Basically I'm in a bit of a pickle at the moment I've got an Onkyo 605 but I'm not using it to it's full functionality, probably won't in the future and it's a bit of a pain to have around. I did have multiple speakers, a TV, PS3, 360, PC connected to it, but I've got rid of my PS3 and 360, and now I'm back in uni it's just my PC and 2 speakers (Warfdale 10.1) and my headphones (HD 595s). I use the headphones pretty much all the time unless I'm watching a film with people or my girlfriend. So basically to begin with I need a new stereo amp, and DAC or soundcard but the tricky part is I'm on a bit of a tight budget. ~£300 - £400, in the UK so for reference of US people that's like DACMagic 100 (non Pro) = £200, Marantaz PM5004 = £160, Schiit Modi would probably work out at £100 or so. Asus STX = £150
I'm using onboard sound from my motherboard (Asus Gene-Z) at the moment, I'm not seriously fussed about games like I play them but I'd put that as the lowest priority behind movies and music, I listen to lots of music, very much varied, I listen to a lot of mashups, and go through Hype Machine and other blogs for a few hours a day listening to anything, most of the music on my PC is in flac but that's pretty varied as well. So the issue is either a new soundcard or a DAC, I know a DAC would be preferred by most people because I'm not fussed too much on the gaming sound elements a soundcard can bring, but given my budget would it be worth it getting a cheapish DAC / more costly amp or visa versa. Not quite sure how to split the budget. Headphones themselves I can sort out at a later date or should it be sooner?
Hopefully some second hand bits and bobs pop up after Christmas so I'll keep a look out there.
Currently using onboard sound ---> Onkyo 605 (not using it fully, big and annoying) ----> headphones (HD 595) & speakers (Warfdale 10.1)
Lost of a music, few movies, not assed about gaming particulary
Need new soundcard or DAC & stereo amp
Tight budget (~£300 - £400 for soundcard / DAC & amp)
DAC or soundcard?
How to split the budget?
Thanks and Merry Christmas.