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Best DAC/AMP Combo on the market?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

USB as the source from my computer. Needs to be able to power HE-400 Cans and have an RCA/XLR out so I can run some powered monitors.

 

Can spend up to $500.

post #2 of 12

http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=48

Or

http://schiit.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=2

http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=46

Or

http://schiit.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=1

http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=46

post #3 of 12

Personally I love my Audio Gd NFB-10 (someone is selling one for under $500 currently in the classifieds) but it may be a bit overkill. The NFB-12.1 does everything you need (minus XLR outputs has RCA), the Matrix Mini-i, Asus Essence One, Cambridge Audio DACmagic Plus(a little over budget could get used in budget). There are many other all in ones that provide preamp/preout functions there are not many that have balanced outputs though (XLR). 

 

 

I don't think any of these of these meet the criteria, he needs preout function.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help.

 

What one would you recommend of those?

post #5 of 12

Check out the NFB-12.1,

around $215 plus shipping.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Would that be an upgrade over the XOnar Essence STX?

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by OICWUTUDIDTHAR View Post

Would that be an upgrade over the XOnar Essence STX?

Do you currently own an Essence STX or just weighting all options?

I'm a biased Xonar fan and Essence STX owner, so I would be happy as a clam, with STX, HE-400 & powered speakers.

Spending $500 for a DAC/Amp. is not something I've research on.

Is this just for music? or will you need surround sound for movies?

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

I own the STX. I am very pleased with the DAC performance for my Monitors (I am pretty sure it uses one of the best Burson DAC's on the market) the headphone amp is a little lack luster for me HE-400's though.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by OICWUTUDIDTHAR View Post

I own the STX. I am very pleased with the DAC performance for my Monitors (I am pretty sure it uses one of the best Burson DAC's on the market) the headphone amp is a little lack luster for me HE-400's though.

You did disable the motherboard's built in audio? in the Bios.

Have you tried getting the "Unified Xonar Drivers" from the website Brainbit.

For around $60 you could try replacing the 3 op-amps (operational amplifiers), get the LME49990 op-amps, off eBay, ships from Canada.

 

Try asking in this thread for amping the HE-400s

http://www.head-fi.org/t/604583/hifiman-he-400-review

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

I kind of want to move to external DAC, I feel I have out grown the STX and its time to move on.


Edited by OICWUTUDIDTHAR - 10/31/12 at 12:00am
post #11 of 12

From someone who's owned both and moved on, the balanced out on the NFB-10 is noticeably better (more air, better dynamics) than NFB-12. Single ended is slightly better due to the beefier power supply and better components.

post #12 of 12

Are the Lyr and the Bitfrost the best Dac/amp Combo for the LCD-2????

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