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Help choosing an AMP please!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I'm back here after a few years hiatus. I need to find an amp that can do an ok job with a few pairs of headphones, with an Imac as the main source, with the occasionnal use of Ipad/Iphone.

I'm by no means an expert in the field, but already have a few pairs of decend mid-range headphones thanks to a friend who helped me with that a couple years ago.

I'm currently using either the Grado RS-1 (not RS-1i), the old Sennheiser HD-580 (slightly upgraded with 650 cables and grills), and finally recently purchased the brand new Philips Fidelio X1.

I already have a Grado RA-1 battery amp, which I don't use because buying 9V batteries ends up being expensive and it's a hassle. Also, I don't think it would drive the Sennheiser HD-580 correctly. Haven't tried with the Philips... but I don't expect much.

Do you have any recommendation that would do the job with all 3 headphones with an Imac as the main source? Guess I'm in the market for a DAC/AMP. Not to sure about budget... Looking for good quality/price. I was once using lossless files, but I found out I'm happy enough with just MP3/MP4s, so I 'm not looking for the very most expensive stuff.

Do you recommend selling the RA-1 ? I don't really use it because it's battery powered and the RS-1 are so easy to drive (with ok results, guess it could be better). What do you think of it ? What is it worth nowadays?

Thanks a lot for helping!!! I know this a lot of questions, and I couldn't find a clear answer by looking at a few threads I found here. Hope to hear from you soon!
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
Bump. Any suggestions?
post #3 of 11

Schiit Asgard 2?

post #4 of 11

Yes, I recommend selling the Grado amp as it doesn't seem to be doing what you want. Depending on the condition, list it at $50 below retail and take it from there. And I recommend buying an O2 from JDS Labs which will drive all three (and is semi-portable). The O2+ODAC is less portable as it lacks rechargeable batteries; otherwise, it's the sort of thing to consider.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
JDS LABS O2+ODAC seems like a good choice from what I have found on the web. But what about TEAC A-H01 (OR UD-H01), which I can find (brand new) for actually cheaper (250$) than the 02+ODAC. What do you think of the TEAC A-H01 as a DAC+AMP for headphones (I use Sennheiser HD580, Grado RS1, Philips X1 for now, but that could change)?

TEAC A-H01 has the secondary benefit of being able to drive speakers, but is it as good as the O2+ODAC as a DAC + headphone AMP (which is my main focus)?

Thanks for helping again.

Should I post that question in the AMP forum since it's pretty specific?
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by bicyclefan View Post

JDS LABS O2+ODAC seems like a good choice from what I have found on the web. But what about TEAC A-H01 (OR UD-H01), which I can find (brand new) for actually cheaper (250$) than the 02+ODAC. What do you think of the TEAC A-H01 as a DAC+AMP for headphones (I use Sennheiser HD580, Grado RS1, Philips X1 for now, but that could change)?

TEAC A-H01 has the secondary benefit of being able to drive speakers, but is it as good as the O2+ODAC as a DAC + headphone AMP (which is my main focus)?

 

 

I would say to spend the extra cash and buy the O2 & ODAC, as separate units.

The O2 can run off an AC outlet or it's two 9 volt batteries, so you can travel with the O2 and use it with your iPhone.

And my personal opinion (belief) is the O2/ODAC should sound better then the Teac.

post #7 of 11
The TEAC A-H01 is a DAC/headphone amp/speaker amp that uses the B&O Icepower technology. So yeah. It's great for a unit with a speaker amp built in. But I wouldn't count on it exceeding the best DAC/headphone amp units like the ODAC/O2.
post #8 of 11
The O2 isn't so portable. I find the O2+ODAC combo more useful.

I just bought the Limited Edition as an upgrade. It has a tidier control panel, more connection choices, and a 1/4" jack. Minor but useful changes.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

The O2 isn't so portable. I find the O2+ODAC combo more useful.

Separates do provide better options, though, since the ODAC can be used with other headphone amps, speaker amps, or powered monitors. Or the O2 could be used with a different DAC or some computer soundcards. More flexibility.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

The O2 isn't so portable. I find the O2+ODAC combo more useful.

I just bought the Limited Edition as an upgrade. It has a tidier control panel, more connection choices, and a 1/4" jack. Minor but useful changes.

 

Ok, maybe the O2 can be considered a "semi-portable".

post #11 of 11

You both make good points. I use the combo with my laptop (not my main set up), so it's easier to have it in one box.

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