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End game DAC for HD800/3-board β22

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

With my current HRT Music Streamer II+ to β22 to HD800 chain, I feel I've just about reached the point on the diminishing returns curve where it's no longer worth it for me to keep upgrading--my final setup. (We'll see how long it stays "final", haha) I am supremely satisfied with my current headphones and homemade amp, so I'm just looking to upgrade my DAC--partly so I can have two complete headphone systems with one to lend, and partly because I think I can do better than the MS II+ at my budget.

 

My ultimate goal is the most "revealing"/transparent headphone system possible. That has been a big part of my reasoning behind choosing the HD800s and β22, now I just want a good DAC to go with them. I am pretty ignorant of the high-end DACs that are out there besides the usual Schiit. My budget is around $1000, though I wouldn't mind going over it for something good. Recommend away!

post #2 of 8

I use a Grace Design m903 as my DAC and really love its sound.

 

The HeadRoom's UDAD is another great buy.

 

If you do not need all of the functionality of the m903 the benchmark DAC1 is another awesome buy in that price point.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Do I want anything with a volume control if I already have an amp?

post #4 of 8

For me it is an excellent feature so you can more tightly control clipping issue.

post #5 of 8

I have a b22 and HD800 I am using those with a twisted pear buffalo 2 dac I am quite happy. but the buffalo 3 looks good thou.

post #6 of 8

All the DACs I've tried around $1k were best with a good USB to S/PDIF upgrade. The Metrum Octave (NOS, good with software that up-samples), Calyx DAC 24/192 (can be had for $900 second-hand sometimes and needs good USB power too). The best value that doesn't need a upgrade that I have tried is the Anedio D2, but for best results I think a USB power solution is a good idea, as the USB input is bus-powered.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

For me it is an excellent feature so you can more tightly control clipping issue.

I guess I'm just nervous about putting anything unnecessary between me and my sound. How is it functionally different from a headphone amp if it has a volume control? (Or does the volume control only affect the built-in amp, another thing I wouldn't need?)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanrocks321 View Post

I have a b22 and HD800 I am using those with a twisted pear buffalo 2 dac I am quite happy. but the buffalo 3 looks good thou.

Is that DIY? I really don't want to make another case, cool though it may be...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

All the DACs I've tried around $1k were best with a good USB to S/PDIF upgrade. The Metrum Octave (NOS, good with software that up-samples), Calyx DAC 24/192 (can be had for $900 second-hand sometimes and needs good USB power too). The best value that doesn't need a upgrade that I have tried is the Anedio D2, but for best results I think a USB power solution is a good idea, as the USB input is bus-powered.

Do you mean like a USB to S/PDIF converter before the DAC?

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

The Violectric V800 looks promising since transparency is my primary concern. One condition I forgot to mention is that the DAC must work with Linux as that is what my laptop runs. Will that be an issue with any of these DACs?

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