Thanks very much guys.....Good Times...
I knew I had missed something...
...Links added to first post.
Originally Posted by PhaedrusX
i wish you luck on this endeavor.
however, mixing and matching 12 DACs, 5 Amps, and 5 Headphones, along with various inputs/outputs and transports, is going to create literally thousands of possible combinations.
if you're going to compare, say, DACs, i'd suggest using one headphone and amp for the comparisons, as without constants this experiment will likely spiral out of control.
then there's the issue of volume matching.
personally, and probably selfishly, i also think it would be very helpful to list the DA chips, filters, and output stage of each DAC to see if any common characteristics or patterns emerge from the different topologies.
of course, it's your gear and hence entirely up to you. good luck.
Absolutely...That was my original plan (DT880 and a SS amp) to try and keep it as "neutral" as possible. I have not deviated from my original plan, just added a few more components (3 SS amps, 1 tube amp and 1 tube hybrid amp) and "rounds" to the mix. The headphones I chose also bring different things to the table. My first "round" with each DAC will be DT880 and KICAS (non-caliente)(once I wrap up the "all-in-one"). All these DACs have been reviewed here at one time or another. This is not a review per se, it's a comparison between various DACs. How does the music flow? Does it sound forced? bottlenecked? Does it sound good with a variety of amps and headphones or is it dependent or too warm with a tube amp, or too bright of a DAC with SS etc. That's why I find it important to list the music. These are the genres I listen to and have tried to make it as versatile as possible with this music.
In reference to inputs (very important)- Let's take USB for example (where applicable). I'm one of those that happen to like usb. I find it very convenient. However, the sound must be good of course. How about drivers? I like to plug in a DAC via usb (Windows), have it recognized right away, open Foobar choose WASAPI, KS, ASIO (where applicable) and rock and roll right away. I don't want to be searching for drivers or firmware and have glitches and dropouts and have to set buffer settings everytime (trust me, I own the Musiland 01USD and since I purchased it there has been probably 45 firmware updates...lol)
To expand on this- I'm comparing the Matrix Mini-i and FUN at the moment. Just a quick note (which I knew already)- The Matrix does not output 44.1 via usb, only 48khz (I have confirmed this with a few head-fiers and have tried various PCs- Vista, 7 and XP)(I believe the Maverick also had this issue). . To some this is okay, it bothers me though. If I want to up/re/over sample, I want to do it myself. There are other inputs to choose, yes and I love the sound of the Matrix (AD1955x2) and the other inputs do 44.1, but still a quirk for me.
That's why I'm comparing the various inputs, for functionality and sound.
Links have been added to first post...