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Help choosing a semi-portable Dac/Amp for an older Coax spdif cd player.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi Head-Fi,


I saw this nifty old CD player (NEC Multipsin 6x) which I've done some research on it and it seems like a really cheap introduction into a audiophile grade setup. And before you say I don't need this as a source, I realize this, but I don't want to be tethered to my 3x3x1.5 foot computer to listen to my music. I'd like to move around with it a bit. Obviously I'm still sitting next to a power outlet, but I can at least carry this thing around and it is much lighter than my computer. 


Here is the page that peaked my interest.: http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue3/cdrom.htm


Mr. Morawski laid it out and definitely interest me, although I definitely will not be buying that muse 2 (definitely not a introduction level piece of equipment.) 


So after the brief introductory, I just want to ask you guys (with your vast knowledge) what you think would be a fitting DAC/Amp for my purposes. I'll list a checklist of things I think would be beneficial for my use, but do not take that as "the only way" in my eyes, just what I think as of right now. Please correct me as necessary. 


1) I'd like it not to exceed the width and length of the cd player, which is pretty big. Should be around (5.5x9 inches or so.) I don't expect it to be that hard to do. Most of the more portable dac/amps are a small form factor as of right now.

2) When I say say semi portable I mean still be battery powered but still give me noticeable increase in sound quality (at least for the money)

3) Speaking of money, I'd like to keep it under 100 dollars, I'm definitely a newcomer so I need to start off small, monetarily.

4) This last one is from some research I've done. I've read I should be using s/pdif over coaxial cable whenever possible for converting and amping, plus this cd player only has coax (1990s tech). 


I'm sure something out there exists, I'm going be surfing this forum and researching the web until I find something. But if any of you nice people would like to help me along the way or just enlighten me on my most assured misinformation, please do so. :)


Thanks everyone,


Drew Waits

post #2 of 8

What headphones are you planning to use?

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Aw crap. I forgot to post those. Sorry about that, it was a 2 in the morning kind of post. Right now I have some v-moda M-80s, but I'm looking at some reference grade cans like Sennheiser 380 or an AKG Q701. Thanks.

post #4 of 8

Full portable, battery powered amp with a S/PDIF DAC is more likely going to cost well over $100. The closest that I know will be FiiO E17, at $140. A really good one will be the Leckerton Audio UHA-6S MK2, at double the price.

post #5 of 8

As above ^    Happy thirteen thousandth post btw ClieOS ;)



If you were able to raise your overall budget to around $160-170 why not just forget about the NEC Multispin 6x and go for a single device that will be fully portable and do the job just as well, something like a 2nd hand Fiio X3?  It's a great value, fairly powerful, high-ish spec DAP. 


See- http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-X3-Mastering-Quality-Wolfson/dp/B00E9O6C96/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1380639334&sr=8-2&keywords=fiio+X3

Edited by Ari33 - 10/1/13 at 8:13am
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

That is an excellent idea. Well now I have 2 things I need to get :P

Alright lets switch gears a bit. Lets remove the semi portability and just say I want a desktop amp that'll be somewhat rugged, and still won't exceed the dimensions of the external cd player. The CD player is more the novelty than anything, I want it just because its cheap and interesting. Plus since I have to find a power outlet to use the player, good thing they come in pairs. Any ideas on what would work for me, assuming the cd player stays in the mix?


BTW thanks ARI for the idea. I've been using a Sandisk flipzip for a long time now and was looking to upgrade anyway.  

post #7 of 8
Your set-up will only be as good as it's weakest link but if you don't care about that fact then maybe a very cheap chinese DAC/headphone amp like this might be what you are looking for? 
Let us know what you get and how you got on with it...
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Sadly I realize this. Rigs are simply a combination of parts, sub-standard tech will drag everything else down. I'm not necessarily looking for THE cheapest thing that I can get. I was actually looking at getting the Magni and Mobi Dac/Amp combo from Schiit to use for my pc and the cd player. I guess the CD player is still much more of a novelty than anything. I was just wondering if you guys had insight on an amp that would make an appreciable difference on the cd players quality. 


Thanks Ari, I think I will look into a desktop amp instead and once I have a home setup built I can drop 200 on the Fiio X3 and call my mobile setup done. I don't think I'm ever going to be the to point I can justify half a grand of spending on headphone peripherals, so that'll probably do it for me.

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