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Desktop DAC Amp for Studio use under £200 - Page 2

post #16 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?

Here: I've found your better way.

 

I think something like this might perfectly work for you... you're lucky as hell... they legit just updated their product like TODAY. HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC 2 (external PSU). http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=62&product_id=87

 

they added a headphone amp to it! and the price is still the same. so the 3.5 headphone jack is amped while the rca/coax output is just dac. At $69, I seriously doubt you can get more for your money. It has a very nice Sabre ES9023 dac chip, external power supply (which some people here says improves the sound vs. only usb-powered), rca & coax output, headphone amp for 3.5 output....

 

what else could you possibly want?

post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

Here: I've found your better way.

 

I think something like this might perfectly work for you... you're lucky as hell... they legit just updated their product like TODAY. HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC 2 (external PSU). http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=62&product_id=87

 

they added a headphone amp to it! and the price is still the same. so the 3.5 headphone jack is amped while the rca/coax output is just dac. At $69, I seriously doubt you can get more for your money. It has a very nice Sabre ES9023 dac chip, external power supply (which some people here says improves the sound vs. only usb-powered), rca & coax output, headphone amp for 3.5 output....

 

what else could you possibly want?


That's awesome. But if I can do the same with the line out? looking port on the O2 I would take it if it had better DAC.

post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeQ View Post
 

That's awesome. But if I can do the same with the line out? looking port on the O2 I would take it if it had better DAC.

lol. mmm... fun fact. the $280 ODAC+O2 combo uses the ESS Sabre ES9023 DAC chip. (aka the same exact dac chip as in the $60 hifimediy dac/amp). and here I was wondering why most dac's on the market now never have their dac chip listed in their product specs. lol.

 

of course, you won't have the fun measurements claims of odac if you get the HiFimeDIY. but then there is the $120ish* vs $280ish. mmm *shrug* dunno. a lot of people here say the odac is great. then again, a lot of people here say hifimediy is pretty solid. i have no idea besides the price point & the specs that you can find online. hahah

 

note that a lot of people here on this website say that there are other factors that go into how a dac sounds besides the chip such as implementation & other components or whatever... but I dunno. I never got a chance to do a blind comparison test with two different equipment with the same chip.

 

doesn't matter to me what you pick, but just thought you should know.

 

btw: what headphones are you going to be amping? this is kind of VERY important detail that you left out.

 

edit: mistyped the price of the odac+o2. it is $280+$7S&H.

*the HiFimeDIY: $69 base + $24.99 PSU + $3.99 Power Adapter + $1.99 power cable + $22S&H to the USA = total of $121ish


Edited by money4me247 - 12/24/13 at 12:35pm
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeQ View Post


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.


Yeah, the JDS version says it has a line out in the connectivity section. I'm just not sure if this one http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/dacs/ehp-o2d-miniature-desktop-headphone-amplifier-with-usb-dac/ has line out too. I suppose it probably does, it just doesn't say so explicitly. You could always call them and ask. 

But that would work. I dunno how it compares to the HifimeDIY though. One box would be convenient. 

post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

lol. mmm... fun fact. the $280 ODAC+O2 combo uses the ESS Sabre ES9023 DAC chip. (aka the same exact dac chip as in the $60 hifimediy dac/amp). and here I was wondering why most dac's on the market now never have their dac chip listed in their product specs. lol.

 

of course, you won't have the fun measurements claims of odac if you get the HiFimeDIY. but then there is the sub-$100 vs $200. mmm *shrug* dunno. a lot of people here say the odac is great. then again, a lot of people here say hifimediy is pretty solid. i have no idea besides the price point & the specs that you can find online. hahah

 

note that a lot of people here on this website say that there are other factors that go into how a dac sounds besides the chip such as implementation & other components or whatever... but I dunno. I never got a chance to do a blind comparison test with two different equipment with the same chip.

 

doesn't matter to me what you pick, but just thought you should know.

 

btw: what headphones are you going to be amping? this is kind of VERY important detail that you left out.


Interesting.

 

Im still weighing up which headphones to upgrade to, I thought if I went for a studio/neutral orientated dac amp it wouldn't make too much difference. My shortlist is Audio Technica ATH M50, AKG K550, Beyerdynamic DTH250 and Shure SRH840

post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeQ View Post


Interesting.

 

Im still weighing up which headphones to upgrade to, I thought if I went for a studio/neutral orientated dac amp it wouldn't make too much difference. My shortlist is Audio Technica ATH M50, AKG K550, Beyerdynamic DTH250 and Shure SRH840

lol... you'll be surprised. i've read about people saying that their headphones don't pair well with the odac. i wouldn't buy your amp/dac until after you bought your headphones.

 

also... umm... btw, none of those headphones require amping! i would highly recommend you hold off on buying $100+ to $300 piece of dac/amp equipment until after you get your headphones. honestly, the sonic changes you'll get from amp/dac isn't as large as it may sound from reading these forums. i would say less than 10% for those headphones.

 

so you do realize that you would be spending MORE money on your dac/amp than your headphones (looks like $100-200 range), when in actuality your headphones have more impact on your sound signature & quality than your dac/amp?

 

...personally, if I was you, I would skip the dac/amp completely and put that money into nicer headphones. do you have to have closed headphones?

 

edit: just curious... why/how did you decide that you need a desktop amp/dac??

edit2: omg... please do not buy a $300 dac/amp for your $200 headphones (unless you are planning on getting even nicer $400-$800+ headphones in the near future).

edit3: if you like a lot of bass quantity, the akg k550s are not for you. they are really neutral headphones. they are also not portable. you should go demo headphones first as your picks seem to be kind of all over the place in regards to sound signature.


Edited by money4me247 - 12/24/13 at 12:55pm
post #22 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

lol... you'll be surprised. i've read about people saying that their headphones don't pair well with the odac. i wouldn't buy your amp/dac until after you bought your headphones.

 

also... umm... btw, none of those headphones require amping! i would highly recommend you hold off on buying $100+ to $300 piece of dac/amp equipment until after you get your headphones. honestly, the sonic changes you'll get from amp/dac isn't as large as it may sound from reading these forums. i would say less than 10% for those headphones.

 

so you do realize that you would be spending MORE money on your dac/amp than your headphones (looks like $100-200 range), when in actuality your headphones have more impact on your sound signature & quality than your dac/amp?

 

...personally, if I was you, I would skip the dac/amp completely and put that money into nicer headphones. do you have to have closed headphones?

 

edit: just curious... why/how did you decide that you need a desktop amp/dac??

edit2: omg... please do not buy a $300 dac/amp for your $200 headphones (unless you are planning on getting even nicer $400-$800+ headphones in the near future).

edit3: if you like a lot of bass quantity, the akg k550s are not for you. they are really neutral headphones. they are also not portable. you should go demo headphones first as your picks seem to be kind of all over the place in regards to sound signature.


Some of them don't but I thought they would all benefit, also something external is surely better than my pc onboard sound.

 

I wouldn't necessarily be spending more, my budget was the same for both (£200) but I would prefer to spend more on headphones despite what im looking at.

 

I am definitely looking at getting better headphones in the future.

 

Looking for neutral sound, don't care about 'portability'. My picks where the product of browsing places like this and seeing reviews for studio suited headphones within that price range.

post #23 of 34

If you get an amp as powerful as the O2, you could drive some planar headphones. The ZMF modded t50rp is worth considering. 

post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeQ View Post
 

Some of them don't but I thought they would all benefit, also something external is surely better than my pc onboard sound. I wouldn't necessarily be spending more, my budget was the same for both (£200) but I would prefer to spend more on headphones despite what im looking at. I am definitely looking at getting better headphones in the future. Looking for neutral sound, don't care about 'portability'. My picks where the product of browsing places like this and seeing reviews for studio suited headphones within that price range.

they all don't require amp/dac. i have found that the sonic improvements you get from external equipment is limited by the headphones you have. some of them scale up well, some don't really benefit. your headphones should be your priority in spending if you want to maximize your sound quality per dollar.

 

if you are looking for great neutral sound, I would recommend looking at open headphones if you don't need noise isolation. they will generally outperform closed, portable headphones. you can browse in the $200-$400 range... great choices include the AKG K701/Q701 vs beyer dt990 vs Sennheiser HD600. those will all benefit more from dac/amps as they scale up very well.

 

I would also recommend demo-ing headphones. I noticed in your thread history you were complaining about the lack of bass for one of your headphones. A lot of neutral studio-oriented headphones appear to have significantly less bass quantity than consumer-oriented headphones (as those are often bass-boosted). You will need to try out neutral headphones to see if that is actually the sound signature you desire.

post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

If you get an amp as powerful as the O2, you could drive some planar headphones. The ZMF modded t50rp is worth considering. 

Would the ZMF's better the ones in my shortlist for studio use?

If there is any 'planar' headphones that are good for studio use within my budget please don't hesistate to post. I can't seem to find a simplified definition of what 'planar' is but everything seems to indicate they're better than others somehow.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

they all don't require amp/dac. i have found that the sonic improvements you get from external equipment is limited by the headphones you have. some of them scale up well, some don't really benefit. your headphones should be your priority in spending if you want to maximize your sound quality per dollar.

 

if you are looking for great neutral sound, I would recommend looking at open headphones if you don't need noise isolation. they will generally outperform closed, portable headphones. you can browse in the $200-$400 range... great choices include the AKG K701/Q701 vs beyer dt990 vs Sennheiser HD600. those will all benefit more from dac/amps as they scale up very well.

 

I would also recommend demo-ing headphones. I noticed in your thread history you were complaining about the lack of bass for one of your headphones. A lot of neutral studio-oriented headphones appear to have significantly less bass quantity than consumer-oriented headphones (as those are often bass-boosted). You will need to try out neutral headphones to see if that is actually the sound signature you desire.

I would prefer noise isolation although doing some research last night I was feeling heavily swayed towards a pair of DT880's, I want some open or semi open but know the chance of me getting distracted by external sounds is high with it being a home studio.

 

That complaint about lack of bass on the 4AA's was because my PC's onboard sound couldn't drive them, another reason a dac amp would be useful.

post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeQ View Post
 

Would the ZMF's better the ones in my shortlist for studio use?

If there is any 'planar' headphones that are good for studio use within my budget please don't hesistate to post. I can't seem to find a simplified definition of what 'planar' is but everything seems to indicate they're better than others somehow.

 

I would prefer noise isolation although doing some research last night I was feeling heavily swayed towards a pair of DT880's, I want some open or semi open but know the chance of me getting distracted by external sounds is high with it being a home studio.

 

That complaint about lack of bass on the 4AA's was because my PC's onboard sound couldn't drive them, another reason a dac amp would be useful.

information about planar magnet headphones. (most headphones are dynamic)

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/how-planar-magnetic-headphones-work

http://headfonics.com/2011/05/dynamic-vs-orthodynamic-vs-electrostatic-which-is-which/

 

mad dogs/alpha dogs are quite popular pair of modded Fostex T50rp (planar magnetic headphones) like the ZMF. mad dog or alpha dog is from mr. speaker. There is also the Paradox mod. I've actually never heard of the ZMF mod before.

 

are you trying to set-up a home studio for professional use to mix music or something?

post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsmeQ View Post
 

If there is any 'planar' headphones that are good for studio use within my budget please don't hesistate to post. I can't seem to find a simplified definition of what 'planar' is but everything seems to indicate they're better than others somehow.

 

A planar magnetic model uses a technology for sound production that is different from dynamic, electrostatic, and other technologies. If you're interested in learning a little more about how it works, see http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/how-planar-magnetic-headphones-work. They are also called "planars," "orthodynamics," and "orthos." The technology has made a fairly recent comeback--for good, I hope. Audeze, Fostex, and Hifiman are the best known planars.

 

Planars are not better than the other technologies, though listeners seem to have fairly strong preferences so far. The technology seems to be especially good at bass reproduction.

post #28 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post

 

 

are you trying to set-up a home studio for professional use to mix music or something?

Im an amateur music producer, im not looking to set up anything extensive, just update my setup with what ive mentioned.

post #29 of 34

Have a look at the Geek Pulse on Indiegogo by Light Harmonic.

post #30 of 34
Thread Starter 

Any thoughts on the 'Topping TP32 TA2024' in comparison to the HiFimeDIY and O2/Odac mentioned?

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