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Nuforce Icon HD, UDAC-2 or AudioengineD1 for HD-600? - Page 2

post #16 of 28

i remember when i bought an AUDIO ENGINE A5 and subwoofer AUDIOENGINE S8...

paired using my ipod.

 

tried using my macbook pro audio out, i got improved sound.

bought MAVERICK AUDIO dac d1, silver usb cables, and PURE i20 for the digital out of the ipod.

i got enhanced and improved sound than ever before...

 

and then...

in a mac store, heard the ZEPPELIN AIR, oh my gosh...

the sound of this beats even the expensive desktop set up ive made.

 

sold everything and bought a zep air.

very very happy with it!!!tongue.gif

post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leveler View Post

I saw in your page you like prog metal, it it's my favorite genre, how do the HD-600 handle this genre?

 

Sorry, missed this post - I'd say among those I've tried only the LCD-2 handles prog better* since the sound is more "fluid" and effortless. Also, I haven't tried a K701/2(or Q701) with fresh pads recently**.  Do take note that I define "prog" more liberally, and I might add some in this list that aren't very strictly prog, or have elements of prog with much of other sub-genres:

Dream Theater : has a lot of impact in the drums but without getting in the way of the guitars ; nice attack on guitars with good decay, really screaming when they should be, soft when they need to be

 

Kamelot : textures are detailed and well-rendered ; the comfort is a bonus for listening to Epica and The Black Halo in one sitting ; and regardless of technical disadvatages of live recordings, One Cold Winter's Night is one of the best albums to listen to on the HD600 - the blonde choir sounds nearly as alive and audible without getting in the way of Roy Khan ; and

 

Ditto for Nightwish and Therion (and Kamelot feat. a female singer) : plus female vocals are beautifully rendered - not as good as the LCD-2 but tonally natural, with a lot of "air" without being sharp or at the cost of how male vocals should sound like ; presentation feels "alive" and "huge," just not speaker-huge or wide and deep as on K701

 

Iron Maiden and Judas Priest :  as enjoyable as on SR225, but without the rough edges of the SR125 and below models ; not as "in your face" of course as the SR225 ; percussion has good detail and guitars are screaming but still a hint of warmth - just enough that you won't wonder too much why playing it at home/in the garage with your casual band sounds better than the recording (at least that's what friends with bundled earbuds always observe)

 

Mudvayne : most listeners gravitate to them more for the darker elements, ie the growling/death grunts, but the real versatility of Chad's vocals are his (sometimes even remarkably quick transitions) from the rap-like death grunts/growls to very soft and melodious sections (as on LD50 and The End of All Things to Come)

 

After Forever : Decipher is a truly enjoyable listen on this - Monolith of Doubt, Decipher, Estranged have a "groove" to them that is best enjoyed on systems that have good PRAT ; that YouTube recording of Floor Janssen and Epica performing Follow in the Cry deserves a real recording just to be enjoyed at home and specifically for systems with good PRAT, plus Floor taking over from Mark  sounds less like darker metal genres and more like the groove you associate with Motley Crue and Pantera but with much of Iron Maiden mixed in it

 

Fuseboxx : PRAT and detail work together to really present an aural attack (more like a fast fencer than an artillery barrage, of course) but some of the percussion isn't as audible or lacks some "meat" or reverb to them (must be the recording but I can't be certain - I have no idea what monitors they use)

 

 

 

*Stax are a bit too thin, can't evaluate K1000 properly since meets have a lot of background noise for it, haven't tried the HiFiMans

**they sound almost identical to the HD600 when both have squished pads, if a bit thinner


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 8/28/12 at 7:25pm
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 

I have a question for everyone. Other than the gear that I mentioned in this thread, does anyone else has a recommendation for the HD-600 for around the price of the Icon-HD or less? My birthday is in about a month (10/10) and that's when I plan to start getting the gear, so I'm still open for suggestions

 

Thanks

post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 

now I have another question :P

 

should I get the headphones or the amp/dac first?

post #20 of 28

Headphones first - unless you already have decent ones, you can't enjoy an amp-DAC with crap headphones as much as you can enjoy good headphones with whatever source you have lying around (iPod, laptop, computer, etc).

post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

Headphones first - unless you already have decent ones, you can't enjoy an amp-DAC with crap headphones as much as you can enjoy good headphones with whatever source you have lying around (iPod, laptop, computer, etc).

yeah that's my main point, i have decent headphones.  good below the $200 range (SRH440, Citiscape uptown) but i do not really think getting an amp/dac would help improve them that much, but on the other side of the coin, I don't know if the hd600 would be enjoyable enough or even loud enough out of my laptop. so it's kind of a dilemma, I know the ideal would be to buy both at the same time but i just wont be able to have all the money at once.

post #22 of 28
One thing to consider, and I don't know if this affects the overall quality of the sound in your particular setup, but the NuForce uDAC-2 is only 24-bit/96kHz while the Audioengine DAC does 24/192 if you use the optical input. It you plan on using USB only, no difference.
The Nuforce uDAC-2 is also available with asynchronous USB for $130 more at time of purchase or as a $140 DIY upgrade kit.
As to the overall sound and how they match with your particular cans, I can't tell you because I haven't heard either. What I can say is that I have the Audioengine 2 speakers as my primary PC speakers and they sound AWESOME! I just ordered a pair of A5+ for wireless in a different room (too big for my desktop).
Also, on the NuForce the volume adjustment is in the analog stage, the Audioengine not specified.
You can buy both from a place like Crutchfield which has a 60-day satisfaction guarantee, keep the one that sounds better to YOU and return the other.
Edited by papalion - 12/25/12 at 12:37pm
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by papalion View Post

I have the Audioengine 2 speakers as my primary PC speakers and they sound AWESOME!

I do have a similar question which originally led me to this post.

I am looking for a small outboard USB desktop DAC primarily to bypass my PC's soundcard but also to add an accessible volume control since the volume control knob on the Audioengine A2 is in the back of the left speaker and difficult to reach. I may occasionally plug a pair of cans (Phiaton MS400) or one of various IEMs I have lying about the house into the headphone jack, but this is not my primary purpose for this device. Simply USB digital out from computer - analog RCA to powered speakers.

Two DACs I'm considering are of course the Audioengine D1 and the NuForce uDAC-2. The Audioengine is about $50 more than the standard Nuforce uDAC-2 and $80 less than the uDAC-2 with asynchronous USB. Anybody who has used either or both of these DACs, your advice would be appreciated.

Also, does the asynchronous USB on the NuForce make a significant sonic difference at this level?

Things to consider:

  • Quality and performance
  • Match with speakers
  • 24/192 optical input on Audioengine (Nice option for later maybe, but for now I only intend to use the USB input to drive my PC speakers)
  • Availability of asynchronous USB on the NuForce either at purchase or as an upgrade

Thanks.


Edited by papalion - 12/25/12 at 12:37pm
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by papalion View Post

I do have a similar question which originally led me to this post.

I am looking for a small outboard USB desktop DAC primarily to bypass my PC's soundcard but also to add an accessible volume control since the volume control knob on the Audioengine A2 is in the back of the left speaker and difficult to reach. I may occasionally plug a pair of cans (Phiaton MS400) or one of various IEMs I have lying about the house into the headphone jack, but this is not my primary purpose for this device. Simply USB digital out from computer - analog RCA to powered speakers.

Two DACs I'm considering are of course the Audioengine D1 and the NuForce uDAC-2. The Audioengine is about $50 more than the standard Nuforce uDAC-2 and $80 less than the uDAC-2 with asynchronous USB. Anybody who has used either or both of these DACs, your advice would be appreciated.

Also, does the asynchronous USB on the NuForce make a significant sonic difference at this level?

Things to consider:

  • Quality and performance
  • Match with speakers
  • 24/192 optical input on Audioengine (Nice option for later maybe, but for now I only intend to use the USB input to drive my PC speakers)
  • Availability of asynchronous USB on the NuForce either at purchase or as an upgrade

Thanks.

Hello, thanks for the replies! I ended up getting the Audioengine, but I'm not gettion the HD-600s anymore, I ended up getting some DT880s which are now in the mail, now I need a new amp, damn lol. all I can say is that for the price I payed ($200 after shipping), I'm really pleased with it, the major difference is how more spacious and clean everything is, just sounds lest congested, but it doesn't really makes your headphones twice as good or anything, it did revealed some flaws in some cd's that I like which is kind of frustratingrolleyes.gif

 

since you are mainly using speakers, and both the A2 and A5+ are powered speakers, you don't really need a HP amp at all, so I would look into getting  just a DAC of similar price, maybe something like a Schiit Modi?

 

Cheers,

 

Diego

post #25 of 28

I have the uDAC-2 - I like the portability, since I can use it either at home or on the road (with other phones). Some people have been raising concerns that measurements show the uDAC-2 to be kind of weird (http://www.head-fi.org/t/542281/nuforce-udac-2-drama-detailed-measurements), but I haven't been terribly unhappy with it. If price is a factor, I think it's also a really good value for it's price point.

 

Incidentally, I'm also running primarily the HD600's off of the uDAC-2.

post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by betelguese05 View Post

I have the uDAC-2 - I like the portability, since I can use it either at home or on the road (with other phones). Some people have been raising concerns that measurements show the uDAC-2 to be kind of weird (http://www.head-fi.org/t/542281/nuforce-udac-2-drama-detailed-measurements), but I haven't been terribly unhappy with it. If price is a factor, I think it's also a really good value for it's price point.

 

Incidentally, I'm also running primarily the HD600's off of the uDAC-2.

Hello,

 

First of all, thanks for the input

 

I ended up getting the Audioengine, I'm really pleased with my purchase, but I'm sure the uDAC is a fine piece of equipment for the money

 

I still have my eyes on the HD600s, but I got an offer to get some DT880s for free so I took it, they still haven't arrived, but I think I'll be more than happy with them

 

if Im not satisfied with the DT880s, the HD600 is the next on my list\

 

Cheers!

 

Diego

post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leveler View Post

since you are mainly using speakers, and both the A2 and A5+ are powered speakers, you don't really need a HP amp at all, so I would look into getting  just a DAC of similar price, maybe something like a Schiit Modi?

 

Cheers,

 

Diego

Even though I don't need the headphone amp, I would like to have the option. Also, one of the primary reasons for adding the DAC is for the volume control. Unlike the Audioengine A5+ (a pair of which I happen to own but they are too big to fit on my desk), the A2 does not have a volume control on the front. I would definitely consider the Schitt Bitfrost (and I still may get it for the system I set up with my A5+'s) if I didn't need an accessible volume control on my desktop.

I'm kinda leaning away from the Nuforce uDac-2 and was about to pull the trigger on the Audioengine D1 when the Audinst HUD-mx1 came to my attention. What do you guys think of this DAC compared to the Audioengine D1?

post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by papalion View Post

Even though I don't need the headphone amp, I would like to have the option. Also, one of the primary reasons for adding the DAC is for the volume control. Unlike the Audioengine A5+ (a pair of which I happen to own but they are too big to fit on my desk), the A2 does not have a volume control on the front. I would definitely consider the Schitt Bitfrost (and I still may get it for the system I set up with my A5+'s) if I didn't need an accessible volume control on my desktop.

I'm kinda leaning away from the Nuforce uDac-2 and was about to pull the trigger on the Audioengine D1 when the Audinst HUD-mx1 came to my attention. What do you guys think of this DAC compared to the Audioengine D1?

I would also like to see a comparison 

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