Originally Posted by buson160man
You may want to check out the schiit headphone amps they have three amps that pretty much fit your price range.The lyr is a bit more at 449 us but you might spring for the extra 50.The lyr offers more power than most at the price range you are looking at.A friend has the asgrard and he has akg 702s which are definitely not a easy load for headphone amps.I used to own a shanling ph 3000 hybrid headphone amp which is basically the same headphone amp as the music hall model and it drove my akg 701s pretty well.The design has a little warmer sound due the tube input but with the akgs which can sound a bit thin on a lot of inexpensive headphone amps. It worked well with the 701s and gave them a smoother sound.
Depending on the phone you use these are two suggestions.
TH-900, not at all comparable to the K701, and the Lyr would be a very very bad choice for it, lol, plus it's a tube amp. And I have checked them out, but I'm not convinced their designs are competent, but I'm not going into that drama pit here. The Asgard is a consideration, it'd match the chassis of the DAC too, but I'd like to get an inventory of possibilities before making any decisions. More importantly, does the Asgard favor current or voltage?
Originally Posted by ardgedee
If you're amenable to using something smaller than a desktop amp, many portable amps and portable DAC/amps are going to be good for your needs.
The Leckerton amps meet all your requirements, include DACs, and sound great. I've been using the Leckerton UHA-6S for a couple years and it still sounds as good or better than any other portable amp and most desktop amps I've heard. It includes a DAC and the current version is safely in your price range.
It's preferable that it isn't portable, I'd like a nice looking desktop setup, and the headphones to be used with it (TH-900) are, ostensibly, not portable, due to the lacquer and wood. I'd like something that has a nice, elegant silver chassis too, but it's not as important as the internal design. But, what is also important is that it have RCA inputs. But beyond all that, portable amps are also simplistic designs, they're not a suitable replacement for a desktop amp.