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Looking for a nice affordable desktop amp

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a E17 and thats it right now, I'm looking for a desk top amp preferable tube but I like bass impact too but either way it will be something interesting I will enjoy. Basically if I go SS I want it to be clean and have good impact, a tube amp I understand will be different.

 

I really want the ALO Pan Am but it is over budget especially with the power supply. I have also considered the HF5. How good is the HF-2A? and stuff from Qinpu? I like that the Pan am and hifiman amps have DAC's in them

 

I also really really like the Schiit Asgaurd's looks and pairing with the bifrost but from reading this review

http://www.headfonia.com/triple-schiit-asgaard-valhalla-and-lyr/

I'm a little uneasy about getting the vahalla. And the bifrost is to much $ with the USB, I don't understand why a DAC wouldn't have a USB in? or why it costs $100

 

What about the Magni and Modi? How do they compare to the Ashaurd?

 

Maybe the Matrix M-stage? idk

post #2 of 4
Quote:

Originally Posted by ScaryFatKidGT View Post


...And the bifrost is to much $ with the USB, I don't understand why a DAC wouldn't have a USB in?

 

or why it costs $100

 

 

That's because USB audio tech is still evolving. There are too many people who went to explore asynchronous when it came out, dumping other DACs while the DACs that didn't have it didn't garner as much attention (except maybe the ODAC). With a separate USB module it will be modular and you can just get the new board and swap it in when some new USB audio tech comes out.

 

As for why it would be $100, it's hard to say, but business models are complicated that it's not always a scam (or as some say, you'd be led to assume it isn't). But the thing is if it costs that much for them to produce it, you have the option of not having it, instead of selling an amp that has it for $100 more and you're using a transport that doesn't need it - like a computer with SPDIF output, a traditional CD transport, or even a music server like Musical Fidelity's M1 Clic.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

amp amp amp?
 

post #4 of 4

I would say give the M/M stack a chance if you want to keep your budget around 200.

 

If you want a larger budget, go with something like Audioengine D1+ Matrix M-Stage. Since you have a D5K I would personally say stay away from tubes. If you're curious though, Bravo and Little Dot have nice models for a decent price. The Bravo you'll have to mod. I've heard the Asgard is a very good choice as well, you would have to research the differences between the two.

 

The reason USB is an option on those (and costs $100) is (warning: recalling from memory), a lot of people use SPDIF which is in a lot of cases superior, and using async hi res USB requires drivers, and a new clock if I remember. In other words, unless you NEED usb, just stick with the base model. Don't have SPDIF? Get yourself a sound card for cheapsies with opt/coax, or get a USB/SPDIF converter.

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