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Best portable amp/dac for $300

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hey guys so I'm relatively new to the whole amp/dac life and was wondering what would be the best option for me. Right now I'm running my W3, FXZ200, Denon D2000 directly through my ipod touch and macbook pro. I'm looking for something that will make my music sound more full and engaging with a larger soundstage and was wondering if it would be better just to get a great portable amp (since I use my ipod touch on the go mostly and I can't use the DAC feature since I'm using an apple product) and get a great DAC to use at home through my macbook or would it be more convenient to get an amp/dac all together?

 

Right now I am some of the portable amp/dac I'm looking at the Leckerton UHA-6 mk II, Apex Glacier, Ibasso D12, Pico portable amp/dac, Ray Samuals "The Predator"

 

Regular portable amps I'm looking at are the JDS Labs C421, Pico Slim, Ray Samuals The Blackbird, P51 Mustang, The Shadow, The Hornet, The Tomahawk, C&C X02, Alo Audio The National, RxMkII, Headstage Arrow 12HE 4G

 

I know it's a lot of info but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

post #2 of 35
Thread Starter 

bumpp

post #3 of 35

dac + amp combos are better for portable (outdoor) use.

post #4 of 35

I would find the Glacier to be enough as one unit. Also, I believe you can utilize the DAC function with idevices on the Glacier (DON'T QUOTE ME ON IT, I remember a fellow HFier mentioning it).

post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by planx View Post

I would find the Glacier to be enough as one unit. Also, I believe you can utilize the DAC function with idevices on the Glacier (DON'T QUOTE ME ON IT, I remember a fellow HFier mentioning it).

Thanks for the recommendation. The apex glacier is definitely one of my top choices but the $500 price tag seems a little too much for me. Is there anything around the 300-400 range that you can suggest thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

dac + amp combos are better for portable (outdoor) use.

So which combination would be best that you can suggest thanks!
post #6 of 35
Buuuump
post #7 of 35
Leckerton UHA-6 mk II is pretty much king of the hill right now for it's price.. Many members own that dac/amp, many many positive impressions.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/602493/new-leckerton-uha-6s-mkii-portable-headphone-amplifier-announced-update-user-impressions-added-july-20th-2012
Edited by H20Fidelity - 1/12/13 at 3:39am
post #8 of 35

The inbuilt DACs in portables such as you list have never been anything special. They will be better than the inbuilt sound in a crappy notebook but not necessarily better than what a MacBook Pro or iPhone will put out these days.

 

I haven't gone through all the amps listed, but my quick comments are:

 

Pico Slim: It was designed for sensitive IEMs more than anything and wont go very loud with many full-size headphones. Wait for reviews the Pico Power instead. That should be available soon.

The National: I tried the Continental (the tubed predecessor to it) with just an iPhone as a source and rather liked it. It's a bit closer to an all-round amp.

UHA6II: One of the best built and designed pieces of kit out there.

Apex Glacier: On my list of kit to try sometime. Comes from a pair of guys who have an outstanding reputation who do all the work and manufacture in the USA (as far as I know), hence the cost.

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
The leckerton uha-6 mkll and the apex glacier seem to be the top 2 on my list but glacier is about $200 more than the leckerton and was wondering if the apex glacier is worth it?
post #10 of 35
Thread Starter 

bumping it up baby

post #11 of 35

The Audioquest DragonFly is very good.

post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

The Audioquest DragonFly is very good.

 

I think the DragonFly would only work if I was bringing my laptop with me everywhere. But I need something that will work well on the laptop, through my ipod, and at home. So still trying to see what my options are at the point. 

 

Leckerton UHA-6 MKII

Apex Glacier

Ibasso D12

Pico Amp/Dac

post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 

How would the TTVJ Slim compare to the other amps I've listed even though it has been discontinued? Any info would be grateful thanks!

post #14 of 35

Leckerton UHA-6 MKII you won't regret it

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 

Bumping for more opinions!

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