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Most POWERFUL DAC/Amp all-in-one? - Page 4

post #46 of 58
If you think the Grace sounds quite different from the Benchmark, and that the Grace has a better headphone amplifier, maybe try running the DAC1 into the m903 and vice-versa to see how that sounds?

That should at least somewhat give you an idea of how the DAC and Amplification stages sound compared to each other.
Edited by StudioSound - 3/7/13 at 8:49pm
post #47 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioSound View Post

If you think the Grace sounds quite different from the Benchmark, and that the Grace has a better headphone amplifier, maybe try running the DAC1 into the m903 and vice-versa to see how that sounds?

That should at least somewhat give you an idea of how the DAC and Amplification stages sound compared to each other.

Already did. I did a full review and comparison here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/654526/all-in-one-comparison-centrance-dacmini-vs-benchmark-dac1-vs-grace-designs-m903

post #48 of 58

hey bareyb,

I totaly understand everything you have posted, I just don't understand your primordial wish: MORE power.

You are misleading yourself much, power is Not everything headphones need, I will take lower but cleaner power output Anyday compared to 4 times more power but less refined, less airy.

Power is not all what your headphones need, all that specs is nothing, you headphones will not use more than 200-300mW anyway, at 1W output your headphones will became speakers (i'm not joking).

And btw: In my opinion Benchmark DAC's are brightest and most un-natural DACs I have heard in my life. Grace is much better regarding natural, real, palpable sound - again IMO.

post #49 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post

hey bareyb,

I totaly understand everything you have posted, I just don't understand your primordial wish: MORE power.

You are misleading yourself much, power is Not everything headphones need, I will take lower but cleaner power output Anyday compared to 4 times more power but less refined, less airy.

Power is not all what your headphones need, all that specs is nothing, you headphones will not use more than 200-300mW anyway, at 1W output your headphones will became speakers (i'm not joking).

And btw: In my opinion Benchmark DAC's are brightest and most un-natural DACs I have heard in my life. Grace is much better regarding natural, real, palpable sound - again IMO.

You really don't understand and I'm sorry I wasn't able to convey my ideas clearly.  Of course power is not everything and no, 250 mW is NOT enough power to drive Orthos properly. There's more to a sound signature than just "volume". It saddens me that that was all you could glean from all my hard work. But hey, thanks for sharing and for crapping on my thread.

 beerchug.gif


Edited by bareyb - 3/8/13 at 11:21am
post #50 of 58

I'm sorry if i bothered you with something, I promise I will leave this thread. The thing is that I have quite few years of experience with headphone amps and DACs and the most powerfull ones were not always the best, don't be mislead by specs. Specs mean nothing without hearing how it performs.

The myth about more power for HE500 heard many times, still remains a myth for me, ask manufacturer itself how much power does it need for 90 dB of volume, you will be very suprised.

I want to tell you just one last thing: judge by your ears, not by specs alone.


Edited by DarKu - 3/8/13 at 11:43am
post #51 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post

I'm sorry if i bothered you with something, I promise I will leave this thread. The thing is that I have quite few years of experience with headphone amps and DACs and the most powerfull ones were not always the best, don't be mislead by specs. Specs mean nothing without hearing how it performs.

The myth about more power for HE500 heard many times, still remains a myth for me, ask manufacturer itself how much power does it need for 90 dB of volume, you will be very suprised.

I want to tell you just one last thing: judge by your ears, not by specs alone.

I appreciate that you think you are adding something to the discussion, but you are way oversimplifying. There is more to sound quality than just Volume.You can have 90 dB's of crap or your can have 90 dB's of pure gold. That's where a more powerful Amp comes in. wink.gif


Edited by bareyb - 3/8/13 at 3:30pm
post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

I appreciate that you think you are adding something to the discussion, but you are way oversimplifying. There is more to sound quality than just Volume.You can have 90 dB's of crap or your can have 90 dB's of pure gold. That's where a more powerful Amp comes in. wink.gif

 

Not really. You don't need that much power for a headphones to sound at 90 dBs. For the HE-500 you need 2mW. But for headphones to sound lively and dynamic, the amp needs to have plenty of power to provide all the spikes the music can have.

So even a amp that provides 200mW max could drive easily the HE-500 (actually, they would sound at 110 dB max).
A well designed amp, but not really powerful can be better than a monstruous powerful amp in term of SQ...

post #53 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbone View Post

 

Not really. You don't need that much power for a headphones to sound at 90 dBs. For the HE-500 you need 2mW. But for headphones to sound lively and dynamic, the amp needs to have plenty of power to provide all the spikes the music can have.

So even a amp that provides 200mW max could drive easily the HE-500 (actually, they would sound at 110 dB max).
A well designed amp, but not really powerful can be better than a monstruous powerful amp in term of SQ...

Yes it will work with a small amp (or no amp) but it will sound better with more power, and yes, quantity doesn't always equal quality. It would appear we are in complete agreement. Thank you. Appreciate the input.  wink.gif

post #54 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

Yes it will work with a small amp (or no amp) but it will sound better with more power, and yes, quantity doesn't always equal quality. It would appear we are in complete agreement. Thank you. Appreciate the input.  wink.gif

 

Actually I am in agreement with Darku statement. You don't need 4W power into a headphones to sound good. Even 250mW is enough for orthos. And I can prove it with my gear :).


Edited by fishbone - 3/11/13 at 3:13pm
post #55 of 58
The Lynx Hilo and the 500s are a damn fine combo. I'm comparing that against 125w speaker amps and other than more air between locations, the headphone out covers the sound with plenty of power. And I do appreciate the need for power, I'm running 125 watt monoblocks on the 6s.
post #56 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post

The Lynx Hilo and the 500s are a damn fine combo. I'm comparing that against 125w speaker amps and other than more air between locations, the headphone out covers the sound with plenty of power. And I do appreciate the need for power, I'm running 125 watt monoblocks on the 6s.

That is a sweet A/D D/A.... I still haven't tried the speaker amp conversion but I have a really nice speaker amp and it's on my ToDo list.  One thing is for sure, my HE500s absolutely came alive after I got the Grace hooked up and got some clean power running to them.  I'm finally getting the sound out of them that I've been wanting.

smile.gif


Edited by bareyb - 3/11/13 at 3:47pm
post #57 of 58

I really enjoyed the review.  I've been looking at this for some time now:  http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB27/NFB27EN_Specs.htm  Just not very high on my list.  I tend to look for amp first then DAC second in an all in one - opposed to DAC first Amp second.  That's just me.  

 

I like big and or dual transformers.  As all my amps either have a very large transformers or they have dual transformers.  This helps with the current supply and current reserve - which orthos love and need.  

 

IMO of course.  

post #58 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

I really enjoyed the review.  I've been looking at this for some time now:  http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB27/NFB27EN_Specs.htm  Just not very high on my list.  I tend to look for amp first then DAC second in an all in one - opposed to DAC first Amp second.  That's just me.  

 

I like big and or dual transformers.  As all my amps either have a very large transformers or they have dual transformers.  This helps with the current supply and current reserve - which orthos love and need.  

 

IMO of course.  

That would have been a nice option for me and it was one of the ones I looked at pretty hard. The only thing that gave me pause was that they have no return Policy (see quote below). With all my bad luck lately, that didn't seem like a risk I should take, so I went for the Grace m903 from Amazon.com.  That's a very nice unit though. Plenty of power, built-in DAC and remote controllable. The price is very good on that too. The Power specs are for Balanced Output mode, but holy cow, that's some serious power. If you decide to get one please post your impressions. I would have loved to hear one of their products.  A lot of people swear by Audio-gd and the Sabre DAC is one of the best ones out there. 

 

 

 

Quote (from Kingwa@auido-gd)
Dear Barry,
The Compass 2 is most powerful ( unbalanced) DAC and AMP all in one combo.
We have not return policy, so sorry.
Here is the quote
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