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Portable Amp / DAC newbie needs advice...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,


So I'm just getting started with the portable amp scene. I've always had a passion for good speakers and amps and I used to engineer local classical recordings so I'm generally familiar with good sound. Sadly, in the last couple of years, I've been unable to fully enjoy my stereo system because the environment (apartment in the city) is not conducive. Hence my search for a decent portable amp/dac and a pair of headphones. I'd like this rig to serve nicely at my desk, on the couch, in a coffee shop, or on an airplane. It would be nice to have the option to use with my MacBook, iPad, or iPhone.


I think I've pretty much decided on the Audio Technica ATH-M50 for the cans since they could also serve in a recording rig later.


As for amp / dac, I'm seriously thinking about the Pico Amp/DAC. I'm also drawn to the Meier Stepdance alone or combined with nuforce uDAC.


The real question I need answered is this: How will these combinations compare when using ATH-M50 headphones?


iPhone 3Gs + Pico Amp/DAC

iPhone 3Gs + Stepdance


iPad + Pico Amp/DAC + digital camera connection kit

iPad + Stepdance  with analog dock sound cable

iPad + Stepdance + nuforce uDAC (v1) + digital camera connection kit (uDAC2 doesn't work???)


MacBook + Pico Amp/DAC

MacBook + nuforce uDAC (v1 or v2) + Stepdance


Thanks for your input!



post #2 of 3
Originally Posted by  View Post

Anyone have got the solution? It's very long now, Thank you! I encountered the same problem.
post #3 of 3

Okaaaay ....


I can only go on what I have read, but what do you have to lose with the Macbook+Pico combinaton ? Seriously - even if the amp in the Pico isnt up to your expectations, nothing is stopping you from adding the StepDance to your rig at a later date, and everythng I have read at Computer Audiophile points to the Macbook as an excellent basis for a music server.


Problem solved - next.

Edited by estreeter - 11/30/10 at 7:11pm
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