After ordering my DAC on the 26th, it finally arrived from South Korea to Boston, Mass on the 30th! It was packaged really well, tons of bubble wrap. Opening it was impossible without tearing the whole damn thing apart. Make sure you save the receipt on the front side of the package! I was really excited through the whole thing. I noticed the lack of pictures and love for the Audinst in the Source section of the forums, and felt that I had to personally hastily contribute some pictures taken from my Blackberry. Don't mind my feet lol.
Everything in the package... A great fuzzy feeling inside opening the box.
Size comparison. I had my TI 83 at the same, and felt that some college students mind want it as a size reference. =P
My current setup with my Schiit Asgard.
Here's what everybody's waiting for. How does it sound? Amazing. It's everything that I want in a DAC and in an amp as well. The amp was surprisingly decent, giving my HD 650's more than the necessary amount of juice to remove the veil in the mids. I was planning on using the Audinst as a DAC to power my Schiit Audio, and was blown away by the synergy that these two components had with each other. Honestly, separately, I heard very little difference, but it was together that I learned what a dedicated DAC serves for an amp.
It was a match made in heaven. I felt that the highs became more crisp and the vocals became more clearer. The bass remained the same, but felt more refined. In the end, was the $180 worth it? Yes definitely. For those who are considering purchasing the Audinst as a dedicated DAC or as a DAC/amp, by all means, try it out! It's an amazing piece of work with a 2 year warranty. I hope this helps those who are considering buying this DAC/amp.
I would like to revise the italicized statement.
To an untrained ear, they would sound similar, but after listening to my Schiit Asgard more and more, I realized that there is a subtle difference between the Audinst's built in amp and the Asgard. The Asgard felt more CLEAR and had a WIDER sound stage. The Audinst's sound stage, in terms of geometry, felt like an 120 degree angle on both sides of the ear. The Schiit Asgard felt like a 150 - 160 degree angle on both sides of the ear. It's hard to put it in terms of tangible numbers, but there is a difference.
-A happy head-fier.
Edited by Endless - 9/7/10 at 12:35pm