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Semi portable DAC / Amp

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Heres the skinny. My normal HIFI listening is on a big Linn Home theater system. Fully aktiv speakers, multiple amps, etc. lately it gets used less and less and I find myself listening to the computer set up. Quad 12 L active speakers and sub (seriously amazing) PS Auds Trio Pre, DLIII DAC and often my PS AUDIO GHCA headphone amp paired with some LCD 2, modded Grado 325's, a fun new pair of the high impediance Bayerdynamic 990, even my portable Thinksound IEM's. Im not looking for a debate, this is some nice gear, especially for the price it's all going for these days.

I'm about to get married and I have finagled an extra bedroom into my 'office'. Unfortunately it shares a wall with our teenage son so the Quads are gonna have to be shut down in the evenings. I work nights for a month and days for a month . On my days off, specifically when I'm on nights I stay on the night schedule. Life is easier that way, 3 on. 3 off etc. so I find myself up late on my days off. Doing paperwork and catching up on emails only takes up a couple hours and when the Family is asleep boring creeps in quickly. I don't want to sit at my desk all night and be chained to the PS Audio system.

What I am looking for is a portable high end DAC / headphone amp that can drive all or most of my cans to a high quality level, one that at least approaches the quality of my PS Audio system. One that can take an OPTICAL INPUT from an apple Airport Express. (all my music, 3 TB of ALAC on my Mac)

The airport Xpress has to be plugged into the wall, so a DAC/AMP could also be plugged in as well but doesn't need to be. What I want is a system that can easily go from the shop, to the basement, even to the garage that doesn't weigh 10 lbs. smaller is better in this scenario. I could go iPod/pad/phone to something but I don't know If there is a light and easy way to get digital out of any of those to a DAC.

I realize this is an odd and very specific rig I'm looking for. Im sure with the vast knowledge here I will get some good recommendations.

Thank You,

Sameguy
post #2 of 4

You could give the fiio E10 a go, not very expensive, small and light, and does its job.

post #3 of 4

As the Fiio E10 does not have an optical input, I would think the Fiio E17 would be a better choice.

post #4 of 4

The e17 is a nice little unit and can generally be had for under $140 -- right now on Amazon at $110. While perhaps not as clear and transparent as units costing twice as much, I don't find any major faults in its sound, even through Ety ER-4. I may end up with one on my desk at work so I'm not hauling my T1 and a DAC back and forth everyday.


Edited by jeffsf - 11/28/12 at 5:01pm
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