I've searched and read a good bit but am not much closer to choosing an amp or deciding if I also need an external DAC.
At work I use a laptop with Nvidia (Nforce?) audio driver. The chip is a 92HD87 (http://datasheet.octopart.com/92HD87B1X5NDGXTBX-Integrated-Device-Technology-datasheet-13693593.pdf)
At home I use a xonar dx/xd.
The DT990s I have on the way are 250ohm.
I will not need anything "portable" although footprint *may* be a consideration.
I know I will need amplification, but unsure if I should also get a DAC too.
I don't really want 2 devices so am focusing on amps or integrated DAC/amp combos
I do like the idea of valves. The warm sound is something that appeals.
I'm more than happy to take a decent 1st step and upgrade in the future - it doesn't have to be my forever solution.
Considered so far:
littledot Mk1 through 3
bravo single tube amps
I guess the main issue weighing on my mind that I've not been able to find an answer to is around the quality of the DAC in my work laptop. I'm fairly OK that my home soundcard will convert OK, just need amplification.
Also, how reliable is usb sound? I assume the PC sees it as a soundcard, but does other things happening on the bus effect performance on the soundcard? eg. if doing a massive data transfer down another USB connection on the same bus.
would there be an advantage to using optical/coax digital in on a DAC instead of USB?
What would your recommendation be and why?
Edited by arrbee - 3/19/14 at 5:01am