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Does anyone know of a decent..

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

..(4 pin) balanced headphone amp with RCA and USB in, in about the $400 range? I can't seem to find one. Tubes, or SS, doesn't matter. 24/96 support on the DAC would be nice.


Edited by J.Pocalypse - 5/27/12 at 10:01pm
post #2 of 2
So a headphone amplifier with analog and digital inputs, and the digital via USB? Like this:
http://www.firestone-audio.com/cgi-bin/product.asp?pdtseqnm=40 ?

Or did you have something else in mind? The cheapest (commerical) balanced amps I'm aware of are the CEC HD53N (no digital in), and Schiit Mjolnir (no digital *or* SE in, and it's not released yet). You can add DACs to either. The Headroom BUDA (with the rest of it's stack) would also be comparable - more expensive than the Schiit stack; probably about at parity with the CEC setup (DA53N + HD53N).

You can alternately just get a free-standing DAC, and use whatever amplifier you like (sort of alluded to that above) - it'll give you more options and potentially save you money. For example the Cambridge DACMagic can drive XLR out (and costs about half what the DA53N does) and could serve as a source for the Schiit, CEC, or BUDA. Paired with the Schiit, you'd barely break $1k.

There's also been some DIY stuff with the Lovely Cube and ganged volume controls to create a balanced amp - no idea how complex or easy this is to implement, looks mechanically complicated though.
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