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O2 or ODAC + cheaper companion

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

With a budget of up to 150€, I was thinking that instead of getting a good external amp/dac combo for that price, I might get one of the objective devices in combination with a cheaper but servicable companion for about the same price. What should I rather get, an O2 or ODAC, and can you think of a good companion at about half the price of them? Or wouldn't you recommend such a configuration at all?

 

Or along similar lines, what would be the best and cheapest source to build them myself? I'm a bit unsure about this, but it would be worth the price difference for me.


Edited by Phelix - 12/28/12 at 5:10am
post #2 of 9

Schiit Magni + Modi.

post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Schiit Magni + Modi.

he speaks Euros, so he's probably in Europe. I am too. We have 240V A/C. Magni & Modi come only at 110V - from the Schiit FAQ because of cost restrictions.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iovh View Post

And what do you want to use the amp/DAC for (music/games/movies..?), and with which pair of headphones?

Doesn't matter, imho. I just want good sound for USB (and maybe some pure amp uses). I have a 50 ohms Sennheiser HD 595. Among other things I've tried Fiio E10 and Fiio E17. The E10 would be a good budget device, but I don't know why it gets so great ratings. It does a solid job but anyone should be able to hear that it's lacking compared to most good internal cards. The E17 is pretty much the same story, a little bit better, but moving clearly out of the budget area, which is why I wouldn't settle at it if possible.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liuk View Post

he speaks Euros, so he's probably in Europe. I am too. We have 240V A/C. Magni & Modi come only at 110V - from the Schiit FAQ because of cost restrictions.

That's another problem area I've hardly thought about.

post #5 of 9
O2 with a stoner acoustics UD100 DAC
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iovh View Post

 

ODAC is even better than Asus Xonar Essence ST and you can trust me that it's DAC section is pretty impressive (but the built-in amp is not)... You should be satisfied with this DAC a lot more than with Fiio's. Another thing is that your headphones need to be good enough to actually hear the difference. Not sure about Senns HD595 in this regard...

 

I'm confident I'll hear the difference. I hear the difference as it is. I think most testers stop with the FiiOs at clarity, and anything below a certain limit is a budget tip anyway. But other than clarity they have very narrow width and tight or virtually no distribution. The E17 has hifi-worthy detail, and a little more width, but it's still unrealistically thin, with only a hint of bass and painful needle-peaks in treble. I have never experienced such strange soundstage and distribution as with these. It takes a bit of abstract distance to just take it for granted, as far as I'm concerned.


Edited by Phelix - 12/29/12 at 12:25pm
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I've seen there are many cheap DIY devices on ebay which promise comparable results to O2 or Magni etc, but I guess there are no definite and safe recommendations either.

 

But I wonder what would most likely retain the quality of an "official" (btw. I think it's open source, so why not just use the design?) "Objective" set in combination with a cheaper one: the ODAC or the O2. The ODAC seems to me more essential, but I've seen most people preach Amps over DACs. But since the O2 would amplify the "objective" faults of any cheaper DAC, it seems to be better to imperfectly (or not) amplify the perfect DAC... (It may not seem as clear in words but it seems the better choice from thinking about the effects, unless DACs are really very unimportant.)


Edited by Phelix - 12/29/12 at 12:39pm
post #8 of 9

You could take a look at the Stoner Acoustics UD100 that randomkid mentioned. It uses the same DAC chip as the ODAC. However, its bit depth is 16 bits and maximum sampling rate is 48 kHz. If you want 24/96 capabilities, there's the Hifimediy Sabre, which also uses the same DAC chip. I've heard good things about both these DACs.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

So Ive just ordered an ODAC+O2 from epiphany acoustics to get it over with... Although I was constantly adjusting my limit, I think about 200€ is still reasonable to have a definitive device for a loooong time and not having to read, test, build and search anymore... I saw it coming, but it had to take a while.

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