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Name this DAC/AMP!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've been listening through two desktop computers and want a DAC/Amplifier that I can use on either.

 

My criteria:

  • semiportable (within the house)
  • can drive 600ohm headphones
  • preferably can be powered by my PC's 500mA USB ports / won't need their own power source
  • preferably with a 1/4" headphone port
  • volume controllable by the Windows 7 volume slider

 

I know the 600ohm driving power is the crux and without it I could just use a portable DAC/Amp.

 

Suggestions are appreciated.


Edited by suburbanite - 9/2/13 at 10:38am
post #2 of 6

Having a DAC with a built-in amp section that can drive 600ohm cans on USB power is a very tall order.

 

If you can live with a external power supply you might look at the Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus.

post #3 of 6

600 Ohms cans would need at least a 15V power rail. USB is 5 Volts. So the DAC's circuitry would need to be using a voltage tripling configuration. Those things give off loads of noise.

 

My guess is that you are better off getting rid of the 600 ohms cans. They are limiting you in your search for a DAC.
 

post #4 of 6

I respectfully disagree.

 

Your headphones have the largest impact on overall sound, by far, of any other component in a headphone audio system.   I always recommend starting with cans you like and building the rest around them.   There's a DAC out there that the OP can live with happily I'm sure.

 

Also, a price range would help with suggestions.

post #5 of 6

The Audinst HUD-mx2 does a pretty respectable job with 600 ohm headphones. It meets all the requirements of the OP and costs $250. It comes with the AC adapter but doesn't require it - you could leave the AC unit at your main PC if you wanted, and then run the unit off USB on the other one. Or just do USB at both locations, because it still sounds pretty darn good.

 

Resonessence Labs Concero HP also does the trick extremely well, but at $850 it might be more than the OP is looking to spend. 

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cswann1 View Post

Having a DAC with a built-in amp section that can drive 600ohm cans on USB power is a very tall order.

 

If you can live with a external power supply you might look at the Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxide View Post

600 Ohms cans would need at least a 15V power rail. USB is 5 Volts. So the DAC's circuitry would need to be using a voltage tripling configuration. Those things give off loads of noise.

 

My guess is that you are better off getting rid of the 600 ohms cans. They are limiting you in your search for a DAC.
 

 

Thanks guys.

 

I knew before I posted that the 600ohm criterion makes things difficult esp in conjunction with the rest of my criteria, so I'll probably have to drop that criterion.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

The Audinst HUD-mx2 does a pretty respectable job with 600 ohm headphones. It meets all the requirements of the OP and costs $250. It comes with the AC adapter but doesn't require it - you could leave the AC unit at your main PC if you wanted, and then run the unit off USB on the other one. Or just do USB at both locations, because it still sounds pretty darn good.

 

Resonessence Labs Concero HP also does the trick extremely well, but at $850 it might be more than the OP is looking to spend. 

 

The HUD-mx2 is interesting and moderately priced, I'll check it out.

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