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Looking for a sub $150 Amp/DAC

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I am trying to decide on an Amp/DAC to use with my AKG K240 Studio's when I get them.

I need it to be less than $150, and I need to be able to get it too australia. 

I can get a FiiO E10 from here, for $80 or an E7 from the same place for $85.

There is the iBasso D-Zero for $131 from their website.

Or the uDAC-2, I would have to get my friend in the US to forward me the package, she would probably do it for free, so it would cost me around $129.

Are there any better alternatives for under $150?

 

I will add more options to the list when they are suggested.

 

I like the iBasso D2, although it is somewhat out of the pricerange.. 


Edited by PixelVandalism - 4/12/12 at 8:04am
post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 

Almost 100 views and no replies.. 

Thanks Head-Fi. 

post #3 of 27

Get a used Audinst HUD-MX1. 

 

If looking for a portable DAC/AMP, wait for the FiiO E17, otherwise get the Leckerton UHA-4.

 

Everything I just listed is known as a maximization of the price point.  Especially a used version of any of these items. (It doesn't matter if it's used really as long as there is no internal defects.)

post #4 of 27

I'm not sure about the iBasso, but the uDAC-2 is worse than the two FiiO options, with the E10 being pretty much better than the E7 in every way other than arguably the form factor / no display / not being able to use it as a portable amp (and the QC issue on the headphone jack).  For desktop use I don't think there's much motivation to get the E7 over the E10.

 

The two main disadvantages of the uDAC-2 are (1) relatively poor channel balance in the low range of the volume knob, which varies in severity from sample to sample, and (2) clipping 0 dBFS signals.  (1) is not an issue with the K240 Studio since it's somewhat insensitive, so you probably won't be using the low range of the volume control.  (2) can be avoided if you just set the volume to like 90%.  So all in all, these should not be considered dealbreakers.

 

If you think the uDAC-2 looks nicer, I think you'll be happy with that.

post #5 of 27


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassadian View Post

Get a used Audinst HUD-MX1. 

 

If looking for a portable DAC/AMP, wait for the FiiO E17, otherwise get the Leckerton UHA-4.

 

Everything I just listed is known as a maximization of the price point.  Especially a used version of any of these items. (It doesn't matter if it's used really as long as there is no internal defects.)



When is the e17 coming out?

post #6 of 27

It's already out; however, there are a bunch of backorders/preorders that have yet to be fulfilled. My guess is that the full production run will come within the next month or two. To be sure, you can PM Fiio on head-fi. I forget the actual screen name at the moment. lol.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnzie View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassadian View Post

Get a used Audinst HUD-MX1. 

 

If looking for a portable DAC/AMP, wait for the FiiO E17, otherwise get the Leckerton UHA-4.

 

Everything I just listed is known as a maximization of the price point.  Especially a used version of any of these items. (It doesn't matter if it's used really as long as there is no internal defects.)



When is the e17 coming out?



 

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

Does the uDAC-2 sound noticeably worse than either of the FiiO's? 

From the reviews I've read, the uDAC is liked by beginners, like myself, and disliked by people with more experience. 

I always buy refurbished/used things, so I kind of want to treat myself to something new this time. 

Getting something new is much nicer than getting a refurb/used thing, even though 90% of the time it's just paying more money. 

 


Edited by PixelVandalism - 3/20/12 at 6:05pm
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 

 

Oh, does anyone know where to get a 3.5mm connector, and a mini xlr connector? 

I want to try making my own cable, so I can sleeve it without risking the one that is going to come with my headphones.

 

I know this is the wrong forum, but would these work? 

3.5mm and Mini XLR

With this cable in between? 

 

Or could I just use that cable and cut off the XLR connector and put this one on?

post #9 of 27

I love my iBasso D-Zero.  I have an E7 as well, but the iBasso is the better DAC/Amp of the two.  It is really amazing that it is that good and that small at the same time.

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone View Post

I love my iBasso D-Zero.  I have an E7 as well, but the iBasso is the better DAC/Amp of the two.  It is really amazing that it is that good and that small at the same time.



Do you think that the D-Zero good enough to be worth $50 more than the E7 or E10? 

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PixelVandalism View Post



Do you think that the D-Zero good enough to be worth $50 more than the E7 or E10? 



I may not be the best person to ask. I have had quality issues with my E7 and had to return it for a new one.  The D-Zero is much smaller than the E7, is more powerful and has excellent build quality.  I will probably end up selling my E7 because I rarely use it anymore.  If I were spending the money again, I would just buy the D-Zero.  On the other hand, if I had never had the quality issues with my E7 I would have been perfectly happy with it, but ignorance is bliss.

 

I can't really speak about the E10 as I have never used one.  I do like the option of portability with the E7 and D-Zero though.

post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brimstone View Post



I may not be the best person to ask. I have had quality issues with my E7 and had to return it for a new one.  The D-Zero is much smaller than the E7, is more powerful and has excellent build quality.  I will probably end up selling my E7 because I rarely use it anymore.  If I were spending the money again, I would just buy the D-Zero.  On the other hand, if I had never had the quality issues with my E7 I would have been perfectly happy with it, but ignorance is bliss.

 

I can't really speak about the E10 as I have never used one.  I do like the option of portability with the E7 and D-Zero though.


 

Thanks for the input. Although I am more than likely going to try to get a uDAC-2,

unless someone tells me why something else is better, for desktop use. 

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

Anyone have anything to say about the cables? or should I just make a thread in that section? 

post #14 of 27

I wouldn't go for the Udac.  It's a really messed up DAC and nuforce has a history of designing by ear resulting in high jitter in their products, and a few other messed up things when you closely examine the sound. Get the E10, or if you want more than that, go for the e17.  I think the e10 even looks nicer than the udac.  E10 imo is one of the best values you can get.  I haven't heard the e17 but I can't imagine it has as good of a dollar to performance ratio, even though it is said to be a superior product.

 

Yes that cable should work if you want to build it like that.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llloyd View Post

I wouldn't go for the Udac.  It's a really messed up DAC and nuforce has a history of designing by ear resulting in high jitter in their products, and a few other messed up things when you closely examine the sound. Get the E10, or if you want more than that, go for the e17.  I think the e10 even looks nicer than the udac.  E10 imo is one of the best values you can get.  I haven't heard the e17 but I can't imagine it has as good of a dollar to performance ratio, even though it is said to be a superior product.

 

Yes that cable should work if you want to build it like that.



I am really wanting someone to say that is another amp/DAC that is better than all of the ones I've said. I've talked myself into hating the way the e10 looks. I really don't want anyone to say it's good. 

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