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Better USB/DAC than Total Bithead for under $200?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I like the total bithead, I just want to make sure it's the best choice before I get one. I cannot spend more than $200.

I also have an EMU 0404 USB. Portability is not a huge issue, but preferred.

I've spent so much time going through these forums but mainly the DAC/AMP review threads only cover the more expensive range.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. My headphones are HD-595, Grado HF1, Futuresonics Atrios, Futuresonic EM3's and even Sony MDR-EX90s for backup fun. I'm happy with all of them (content even!!) But I need a DAC, like IMMEDIATELY~!
post #2 of 37
If you find one, let us know. My total bithead purchase is imminent.
post #3 of 37
The 0404 USB is a much better DAC; the Bithead offers portability. You'd be better off to spend your money on a headphone amp alone unless you need the portability. For $200 you can get a pretty good headphone amp.
post #4 of 37
Im in the same boat, I just dropped 180 on the Grado SR-225's and the Grado mini-adapter cable. This will be my first "good" pair of cans after my initial entry with my ER-6's. I now have the urge to get a decent portable DAC/AMP combo and so far they seem a bit out of my price range. Used is always an option for me especially with AMPs but their price seems to stay high. Any more info on the Total Bithead would be nice.
post #5 of 37
I have read several positive things about it. The only true negatives I have heard anyone mention is the form factor with the strange corner connection. Personally I see the utility there, but if you just want to shove it in your pocket it might be awkward.
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response, everyone.

Still I am mainly interested in whether there are any other usb-dac/amp combination portable options out there (obviously good options) that are in the $200 or under price range. Are there any other than the Total Bithead?
post #7 of 37
Bump. It doesn't seem so. I will probably pull the trigger soon.
post #8 of 37
If you dont mind the bulk, the gamma-1 dac + mini^3 might be around $200 depending on who you buy it from. Much better then the bithead that I listened to a while ago imo
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinneresque View Post
Thanks for the response, everyone.

Still I am mainly interested in whether there are any other usb-dac/amp combination portable options out there (obviously good options) that are in the $200 or under price range. Are there any other than the Total Bithead?
NuForce icon mobile is another. I think the govibe (dac + amp), not sure which model should also fit under the $200 budget. There should be a few others out there too.

Are you planning to use this with a laptop on the go? With most portable players, you'd be connecting the analogue out to an amp; bypassing the DAC section.
post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
Yay, options~! Yes, for a laptop on the go as well as for a portable player (ipod classic). That's why I want the combo. The EMu 0404 is too big to carry around, and I would love to get a better headphone amp at the same time.

I will look into what you all have mentioned, any other options come to mind?
post #11 of 37
I think the.. d2 basso (or ibasso, not sure about the name) is also 200 or under. I've never heard or used any of them so I can't say what's better than the other. Headroom though should have exceptional service should anything go wrong. The other companies I'm also completely unfamiliar with.
post #12 of 37
I'm also interested in this. I have a go-vibe and would like to get a usb dac for my pc and then a separate amp that i can use with my ipod when needed and with the pc when needed.

If anyone can recommend anything that'd be a great help

P.S. Sorry to threadjack
post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinp6301 View Post
If you dont mind the bulk, the gamma-1 dac + mini^3 might be around $200 depending on who you buy it from. Much better then the bithead that I listened to a while ago imo
Hi, I can't quite any more info on this gamma-1 dac + mini3. Can you point me in the right direction?

I'm looking into the Nuforce icon mobile right now and trying to figure out if it sounds better than a total bithead?!!

thanks
post #14 of 37
Both are DIY solutions from AMB (amb.org). You can buy a pre built one from MisterX for about $85 for the gamma dac and you can get the mini^3 also from MisterX for $120 (I think)
post #15 of 37
Hmm, well I did as much research as I could, and the practical devices xm5 and 3move seem to be the closest two competitors. I would definitely order the xm5 over the total bithead IF it could be powered by the USB port, but it doesn't seem like this is possible. The 3move can be powered via USB, and uses a 9V battery (which means it should be more powerful than the total bithead), but costs almost exactly $100 more. I'm not sure it's worth it.
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