Originally Posted by ashishkushwaha
^ I get you mate. I just wanted to discuss since people just seem to the hate the Headphone section of any AV Receiver. I feel, having a 400-500$ DAC over and above an existing AV Receiver is pointless. Not sure how the uber expensive DACs will perform though.
In the late 90s, I ran Grado RS-1s out of a Linn Wakonda and Onkyo AV receiver. It sounded great and I'm sure it still does.
It depends upon the headphones too. If I am not mistaken, your DT990s are easy to drive like the Grados. You'll hear more of a difference if you try HD800s, HD650s, or K701s out of a receiver output and compare to a dedicated DAC/amp or separates.
The < $500 range is kind of tricky. The ~$350 Grado RA1 (amp only) is nothing more than a op-amp based CMOY where the electronic parts cost no more then $20 total. The secret with the RA1 is the specific $3.50 op-amp and crappy electrolytic caps that somehow inexplicably make it match well with Grado headphones. On the other hand, there is some seriously good stuff like the HeadAmp Pico or the DIY AMB γ2.
For easy to drive headphones, I feel DACs or DAC/amp combos over $1000 start to make a significant difference over good receivers.
Edited by purrin - 7/31/11 at 11:30am