This is a both Headphone AMP as well as a DAC recommendation thread. I will start with all the details first:
- Current Headphones - Beyerdynamic DT 990 (600 ohm)
- Music I listen to - Trance (lots of trance), New Age, instrumentals, chillout
- Current monitors - Swan t200b active monitors
- Current source - Foobar 2000 -> X-fi forte -> direct headphone out for headphones / Analog out for Swan speakers.
- Budget - 1000 $ for both dac and amp
I was earlier using the Audio-GD compass dac with the headphones (as a dac and amp combo). It sounded good. However, i got an Onkyo AV receiver and that also drove the headphones quite similar to the compass dac. Even the x-fi forte seemed to be quite close to the compass and hence i sold the compass. Now after a year, i have moved the receiver to a different room and i am using only the forte to drive the headphones and the swans and i feel its time to invest a good Dac/Amp again. I also plan on getting a Tesla T1 down the line (or the new Tesla T90).
After doing some research and reading a quite a bit I have narrowed down to the following:
- Nuforce DAC 100 - new unit, not many reviews. But i like the convenience of a single unit. It also has pre-outs to drive my swan monitors.
- CEntrance DACMini - amazing reviews. I want to know how this will compare against the new DAC-100. Or rather, how will the new DAC-100 compare against this well established unit.
- Schiit Bifrost with Lyr or Asgard - Only issue with bifrost/asgard combo is that there is no RCA out to drive my monitors. I can only drive my headphones in that case. Maybe RCA splitters will resolve this issue, but not sure. LYR has additional RCA output, but not sure if it will act as a pre amp to the active monitors or not.
Audio-gd compass DAC that I had did have pre-outs. I was able to drive both the monitors and the headphones with the compass. But I want to try a different brand this time. Not in favor of audio-gd this time.
Please help me in figuring out which path should i take:
- Get something out of the choices mentioned above?
- Get something else, that is not yet mentioned in the choices?
- Don't get anything - x-fi forte is more than enough?
Please help me fellow headfiers ... :)
Edited by ashishkushwaha - 11/7/12 at 10:16pm