I recently bought a pair of AKG K702 headphones and now need a DAC and amp to go with them. As far as amps go, I'm considering the amps from Schiit Audio, but I'll wait on more impressions for the Asgard and wait until the Valhalla comes out to make that decision. In the meantime, I have a 15-year-old Sony receiver that I can plug a DAC into as a temporary measure.
So, I'll be running Apple Lossless through foobar2000 with WASAPI output, mostly acoustic jazz ripped from CDs. I can't find many reviews of the Pico DAC only and no comparisons between it and the Little Dot DAC 1. If anyone has heard both, perhaps they could shed some light on the differences. I'm looking for something that's maybe a little above entry-level, since I know if I get the cheapest I will just be curious and need to upgrade almost immediately. So I'd like something that punches above its weight and that will be a significant difference to my laptop headphone out. I'm sure most outboard DACs would be a big improvement, nevertheless, it would be good if the DAC could scale well if I decide to upgrade the amp to something from Woo Audio or a GS-1, for example (though I understand I might have to upgrade the DAC a few years down the road anyway). My budget is about $400 maximum, including shipping and taxes. Thanks for your help.
Edit: I forgot to mention I need USB input on the DAC.
Edited by Lester Mobley - 6/24/10 at 7:57pm