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Amp/DAC for HD800 up to 1000USD, need more suggestions - Page 2

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by RustA View Post

 

Thanks... I know that the amp section won't be exceptional but it must be at least acceptable within the price range. And that's what I am not very sure with UD-501 especially.

 

Btw, is it possible to go balanced with HD800 using two pre-out 3-pin XLR connectors (for example at the back section of Emotiva XDA2), or do I need to use "headphone out XLR connectors" (for example on the Sennheiser HDVD800) for optimal SQ?

 

There's always DIY and this:  http://www.bottlehead.com/

 

 

The only thing I can think about the XLR out put of the Emotiva is that they're males and most headphone outputs are female.  So you're have to get the cable made with female XLRs

post #17 of 22

Here are a few more for the $1000.00 price range from my own research into a complete system upgrade, but can't offer any experience on how they sound.

 

Wyred4Sound mPRE

http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/p/74030/117839/803982

 

Peachtree Audio NovaPRE

http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/novapre-preamplifier-with-dac.html

 

NuForce DAC-100

http://nuforce.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=5:dac-100&Itemid=187

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

The only thing I can think about the XLR out put of the Emotiva is that they're males and most headphone outputs are female.  So you're have to get the cable made with female XLRs

 

Ah, yeah, thanks!

 

I think only these could work for me at the moment:

 

1) Teac UD-501

2) Pureaudio WE-DAC30

3) Used Mytek DSD DAC (up to 1000USD price not very probable though)

 

I would prefer to get the Mytek... But it costs too much new. Teac UD-501 is heavily-loaded with functionality and is therefore very versatile and a definite keeper for the future but the amp section is pretty weak, at least from the power perspective. Pureaudio WE-DAC30 is unknown and therefore not verified + the DSD support is not present yet. Still, the amp section should be better in comparison to the Teac.

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithaliens View Post

Here are a few more for the $1000.00 price range from my own research into a complete system upgrade, but can't offer any experience on how they sound.

 

Wyred4Sound mPRE

http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/p/74030/117839/803982

 

Peachtree Audio NovaPRE

http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/novapre-preamplifier-with-dac.html

 

NuForce DAC-100

http://nuforce.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=5:dac-100&Itemid=187

 

Nuforce products have problems with Windows 8 + with Jplay playback in hibernate mode (v5 and higher)... However, I would definitely suggest to look into Nuforce UDH-100 as well since it should have the same quality DAC + superior amp section (but does not offer as much inputs/outputs and fancy look).

 

Will have a look into the other two, thank you very much!

post #20 of 22

The answer:

 

Keep the ODAC and get thisbiggrin.gif

 

http://www.wooaudio.com/products/wa2.html

 

Upgrade the DAC later..

post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithaliens View Post

Here are a few more for the $1000.00 price range from my own research into a complete system upgrade, but can't offer any experience on how they sound.

 

Wyred4Sound mPRE

http://www.wyred4sound.com/webapps/p/74030/117839/803982

 

Peachtree Audio NovaPRE

http://www.peachtreeaudio.com/novapre-preamplifier-with-dac.html

 

 

From those two, I clearly prioritize Wyred4Sound mPRE since it is much more versatile, comes in 230v version as well (switchable! great) and does not look that much obviously fancy (including barely detailed specs of Peachtree's product). The warranty of 5 years is also nice and the amp section is nothing spectacular but better than of UD-501. Very good!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

The answer:

 

Keep the ODAC and get thisbiggrin.gif

 

http://www.wooaudio.com/products/wa2.html

 

Upgrade the DAC later..

 

I would actually like to purchase an amp/DAC at once and stay with HD800 + the amp/DAC for several years... I feel I've nearly reached the border of what I personally consider reasonable in terms of diminishing returns. The 1000USD limit is for amp+DAC and I am not going any further in upcoming 2-3 years. smily_headphones1.gif


Edited by RustA - 3/3/13 at 2:56pm
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 

After a very long time, I have finally decided to go for the combination of Meier Corda StageDAC and Torpedo parafeed tubeamp.

 

 

1)

 

StageDAC is a DAC with implemented crossfeed which I find working beautifully with HD800 - the soundstage is nearly-perfect now and I would say it's like combining speakers and headphones together (advantages of both). The width is not collapsed, imaging is still there (but image-heads could maybe find it a little bit worse), separation as well... But there is DEPTH which in my opinion expands and completes the experience. In comparison with several software versions of crossfeed, this one is definitely superior - a lot more natural and functional since it really expands the depth, not only "fakes" it by adding reverb or somehow collapsing the soundstage's width. In comparison with Daccord, there are significantly more options of customisations the crossfeed which I definitely find preferable.

 

Another reason why I purchased StageDAC, is the possibility to influence the sound by setting Pulse response and Oversampling. There are several combinations of both, all sounding a little little little bit different. One can use it for two primary purposes - to choose what sounds best for him (like mimic NOS DACs or vinyl sound for example, possible!), and to shelve down treble if needed (sort of hardware-based equalizer because different settings offer different response above 2khz = highs). Daccord unfortunately doesn't feature this anymore =/ Nevermind, very nice but it's not all! There is a Tonal Balance switch which I find VERY important and which can also be used in two ways - to perfect the FR after applying crossfeed (by emphasising bass and mids = frequencies up to 2khz), and as a very potent bass eq. In the highest position, the bass hits very hard with HD800 (in expense of collapsed separation (gets strangely near to LCD-2!), therefore I use the middle position which is very life-like).

 

 

2)

 

And there is the amp, Torpedo... It was a tough decision but after a lot of reading and asking I decide to go for this amp with parafeed technology which appealed more to me than for example Bottlehead crack or Earmax Pro. In short, I liked the appearance and practicality way more, a presence of impedance switch to work with various headphones is pretty much welcome, 6 different matched sets of tubes which I got for free as well, of course!

 

But, the primary thing was the parafeed technology which should work with different headphones (and not only with high-impedance ones like with Crack or Earmax), and shouldn't put emphasis or decreasing any frequencies while still working well in mitigating harshness which could be present with certain setups (near-zero output impedance SS - high impedance headphones). Also, I can have my headphones plugged in all the time (on/off procedure is no problem here), that's how it should be in my opinion! In the end, tubes also offer another way how to very slightly influence the final sound, another sort of hardware-based equalizer.

 

 

==============

 

I wanted to stay reasonable on budget and find a very versatile setup with many options in order to not get bored with my chain sounding the same all the time, but still stay "bitperfect" (not a fan of software DSP anymore since I use Jplay but that's another story). I must say I was playing pretty much safe and it was a good decision. This is my final rig for several years, until something significantly interesting appears on the market (like great headphones with implemented crossfeed or cheaper/easier-to-go version of Realiser). I am already enjoying the sound and versatility and feel that my money were spent well. The synergy with HD800 is sublime since there are so many options how to get the sound right that it's almost impossible to say the opposite :-) It's definitely enough for me, I feel zero needs to spend more... Now, let's get back to music, to what counts in the end!


Edited by RustA - 3/30/13 at 2:31pm
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