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Best $200 amp for Grado SR-225?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I've been out of the hi-fi loop for a while now.What's the best value amp in this price range. If it's a USB/DAC amp as well that'd be a plus. Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by goober-george View Post

I've been out of the hi-fi loop for a while now.What's the best value amp in this price range. If it's a USB/DAC amp as well that'd be a plus. Thanks in advance.


audioengine d1, hrt microstreamer, both under $200,

for features, the nod goes to the d1(less mobile though)

the hrt is awesome though, love the sound !

post #3 of 18

I just got the HRT Microstreamer and it makes my Grados sing! Dac/Amp combo too, so that'll be a benefit to you. Super clean unit, very smooth sound signature. Here's a review from Mike Mercer: http://positive-feedback.com/Issue65/microstreamer.htm  And some impressions from Steve Guttenberg: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57570860-47/a-budget-priced-audiophile-usb-digital-converter/ If you do wind up getting it, I recommend running it at 24bit/96k, even if your files are lower-quality than that. I found some sonic oddities running it at 16bit/44.1k confused_face.gif


Edited by wes008 - 5/12/13 at 1:18pm
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by wes008 View Post

I just got the HRT Microstreamer and it makes my Grados sing! Dac/Amp combo too, so that'll be a benefit to you. Super clean unit, very smooth sound signature. Here's a review from Mike Mercer: http://positive-feedback.com/Issue65/microstreamer.htm And some impressions from Steve Guttenberg: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57570860-47/a-budget-priced-audiophile-usb-digital-converter/ If you do wind up getting it, I recommend running it at 24bit/96k, even if your files are lower-quality than that. I found some sonic oddities running it at 16bit/44.1k confused_face.gif


i had to play with the settings a bit myself , between windows and jriver, but once i got it, killer sound

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaywillin View Post


i had to play with the settings a bit myself , between windows and jriver, but once i got it, killer sound

Glad I wasn't the only one! That aside, I agree: killer sound. 

post #6 of 18

Go with the microstreamer

post #7 of 18

I think the answer depends on your circumstances.

 

Are you going to carry the cans and amp plus source with you, or is this for home listening?

 

If the latter, let me suggest a Little Dot MK III. A friend of mine has the same model Grados as you, feeds her amp from either her iPod mini or a Pioneer 10" portable dvd player. (In doing research I found that the D/A chip in some of these mini-players are excellent). She has had the amp re-tubed and set up for vocals and classical music.

 

I've got a similar setup (Alessandros M1, LD III, portable dvd/vcd player or RP2100 AM/FM tuner) and the system allows me to hear nuances I never dreamed possible. On the "Moola Mantra" CD by Deva Premal I can hear details of the musician's fingers scraping on the sound board, plucking notes, and even found a "fumble" on one note that the musician caught and corrected mid-stream. On "Now We Are Six" by Steeleye Span, I can hear details in Maddy Pryor's voice that are new to me, despite listening to this album for more than 30 years.
 

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by wes008 View Post

Glad I wasn't the only one! That aside, I agree: killer sound. 


i had emailed hrt, kevin halverson explained what was happening, gave a couple of options, i found the right settings pretty easily.

as for the little dot, i've never used one, but i do have a bravo hybrid amp, the grado's do love tubes , i may try a little dot one day

little dot doesn't have a dac/amp combo, but , the aune t1 is a dac/amp, with a tube dac, pre-outs, and multiple gain settings

its under $200, i've heard good things about it, it may be worth investigating

GCooper makes a good point about circumstances though

just desktop? portability? use with speakers ? etc

i don't need a unit to be portable, i would like to be able to use the unit to control my speakers though

a schiit magni/modi is a great set up for desktop/headphone use,great sound, very good warranty and support

with cables and shipping, a hair over $200, schiit has a great rep, just check threads here !

there are several ways to go

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Should of clarified this will be for home use. So size is not an issue. Thanks for the suggestions so far.

post #10 of 18

I'm very happy with the ODAC and Little Dot I+ with my SR325is.

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by pallentx View Post

I'm very happy with the ODAC and Little Dot I+ with my SR325is.

+1

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaywillin View Post


i had emailed hrt, kevin halverson explained what was happening, gave a couple of options, i found the right settings pretty easily.

as for the little dot, i've never used one, but i do have a bravo hybrid amp, the grado's do love tubes , i may try a little dot one day

little dot doesn't have a dac/amp combo, but , the aune t1 is a dac/amp, with a tube dac, pre-outs, and multiple gain settings

its under $200, i've heard good things about it, it may be worth investigating

GCooper makes a good point about circumstances though

just desktop? portability? use with speakers ? etc

i don't need a unit to be portable, i would like to be able to use the unit to control my speakers though

a schiit magni/modi is a great set up for desktop/headphone use,great sound, very good warranty and support

with cables and shipping, a hair over $200, schiit has a great rep, just check threads here !

there are several ways to go

 

Yes they have: http://www.littledot.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=818&sid=ac04eb2857d1fa1f34c8601d8d8e39c3

post #13 of 18

oops ! i forgot  about that one
 

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Wow the Micro HRT Streamer is very intriguing due to just how small and portable it is. Plus, seems pretty seems good to use for portable use with iems as well. Thanks guys.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by goober-george View Post

Wow the Micro HRT Streamer is very intriguing due to just how small and portable it is. Plus, seems pretty seems good to use for portable use with iems as well. Thanks guys.

That's what I'm listening to right now :) (with Grados, of course)

 

EDIT: And listening to the album in your avatar! 

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