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Aune T1 vs. Little Dot MK II

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, 

Head-Fi noob here. I look forward to learn more from all of you.

 

To start out in the world of wallet emptying audiophile world, I've been checking out Aune T1 and Little Dot's MK II as a good entry point.

 

I read reviews on them but it's extremely difficult to determine strength and preference over one or the other.

 

Here are some of my questions and pointers.

 

*I understand T1 only uses tube if connected via USB cable.  

*I understand Little Dot MK II needs DAC.  But considering it will be connected to laptops or iPhone/iPod, why would I need a separate DAC?  laptop or iPhone serves as one no?  

*So... here is the big question: For those of you who have tried both, which one do you prefer?  I know the answer will be mostly subjective.  But I would love to hear what you think is pros and cons of both units. 

Other than obvious differences, how was the experience using them?  Is T1's USB only limiting tube experience limit the usage as well?

 

I am really curious about these two.

post #2 of 23

For home use, it is better to buy a DAC rather than use the laptop's on-board sound card. big difference in sound. you could buy cheap DAC's like Modi,ODAC and even this cheaper one:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/hifimediy-sabre-usb-dac

 

all the way up to 4000 bucks ones.

 

they all improve the sound. Soundstage gets bigger, better imaging, crispier treble...etc .

 

I am not familiar with the Aune T1, the MKII is designed for higher impedance headphones, it has a good performance/price ratio. if your cans are low Impedance, get the Little Dot I+ . it is a hybrid I know, but it is a good amp. I am going to Buy it As well.

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

I guess better question is...

 

If T1 is an inclusive device that does not need a separate DAC, why would I choose Little Dot MK II over it?  

With a decentcheap DAC that you suggested, is Little Dot's MK II noticeably better than T1?

post #4 of 23

Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC vs Aune T1's DAC:

 

They both have the same sample rate : 24 bit/96KHz

 

Hifimediy has a better DAC chip : ES9023 , while the Aune T1 might have a better implementation.

 

Hifimediy has asynchronous transfer mode. I don't know if Aune T1 has that.

 

Both have the same USB chip, they are both Plug and play, no driver software needed.

 

Hifimediy gets better reviews.

 

 

With the MKII you have better tube rolling options.

 

Warnings :

 

the MKII is designed to drive higher Impedance headphones. if your headphones are Low impedance get the Little Dot I+.

 

The Hifimediy DAC comes in many flavours. make sure you buy the asynchronous one.

post #5 of 23
Your answer is going to probably depend on how good your source is. A lot of times, laptop/on board sound cards are susceptible to interference. If that's the case, the LD MKII is just going to enhance that interference/noise, thus giving you a worse experience. A lot of times, ppl get external dacs, even cheap ones, is to rid themselves of the noise. My work computer was horrid when it came to interference and signal noise. The better the hps that I got, the better I was able to pick it out. That lead me to buying my first external dac, just to get away from the noise. If you're just plugging in a ipod/iphone/whatever, you're probably fine with just getting an amp. But if playing from laptop is important, you might want to look into a dac.
post #6 of 23

if you can extend your budget buy the ODAC or the Modi. these are the best in the price range.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam21 View Post
 

Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC vs Aune T1's DAC:

 

They both have the same sample rate : 24 bit/96KHz

 

Hifimediy has a better DAC chip : ES9023 , while the Aune T1 might have a better implementation.

 

Hifimediy has asynchronous transfer mode. I don't know if Aune T1 has that.

 

Both have the same USB chip, they are both Plug and play, no driver software needed.

 

Hifimediy gets better reviews.

 

 

With the MKII you have better tube rolling options.

 

Warnings :

 

the MKII is designed to drive higher Impedance headphones. if your headphones are Low impedance get the Little Dot I+.

 

The Hifimediy DAC comes in many flavours. make sure you buy the asynchronous one.

 

Looks like the updated Aune T1 has the asynchronous transfer (http://www.shenzhenaudio.com/aune-t1-mk2-upgrade-version-6922-24bit-96khz-asynchronous-clock-tube-amplifier-usb-decoder-usb-dac.html)

So... it sounds more like you are recommending Hifimedy + MKII... am I right? 

As far as high impedance headphones, mine is rated at 60-ohm (headphone will be my next upgrade).  I am slightly confused because both sites (T1 and MKII) recommend headphones ranging from 30~600ohm so wouldn't it be the same? 

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

So... it sounds like you are recommending Hifimedy + MKII?

 

According to Shenzenaudio's site, T1 looks like it does have asynchronous tube option?  (I can't put a link yet but this is what the title says "Aune T1 MK2 Upgrade Version 6922 24Bit / 96KHz Asynchronous Clock Tube Amplifier USB Decoder USB DAC")

 

It's a bit confusing because both their sites (T1 and MKII) is rating recommended headphone power range to be around 30~600ohm...  So it wouldn't matter too much no?  My headphone is rated at 60-ohm at the moment... 

post #9 of 23
Older model Aune T1 is isn't async. MK2 was just released recently.

And no, it wouldn't matter. What HPs are you using btw?
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 

Koss Portapro at the moment. 

 

I was thinking about going with Bowers & Wilkins P3... it's rated at 34ohms...  hrm...

post #11 of 23

Little dot I+ power output:

 

  • 150mW @ 300 ohms
  • 300mW @ 120 ohms
  • 800mW @ 32 ohms

 

Little Dot MK II power output:

 

  • 300mW into 300 ohms
  • 200mW into 120 ohms
  • 100mW into 32 ohms

I would get the Little Dot I+ for a 60-ohm headphone.

 

 

post #12 of 23
I think maybe you should take a step back with your wallet and see if you really need any of these things first. wink.gif
post #13 of 23

lol, MrEleventry is right....

post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 

Well... that's why I am here and I am ready to be schooled.  

 

I have to start somewhere... right? 

 

From what I can see from reading up so far (and believe me... the world of high fi audio world has a steep learning curve for us immortals and civilians...), Something like T1 or even MKII sounds like a good entry point without killing myself...

 

I just wantto make sure to get some pro advice before moving on... which... already all these comments have been immensely helpful.  

 

So SCHOOL ME!  I am here to learn!

post #15 of 23
dacs and amps can only do so much. Combined, they account for something like, 10% of the final sound. The headphones are 90% of it. Pick a budget that you can spend on audio equipment, take 80% of that and spend it on a pair of HPs. Then re-evaluate to see if you need the dac/amp. Going the other way around is like slapping a jet engine on a scooter. Overkill. wink.gif
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