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Professional iDevice DAC w/Simultaneous DIG/LINE Outputs, Battery Operations

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello Everybody!

I am a professional recording engineer, musician and writer for MIX magazine, and I'm "a bit behind the curve" when it comes to iOS interface devices. I've been searching for a DAC for iOS devices that meets the following criteria: Digital OUT to an outboard DAC (i.e. 30-pin to USB) from an iPad, iPad MINI, iPhone 5 or 30-pin iPod, onboard "reference level" headphone amp, simultaneous Digital Pass Thru (via COAX, OPTICAL or preferably AES/EBU, to be sent to another converter/device), and simultaneous LINE LEVEL outputs, (bypassing the HP amp) so the signal can be monitored on headphones and powered speakers at the same time. Also, battery operation is a must for portable, in-the-field production. The only device I have found that remotely meets this criteria is the FOSTEX HP-P1. Does anybody have any experience with this, and do you have any recommendations? Thanks for the help !!!

post #2 of 11
The Fostex sounds like it is your best bet.
 
Also there is the Hifi-m8 which has a line level optical 3.5mm out.
post #3 of 11

I've not heard it, but I would also check out the V-Moda offering.  This is pretty new to market and you can read Tyll's discussion/review here:  http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/good-bye-rubber-bands-hello-v-moda-vamp-verza-and-metallo-case

 

Definitely check out the Ray Samuels Intruder:  http://www.raysamuelsaudio.com/products/intruder.  High quality, fully balanced product.

 

It's natural to want a single box DAC+Amp solution.  However, if you're will to go with two boxes, then you should definitely check out Cypher Labs AlgoRhythm Solo -R or AlgoRhythm Solo -dB. See http://cypherlabs.com/product  

 

These have both digital and analog outputs. The AlgoRhythm Solo -dB has 24/192 DAC for computer audio (but IOS devices only output 16/44.1 if I remember correctly)  and the -dB product is also fully balanced.  One thing to like about this is that you can match up with your preferred balanced portable amp such as the ALO Rx Mk III http://www.aloaudio.com/amplifiers/rx-mk3-b or the Ray Samuels SR-71b http://www.raysamuelsaudio.com/products/sr-71b.

 

Note/Edit:  I realize each of these may fall short on some of your requirements in various ways, but looking at these also ups the quality in various dimensions.  Of course you quickly up the cost as well.  :-)


Edited by flatmap - 8/15/13 at 9:27am
post #4 of 11

Don't forget the VentureCraft SounDroid Typhoon.

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSheep View Post

Don't forget the VentureCraft SounDroid Typhoon.

Cool, I hadn't heard of this.  Looks very nice.  What are your thoughts on sound as part of

a portable setup?

 

And when used with PC, does it compare well with Dragonfly?

 

And supports DSD from PC!?!

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by flatmap View Post

Cool, I hadn't heard of this.  Looks very nice.  What are your thoughts on sound as part of

a portable setup?

 

And when used with PC, does it compare well with Dragonfly?

 

And supports DSD from PC!?!

It is BETTER than the AQDF, up convert any iDevices to 24/192, and support 64DSD from PC and optical (from my AK120), all for $523 for a limited time from VentureCraft.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrSheep View Post

It is BETTER than the AQDF, up convert any iDevices to 24/192, and support 64DSD from PC and optical (from my AK120), all for $523 for a limited time from VentureCraft.

Very nice, this is certainly a contender.  Appears to have very

good build quality, also.

 

Would be interested in reading your full review, if you

have the time & interest to do one.  Thanks for pointing

this out.

 

Clearly one of the best times ever to be a head-fier. :-)

post #8 of 11

I rather just answer your questions, as I can never really do it's justice in a review.  My bottom line for the SDT is that from a price and technical standpoint, there currently no portable DAC/AMP that does what the SDT can do.  The 64DSD thing really is a niche market for portable audio, but it is definitely worth a try if you have no experience with it, as most desktop DAC for DSD will likely cost more.  My only beef with it is that 80mW at 32 ohms is really not enough power for some other full size cans.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks you guys! You have been über-helpful! (proud to be a "Junior Head-Fi'er"!)


Edited by datasplatter - 8/17/13 at 11:26am
post #10 of 11
NP, anytime.
post #11 of 11

Thanks, Dr Sheep.  Of course the great thing about having DSD is that you can explore this format

on your PC w/o huge expenditure.  And even if you don't care for it, you still

have a nice portable and home DAC for PCM.

 

Yes the 80 mW output is going to be too low for some of the big boys.  So if one is targeted

inefficient HPs then something like the ALO Mkiii at 640mW into 32Ω is going to have more

power.

 

But every amp will match best for  some headphones and not others.  Just a fact of life.

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