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[Request] Suggestions for desktop DAC / Amp (HD600, IEMs, desktop speakers)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey guys.

 

With my age-old Creative 5.1 set is showings its age and wearing out, I've decided to upgrade my desktop sound system from the ground up, starting with the DAC and amp.

 

I will be coming from a FiiO E17, which has worked faithfully and without complaint for over a year now. I'm trying to keep the combined cost for a DAC and amp under $300, but will be flexible up to $400 given the right argument. I have no preference of solid state or tubes.

 

I'm looking to power a respectable / quality 5.1 or 7.1 desktop speaker setup and full size headphones. Current headphones include a newly-purchased HD600, a couple SOMiC and Takstar circumaurals, Philips Citiscape Uptowns, and a Vsonic IEM. This year I'll be adding an HE-400, a CIEM from Cosmic Ears, and a 5.1 or 7.1 setup of some flavor to replace my current speakers.

 

 

Current contenders are:

 

 

 

Are there any others I should be looking at? Any of the above stand out more than others?


Edited by BBEG - 1/4/14 at 11:18pm
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBEG View Post
 

 

With my age-old Creative 5.1 set is showings its age and wearing out, I've decided to upgrade my desktop sound system from the ground up. I will be coming from a FiiO E17, which has worked faithfully and without complaint for over a year now. I'm trying to keep the combined cost under $300, but will be flexible up to $400 given the right argument.

 

I'm looking to power a respectable / quality 5.1 or 7.1 desktop speaker setup and full size headphones of the HD600 and HE-400 variety.

 

Are there any others I should be looking at? Any of the above stand out more than others?

You might be better off keeping not spending a lot of the speaker setup.

Get the Logitech Z506 5.1, $90.

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card, $60-$90

AKG K612 Pro headphones, $160-$200

 

For a 5.1 speaker setup, you could try to find a HTiB (Home Theater in a Box), for around $300

Something on sale, Yamaha or Onkyo brand.

Should sound better the the Z506

And you can plug headphones into the receiver.

Does your computer's graphics card come with HDMI output?

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ah, in my edit I changed the phrasing accidently. What I mean to say was the combined cost of the DAC and amp at $300, possibly $400. The speaker system will be a separate purchase I worry about a little later.

 

My GPU and motherboard both have HDMI out, and my motherboard also has SPDIF out.


Edited by BBEG - 1/2/14 at 11:51pm
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBEG View Post
 

Ah, in my edit I changed the phrasing accidently. What I mean to say was the combined cost of the DAC and amp at $300, possibly $400. The speaker system will be a separate purchase I worry about a little later.

 

My GPU and motherboard both have HDMI out, and my motherboard also has SPDIF out.

Audio-GD NFB 15.32 external DAC/Amp, $255+shipping (I paid $298 shipped)

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

 

Audio-GD NFB 11.32 external DAC/Amp, $340+shipping

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1132/NFB11.32EN.htm

 

They both come with USB and S/PDIF(optical & coaxial) inputs.

Using S/PDIF allows you to still use sound card features

USB connections bypass sound card features, like headphone surround sound (but USB is fine for music audio, stereo audio).

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks Purple!

 

OP has been updated, cleaned, and clarified. I don't know if there is a DAC + amp combo that can serve my needs, but I'm hoping one of the aforementioned options will work for feeding headphones and IEMs of varying impedance. Being able to run the speakers would be a huge bonus as well, but I don't know if that's asking too much of a DAC + amp or not.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Bumpin' fer great justice.

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