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Best portable DAC (/amp combo)?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Guys

I am currently using an iRiver ihp-132 (modded 120 with a 32gb CF card) with an iBasso D1 portable DAC / amp. It is a truly awesome combination and I don't find it wanting whatsoever....HOWEVER, I'm wondering if there is anything out there that would be considered an upgrade to this setup, keeping in mind I definitely want to keep my iRiver and thus would need a portable DAC / amp solution.

How about the Apogee Mini-dac?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Jim
post #2 of 7
Did you think about the Pico?
If it hadn't been for my over-spending last month, I would have grasped it
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I did. The issue is that it only has a USB input...no optical (or else I would have been all over it).

Thanks for the suggestion, though.

-Jim
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I'm now thinking that I should hold out for the iBasso D10, although the Carat-Ruby looks mighty tempting! I haven't seen any reviews of it, though...

[NEW] Carat Ruby USB DAC & Optical DAC & Headphone AMP - eBay (item 350133520564 end time Dec-30-08 07:50:39 PST)
post #5 of 7
I also have a iRiver iHP-140 that I use all the time. With Rockbox, it's great.

I briefly heard a Headroom Desktop Portable at a meet, and loved it. If you must have a DAC/amp combo, I think Headroom's product deserves high consideration. There is one on sale at Audiogon right now.

A couple of other portable DAC options with do not have integrated amps...

I am itching to try AMB's gamma1 portable DAC.

I have previously used Headroom Micro DAC (battery powered) and was happy with it.
post #6 of 7
There are several optical dac option off ebay but all of them are not battery powered. i am currently building a DIY dac using a HifiDiy.net assembled kit and fitting it with a 12v battery. even now that combo paired with MiniBox-E+ have easily outclass my iMod rig+Vcaps. i will post pics once the dac is housed properly
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
socrates63, thank you very much for the Headroom and AMB suggestions. I didn't know about the AMB but will further investigate it now.

EFN, sounds like an awesome project! I can't wait to see the final result. Will it be portable with the 12v battery? Very cool that its beating (easily) the iMod+Vcaps setup.

Also, for anyone interested, I heard from iBasso. They said the D10 should be released within weeks time at a price of $279. I'll see if I can get more details regarding the specs.

Thanks again, everyone!!

-Jim
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