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DAC and Amp for $250, is this possible?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello,

I am looking at getting or building a portable amp for about $125. I would also like to get or build a USB DAC for about the same amount. What are the possibilities in this price range?

Thanks for the help.

post #2 of 10


nevermind didnt read portable part.


Edited by alv4426 - 12/14/11 at 8:41am
post #3 of 10

You didn't specify your headphones.  Plus, there are just too many options, even at $250 for both DAC and amplifier to try and list them all.  The Head-Fi forums are full of information if you just use the "search" function rather than starting new threads asking for specific buying advice.  It is just one of many options, but I would suggest a combination DAC-amp rather than getting separate units at your price point.  The Audio-GD NFB-12 for $200 (plus shipping and waiting) is one such choice:

 

http://audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB12/NFB12EN.htm

 

And here is the Head-Fi thread discussing it:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/524263/audio-gd-nfb-12/615

 

Many other options exist, but reading that thread will give you some idea of the competition at $250 for a comination unit.

 

P.S. - Just re-read your message and you are looking for a portable amp, and presumably a portable DAC.  For the amplifier, you could consider the "Objective 2" portable amplifier:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/565821/so-the-objective2-headphone-amp-designed-entirely-around-the-measurements-please-read-rules-before-posting

 

It is the subject of some controversy on Head-Fi, but it can be had inexpensively in kit or assembled form from a number of vendors, since it as "open-source" design.  Portable inexpensive USB DACs are another matter.  Does your source (computer or portable music player) just have a lousy internal DAC?  The guy who designed the Objective 2 amplifier likes the $26.00 Behringer UFO202 as much as more expensive portable units:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UFO202-Audio-Interface/dp/B002GHBYZ0

 

Your mileage, of course, may vary.


Edited by attenuated 3db - 12/14/11 at 8:52am
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have several headphones that I would be using, ATH-ANC7b, ATH-ANC27, ATH-A700. I want the DAC because I am hoping it will give better, clearer signal that the built-in audio cards of my laptop and desktop. I built a cMoy based on the instructions on tangentsoft.com. I have had good luck with it, but I would like a simple Hi/Mid/Low EQ. 

post #5 of 10

Here you go for a great DIY budget combo that sounds incredible:

 

Gamma1 DAC - $100 in parts

Objective2 Amp - $75 or parts or $135 built by JDS Labs.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

I do not see the Objective2 Amp on the JDS Labs site, am i missing something?  ....Wait I found it.

post #7 of 10

If you want more info on it, read here:

 

<nevermind>


Edited by wdahm519 - 12/14/11 at 2:23pm
post #8 of 10

Quote:

Originally Posted by wdahm519 View Post

If you want more info on it, read here:

 

<snip>

 

I was trying to avoid doing that, in accordance with the rules regarding the discussion of the works of banned former Head-Fi members at the beginning of this thread:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/565821/so-the-objective2-headphone-amp-designed-entirely-around-the-measurements-please-read-rules-before-posting

 

We'll see if the mods step in here....

 

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by attenuated 3db View Post

Quote:

 

I was trying to avoid doing that, in accordance with the rules regarding the discussion of the works of banned former Head-Fi members at the beginning of this thread:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/565821/so-the-objective2-headphone-amp-designed-entirely-around-the-measurements-please-read-rules-before-posting

 

We'll see if the mods step in here....

 

 

My bad.
 

 

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Looks interesting, so are there EQs that are portable? I just want something that I can adjust some Hi/mid/low frequencys. I have a number of old vinyl recordings that could use some adjustment, and EQ i think would hit the spot.

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