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Best Amp/DAC around $1000?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, so here's my situation.  I have a HeadRoom micro stack currently, and have been enjoying it but am wondering if there's something better to drive the HD650's without getting too expensive.  I realize my Grado's are completely different synergy but it'd be nice if they'd still sound ok with this amp as well.  Any suggestions?  I was thinking maybe Grace m902 or something like that but I don't really know too much about the grace except that it's not as warm and more analytical.

post #2 of 16

Do you want 2 different components? what about a 1 box solution? 

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well I'd kinda prefer an all in one system but if there's a better 2 part setup you have in mind then that'd be fine too.  It just can't be too big.  I was thinking about a DAC1 or Grace m902, but if there are other things out there in this price range that seem to be much better performance wise I'm open to whatever suggestions you guys might have.

post #4 of 16
It's $1275 but seemingly upgrade-proof

note: I don't own one... yet. biggrin.gif (still might get the Zodiac instead though)
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

That definitely looks like something to consider.  It does appear to have no analog inputs though, which, I probably wouldn't use very often anyway so I guess that's not a complete deal breaker.

post #6 of 16
For $500, I found the PreSonus Central Station to be very good. Search back and you'll find good reviews and impressions of it. I'd still have it, but got bitten by the tube bug and got into vinyl and SACD. I sold it because I wasn't using it - I still think highly of it.

Though for $1,000, consider separates. Something like a Dynalo or M^3 will give you excellent amplification and leave you plenty of money to find a good DAC. Separates will make it easier to upgrade in the future, too. All-in-one boxes usually fall out of favor in 18-24 months, making them hard to sell used. Separates typically hold value better.
post #7 of 16

Dynalo may be harder to acquire for those just entering the game.

post #8 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by flaming_june View Post

Dynalo may be harder to acquire for those just entering the game.


Don't know about that.  You don't necessarily have to build your own.  Sheer Audio sells two versions, the HA-006+ and the HA-006++ Special Edition, which can be found on Fleabay or direct from the Acoustic-Fun website (http://www.acoustic-fun.com/).  You'll also see a Gilmore Lite pop up on the FS Amp classifieds once in a while.  All of these are fairly affordable options.

post #9 of 16

How about the Burson Audio HA160D?

 

Its about that kind of price & has specific headphone outs for low impedance (Grado) & High impedance (Sennheiser). Its also really good!

 

Or what about the Audio GD NFB-10 boxes? there is the ES version or the WM version. The different versions utilise different DACs (ES is brighter & WM darker basically but you'll read all about it if you look into them). They're both fully balanced too so you could really make those Senns sing with a cable upgrade. Don't know what they're like with Grados though...

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

I may regret asking this, but is there anything with tubes in this price range that seems recommendable?  Maybe a WA 6 for $600?  I'm somewhat interesting in getting into tubes since that seems to be the way many people go eventually anyway.  I like the sound of warmer amps better, but my Micro Stack seemed to lack a little bit of speed.  It was plenty warm though.

post #11 of 16
I'm not familiar with them, but there are also hybrids, like the FOTM Schiit Lyr. I do not own one or have read up on it enough to know if has a stereotypical tubey sound and stereotypical SS'ish qualities though.

I'd love to have a tube amp some day as well. If only it fit my current application.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well I think I'm going to bite the bullet and go with the Anedio D1.  All I seem to hear are good things about both the amp and DAC and with a 30 day return policy it seems that I can't really go wrong with that.  Thanks for all the advice guys.  I'll let ya know what I think of it once it gets here although as a less experienced listener I doubt my impressions will be worth much.

post #13 of 16

Check out the CEntrance DACmini.  I just bought one and WOW!  It is amazing - as good as the Benchmark DAC1 USB.

 

http://www.centrance.com/products/dacmini/

 

 

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joelc87 View Post

Well I think I'm going to bite the bullet and go with the Anedio D1.  All I seem to hear are good things about both the amp and DAC and with a 30 day return policy it seems that I can't really go wrong with that.  Thanks for all the advice guys.  I'll let ya know what I think of it once it gets here although as a less experienced listener I doubt my impressions will be worth much.


I was just about to say Anedio D1. If you need a better amplifier for high impedance and orthodynamic headphone, you can buy it later. The amplifier in it is excellent.

 

post #15 of 16

There is a thread here on Head-Fi

 

CEntrance DACmini DAC/Amplifier Official Thread

 

 

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