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Best amp/dac for $~200 and power 250 ohms

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am soon getting the DT 990 and was going to get the Fiio e17 but unfortunately it was out of stock, so I still have more time to decide.

I am from Canada and need an amp and dac for around $200, not very much more. Either portable or desktop is fine!

The most i'll be moving it is around the house with my Macbook Air!

 

Some options are

Fiio E10

Fiio E17 

AudioQuest Dragonfly (over-budget)

Schiit Magni/Modi (over-bugdet)

 

I could also buy the E17 and at christmas get the E09K if it needs more to drive 250 ohms.

 

These headphones I hear are bright, have bass and have recessed mids. Probably more of a warmer amp/dac and that brings out the mids a little more.

 

I need an amp and dad or an amp/dac combo as I only have integrated sound card. My mother board also has SPDIF so having that is a bonus!


Edited by tehsprayer - 10/26/13 at 7:05pm
post #2 of 12
I have the E10 - it's nothing special - a solid performer that works well. I'm not sure how well it will drive a hungry 'phone - it probably depends on the vol level you like. It's not a powerhouse. But, it has a line out, so you could always try it and get a separate amp later if you need more power.

To be honest, I'm not a huge believer in drastic sound differences due to a different dac - if there is a difference, I'm not golden-eared enough to hear it. I have heard more significant differences in amps than in dacs, but even there, the differences between two good solid state amps is fairly subtle at the same volume level. Of course, there are other reasons an amp will sound bad with a set of 'phones - especially if the 'phones are on either end of the impedance limits of a particular amp. In general, if you really want to change the sound, I say get different 'phones or use an EQ.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I think I'll buy the e17 as if I ever upgrade to 600 ohms I could get the e09k pair with it.

Any other options?

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post #4 of 12
I'd skip the Fiip personally, they are basically entry level toys (IMO) after you try better amps you'll get the same feelings.
They are great if on a budget tho. The Schitt stack is $200 and much better. I know that doesn't help you much but for my money the Magni/Modi is the way to go. Now if you need portable I know JDS Labs is coming out with a Dac/Amp combo at $250 here soon. My recommend for an all in one Dac/Amp hands down is the Meier Audio PcStep. I know that's over your budget but you really do get what you pay for: Have a look at Meiers products. One of the Blackest Uncolored Amps I've ever used. They don't add anything that's not there which is what a amp supposed to do. REALLY hard to beat at the price. You have to go up to Pico level price wise to match or beat it. Fantastic Amps...
post #5 of 12
http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/
Edited by Magicman74 - 10/27/13 at 4:12pm
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicman74 View Post

http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/

 Unfortunately the shipping for the schiit stack to canada is $~40 excluding the import duties to Canada. It also does not have SPDIF so I cannot play it on my xbox (although not essential).

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by tehsprayer View Post
 

 Unfortunately the shipping for the schiit stack to canada is $~40 excluding the import duties to Canada. It also does not have SPDIF so I cannot play it on my xbox (although not essential).


Oh I see, I thought you were local (US), yeah shipping has started to blow. It's $36 just to start. What a load of stuff. I used to mail stuff overseas and it was like $20 for heavy packages. The postal service really is getting crazy.

post #8 of 12

I would look seriously at the Objective2 amplifier with a ODAC. It will be a little more than your budget if you buy them pre-made, but should provide you with what you desire. 

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by captslow View Post
 

I would look seriously at the Objective2 amplifier with a ODAC. It will be a little more than your budget if you buy them pre-made, but should provide you with what you desire. 

O2/ODAC is much more than my budget with the shipping being over $20 that gives me a starting price of $301 USD not including duties to Canada :/

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Currently I am using a old Pioneer A/V receiever to SPDIF on my computer. It is nice although at some points in music I hear crackles not sure if it is because my headphones are hard to drive (dt 990 250 ohms) or bad quality music.

post #11 of 12
Audio Poutine is in Canada and has been selling ODACs and Objectives 2s. Not sure about his prices.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Last chance, i'm probably going with e17 as it has lots of outputs such as SPDIF to my motherboard to get 192/24. Possibly pair it with e09k when xmas comes around if needed, or I could get the e10.

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