Have any of you tried any really cheap DACs with the HD-650?
I've got the X-Fi Pro Go ($35) and it's pretty impressive with the HD-650. Don't ask me how or why. I'm sending it to my Magni or Micro Amp.
It will be nice if you're poor and want to get an expensive amp before a fancy DAC
The only difference between it and my ODAC is that it's slightly more muffled (like 1-3% ). Not as crystal clear. Level of detail seems a bit lower. It sounds warmer, but at the same time somewhat more musical. The ODAC makes some music sound much worse because it's so revealing of the crap in my collection. I even got the HD-650 to sound harsh tonight with some awful Jpop. It SEEMS this X-Fi isn't as bad for it.
Here it what's annoying..it's soundstage is larger than the ODAC and my HRT MSII with the HD-650. It sounds sort of like the Ipod 3G (not Ipod Touch) with it's touch of warmth. That thing has a WM8731 chipset and this sounds very similar. I think this X-Fi sounds better than the Fiio E10 by far. It also sounds completely flat. No area sticks out at all ever unless it's that way in the recording.
It also goes well with my HD-598 and even without an external amp. I don't think it will drive the HD-650 very well by itself but I should try it. It might be a nice way to drive the HD-650 when you travel, but of course it won't be at 100%.
I ordered the Modi to compare with the ODAC. I don't care if it's worse really. I doubt it will really sound identical. I've never had a DAC for the HD-650 where it's soundstage really impressed me with it's size. Maybe I need the Bifrost or something. I actually don't want the HD-650's soundstage to be too massive, but that will probably never happen.
EDIT: I just tried the X-Fi Go Pro without an external amp and the HD-650 just sounds more muffled and congested. Still not horrible, but the nice soundstage seemed to shrink a little. However the sound gets ridiculously loud, but that doesn't mean anything. Volume is at 75%. Overall it still sounds quite good. The X-Fi is not good for low impedance headphones though it seems.
This is actually way better than straight out of a portable player at least.
Edited by tdockweiler - 3/6/13 at 11:17pm