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Start up DAC/AMP for a college student

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ok so I have grado sr80i, v-moda crossfades, as well as superlux hd668b and I am looking for a dac/amp that can just sit on my desk so portability is not an issue. I have a macbook and I am still not quite sure how all of the connections work. I listen to alternative, folk, and rock music mainly. I am looking for clarity and a warm sound. I am also looking to spend less than $200 if that is possible. Used is always good as well. If you have any advice or recommendations at all they would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukethomas View Post

Ok so I have grado sr80i, v-moda crossfades, as well as superlux hd668b and I am looking for a dac/amp that can just sit on my desk so portability is not an issue. I have a macbook and I am still not quite sure how all of the connections work. I listen to alternative, folk, and rock music mainly. I am looking for clarity and a warm sound. I am also looking to spend less than $200 if that is possible. Used is always good as well. If you have any advice or recommendations at all they would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot

Fiio E10, USB-DAC-Headphone amplifier is only $44.99 at Adorama.

http://www.adorama.com/FIE10.html?utm_term=Other&utm_medium=Shopping%20Site&utm_campaign=Other&utm_source=gbase

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Will the E10 actually provide a noticeable difference compared to the direct connection before? 

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by lukethomas View Post

Will the E10 actually provide a noticeable difference compared to the direct connection before? 

Should at least be a little bit better audio quality.

I was going by the cheapest ($44) possible improvement, I'm sure for around $150 there is something better.

You just have to make sure you get an external amplifier (with DAC) with a headphone output jack with a low impedance, like 4-Ohms or less would be preferred.

post #5 of 7

Just ordered the Stoner Acoustics UD100 for $52 shipped, and will be getting it in about 4 weeks.

 

From what I heard, it is a comparable DAC to the ODAC, which was supposed to be a fantastic value at $150, so the UD100 must be a heck of a deal.  That said, I will have to test it out first before I can say with any authority on this.

 

You can then get a O2 amp, used for about $120.  It's one of the better sound amps under $200 out there, and is often compared to portable amps in the $300+ range.

post #6 of 7

I'd research these DAC/AMPs:

  • Aune T1 (200$)
  • Audinst HUD-mx1 (179$) and HUD-mini (129$)
  • Topping D1 Mark 2 (90$)
  • FiiO E10 (40$+) * Although I don't like FiiO's quality control

Edited by northerntiger - 11/29/12 at 7:48am
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by northerntiger View Post

I'd research these DAC/AMPs:
  • Aune T1 (200$)
  • Audinst HUD-mx1 (179$) and HUD-mini (129$)
  • Topping D1 Mark 2 (90$)
  • FiiO E10 (40$+) * Although I don't like FiiO's quality control

Out of those, I'd personally choose the HUD-MX1.

Another option would be something like this DAC: http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=62&product_id=83

Then from that connect it to a JDS Labs O2 and you should have a better sounding setup than any of those options.
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