Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Looking for Chinese setup under $600 (Amp + DAC)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Looking for Chinese setup under $600 (Amp + DAC)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I currently live in Shanghai and want to use this to my advantage and upgrade my current setup.  I am looking to spend around $600 for an Amp & DAC to pair with my Beyerdynamic DT880s.


As of now I am using a Macbook w/ itunes 320kbps MP3s-> Firestone audio Fubar II DAC -> matching Firestone amp -> DT880s

 

I've been researching extensively on here to see what my options are but figured I would see if anyone has any other suggestions before I make a decision.  I listen to mostly rock / indie / electronic stuff and am interested in something with a slightly warm sound.  As of now the two options I am considering are:

 

1) Little Dot MKIV + Little Dot DAC_1 - interested in this setup because I get to try out tubes which is something I have never had before.  

 

2) Audio GD NFB10.33 - interested in this because a) the ability to go full balanced if I re-terminate my headphones, b) the ability to use this as a balanced DAC for my home amp which also has balanced inputs, c) it has a remote

 

3) Purchase LD MKIV for now and at a later date upgrade the DAC.  Maybe the Yulong D100 or the Audio GD NFB17.32?

 

My questions:  

- are there any other Chinese products I should be considering?

- Will running balanced make much of a difference on DT880s or would I need to go higher end for it to matter? 

- Do you think either of these setups will be worth the cost to upgrade from my current setup?  In particular, will either of these DACs be noticeably better than my current Fubar DAC? (think basic $100 DAC with external PSU)

 

Thanks in advance for the help. 

post #2 of 5
You might want to look at Matrix and Darkvoice as well.

Bear in mind that the DAC_1 is an excellent DAC (I have one), but that it can only accept HD files via SPDIF - the USB receiver is for Redbook files only, so you may need to add a USB to SPDIF converter.

Personally, I would probably go for the LD MK IV and DAC_1, and add a Yulong U18 when you want to go HD...
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJG888 View Post

You might want to look at Matrix and Darkvoice as well.

Bear in mind that the DAC_1 is an excellent DAC (I have one), but that it can only accept HD files via SPDIF - the USB receiver is for Redbook files only, so you may need to add a USB to SPDIF converter.

Personally, I would probably go for the LD MK IV and DAC_1, and add a Yulong U18 when you want to go HD...

 

Thanks for the info.  I didn't actually realize there was a difference b/w the USB and SPIDF inputs... so thats just one more thing to think about now.  Do you run a U18 with your DAC_1?  If so, what kind of files do you need to be playing on your computer to notice a different?  I assume with something like internet radio it probably won't make much difference but is it noticeable if using 320kbps MP3?


Also, your location says Shanghai, you live here too?  Know of any decent stores around here that sell Chinese head-fi / hi-fi gear?

post #4 of 5
Firstly, I would recommend forgetting entirely about MP3s. You have an excellent set of cans, and are about to enter regions of SQ where MP3 has no business to exist smily_headphones1.gif

At the very least, you should use CD quality files (44.1 KHz / 16 bit), also known as "Redbook", after the original CD specification manual. HD files go one stage further, and are typically 24 bit at 96 or 192 KHz. In China, they can easily be downloaded from HDTracks without a VPN...

I didn't notice that you have a Mac. In that case, you can use a TOSLINK optical cable for your Mac straight to the LD (no need for the Yulong!).

As far as buying the kit goes, I order my HeadFi equipment from wsz0304@vip.163.com, based in Shenzhen. I believe there is a branch of Jaben in Zhejiang Lu, though. I think it's in the hifi mall at 398 Zhejiang Zhong Lu (near People's Square). I presume you're based in Puxi...

BTW there is an enormous bookstore in Fuzhou Lu with an incredible selection of good quality, low cost CDs...
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

This is good stuff, thanks for the help.  You are right though, I need to get off of MP3s.  Its been a long time coming but if I'm going to spend $600 on an amp and DAC I need to upgrade the media as well.  I've been to the hifi mall on Zhejiang Lu, I'll head over there this weekend and see what I can find.  I live near Zhongshan Park so its just a few stops on line 2.  A couple more questions for you.  1) do you have the name / address of this bookstore you speak of?  2) Do you have any experience with other DACs in the price range or higher than the DAC_1?  If I end up going with the LD MKIV I'm tempted to just get the DAC too because it matches but at the same time I know that the $250-$500 price point is pretty competitive for DACs.  I know the Audio GD stuff is pretty highly regarded.  I am thinking maybe I will get the LD MKIV and then get the Audio GD NFB 17.32.  You think its worth the extra money or does it make more sense to get the matching one from LD? Thanks again  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Looking for Chinese setup under $600 (Amp + DAC)