Any ideas on something that can do both? I listen to many different music genres. Budget is under $500. I looked at Little Dot Mk III but understand it may not work with McCormack because of amp design.
The Schiit Lyr is a fantastic pairing for HD650, IMO, and also has pre-outs. It's not ideal as a dedicated preamp but it may just fit the bill for exactly your needs, a solid headphone amp that doubles as a preamp.
I haven't used the pre-outs so you may want to search around for results by those who have. For headphones, it's clean, powerful, neutral, and supports tube rolling for tweaking your sound.
Versus my Headroom Micro Amp (and various AV receivers) I used before it, the HD650's really came alive on it. Clearer, more detailed, less fatiguing, wider soundstage. Sennheisers love tube voltage.... And it just conveniently fits your budget too!
I'm sure it's not the only amp that'll work for you, but it's probably a good one to consider!
Hmm, shame. Do you remember what was disliked about it?
I do remember a thread where it was disliked however in that instance I believe the OP was running it to actually power external monitors rather than feeding an external power amp instead, so it was sort of an outside-the-scope trial.
Thanks for the recommendation on the Lyr! My other option I've been considering here is to use a Y-splitter out of the Peachtree Dacit analog outs and run 1 line to a headphone amp (exclusively a headphone amp like the Asgard) and 1 line to a passive attenuator (like the NHT PVC http://www.nhthifi.com/passive_volume_control_PVC_PC?sc=12&category=1213 ) and then to the McCormack. This would basically give me separate systems past the Peachtree. I have a decent pair of StraightWire y splitters sitting around I could use.
Anybody doing something like this? Any thoughts on whether this would work?
Thats because the Lyr is more headphone oriented. The 160D is more Hi-fi oriented with a fine preamp/headphone amp..it was designed originally with the preamp function in mind.
I know its out of your budget, but a good option to consider in the future.
Who makes the 160D? Is this the Burson that you're talking about? I thought the amp that had the preamp also had a built-in dac. I definitely don't want to change out the dac. I really like the Peachtree.
I think they need to think on a headamp/pre only.