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Desktop DAC Amp for Studio use under £200

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

Any recommendations?

 

Looking for something that doesn't colour the sound and is as accurate / neutral as possible. I will only be connecting either headphones or studio monitors.

post #2 of 34

This is supposed to be the same as O2+ODAC and it's better looking: http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/dacs/ehp-o2d-miniature-desktop-headphone-amplifier-with-usb-dac/. Nothing else measures as neutral at this price. It even sounds neutral. I see they list a delay till January 13th. If you don't want to wait, you can try ordering from JDS Labs. Note: buy the adapter with it.


Edited by Claritas - 12/24/13 at 1:20am
post #3 of 34

heyhey,

 

One popular sub-$200usd desktop dac/amp recommendation is the schitt modi/magni combo. Another one is that many people like to recommend is the JDS O2+ODAC for $280usd -> $172ish british pounds. The O2+ODAC may be exactly what you are looking for as the engineer who designed it based everything on measurements for neutrality & transparency. The O stands for objective. Note you can get the oDac and pair it with another amp of your choice.

 

I actually made a long list of portable sub-$200 dacs (mostly standalone, but some with amps). found here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/696401/giant-list-of-sub-200-portable-dacs-w-their-chips-price, which may be helpful to figure out your choices if you want to buy the two components separately. tho note that you may be able to find cheaper quality desktop/nonportable options.
 
hope that is semi-helpful. 

 

goodluck!

post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

This is supposed to be the same as O2+ODAC and it's better looking: http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/dacs/ehp-o2d-miniature-desktop-headphone-amplifier-with-usb-dac/. Nothing else measures as neutral at this price. It even sounds neutral. I see they list a delay till January 13th. If you don't want to wait, you can try ordering from JDS Labs. Note: buy the adapter with it.

Sounds like a good piece of kit. What do I need an adapter for? Would this be suitable for acting as a dac for powered monitors?

post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeQ View Post
 

Sounds like a good piece of kit. What do I need an adapter for? Would this be suitable for acting as a dac for powered monitors?

 

It runs on an AC/AC adapter: http://www.jdslabs.com/O2_poweradapters.php

 

For use with certain sorts of headphones, a more powerful adapter is recommended. Ask the firm about it.

 

I never thought of powering speakers with it. Sorry.

post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

It runs on an AC/AC adapter: http://www.jdslabs.com/O2_poweradapters.php

 

For use with certain sorts of headphones, a more powerful adapter is recommended. Ask the firm about it.

 

I never thought of powering speakers with it. Sorry.

How awkward, no UK stockist for the adapter needed and maplin discontinued their version. Maybe eBay can help..

 

It won't be powering speakers like I said they are powered/active monitors.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

heyhey,

 

One popular sub-$200usd desktop dac/amp recommendation is the schitt modi/magni combo. Another one is that many people like to recommend is the JDS O2+ODAC for $280usd -> $172ish british pounds. The O2+ODAC may be exactly what you are looking for as the engineer who designed it based everything on measurements for neutrality & transparency. The O stands for objective. Note you can get the oDac and pair it with another amp of your choice.

 

I actually made a long list of portable sub-$200 dacs (mostly standalone, but some with amps). found here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/696401/giant-list-of-sub-200-portable-dacs-w-their-chips-price, which may be helpful to figure out your choices if you want to buy the two components separately. tho note that you may be able to find cheaper quality desktop/nonportable options.
 
hope that is semi-helpful.

 

goodluck!

Thanks will check that list out. If you know of any from it that are neutral/studio suited let me know :)

 

O2+Odac sounds good. Does that need an AC/AC adapter too do you know?

post #7 of 34

Yes, you'll need the adapter because O2+ODAC is the same thing as the Epiphany box. It's an open-source design by an very talented, anonymous engineer who goes by "NwAvGuy." It's not clear whether I'm allowed to link to his blog, but you can find it. 


Edited by Claritas - 12/24/13 at 3:48am
post #8 of 34

lol i heard we aren't allowed to link to his site. just fyi so you don't get in trouble


Edited by money4me247 - 12/24/13 at 4:11am
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by "money4me247" View Post

lol i heard we aren't allowed to link to his site. just fyi so you don't get in trouble


Thanks for the head's up. I had not expected that.


Edited by Claritas - 12/24/13 at 3:42am
post #10 of 34

Powered speakers take a line-level input, so you should be able to connect any DAC to your powered speakers directly. Assuming the input type on the powered speaker (e.g. RCA or XLR) matches the output type on the DAC. There is no need to connect a headphone amp to powered speakers though.

I don't know the official rules about linking to NwAvGuy's website, but I've seen people do it here many times, recently, to no ill effect. Restricting his website would only fuel the conspiracy theory that Jude denies.

Mod Edit:  Links to that site are not allowed, and will be removed.  Observe...

post #11 of 34

@manbear, lollerwagons. let us kno if you get in trouble. i'm a probation for posting about group buys, soooo i wldn't dare step outta line :S

post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post

There is no need to connect a headphone amp to powered speakers though.
 

Like ive mentioned I will be changing between headphones (that will benefit from the extra power) and monitors, are you implying it would be better to do it another way?

post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeQ View Post

Like ive mentioned I will be changing between headphones (that will benefit from the extra power) and monitors, are you implying it would be better to do it another way?

It depends. I'm not sure if the one box O2 / ODAC has a separate output just for the DAC. You wouldn't want to plug your speakers into the amp's output jack. Another approach would be to get the O2 and ODAC in separate boxes. Then you would connect the ODAC to your speakers when you listen to speakers, and you would connect it to the O2 when you listen to headphones. The separate boxes cost a little more, but the stand alone O2, without the ODAC instead, usually has a rechargeable battery inside, so you get the option of battery power for the amp, making it transportable. This would be unnecessary if the one box unit has a DAC output, but I can't tell from the description on that website.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post

@manbear
, lollerwagons. let us kno if you get in trouble. i'm a probation for posting about group buys, soooo i wldn't dare step outta line :S

I did it for knowledge biggrin.gif
post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post


It depends. I'm not sure if the one box O2 / ODAC has a separate output just for the DAC. You wouldn't want to plug your speakers into the amp's output jack. Another approach would be to get the O2 and ODAC in separate boxes. Then you would connect the ODAC to your speakers when you listen to speakers, and you would connect it to the O2 when you listen to headphones. The separate boxes cost a little more, but the stand alone O2, without the ODAC instead, usually has a rechargeable battery inside, so you get the option of battery power for the amp, making it transportable. This would be unnecessary if the one box unit has a DAC output, but I can't tell from the description on that website.


If you look at the images on this page http://www.jdslabs.com/products/48/o2-odac-combo/ is that a line out at the other side of the headphone output? (the circle with the arrow pointing inside it) If so would that not be suitable for connecting to monitors? Then I could have both connected and just turn the monitors on when needed.

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