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Noobs Needs Help with Amp/Dac Decision (UK)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Alright, I bought my first proper pair of headphones, the Ultrasone DJ1/HFI 580 and now looking to get a desktop dac/amp.  After browsing a bit I am looking at several options.

 

1.  The Cheap Option:

 

NuForce Icon Desktop Dac and Amp - £149 

 

http://www.sightandsounduk.com/Nuforce-Icon-Desktop-DAC-and-Amp.html

 

Now the thing is that I dunno anything, absolutely ZERO, about amps and dacs so it might be something I can start off with and it seems to have all everything with it.  Would it improve the sound of my headphones and pc speakers?  I mainly play music through my computer with a crappy Realtek soundcard.

 

2.  Spend more Option

 

Matrix mini-i 24/192 Balanced DAC & Headphone Amp - £200

 

Or

 

Lovely Cube Premium Amp - £140

 

http://www.alicemagicbox.com/lasercollection/lovelycubepremium.html

 

plus Muse Mini Dac TDA1543 x4 NOS - £45 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/512389/mini-dac-tda1543-x-4-nos

 

or Valab NOS USB DAC - £150

 

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I am mainly looking to spend more on a DAC than an amp since my ultrasone dj1 don't really need an amp and I can upgrade to a better amp in the future when I upgrade my heaphone.

 

Would it be better for me to start off the cheaper or the more expensive option?  And would there be a noticeable difference in sound between the two?  I am really looking at the best bang for bucks amp/dac option and don't mind spending more if it means I get a much better increase in quality in sound..  Any other amp/dacs I should be looking at?

post #2 of 4

I'm in the same situation except I bought a K701. I don't really want a combo DAC/Amp for evolution purpose ..

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Heard the K701 is hard to amp and you'll probably need to be more careful on what amp to buy.

post #4 of 4

Heard that too. I read that the Little Dot I+ is pretty good for low impedance headphones, it can provides 200mW+ at 62Ohms.

Back to you, I think the Matrix mini is a very good DAC for its price but also read that the headphone out was a bit more low end (actually it was (is ?) one of my choice).

The Lovely Cube (M-Stage & Black Cube Linear clone) is also part of my list even if a bit expensive (need a DAC).

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