Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Choosing between 4 amp/dac
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Choosing between 4 amp/dac

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So I have been looking for an amp/dac for a while with a budget of around $1000, although getting more for less is always very welcome. Regardless, I am looking for unbiased/uncoloured opinions, or as much as possible at least, since sound does come down to preference as well. 

 

The list is random, and there are no preferences. I just thought it looked nicer this way.

 

1. Woo Audio Wa7 Fireflies

2. NuForce Icon HDP

3. ALO Audio The Pan Am

4. O2+ODAC Headphone Amplifier / DAC combo

 

Now, I realise the pricing is quite different between some of them, but I am looking at what is best... to some extent. Obviously if a $500 unit is very very close as being just as good as a $1000 unit I would go for the $500 one. 

 

I currently own a Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm.

 

I'm eager to see your replies and all the hi-fi wisdom in them!

 

Thank you


Edited by Mamurai - 1/21/14 at 8:08am
post #2 of 9

What headphones are you using? If it was for my HD600 for example I'd put the HDP last on that list. I've only tried that and the O2, and between the two, I'd take the O2(+ODAC). When I got to try the HDP the HD600 was making a distorted sound similar to a dynamic driver reaching its excursion limit on some percussion notes (kind of like "thwack! thwack!" on overexcursion, but here it sounds more like the driver is bumping into something when it pushes air) at just a little over my usual listening volume in that showroom, but they don't have an A/C as loud as what I have in my room for one thing. I seem to be the only one who encountered that with the HDP though so YMMV, but in any case I didn't get that distortion out of running my HD600 from an O2, or any other amplifier for that matter.

 

The AudioGD Compass 2 looks great on paper, you might want to consider that one too and read reviews on it.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

What headphones are you using? If it was for my HD600 for example I'd put the HDP last on that list. I've only tried that and the O2, and between the two, I'd take the O2(+ODAC). When I got to try the HDP the HD600 was making a distorted sound similar to a dynamic driver reaching its excursion limit on some percussion notes (kind of like "thwack! thwack!" on overexcursion, but here it sounds more like the driver is bumping into something when it pushes air) at just a little over my usual listening volume in that showroom, but they don't have an A/C as loud as what I have in my room for one thing. I seem to be the only one who encountered that with the HDP though so YMMV, but in any case I didn't get that distortion out of running my HD600 from an O2, or any other amplifier for that matter.

 

The AudioGD Compass 2 looks great on paper, you might want to consider that one too and read reviews on it.

Thank you for your reply, and I will certainly look into the AudioGD Compass 2 as well. 

 

I can't believe I forgot to post my headphone, but here you go. I currently own Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm. I do plan on upgrading in the future between a couple of headphones like the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro 600 Ohm, Sennheiser HD 600 or 650, or save and go all out on an Audeze LCD-3 or LCD-2. 

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamurai View Post
 

Thank you for your reply, and I will certainly look into the AudioGD Compass 2 as well. 

 

I can't believe I forgot to post my headphone, but here you go. I currently own Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm. I do plan on upgrading in the future between a couple of headphones like the Beyerdynamic DT 880 Pro 600 Ohm, Sennheiser HD 600 or 650, or save and go all out on an Audeze LCD-3 or LCD-2. 

 

If you don't mind two boxes, get the Meier StageDAC+ Classic amplifier combo. I think it's on sale now for $1,000 if you're from outside the EU - I've read some good feedback on those with the cans I highlighted. I've tried my Cantate.2 amplifier and its USB DAC* on those and I loved them (I own the HD600; the HD650 and LCD-2 I tried at several meets here, in one of them I spent about two hours on all three).

 

That said still look up feedback on the Compass 2 on those cans, plus the NFB10.33.

 

 

 

*PCM2702 but don't underestimate it - I prefer its sound over the Rega Apollo (too warm) and Marantz CD6004 (a bit too warm, soo huge soundstage but lacks focus - drums go around my head but guitars and vocals float in their own points disaligned on the y-axis somewhere just ahead of my eyes; Cambridge 6xxC put the bass drum behind my head

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

If you don't mind two boxes, get the Meier StageDAC+ Classic amplifier combo. I think it's on sale now for $1,000 if you're from outside the EU - I've read some good feedback on those with the cans I highlighted. I've tried my Cantate.2 amplifier and its USB DAC* on those and I loved them (I own the HD600; the HD650 and LCD-2 I tried at several meets here, in one of them I spent about two hours on all three).

 

That said still look up feedback on the Compass 2 on those cans, plus the NFB10.33.

 

 

 

*PCM2702 but don't underestimate it - I prefer its sound over the Rega Apollo (too warm) and Marantz CD6004 (a bit too warm, soo huge soundstage but lacks focus - drums go around my head but guitars and vocals float in their own points disaligned on the y-axis somewhere just ahead of my eyes; Cambridge 6xxC put the bass drum behind my head

Thank you once again for the reply. I will have a look at the Meier StageDAC unit too, and I'm inside the EU. I will have a look on the Cantate 2 amp as well. It is important that it has an USB connection as well. Regarding the Compass 2 I haven't been able to find many reviews of it yet at all, but I will keep looking though. 

 

There are just so many choices, and I'm after that great amp/dac at around $1000 or below including one that has an USB connection too. There are so many choices though, which is why I'm asking here too, but I bet I will get as many answers as there are choices in the end hehe. Your input has certainly been noted though!

post #6 of 9

Schiit Modi/Magni is a tad cheaper than O2+ODAC (around $200), I own the schiit stack and its pretty good so far. Plus it is built so inputs are in the back and output is in the front.

There is also the Nuforce Icon DAC which combines the amp+dac in the same enclosure (similar size to HDP) plus it has analog out and the more inputs than the other two combos for $300. It also supports DSD and android.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the replies. I think I will end up buying the Audio-GD NFB-11.32 in the end. I know it wasn't any of the ones I listed, but ProtegeManic got me interested, and I think it will be the one for me :)

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

Thank you once again for the reply. I will have a look at the Meier StageDAC unit too, and I'm inside the EU. I will have a look on the Cantate 2 amp as well. It is important that it has an USB connection as well. Regarding the Compass 2 I haven't been able to find many reviews of it yet at all, but I will keep looking though. 

 

There are just so many choices, and I'm after that great amp/dac at around $1000 or below including one that has an USB connection too. There are so many choices though, which is why I'm asking here too, but I bet I will get as many answers as there are choices in the end hehe. Your input has certainly been noted though!

 

You can skip the Cantate2 reviews for now, it's out of production...best go straight to the reviews on the Classic+StageDAC reviews. I only mentioned it since it's the one I have and Meier amps are a bit rare over here but I'm using it as a reference point. I've never heard any feedback that the older ones are better, so the amps seem to be getting better at what they do with every series.

 

What remains for the Cantate2 aside from its sound is its Shanling chassis. It's always the first thing people notice about it when I bring it to meets.

 

 

*

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamurai View Post
 

So I have been looking for an amp/dac for a while with a budget of around $1000, although getting more for less is always very welcome. Regardless, I am looking for unbiased/uncoloured opinions, or as much as possible at least, since sound does come down to preference as well. 

 

The list is random, and there are no preferences. I just thought it looked nicer this way.

 

1. Woo Audio Wa7 Fireflies

2. NuForce Icon HDP

3. ALO Audio The Pan Am

4. O2+ODAC Headphone Amplifier / DAC combo

 

Now, I realise the pricing is quite different between some of them, but I am looking at what is best... to some extent. Obviously if a $500 unit is very very close as being just as good as a $1000 unit I would go for the $500 one. 

 

I currently own a Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 Ohm.

 

I'm eager to see your replies and all the hi-fi wisdom in them!

 

Thank you

Get the Woo Fireflies.

2nd choice, the ALO Audio

3rd, O2.

 

 

Keep in mind your headphones are bumped a bit in the lows and trebles, so, if you go with the Woo, it'll be a bright match at first listen till the tubes have some time to burn.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › Choosing between 4 amp/dac