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Looking for a DAC/AMP to run w/ Fostex TH-900/ATH W3000ANV and AUDIOENGINE A5+($2000)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

 

I am looking to buy a DAC or all in one DAC/AMP combo (bang for the buck!) that I could use with my A5+ speakers as well the aforementioned headphones. It can be either desktop/portable...but I believe desktop would be a better quality.

 

BTW, I tried running the speakers directly from my laptop, but the sound is just awful! It's bassy, muffled, veiled, thick and I know for sure that these speakers should sound nothing like that.

 

I'd be immensely grateful if you can suggest a great DAC to improve the sound of my system. My budget is $2000, but I may be willing to spend a few more hundreds if it's worth it.

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 7

Within $2000 budget you have a lot of choices. Personally I am not really a big fan of All-in-one unit so do not have much of first hand experience.

 

Burson Conductor(Sabre DAC with Soloist amp) I haven't heard Conductor personally but had Soloist twice. decent amp with laid back character. not sure how good conductors DAC section is though.

Audio-GD Reference 10.32(PCM1704UK DAC with Powerful Headphone amp). I've heard Master 7 and own Master 9. If 10.32's sound it 70% of M7+M9 combo it is great bang for buck! One thing though they are not the prettiest unit and it's HUGE.

Or you could do mix match DAC and Amp. Your budget is fully capable of having nice DAC and AMP separately.

 

If I were you I would focus more on headphone synergy since you got nice phones there;). I do have A5+myself but no matter what DAC and Preamp I use I always see myself putting my headphones on when I really listen to music.


Edited by senson - 2/12/14 at 1:29pm
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by senson View Post
 

Within $2000 budget you have a lot of choices. Personally I am not really a big fan of All-in-one unit so do not have much of first hand experience.

 

Burson Conductor(Sabre DAC with Soloist amp) I haven't heard Conductor personally but had Soloist twice. decent amp with laid back character. not sure how good conductors DAC section is though.

Audio-GD Reference 10.32(PCM1704UK DAC with Powerful Headphone amp). I've heard Master 7 and own Master 9. If 10.32's sound it 70% of M7+M9 combo it is great bang for buck! One thing though they are not the prettiest unit and it's HUGE.

Or you could do mix match DAC and Amp. Your budget is fully capable of having nice DAC and AMP separately.

 

If I were you I would focus more on headphone synergy since you got nice phones there;). I do have A5+myself but no matter what DAC and Preamp I use I always see myself putting my headphones on when I really listen to music.

 

Hey, thanks for the advice! I was considering buying Ayre QB-9 DSD (although it's way beyond my budget, but it's quite a good reputation), but then I checked Audio GD 10.32 and I think I've found what I was looking for :cool: Just to clarify, I can use it with A5+ too, right?

 

BTW, where did you get yours? I am trying to find an online store w/ international shipping service.


Edited by scorpio187 - 2/13/14 at 7:38am
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpio187 View Post
 

 

Hey, thanks for the advice! I was considering buying Ayre QB-9 DSD (although it's just beyond by budget, but it's quite a good reputation), but then I checked Audio GD 10.32 and I think I've found what I was looking for :cool: Just to clarify, I can use it with A5+ too, right?

 

BTW, where did you get yours? I am trying to find an online store w/ international shipping service.

Yes it does have preamp out so you can connect your A5+ there.

I got mine from Kingwa(owner of Audio-GD) himself. you just need to send him an e-mail and he'll send you quote.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Brill! Also, I've been reading that apparently upgrading cables will improve the sound. Do you use the stock cables or did you upgrade them too? If you did, how much improvement did you notice?

 

Frankly, I'm not really keen on upgrading cables, 'cause it then becomes a bit hectic...for me at least. Ideally I'd rather buy a great system that I could enjoy with a minimum of fuss :rolleyes:

post #6 of 7

Personally

I would upgrade cables only when 

stock cables go wrong, 

Need balance cables for headphones, need shorter cable for simplify your cable mess.

IMO I rather have $3000 gear than $2000 gear + $1000 cable. Unless there are huge sales that you can get $500 cables for $50(that happens sometimes lol)

post #7 of 7

Additionally,

Before you jump on big purchase(not sure about others but for me $2000 purchase is a big deal)

Make sure AGD gears have good synergy with your headphones. I do not have those headphones yet(probably will get TH900 soon) so my recommendation could be very general even could be wrong assumption not to mention everyone has a different favors when it comes to sound signature. If you have chance listen to it go for it ask local head-fiers a favor if you could find any.

Even amps from AGD sound differently, for example according to forum reviews and comparisons Master 8 and Master 9 has a different sound signature.

Good luck!

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