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Newbie needs help

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi!  I am a newbie in the headphone world.  I was an audiophile in the big system (ie. CD player, amp, big speakers...) world.  But due to financial difficulty, I have to sell all my hifi gears.  Few years later, now, I am ready get back on the audiophile horse.  But, this time, I want to try the headphone world.  Currently, I have an old Sennheiser HD595.  I listen to a lot of music at work. So, the HD595 is plugged directly to my laptop.  I want to upgrade the whole system, except the laptop of course which is from work.  I am looking at a DAC/amp combo and a new headphone.  But, I only have $500 - 600 for now.  I know I will have some more later.  So, my plan is to get a decent DAC/amp for now and then get a nice headphone later.  This is where this newbie starts scratching his head.  There are so many DAC/amp combos out there.  I just can't get my head around all the toys out there.  I know that I want a USB port so it can connect to my laptop.  I also know that I want extra power so it won't limit my options of headphone later.  I don't need portability because I am just using it on my desktop at work.  And sound quality is high on the requirement list.  I looked at these DAC/amp so far:

 

- NU Force Icon DAC

- NU Force UDH-100

- Pro-ject Head Box DS

- Asus Xonar Essence One

 

I looked at a bunch of the tiny USB DAC but since they don't supply extra power, I ruled them out.

 

Can someone give me some pointers how to make the decision?  Any suggestions of other DAC/amp I should check out before I make the decision?  Thank you very much!!!

 

Oh, my music preferences are very wide.  I listen to all kinds of music, classical, jazz, show tunes, R&B, rap, a capella, rock, anything.  If the music is good, I will listen.  

post #2 of 7

FiiO E10 USB-DAC-Amp, $75

 

Audio Technica and Denon sell nice sounding headphones that are low impedance.

 

If you really want a nice external DAC/Amp.

Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/Amp, $255+shipping

Dual WM8741 DAC chips and a headphone amplifier that can work with headphones from 16-Ohm to 600-Ohm.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I posted this thread before I read the Read First email.  I think I should have posted this thread in the Introduction, Help, Recommendation forum instead.  Is there a way to move the thread??

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:

If you really want a nice external DAC/Amp.

Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/Amp, $255+shipping

Dual WM8741 DAC chips and a headphone amplifier that can work with headphones from 16-Ohm to 600-Ohm.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

 

Thank you PurpleAngel!  Can you tell me why you recommend the NFB-15.32?

post #5 of 7

Only mods can move thread I think.

 

The audio gd 15.32 purpleangel mentioned is a good desktop dac/amp, don't be scared off by their terrible web page

 

emotiva dc-1 is a new and good dac/amp for $499

http://shop.emotiva.com/products/stealth-dc-2

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

It seems like the audio gd 15.32 is a better deal.  No op amp and $200 cheaper.  Anyone has it that can tell me the sound characteristics??  How about the build quality??  I haven't bought hifi gear for a long time.  I used to worry about the quality of gear from China because they seem to break quickly.  But, again, it has been a very long time.

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenyywong View Post
 

 

Thank you PurpleAngel!  Can you tell me why you recommend the NFB-15.32?

Because I've been using the NFB-15.32 for the past two months and so far I have no regrets for buying it.

Works with all my headphones, from 32-Ohm to 600-Ohm, and all the headphones sound nice.

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