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Desktop Amp to complement Benchmark DAC1 USB to power HD650? And best portable amp to power Ultrasone Signature Pro

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've been using a benchmark dac1 usb for a few years for my hd650, just wondering if there would be a good upgrade under 500-600$ for an amp that could drive my hd650 even better (while using the benchmark as dac)

 

Also wondering which portable amp would be fantastic to drive ultrasone signature pro for portable, I've read they aren't that hard to please either way? Currently considering maybe RSA Predator?

 

Looking for professional suggestions desktop amp for hd650 budget is <600$ and budget for portable is <500$

 

Thanks

post #2 of 6

My advice would be to acquire better source material instead of another amp.  The DAC1 is already both a remarkable amp and DAC and trying to "upgrade" it based on pure objective experience is going to be mute.

 

For portables check out Headroom or this link:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-11-10-amps-compared

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post
 

My advice would be to acquire better source material instead of another amp.  The DAC1 is already both a remarkable amp and DAC and trying to "upgrade" it based on pure objective experience is going to be mute.

 

For portables check out Headroom or this link:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/620775/the-sub-200-portable-amps-shootout-11-10-amps-compared

 

What are you referring to when talking about better source material?

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by collateral View Post
 

I've been using a benchmark dac1 usb for a few years for my hd650, just wondering if there would be a good upgrade under 500-600$ for an amp that could drive my hd650 even better (while using the benchmark as dac)

 

Also wondering which portable amp would be fantastic to drive ultrasone signature pro for portable, I've read they aren't that hard to please either way? Currently considering maybe RSA Predator?

 

There probably isn't. In fact, there might not be even for $1,000 more than the Benchmark. (You can get a more analog-like sound from some, such as Grace, but that's a taste preference.)

 

By source quality, I think he meant a higher audio format--but I don't know what you're using now.

 

For portables, I like Headamp and some JDS products.

post #5 of 6

I know the better gear I end up with the better source material ( i.e. music and audio data ) I need to use to truly extract all that the new gear offers.  Without knowing what you currently have in your library, what compression if any is used, and what player you utilize my recommendation may be mute, but having better recordings really makes great gear shine.

 

I have a Grace m903 and have read that the DAC1 sounds remarkably close to it if not identical.  This would lend to to not suggest it to you now.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Yeah I guess I'll just focus on the portable setup for now thanks for the reply :)

 

For source i'm using the DAC1 USB with its usb input and flac with foobar2000 and wasapi event output.

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