Sorry if this post is a repeat for any of you. I asked this at the other he-400 thread, but have not yet gotten any responses. Thought I'd try over here.
I've been sucked into the black hole that is head-fi and lurking for a while now though the endless threads and spending countless hours on research. I think I finally have come to the determination that the he-400 is what I'm seeking; however, I am not totally sure what I need to complete my setup.
I will use music from the MOG at 320 kbps as my source from both my Galaxy Nexus and PC. On my pc I have onboard sound which I don't think too highly of. I would like some portability, so I'm considering the e17/e09k combo. That way I could use the e17 as a dac when at my PC and use it as an amp for my phone. The dac in my Nexus does not seem half bad for when I go portable (waiting for someone to hopefully figure out that micro usb issue so I can output to a dac).
The other detail here is my father has an old NAD receiver I'm not sure what model, but it has a headphone jack and plenty of inputs on the back. Is it 1) possible and 2) advisable to output SPDIF from PC to the e17/e09k combo using the e17's dac and the e09k as a preamp then using the rca outputs on the back of the e09k to the back of the NAD receiver for some extra juice? I apologize if this has been answered before, but my search found nothing.
Or can someone envision a better alternative? As I said I would like some portability, but with that said I don't need to be walking around town and would stay mostly confined to a desk while I listen. Thus, I would be happy to lug around a manageable dac & amp for when I go out of town or when I'm working from the office on weekends. Money is an barrier. I'm not looking to spend much more than 650 and would like to make my purchase through Amazon so I can get the 12 month financing. I'm a poor social worker so its a must. The only other thing I would say is that I'm hoping this hypotehtical setup would provide some future proofing in that I would be able to drive some other headphones which may be more difficult to drive if I am to expand my collection in the future. I have the head-fi bug so I'm sure it just a matter of time before I get the itch again.
From the PC's USB out -> HRT Music Streamer II asynchronous DAC (US$150) -> NAD receiver
will be better sound quality - in my opinion - than anything mentioned above.
(Note: The Music Streamer will not work from a smartphone or tablet.)
Edited by kstuart - 11/30/12 at 10:59am