I need 2 seperate items:
1) Balanced DAC
2) Balanced Amp/Pre with balanced headphone out, XLR out, and 2x XLR inputs.
Edited by brunk - 6/21/12 at 8:55am
[quote]RME is the only manufacturer that doesn’t use a third party USB or FireWire audio technology, but its own, self-developed Hammerfall Audio Core with an outstanding performance and uncompromised pro audio features[/quote]
Thanks all for the suggestions. I have come to the conclusion that in order to get all these options at <$1,500, too many sacrifices have to be made in audio quality. Thus I had to prioritize my preferences and decided on the Yulong D18 as the DAC (AES/EBU input) and the Schiit Mjolnir as the amp (also a preamp). My grand total was $1,250 :)
I was incredibly close to pulling the trigger on audio-gd gear, but their DACs (house sound) have mixed reviews, and the amplifier had too many compromises (many components inside, but not top notch quality). The warranty can also be a pain. You certainly can't beat a Yulong D18 for $500, which is what I paid, and the 5 yr warranty of the Schiit Mjolnir will help me sleep at night lol. I couldn't bring myself to spent $1k on a complete "question mark" whether I would enjoy it or not and not be able to return it without insane shipping charges. I'm happy what I have purchased for $250 more- a total of $1,250. I'm sure Audio-GD is great, just not for me IMO.