I currently have a FiiO E7/E9 combo, old and it's starting to play up so I am looking to upgrade.
I ordered an AudioEngine D1 from Amazon UK which should come Monday but I just learned that it's RCA outputs are variable and controlled by the damn volume knob which I DO NOT WANT! :(
My setup is as follows:
2x Monitor Audio BX-2 Speakers hooked up to a Cambridge Audio AM10 Amplifier.
I switch between various headphones with impedance's ranging from 300-600 Ohms.
I want to buy a good DAC for this sort of price range (£100-200) and later want to buy a nice Tube Amplifier withing the same price range (£100-200) to help drive the headphones, for the time being I shall just drive the headphones off the Cambridge Audio AM10 Amplifier as it's good enough for short-term and just need to know of a good DAC with Optical and USB Inputs, don't care about whether it goes to 192KHz, 96KHz will be perfectly fine and hell even 48KHz works for me lol. The DAC must have Line-Level outputs which I assume is a given on a standalone DAC :P
I would also like recommendations on some decent Tube Headphone Amps with both RCA In (from the DAC) and RCA Out to get some of that warm tube sound going to the Speakers themselves, assuming the RCA Out's are not amplified as I don't want dual amplification!
Look forward to hearing your suggestions, really want to buy this DAC ASAP and the Tube Amp relatively soon as I live for my music and my FiiO is just dying every passing day :(
p.s. I want a Tube Amp because I love the warm, smooth sound of tubes compared to the more neutral sound of SS. Although I am sure some SS are also warm and smooth so I am welcome to suggestions of those too :)
Final note. If you guys have any combined devices with both Amp and DAC together for around (£200-300) let me know :)
Thanks in advance!