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Peachtree iNOVA or W4S DAC-1 + Lyr for LCD-2?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 


Which will provide better sound/drive for the money?  Also can anyone comment on whether or not the iNOVA has a 1/4" or 3.5mm headphone out?  In the pics it looks like 3.5mm, and the specs don't say on any site I've seen.
Also open to suggestions on lower cost DACs, or similar priced, and easy to acquire* amps that can drive the LCD-2s...though the DAC-1 is at the upper limit of what I'd spend on one, maybe even pushing it a bit. (In other words: keep cost of both parts below 1.8 grand max if you're going to suggest new ones)
*I've been pointed towards amps before that aren't really available, the site is a maze and makes it impossible to find price, contact, or ordering info, there are catches involved, they're out of production, etc etc etc.
post #2 of 12

I can tell you that the headphone out on my Decco2 is not adequate for the LCD-2's.  If the iNova is anything like the Decco2, it's got a 1/4" headphone out but it just doesn't have the juice to properly amp the Audezes.  I'd definitely go with the W4S and Lyr if those are your options. 


But I use the DAC in my Decco2 into a Woo WA6-SE with the LCD-2's...with absolutely fabulous results.  And that combo is about 1.8K.  biggrin.gif

post #3 of 12

I think you're going to have to try both, side by side and make your own call.  Headfi being what it is, there seems to be an almost default bias against integrateds like the iDecco and iNova.  My experience, as an iDecco and (former) LCD2 owner, was quite different.  I certainly preferred the LCD2 out of the Lehmann BCL over my iDecco, but the difference was not night and day.  Same goes for the HD800 which I have thousands of hours on - in the end, I moved the BCL to my office to pair with my HD650s.  The HD800 is great straight out of the iDecco.  It doesn't throw a soundstage as wide as say - a GS-1, but it certainly holds its own.  Alternatively, you could do something like the Peachtree iDac + Schiit Lyr - and know it will drive anything you can throw at it - for something like $1400.... less if you buy used.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, do you think the iDac or the DAC-1 would provide better performance then?  And yeah, I am fully aware of everyone's general...opinion...of integrated DAC/amps.  I just wasn't sure if it'd be able to push enough power for the LCD-2s. 


Oh, just had a thought too, the W4S DAC-1 is fully balanced, so that may be an advantage over the iDac if I want to get a balanced amp and Q Cable balanced recabling in the future.  They've both got 24/192 SPDIF and 24/96 USB, (I assume both are asynchronous?) so that isn't a problem feature-wise...and now I can listen to the absurdly high quality renders of my compositions in GLORIOUS HD etc.  Oh, and the ipod dock makes no difference to me.

post #5 of 12

I probably can't help you with the W4S vs iDac question, as I've only heard the iDac.  Balanced output is of no value to me - been there done that already.  The integrated iPod dock is functionally key for how I run my system, so I wound up with the iDac and iDecco.  Personally, I would go with the cheaper solution for now.  DAC technology growth is going to make your choice obsolete in a year or two, in which case you can always go balanced later.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

irishsammy: That's a possibility, but just how big are these things compared to the Lyr?  Desktop space is at a premium lol, so the Lyr might be better for me on that point alone.


khatch:  I guess, but after doing a quick search on the comparison, it's been asked before at audiogon, and everyone there thinks the W4S clearly beat the iDac.  Now what's the general reputation of audiogon?  PS I don't want to do too much maintenance on this rig for a while, not until I'm older and have a steady income at any rate. :P

Edited by IzzyAxel - 2/13/12 at 3:50pm
post #7 of 12

Good point - the Lyr and Bifrost are really small.  Great for desks.  The iDAC and W4S are actually much bigger than I originally anticipated - but still suitable for a desktop.  A Centrance DACmini probably wins the size war, hands down.  Have you tried it to see how well it will push the LCD2?

post #8 of 12

Never heard the W4S DAC1 - so I can only speculate, but I imagine the differences are subtle and nuanced.  You'd have to listen to them side by side and then return the one you don't want, or sell it.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Haha, no, this is the planning phase of the purchase lol, I'll have the money shortly, but I want to make sure I've got the best bang for buck ratio goin' on up in here.  I have 2 wings of my desk to make use of though, I planned on dedicating one to the W4S, which is very close to the computer, the other to the Lyr, the Lyr side is occupied with my second monitor, so real estate is limited already there, and my Cintiq covers my view of the wing the W4S would go on, so that's a bad ergonomic in more than one way, anyway.  I wouldn't require a tiny DAC, though, I've got plenty of space for a big one.  Just not for a huge amp. :P


PS might wanna add, I'm actually getting JH Audio IEMs first, just in time for a road trip, the rest will be gotten after I get back, so I still have some time before I put these purchases in to think on it.


Edit: Thanks you two, I guess I'll go with the W4S DAC-1 and Lyr.  Now to ask about amps for the IEMs, and if they'll even be necessary biggrin.gif  Lol nope, see no reason to.

Edited by IzzyAxel - 2/13/12 at 5:28pm
post #10 of 12

I know this thread is a few months old but in case it helps: I have an Inova at home and a Lyr at work.  Playing the same lossless file from a different source (computer to Inova, ipod through pure dock to V-DAC to Lyr) I would say that via the Inova there's slightly greater detail and clearer separation into my Beyer T1s but less body to things than when they come from the Lyr.  I would be guessing but I think that's because the Inova's DAC is much better than what's before the Lyr; but the headphone amp section isn't as good.  The Inova (for me) is definitely listenable but something is missing if you're used to it being there.  Sounds like your plan will be awesome.  Hope it helps.


post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Heh, thanks for the advice, my plans for my one-step-below-TOTL rig have changed a bit since then, I've decided to get the DNA Sonett and the Violectric V200 and V800, and either the T1 or Fostex TH-900.  Have to see how that comparison shapes up.  By the time I have the money for at least the headphones themselves, I should have an answer on that. :P  My TOTL rig is of course, still a heavily wishlisted one, being the SR-009 and BHSE.   That...will probably all have gone OOP by the time I get enough money for either part. >___>

post #12 of 12

I have the W4S DAC1 With the upgraded caps & LCD2v2 as well.

The DAC1 be ordered customized with the DAC2 Caps so that it has the same sound quality as a DAC2, just less inputs and no ht bypass.

I would definately suggest the W4S DAC1. I have tried many Audio-GD DAC's (NFB3, NFB3.1, NFB-10SE) and the Audiolab MDAC, and the W4S blows them all away. I will not be selling this DAC any time soon.


The combo with the LCD2v2's is awesome to put it mildly. Running with O2 or Audio-GD C2-SA (6watts into 50ohm).

Cant wait to upgrade to a balanced amp like the Schiit Mjolnir.



Oh, read the OP's post above, guess my post was pointless :(


Edited by darren700 - 7/4/12 at 10:35pm
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