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First desktop amp/dac usd 200ish for Grado.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So at last my first post.

 

Here I come:

 

I got a pair of Grado 225i and now I want a desktop amp/dac combo for them. I have "reduced" my list to this:

 

JDL O2/ODAC

Schiit M+M

Schiit Asgard 2 + Modi 

HRT Headsreamer

 

 

I am looking for:

 

Something to match my Grado´s (able to match good with some SR2i´s in the future)

reliability

ease of use (usb, A/C)

sound clarity

best bang for buck

 

 

I listen to rock, hard rock, heavy metal, jazz, world music and electronic so my listening habits are all over the place.

 

I do not care for looks or size. I may consider used gear from reputable sellers. 

 

Thanks for all your help.

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

Anyone?

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by David RoBa View Post

So at last my first post.

 

Here I come:

 

I got a pair of Grado 225i and now I want a desktop amp/dac combo for them. I have "reduced" my list to this:

 

JDL O2/ODAC

Schiit M+M

Schiit Asgard 2 + Modi 

HRT Headsreamer

 

 

I am looking for:

 

Something to match my Grado´s (able to match good with some SR2i´s in the future)

reliability

ease of use (usb, A/C)

sound clarity

best bang for buck

 

 

I listen to rock, hard rock, heavy metal, jazz, world music and electronic so my listening habits are all over the place.

 

I do not care for looks or size. I may consider used gear from reputable sellers. 

 

Thanks for all your help.


i've just gone through what you are going through

congrats on the 225's, i've had mine almost a month now, and love them.

i already had a fiio e10, which is pretty good, i got it for $50something i believe, about a year ago

i wanted something more, the first thing i got was an audioengine d1, amp/dac, volume knob controls

both headphone and speaker volume if you have desktop speakers, i picked it over the modi/magni combo

because of the ease of use.

then i kept hearing so much about the hrt microstreamer, so, while i was still in my return window, i returned

the d1, and got the microstreamer, its $190, amp/dac combined, it sounds great !! i love it

but, i listen to speakers about as much as my headphones, and i didn't want to keep having to

changing cables, so i got a fiio eo9k heaphone amp($109 amazon), just for convenience sake, and

to my surprise, the fiio amp makes the microstreamer sound even better !

if you only have $200 now, i'd go for the microstreamer, then maybe down the road and a dedicated amp

the d1 is really good, $180, and the m/m, is good also, there are many good choices in the 2-300 dollar neighborhood

just buy from somewhere you can return items if you don't like the sound

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your answer, I am still trying to decide what to do and the microstreamer seems a very good option. Any experience with the headstreamer?

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by David RoBa View Post

Thanks for your answer, I am still trying to decide what to do and the microstreamer seems a very good option. Any experience with the headstreamer?


no, the micro was my first hrt product

i really just use it as a dac, with the fiio e9 amping the headphones,

the headphone output on the micro is good, just doesn't have the power

the fiio has, the fiio pairs really well with the grado's, i have the alessandro ms1's too

its a grado

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

I really appreciate your posts and help. I have been told to look into this and that super expensive gear, but I cannot afford that. HRT products seem nice, but but they do not get a lot of attention. I will try to listen to this products and I'll go from there.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by David RoBa View Post

I really appreciate your posts and help. I have been told to look into this and that super expensive gear, but I cannot afford that. HRT products seem nice, but but they do not get a lot of attention. I will try to listen to this products and I'll go from there.

 

HRT products don't get as many reviews as some other products (many of which get rave but uncritical, me-too, jump-on-the-bandwagon reviews.) I haven't heard any HRT product, but they tend to review very well. The designer of the ODAC and O2 was one such reviewer.

 

I have and recommend the ODAC+O2 combination. I've used it with the JVC HA-S500, Beyerdynamic DT-990 Premium and T 70, Sennheiser HD-650, and, for several months, almost exclusively with the Grado SR325is. Unfortunately, at ~US$300, it's well over your proposed budget. If you decide the ODAC+O2 is for you, you should seriously consider requesting the 1x/2.5x or 1x/6x gain option. For all my headphones, the lowest gain setting (2.5x) on the standard O2 (with 2.5x/6.5x) is much too high for any of my headphones.

 

As to your other points:

 

reliability
 
I've owned the (JDS, not JDL) ODAC+O2 for about six months, and it's been completely reliable during this time. I can't comment on long-term reliability.
 
ease of use (usb, A/C)
 
The ODAC stage accepts (only) USB input; it's powered through the USB bus. The O2 stage accepts ODAC and line-level inputs; it's powered by an external A/C transformer.
 
sound clarity
 
Both the ODAC and the O2 are audibly neutral just as I wanted. It's my opinion that their sound quality is excellent. Since it's neutral, it can be equaled (but not exceeded) by other equipment, some less expensive and most more expensive.
 
best bang for buck
 
The HRT HeadStreamer II is the only combo I know of which appears to be a better value. I don't recall why I chose the ODAC+O2 combo over the MSII, my top-two contenders. While I'm not sorry that I did, I don't have any reason to believe I'd have been dissatisfied with the MSII.
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