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$600 (500 euros) Headphone/DAC Amp: Recommendations?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello world!

 

It's that time of the year! When someone decides "That's it, done the saving, let's do the wasting" part of the deal.

I am looking for a headphone/DAC amp, mainly because my Denon D2000 has been alone for 3 years already, and it should have a high fidelity companion by now.

 

I managed to save 600 dollars (more preciselly, 500 euros), let's see things i'm looking for:

 

-It's a amplifier for future (in the long run) headphones; from what i read Denon D2000 are easy to drive and don't need much of an amp, but i would like to buy one for future, harder-driven Headphones that could really benefit from it.

-As input i am really looking for S/PDIF TOSLINK optical, if possible some analog input for a temporary setup;

-Must be a European company, or anything as long as it is being sold on europe (to avoid very heavy taxes);

 

As a music listener, i mostly hear house, some tecno, rock, etc.

Here's what i'm listening now;

-A bunch of old DJ-Tiesto;

-Some David Guetta;

The Black Ghosts (all of them);

-Evanescence;

-Outasight;

 

Well, what i mostly like is a nice bass, the Denon D2000 amount un-amped is well enouf, but i also love female voices, it's all i can hear when it's their part and i love it.

But really i like all kind of frequencies, with a small preference to those.

 

A strange thing i fell i should share: I mostly prefer sound with no soundstage.

Like, instead of hearing the instrument sepparated, each one at it's own spot, i like to have them mostly in my face, just for a helluva fun.

I know this isn't very audiophillic, but thta's just the way i prefer to hear music!

 

 

There you have it folks, plain and raw, for you to rip apart and trow to garbage LOL!

What can you tell me? Lost case or easilly fixable?

 

Best regards, satanicoo.

 

EDIT: As usual, i keep forggeting things:

-I am already looking for ideas, but will only buy at end of November/ beginning December;

-source is at present a X-Fi Fatality, to be upgraded to a Xonar Essence STX right after the Amp.


Edited by satanicoo - 10/12/10 at 9:05pm
post #2 of 13
How about the firestone Libby ?
It is a dac/amp

Using it in my bedroom,
It is pretty good.
Do some research on it
post #3 of 13

For your D2000, I would save your money and get the Nuforce Udac-2 ($129).

If you had something like D7000, I would say Nuforce HDP ($499)

 

Honestly I would spend the money on D7000.  And with the money you get for selling your D2000, get a Nuforce Udac-2 and then later upgrade to Nuforce HDP.

 

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks furyagain and sling5s for your contributions!

Both of them sound like a very good companions to my D2000!

 

Now, for the moment i will only buy a Amp, so i have to choose between a Nuforce HDP and a Firestone Libby, a better headphone will come at the end.

 

The Firestone Liby is a class A amplifier, so it should be better soundwise compared to the Nuforce HDP right?

Did anyone listen to them both?

 

Hope to get more ideas!

 

 

post #5 of 13

moon6 should have a more detail review later, for now ,most of what i learnt are from Chinese forum/ review.

 

http://www.bestheadphones.com.au/index.php/reviews/headphone-amplifier-reviews/item/77-firestone-audio-libby-dac-headamp

 

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/firestone3/firestone.html   ( it is a preview)


Edited by furyagain - 10/14/10 at 8:14am
post #6 of 13

for six hundred you could probably get an hdp plus a matrix m stage, i am using the combo right now. m stage is good for low impedance phones like the denon,  actually i think the hdp is a bit too loud for my sensitive denon, mainly because the hdp does not have gain settings.

 

but im sure you could find better, i bet like a hdp or something similar sounds great when fed to a woo wa3, then u can use your wa3 as a tube preamp too.

 

also i haven't tried it but the matrix cube looks really cool ( i do not like the digital display of the mini because of input selection)., the yulong d100 get good reviews,  if all you need is toslink then there are actually far more great options to look for.

 

ill think of some more

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks, i have been googling a bit about them, here's what i got:

 

-Nuforce HDP: 499 euros + shipping, in europe, so no taxes.

 Very famous, althou some complain of exagerated hiss, the main idea it's a very good DAC+AMP (btw it's class A, i was mistaken);

 

-Firestone Audio Libby: 499 euros + shipping, in europe, so no taxes.

 Very few reviews with no comparisons, i am afraid to bet on this one.

 

-Woo WA3: 495 dollars, 415 euros, US, add 210 euros in taxes. 625 euros...

 Beautifull and certainly quite the beast, but gets out of my price range with taxes. Any european seller?

 

-Matrix Cube: haven't found any, but i found the matrix m-stage, is that the one?

 

-yulong d100: 280 pounds + shipping, HongKong, 387 euros + taxes, total 581 euros.

Well made and many good reviews, sounds like a good bet, but starts to get expensive...

 

 

From these ones i'm inclined to Nuforce HDP. It's on my price range and sounds like the owners are happy with it, despise the hissing problems on some.

 

That matrix m-stage gets also a lot of good reviews and its only 265 dollars! That would be a total of 220 euros + taxes, = 330 euros.

Many reviews, and comparable to yulong, but with a bit weaker amplifier.

 

How's that for a resume? Or did i get it all wrong?

 

 

post #8 of 13

yea thats good but those prices are too much, ive seen that stuff go cheaper, you could find some good deals if you looked hard

and ive never had any hissing problems with my hdp, but i also dont have any non sensitive  + high impedance cans, so  ill bet that the people who reported the hiss, either got a defective unit, or were using low sensitive cans with high impedance. with all the cans ive tried the hdp has been really loud. imo it really needs gain settings for iem, denon or any other sensitive phone.\

and i paid 450 usd for my hdp, 499 euro is too much,  i got mine on ebay, i think i saw one in for sale section for 400 usd, thats what i mean, i may have saved u some muchos buckos right there hombre

-just wanted to add that the hdp is a good investment, and also besides being really loud, its only other caveat is that  you cannot have the coaxial and toslink input plugged at same time.    that was a bummer and i was pissed when i learned this, so i like to make people  aware of this,  but i am glad i purchased and am using it now

all the best

 

post #9 of 13

Hi from a portuguese fellow!

 

I'm on the same boat as you, looking for the same kind of solution..

 

Try these european shops:

 

Audioaffair - UK

Analogue seduction - UK

Ampcity - UK

Audiophonics - France

Playstereo - Italy

Supersonido - Basque Country

Videosell - Italy

 

Th Nuforce HDP costs a lot less on the first 2 shops

 

Saudações portuguesas!!

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Obrigado MonkeyD.Luffy!! biggrin.gif

 

Well, at 418 euros they are starting to get the "purchase now" prize!

Those sites however do have many more Amps that i never heard of, so i'll research them first!

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey there again, I have been reading a bit now, and i'm thinking to do, in the future, the markl mod to my D2000.

Question: Is this the so-called dynamite extreme http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00020CAVA/ref=ord_cart_shr?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER ?

 

By doing this mods, should i go balanced cable and invest on the Yulong D100 with it's balanced outputs?

 

Thank you again for you patience biggrin.gif

post #12 of 13

If you were to purchase NuForce HDP, please let us know what you think of it!

I'm still not very convinced to invest my money.

post #13 of 13

I'm also thinking about getting the dac/amp combo and right now I'm waiting for some good Yulong D100 and Nuforce hdp comparison because they are clearly the foworites under 500$ mark.

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