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Replacement DAC section for NuForce Icon HDP?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

 

I frequently use a Wolfson DAC -equipped SACD player's analog outs into a NuForce Icon HDP.  I really like sound of those components, together, and so I am pretty happy with the amp section of the Icon HDP w/ a linear power supply.

 

However, taking the same Redbook audio, ripped lossless, and played back via USB from my MacBook Pro... I don't care as much for the sound.  It sounds "thin" to me, I guess, without trying too hard to describe the difference in sound signature.  I've played around with PureMusic, Audirvana+ and Bitperfect; I've convinced myself that I need a new DAC for computer music playback.

 

So, I am curious what head-fi'ers would recommend as a replacement DAC.  In other words, MacBook Pro -> <new DAC> -> line-level out to Icon HDP -> headphones.

 

I've been looking at the line-up from Schiit, particularly the Bifrost, but I wonder if that's money well spent or if I need to go further upstream in price to really perceive a difference.

 

Thanks, in advance.

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krutsch View Post

Hi All,

 

I frequently use a Wolfson DAC -equipped SACD player's analog outs into a NuForce Icon HDP.  I really like sound of those components, together, and so I am pretty happy with the amp section of the Icon HDP w/ a linear power supply.

 

However, taking the same Redbook audio, ripped lossless, and played back via USB from my MacBook Pro... I don't care as much for the sound.  It sounds "thin" to me, I guess, without trying too hard to describe the difference in sound signature.  I've played around with PureMusic, Audirvana+ and Bitperfect; I've convinced myself that I need a new DAC for computer music playback.

 

So, I am curious what head-fi'ers would recommend as a replacement DAC.  In other words, MacBook Pro -> <new DAC> -> line-level out to Icon HDP -> headphones.

 

I've been looking at the line-up from Schiit, particularly the Bifrost, but I wonder if that's money well spent or if I need to go further upstream in price to really perceive a difference.

 

Thanks, in advance.

 

Bump.

 

Is there anyone out there that went from a NuForce Icon HDP to a Schiit (anything) and would care to comment?

 

Thanks, in advance...

post #3 of 6

I'm currently using the NuForce HD with Sennheiser HD600's.  I'm waiting for my schiit bifrost and asgard 2 to arrive.  When they arrive I plan to A/B both systems with the Sennheisers and to A/B the HD vs the Bifrost with the Asgard 2 and Sennheiser.  I have no golden ears but, I'll post my thoughts on the comparisons when able.  

 

I'd also like to hear anyone's thoughts on the NuForce HD / HDP vs Schiit whatever comparison.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ennui30 View Post

I'm currently using the NuForce HD with Sennheiser HD600's.  I'm waiting for my schiit bifrost and asgard 2 to arrive.  When they arrive I plan to A/B both systems with the Sennheisers and to A/B the HD vs the Bifrost with the Asgard 2 and Sennheiser.  I have no golden ears but, I'll post my thoughts on the comparisons when able.  

 

I'd also like to hear anyone's thoughts on the NuForce HD / HDP vs Schiit whatever comparison.

 

Yes, please do that, as that is the combination with which I was considering as a replacement for my NuForce Icon HDP.

 

To be frank, since I posted this, I added a Bel Canto mLink (Async USB to S/PDIF bridge) and the sound is so incredibly smooth that I've lost my appetite to replace the Icon.

 

But, as time goes by, upgrade-itis will reappear, as it always does L3000.gif

post #5 of 6

when i had the HD, a change of usb cable did wonders...cleaned out the sound.

i tot the amp section of the HD was its weakness,

sounded inferior vs my burson 160 n BCL then. :P

 

Anyway, as long as your setup synergize well with each other, enjoy it !!

post #6 of 6
Hi,

So, I use an icon HDP as DAC with pre-amp out to the Schiit Asgard for my HD598 and found that to be a great sounding combination. However I also use a Mac as a source but as all Macs have optical out in the headphones jack I use this rather than USB. I have the feeling the sound comes out much nicer from the optical in of the icon HDP also when using the icon HDP as DAC and amp together.

Whenever I use the Asgard as the Amp I believe the sound gets a tiny bit fuller and just more musical/round.

I also use a small muse audio mini DAC paired with a Schiit Valhalla in the office with my Ultrasone Pro 750. A combination I can wholeheartedly recommend. Insanely great.

Let me know if you want me to test something specific? Next week I have plenty of time for that.

Cheers,
K
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