or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Please recommend some Dacs, $100 to $450 range
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Please recommend some Dacs, $100 to $450 range

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Just bought a headphone amp a buddy of mine made himself.  No vol control, but does 

have switches to change the output sensitivity.  Plan to use it w my computer.

 

Right now, I have three sets of headphones: 

 

1.  KAG  K-301 over-ear.  Just HATE these !  What were they thinking ?  I have a large 

head but these fall right over my ears and down on my jaw.  I can only imagine what 

they would be like for someone with a 'small' or 'normal' (medium?) sized head !   

Also, they are TOO HOT to wear for more than an hour.  Just awful !  The only 

positive:  They play so darn loud, sometimes I just lay them on the table in front 

of me and celebrate not wearing them (because they are a kind of torture device

when you wear them).  

 

2.  Sony MDR 2X100.  These are more comfortable but the ear cups are too small.

Also, every time I move even just a little, they make NOISE - I don't mean electrical 

noise - I mean the damned ear cups are so noisy, they interfere with what you are 

listening to.  That is the worst flaw of this set.  Also, they are a bit too quiet.  

 

3.  Sennheiser HD 435.  A lot of good things about these.  The audio quality is far 

better than the other two.  The comfort factor is way way higher.  I could live with 

these long-term except for the fact that the darn cable is proprietary - you have 

to buy Sennheiser brand cable because the jack that plugs into the phones is 

not a standard size !!!  SWINDLERS !!!  And I bet they know that it breaks 

easily, too !  And it does.  And a replacement cable (even without the little 

volume control wheel) costs at least $25.  I am on my 3rd cable and feel like I am 

done with that.  They are nice phones but not if I have to keep giving $25 to the 

Sennheiser Fabrik every few months.  

 

So, there ya have it.  I would like to get some really decent 'phones soon - But 

first I'll get my headphone amp from my buddy and then I  will need to get a 

decent DAC to get the audio out of my computer (MAC PRO Tower running

OSX 10.6.8).   The headphone amp he built DOES NOT have a volume control. 

So someone please tell me what kind of DAC I need to listen to audio files 

(and Netflix) on my Mac.  I will need to control the volume on my computer or 

on the DAC (either would be okay).  

 

Anyone who can tell me what kind of DAC I should get for this new headphone 

amp, that would be a good help.   I'll go to actual shops to try on headsets; 

after the AKGs, I realize that's the way to do it !   

 

Thanks  -choppihead

 
post #2 of 9

Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 100

post #3 of 9

modi

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Jeff.  I'll look into this Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 100.  

 

Rubinstein:  Thanks for the Modi recommendation - I'd never heard of that brand; will look into 

it as well.   

 

There probably are none that stream SACD or the new 2X SACD yet, huh ?   But that's 

all right.  I will probably be getting an OPPO for the main system.  This is just for the 

headphones at the computer.  ANd by the way:  

If I understand correctly, these Dacs take the output from the computer BEFORE it 

ever gets to the computer's sound-card, right ?   So I do not have to upgrade anything

in the computer (a Mac 2 X 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon with memory of 2 GB 

running 10.6.8).   All I have to do is plug the headphone output into the outboard DAC, 

right ?   

Thanks again.  

choppihead  

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by choppihead View Post
 

Thanks, Jeff.  I'll look into this Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 100.  

 

Rubinstein:  Thanks for the Modi recommendation - I'd never heard of that brand; will look into 

it as well.   

 

There probably are none that stream SACD or the new 2X SACD yet, huh ?   But that's 

all right.  I will probably be getting an OPPO for the main system.  This is just for the 

headphones at the computer.  ANd by the way:  

If I understand correctly, these Dacs take the output from the computer BEFORE it 

ever gets to the computer's sound-card, right ?   So I do not have to upgrade anything

in the computer (a Mac 2 X 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon with memory of 2 GB 

running 10.6.8).   All I have to do is plug the headphone output into the outboard DAC, 

right ?   

Thanks again.  

choppihead  

 

Modi has a good reputation in head fi (http://www.head-fi.org/t/640785/schiit-modi-usb-dac).

 

A dac bypasses the onboard soundcard. A dac can not drive headphones effectively. You may also need an amp. Since you already have a DIY amp. You can connect the output of dac to the input of amp. The headphone is connected to the amp.

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by choppihead View Post
 

Thanks, Jeff.  I'll look into this Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 100.  

 

Rubinstein:  Thanks for the Modi recommendation - I'd never heard of that brand; will look into 

it as well.   

 

There probably are none that stream SACD or the new 2X SACD yet, huh ?   But that's 

all right.  I will probably be getting an OPPO for the main system.  This is just for the 

headphones at the computer.  ANd by the way:  

If I understand correctly, these Dacs take the output from the computer BEFORE it 

ever gets to the computer's sound-card, right ?   So I do not have to upgrade anything

in the computer (a Mac 2 X 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon with memory of 2 GB 

running 10.6.8).   All I have to do is plug the headphone output into the outboard DAC, 

right ?   

Thanks again.  

choppihead  

well basically the 3.5 mm output is from the onboard dac chip of your computer while the dac would take in raw information from the usb and convert it to analogue with whatever dac chip it has, even though the dac chip alone doesn't define the sound

ANDDDD, no not from the headphone out put, from the usb from your computer to the dac

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Oh, right.  Wasn't thinking.  The headphone output jack is already converted to analog.  Well, I have a few of these USB slot things 

in my computer - How do I know if they are for input (like a microphone) or output (like to a DAC) ?  Or do they work both ways ?  

Hey, it sure is good to have a place to ask these questions !   Thanks again.   choppihead  

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by choppihead View Post
 

Oh, right.  Wasn't thinking.  The headphone output jack is already converted to analog.  Well, I have a few of these USB slot things 

in my computer - How do I know if they are for input (like a microphone) or output (like to a DAC) ?  Or do they work both ways ?  

Hey, it sure is good to have a place to ask these questions !   Thanks again.   choppihead  


You can connect the DAC to any USB slot of a computer/laptop. If you have installed driver and configured the settings for the dac, as soon as you connect the dac in usb slot, it will be automatically recognized.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Rubenstein.  Glad you are here.  - choppihead

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Please recommend some Dacs, $100 to $450 range