Hi Headf-Fi people! This is my first post!
My name is Sylvain, from Montréal, Canada. I'm an happy french Canadian, so some language mistakes could occur.
I'm fairly new in the market for high quality music gear and quality. It's about time! Since last month, I bought Sennheiser "Momentum" for my home and the Grado "GR10" for my workplace. I like the Momentum a lot, but like the cleaner sound from the Grado a little better.
Since I listen music about 3 to 6 hours a day at my job, I'm looking for a high quality dac or dac/amp for the Grado GR10. It's to use with a PC "HP Z800 workstation" to play some mp3 and flac music from the hard drive through JRiver audio player. So...it's gonna be plugged in the USB output almost 100% of time. I mainly listen instrumental music (piano, video game, soundtracks, jazz, bands like Art of Noise-Mike Oldfield-Paco De Lucia, Brian Eno). There is some old rock music too (Genesis-Frank Zappa-Rush-Bob Dylan-The Police-CCR).
The things I would like to have to match the Grado GR10:
#1 - Remove hiss sound, have a dark background.
#2 - Have a small bass boost (or should I only use the equalizer?).
#3 - Not too big, can be portable, or not.
#4 - Budget is between 300 & 600$.
I know these headphones don't need so much amplification, so looking mostly for a very good dac (an very good dac/amp combo would not hurt for sure)! The candidates I found:
- Fostex HP-A4
- ALO Audio "The Island" or "The International"
- IFi "iDAC" with "iUSB Power"
- JDSLabs "O2" or "CE5"
- Schiit Audio “Bifrost”
- Ray Samuel Audio "The Predator"
- Wait for the Geek desktop DAC/AMP by Light Harmonics?
Or any tube amp/dac combo?
Other famous newbies questions:
1- The eternal debate: Is 16bit/44 good enough or 24/192 is a must have?
2- Cables, do they really make a difference?
3- Can those Grado GR10 can be balanced with a balanced cable?
Can you help me decide? Thanks!
Edited by jackyzen - 2/2/14 at 7:00pm