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All in one Dac/Amp

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have been reading a lot of reviews of combo units (dac and headphone amp) and they almost always seem to end up saying that either it is a real good dac and an average amp, or just the opposite. Has anyone ran into an all-in-one unit with both a good dac AND a good amp? I am looking for something price wise in the area of the Dacmagic Plus or Emotiva DC-1. In fact so far the DC-1 seems to be the closest to what I am looking for, but I'd like to check and see if I missed something.

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by HPiper View Post
 

I have been reading a lot of reviews of combo units (dac and headphone amp) and they almost always seem to end up saying that either it is a real good dac and an average amp, or just the opposite. Has anyone ran into an all-in-one unit with both a good dac AND a good amp? I am looking for something price wise in the area of the Dacmagic Plus or Emotiva DC-1. In fact so far the DC-1 seems to be the closest to what I am looking for, but I'd like to check and see if I missed something.

Something by Schiit might meet your needs. They're not a combo/all in one, but they can be put on top of each other just like pretty much everthing, so no desk space is really wasted. They also have some good pricepoints that go from the low end, to the med/high end. Modi+Magni which is a small compact unit is only $240 USD with the USB + RCA cales ($20 each) or $198 without them. 

post #3 of 4

Just my 2 cents but I believe purchasing them separate is generally better.  Reason:  technology.  Dacs have evolved tremendously, what was top of the range 10 years ago is nowadays mediocre at best.  And it looks like they'll continue to evolve rather quickly.  Amps otoh remain far more constant.  

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post

Just my 2 cents but I believe purchasing them separate is generally better.  Reason:  technology.  Dacs have evolved tremendously, what was top of the range 10 years ago is nowadays mediocre at best.  And it looks like they'll continue to evolve rather quickly.  Amps otoh remain far more constant.  

This is partly the reason I would say go separate, I'd also add that it gives you more granular control over all the aspects in the chain, which is an asset at upgrade time and when trying to get the right pairings for a particular headphone or stable of headphones. This is increasingly true the better your headphones get, since they should be be revealing and transparent enough to really allow you to assess the nuance of upstream gear.
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