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New desktop headphone amp & DAC - Do I want a valve amp with the Superlux 681EVO

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm putting together a little desktop setup for use in work, I have Superlux 681EVO's on order and currently have an ELE EL-D02 DAC which will do me for the moment. 

 

I'm getting tempted with upgrading to a nicer unit though for under £100, ideally £50-60, I'm thinking low end (even boards I can case up myself) but with sound quality in mind :) I know you get what you pay for but that's whats fun about this little project!

 

The question is should I get another DAC amp combo, or have a separate setup?

 

I'm very tempted with a valve amp but haven't heard anything run through one before. I understand they give off a warm sound though?.When I bought my Hi-Fi though I was told I liked the warm sound because of what I ended up choosing, I currently run a Marantz PM6400 and B&W 685 rear ported bookshelf speakers.... so is valve the way to go? I was looking at the the "Little Bear 12/6 series valve 12AU7 6922 6N11 Tube Headphone Amplifier" but have read on here that they're not very good and potentially damage your headphones!? Plus, I'm completely unsure as to what tube I'd buy with it in the event I did go with one, they look to be supplied with either a 12AU7, 6N11-J or 6922EH. 

 

If I went down this route I was thinking perhaps a Stoner Acoustics UD110 could be used? Or should I just get a Sabre?

 

........am I over complicating all of this though? 

 

Are there any suggestions given the above criteria you'd make assuming I'm using the Superlux 681EVO's with flacs of my CD collection?

 

Should I go with a combo instead like the HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC 2 or are there any well known valve combo options I've not found yet?!

 

Help! So so :confused:

post #2 of 6

I would say to just keep using the ELE EL-D02.

Save your cash for the next headphone upgrade.

 

Tube amplifiers come with a high output impedance which might not be the best choice for use with 32-Ohm headphones.

Technically a hybrid solid state/tube should have a lower output impedance, better for driving 32-Ohm headphones.

 

Still vote to just keep using the EL-D02.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 3/28/14 at 2:13pm
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I would say to just keep using the ELE EL-D02.

Save your cash for the next headphone upgrade.


Interesting, I have the chance to cancel the evo order. Is it worth doing? I presume it's a worthy upgrade from the sennheiser 202?

Or on the flip side are you saying the ele isn't a particularly awful dac/amp?

It's so subjective and personal this business it drives me mad!
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by funkoid View Post


Interesting, I have the chance to cancel the evo order. Is it worth doing? I presume it's a worthy upgrade from the Sennheiser 202?
Or on the flip side are you saying the ele isn't a particularly awful dac/amp?
It's so subjective and personal this business it drives me mad!

 

I own the ELE EL-D02 DAC, but I dropped it too many times and it stopped working, three days ago I order two more EL-D02's, $19 each.

The PCM2704 DAC chip used in the ELE EL-D02 is surprising good, for the price you pay.

I think the ELE EL-D02 & HD681 EVO should make a good low cost combo.

You might consider ordering two of the D02's, as they are only $19 each, from eBay.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
:-/ I'll confess, I ordered one for $15, they sent two by accident 😳
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
..... I'm thinking it may have been PurpleAngel that send me two by accident now 😂
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