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Noob needs a DAC/amp budget $400 - 500 / £250 - 300

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I'm currently using the headphone out on my Macbook Air to drive a set of AKG Q701 headphones. The AKGs are a step up from my Grado SR80is, but I'm pretty sure that improvements can be made and I think it's time to upgrade further. All of my music is lossless and I'm interested in buying a DAC/amp. My budget is around $400 - 500 (or 250-300 GBP).

 

I'm not sure whether I should get an integrated DAC/amp (such as the Arcam rPac, Fostex HP-A3 or Yulong D100 etc) or buy a separate DAC and amplifier (such as using the AudioQuest DragonFly to drive a Graham Slee Novo or a a Schiit Asgard).  I'm currently leaning towards the Dragonfly/Novo combo as I hear that the Dac stage in the Dragonfly is particularly good (the headphone amp, less so) and the Novo can be purchased cheaply in kit form.

 

I'd love to hear any thoughts or suggestions.

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 3

Try the DragonFly as a DAC/AMP before looking for a different flavor amp.  The DragonFly was a big surprise to me as to how good the DAC and AMP are, and how simple the whole thing is.

 

It might depend on how hard your headphones are to drive.  I use a pair of Senn Momentums, and don't find any more amping needed, have never used 701s.

 

Add BitPerfect as an app to make even iTunes pretty good out of a MacAir.

post #3 of 3

Are you getting clipping with the AKGs?

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