motherboard is an Asus hero vii. It's a gaming motherboard that is supposed to have good audio but I appears plug into us to my Sennheiser gsx 1000 or Scarlett 2i2. They just seem to sound a lot better.
Read my post again; I called it "a** in comparison." The SE out is worse in every category than the balanced; less power, less bass control, less dynamics (micro and macro), worse soundstage and imaging... you get the idea. Note that I'm not outright saying balanced > SE; it's really more about implementation anyhow (see Lyr 3 for a great example of a good SE amp that isn't outrageously expensive). @Peebugger, yes I'm saying DAC/Amp to Amp is not ideal/smart. That being said, your DAC/amp combo unit should include some sort of line out that isn't affected by the amp inside (have not looked up your unit, so if this is not the case I apologize and would advise you to ask Sennheiser on their recommendation).