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Which DAC to get?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

I've been trying to choose a DAC/amp combo unit but am currently stuck between 4:

 

1] AUNE X1 24bit 192kHz USB DAC Headphone Amp [http://www.ebay.com/itm/AUNE-X1-24bit-192kHz-USB-DAC-Headphone-Amp-preamp-PCM1793-WM8805-/261362313250?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Amplifiers&hash=item3cda686822]

- Seems like a very nice little unit. The thing I was not able to find is  output power into individual ohm loads, but according to people it is powerful enough to drive pretty much any dynamic headphone.

I am not too sure about the DAC section [PCM1793] but it seems Ok.

 

2] [2014] MATRIX M-Stage HPA-2 USB DAC + Headphone Amp [http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2014-MATRIX-M-Stage-HPA-2-USB-Headphone-Amp-24Bit-192kHz-ASIO-PCM1793-LME49720-/251412155857?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Amplifiers&hash=item3a89550dd1]

- I am pretty sure this thing has the best amp section of all four, it is also the most expensive one.

Again though, the DAC section is a bit off-putting maybe [1793, only an extra 50 pounds for it vs. a standalone amp] but I am not really experienced enough to comment on DAC implementations/sections. It's also USB only [but that doesn't matter that nuch]

 

3] Topping D3 [http://www.ebay.com/itm/Topping-D3-24Bit-192kHz-USB-Optical-Coaxial-BNC-DAC-Headphone-Amp-Black-Silver-/251412126145?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Amplifiers&hash=item3a895499c1]

- This looks like a very nice DAC/amp. Also is the lone one to have a BNC input. Has a very powerful amp section and what seems like a good DAC [CS4398] for the price.

There is also some good feedback for it around here so that's encouraging :]

 

4] SMSL SD-650 Hi End DAC Headphone Amp [http://www.ebay.com/itm/SMSL-SD-650-Hi-End-DAC-Headphone-Amp-Coaxial-Optical-Toslink-USB-SD650-/251412112372?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Amplifiers&hash=item3a895463f4]

- I really don't know what to think about this one... It all looks like a very good package, with a strong amp [OPA2604, 200mW @300ohms] and good DAC [CS4398] and very good other parts [DIR9001].

On the other hand it seems like a small Chinese company with one [suspiciously] positive and one negative [DOA] review on Amazon... But if it is made well, it seems very good indeed...

 

They all seem like a very good DAC/amp units for an affordable price, with the M-stage being a bit more expensive than the rest.

 

I'll be using them with the K612 Pros primarily [or possibly K701s not decided yet... one of the two :]] but also with the MA900s, X1s and W1000Xs. All full-size, no IEMs, requiring little to a significant amount of voltage/current and a somewhat decent DAC.

Sources will be my PC via USB, PS3 [DSS transmitter for gaming, so only the amp section here] and outs of various DAPs, etc.

FLAC files mostly, some MP3s 128 - 320kbs

 

USB and line-in [RCAs] inputs are a must.

 

If you guys have any other recommendations, I am free for suggestions. The DAC/amp has to be available within EU for a similar price.

 

Any help/suggestions appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

 

Luke


Edited by conquerator2 - 1/4/14 at 9:36am
post #2 of 4

Using USB on the PC will bypass sound cards.

 

Get an Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used is fine) and install it into the PC.

Also get a EHP-02 (O2) headphone amplifier, 99 GBP

http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/headphone-amplifiers/ehp-o2-portable-headphone-amplifier/

 

You can just switch using the EHP-02 between the Xonar and the DSS.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Using USB on the PC will bypass sound cards.

 

Get an Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used is fine) and install it into the PC.

Also get a EHP-02 (O2) headphone amplifier, 99 GBP

http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/headphone-amplifiers/ehp-o2-portable-headphone-amplifier/

 

You can just switch using the EHP-02 between the Xonar and the DSS.

Thanks, I am not sure I like that but PM'd

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Still open for suggestion, right now

1] M-Stage

2] D3/SD650

3]X1

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