Started this in another thread, but as I did more research, I discovered I didn't want to really half ass this and make an uninformed decision. I changed up and refined some specifications and here is what I have...
I recently demoed the HD 700 and almost immediately rushed out to purchase one for myself. It's amp and dac decision time. Here's some of the details I'm looking at.
- Total budget of $300-500. This is not a hard number. If I can be convinced to go higher, I will as long as it meets my needs. Just no $1000 solutions. I just don't the money for that right now.
- Will be running the HD 700 off of my home computer.
- Currently have a Fiio E09K and E07K that is running my HD 600, HE-400, and SR325is on that home computer.
- Would like to have preouts since I use an external 2.1 system on this station from time to time, but it's not entirely needed. I could simply unplug the USB cable to the DAC every time I want to use the 2.1 system, but I would like a more elegant solution.
- Not looking to change the signature very much. Just power it properly. Close to neutral, detailed, and spacious have always been my preferences.
- 6.3mm input
- Flexibility is more important than something so incredibly specific to the HD 700. I would like to still run my HD 600, HE-400 (and eventual HE-500), K702 AE and others on it without too much fuss. I don't imagine using IEM or other low impedance headphones with my home station.
I started looking at Asgard 2 and Modi, but I read a lot in this thread that the Mangi/Modi make them far too bright. I actually like bright as long as it's a quality bright. I was then told about the Audio-gd Compass 2 and Audio-gd NFB-11.32. I'm very much considering the 11.32 over the Compass 2 just because of the price and smaller footprint it leaves on my desk. Then there's the Woo Audio WA3, but I'm somewhat hesitant with tubes because I'm not very fond of warm signatures. Just to draw some comparisons and baselines, the HD 600 is about the warmest I would ever go and the HD 650 is just so unattractive to me. I would like to hear some other recommendations with amps and DACs or any other thoughts you all may have.
Edited by roguegeek - 1/9/14 at 12:09pm