I'm new to the forum here but have been listening through headphones for several years. Being a grad student (i.e. financially challenged), I find that they are about the best way I can enjoy my music and neither break the bank nor aggravate my fellow apartment dwellers.
That being said, I have never really had a solid headphone amp or DAC solution. I know that computer audio may not be the best option out there, but listening to well-ripped FLAC tracks and the originals, I have found the difference to be small enough (actually, almost non-existent to my ear) that my enjoyment of the music is unaffected. To help me enjoy my listening even more, I am actively hunting for an amp and a DAC to properly drive my cans (HD650s with Cardas cable upgrade, DT880s, and Grados). One of the best-suited amps there seemed to the HA-160 but I would need a DAC to go with it and that is where I get lost in the search. If anyone on the forum could recommend a good DAC (~$1000) to pair with the HA-160, I would really appreciate it.
Also, pushing the upper-end of my budget (actually almost blowing it off), I was looking at the Red Wine Audio Isabellina HPA w/DAC. I have read many good things about this component and was curious whether or not it would work well with the phones I've got (and hope to get, if I can save the cash - like the HD800s) and can compete with the HA-160. If anyone would care to comment on this question/query as well, please do.
Oh, and if it helps, I primarily listen to classical/acoustic music of all types (orchestral, chamber, solo, vocal, choral - pretty much you name it).
Thanks so much in advance for any help you guys can provide.
All the best,
Edited by MLJ1764 - 7/15/10 at 8:37pm