A few weeks ago, I decided on purchasing an ODAC from JDS Labs. I have been pleased with the objective nature of the sound. I currently have it connected to my computer desktop speakers. When I have my headphones connected to the speaker control pod there is a, nearly inaudible, background hiss that is not present if they are directly connected to the ODAC.
Ideally I would like to have the ODAC connected to a headphone amp that has a line level output (bypasses the volume pot - to reduce the chance of altering the sound and remove any need for micro managing the volume pot in regards to an output to the desktop speakers). Are there any sub $200 (prefer $150 or less) headphone amps that may provide a solution like this?
Unfortunately, I have the luck to find out that Schiit released the Modi DAC shortly after my return period. There seems to be a fairly early consensus with TMRaven's brief summary, "The two perform too close to each other to make any practical difference." I may have been able to save about $50, but the size and portability advantage of the ODAC may outweigh any technical/aesthetic differences for me.
An update to the Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1 (Plus) DAC, could have provided an interesting all in one solution (updated with the Tenor 7022L pro audio USB chip, the same as the ODAC?), but from the pictures it no longer seems to have the volume control bypass switch. It too, unfortunately became available shortly after my return period.
Thanks for any advice that may help me find an ideal headphone amp.