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Grado SR325i Amp and Dac suggestions? Little Dot 1+?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I am just reading up on amps and dacs that pair well with Grado line of headphones. It seems universal that the Little Dot I+ is the amp to get, however I am not sure if a dac is something I should also buy. 

 

My set up would be Macbook Pro -> amp/dac -> headphones. 

 

I'm not sure I want to spend $300 right now for an amp and dac, but I am definitely willing to spend $150 for one of them. Can someone coach me through this?

post #2 of 25
My SAD-25 paired well with my old Grados, but given the opportunity I think I may enjoy tube rolling more. Seems like a fun easy way to tinker. You could also try an SMSL DAC with the little dot amplifier if the budget allows.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

How much better is the little dot i+ and a dac over the hifiman ef2a which comes with a dac for much less than the little dot + dac combo

post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rage3324 View Post
 

How much better is the little dot i+ and a dac over the hifiman ef2a which comes with a dac for much less than the little dot + dac combo

I am listening to my MBP/LD1+/Modi (DAC) and SR325is's, and let me tell you IMO the sound is fantastic!!! The Modi is $99.00U.S., and i'd guess you already know the price for the LD1+. 

You can't go wrong, pull the trigger!!! BTW, I did change my tubes and the OPAMP in the LD, I think the total was about $15.00U.S.

post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rage3324 View Post
 

How much better is the little dot i+ and a dac over the hifiman ef2a which comes with a dac for much less than the little dot + dac combo

I am listening to my MBP/LD1+/Modi (DAC) and SR325is's, and let me tell you IMO the sound is fantastic!!! The Modi is $99.00U.S., and i'd guess you already know the price for the LD1+. 

You can't go wrong, pull the trigger!!! BTW, I did change my tubes and the OPAMP in the LD, I think the total was about $15.00U.S.


One question regatding LD1+. How do you integrate the LD with your setup if AFAIR it does not have IN and OUT pass-through connection? Using a splitter or what?
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rage3324 View Post
 

How much better is the little dot i+ and a dac over the hifiman ef2a which comes with a dac for much less than the little dot + dac combo

I've never heard the Hifiman EF2A, so I can't comment,but I'm sure someone else can.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrzych View Post


One question regatding LD1+. How do you integrate the LD with your setup if AFAIR it does not have IN and OUT pass-through connection? Using a splitter or what?

MBP's USB output, to the Modi, then the Modi's L/R output, to the LD1+ L/R input, headphone output from the LD1+.

post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rage3324 View Post
 

How much better is the little dot i+ and a dac over the hifiman ef2a which comes with a dac for much less than the little dot + dac combo

I've never heard the Hifiman EF2A, so I can't comment,but I'm sure someone else can.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrzych View Post


One question regatding LD1+. How do you integrate the LD with your setup if AFAIR it does not have IN and OUT pass-through connection? Using a splitter or what?

MBP's USB output, to the Modi, then the Modi's L/R output, to the LD1+ L/R input, headphone output from the LD1+.


So you don't have any amp in-between? I do, so wondering how I would connect LD on mu case?
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrzych View Post


So you don't have any amp in-between? I do, so wondering how I would connect LD on mu case?

Yes, I have the Little Dot 1+ amplifier, which my headphones are plugged into.

My sources are:

MBP

Schiit Modi (DAC)

LD1+ Amplifier

Headphones

I don't understand what you mean by- I don't have an amp in-between.

Do you follow what I'm saying now?

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

Here is a link to the ef2a amp + dac combo

 

http://www.amazon.com/HiFiMAN-EF2A-HIFIMAN-EF-2A-HEADPHONE/dp/B004357WL8

 

Does anyone know anything about it?

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph69 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrzych View Post


So you don't have any amp in-between? I do, so wondering how I would connect LD on mu case?

Yes, I have the Little Dot 1+ amplifier, which my headphones are plugged into.

My sources are:

MBP

Schiit Modi (DAC)

LD1+ Amplifier

Headphones

I don't understand what you mean by- I don't have an amp in-between.

Do you follow what I'm saying now?


LD1+ does have only one pair of analogue audio in and no outputs, so my dac has also one audio output so if I need to be able to connect DAC to the amp I need either go to the amp and from the amp out to the LD1 or use a splittet to be able to connect DAC to both LD and amp at one time, right?
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkrzych View Post


LD1+ does have only one pair of analogue audio in and no outputs, so my dac has also one audio output so if I need to be able to connect DAC to the amp I need either go to the amp and from the amp out to the LD1 or use a splittet to be able to connect DAC to both LD and amp at one time, right?

The LD1+ is the amplifier, and yes it has 1 L/R (RCA) input only.

​The Modi is the Digital to Analog Converter, which has 1 L/R (RCA) output and (1) A male to B male input.

The MBP has 2 USB connections.

Using a USB A male to B male cable, coming out of the MBP going into the Modi, then using the L/R output from the Modi, going into the L/R input to the LD1+, then plugging your headphones into the headphone output on the LD1+. If I understand you correctly, you are not realizing that the LD1+ is the amplifier…Am I correct? You do not need any splitter at all for these 3 components (MBP/Modi/LD1+) to work with each other, all you need is (1) L/R RCA cable, and (1) USB A male to B male cable.

 

You can also use the headphone output from the MBP and go directly into the L/R LD1+ by using a 1/8 mini to L/R RCA which comes  with the LD1+ when you purchase it, but at this point there will be no DAC in this configuration. If this is not clear to you, feel free to let me know and I will do my best to explain this to you again.

 

I don't know why the fonts are smaller then larger, I did not do this.


Edited by joseph69 - 11/20/13 at 4:02pm
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

How is the DAC on the2013 macbook? If I bought the little dot, would a DAC be necessary? What is more important, a DAC or Amp?

post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rage3324 View Post

How is the DAC on the2013 macbook? If I bought the little dot, would a DAC be necessary? What is more important, a DAC or Amp?

Amp since I have DAC as separate device.

I have Marantz PM6004 integrated amp and a DAC connected to the amp over the analogue outs. The DAC does not have any additional analogue outs. Source is MPPro connected to that DAC over the spdif.

So where I should to put the headphone amp? I am gonna use Ld1+ which also does not have any analogue outs. Should I use RCA splitter on my DAC outs or connect headphone amp to the tape out on Marantz to get the best sound?
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by rage3324 View Post
 

How is the DAC on the2013 macbook? If I bought the little dot, would a DAC be necessary? What is more important, a DAC or Amp?

The dac on the MBP is supposed to be pretty good, but probably not as good as an external dac.

Pop a Cd into the superdrive on the MBP and plug your headphones into the headphone output on the MBP and listen to see if you like the sound. 

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph69 View Post

The dac on the MBP is supposed to be pretty good, but probably not as good as an external dac.
Pop a Cd into the superdrive on the MBP and plug your headphones into the headphone output on the MBP and listen to see if you like the sound. 

Definitevely not as good ;-)
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