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Amp + DAC + Pre Combo

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I'm trying to find an all-in-1 headphone amp, DAC and pre-amp (or just a dac/amp with balanced outputs that can be muted) for my office setup. My current setup runs PC -> Focusrite 2i4 -> powered monitors and a range of headphones (LCD-3, Fostex TH-X00, Senn HD580, Shure SRH 840, and Weston W40s occasionally). For the most part the setup work fine as the Focusrite has volume controls for both the monitors and the headphones. However, I've found the Focusrite to be a bit buggy, and the headphone amp is lacking.


Given all of that are there any pieces of kit that jump to mind that folks would recommend? So far the only product that I've been able to find that fits the bill is the Oppo HA-1 which looks like a fine choice, but I'm trying to determine whether there is anything else out there that can meet my needs.

post #2 of 3

NFB-11 if you don't need balanced out, or the ability to use with a separate dac/analog input.  I have an older version of this and it's amazing for switching between headphones and powered monitors.  Really well-designed product.



If you have the budget for it ($750) and/or need balanced outs and analog inputs go for the nfb-28.  It's what I'll be upgrading to once I can afford it.  I've never heard one personally, but I've read the majority of the posts in the massive thread about it here.  Most have very good things to say about it.




Another option is the Schiit Jotunheim with the internal dac card.


A downside of the Jotunheim for me is that it lacks an switch to change output between headphones and preamp out, they are always both outputting, so you would need to power off or disconnect your monitors when not using them.


Edit: Just re-read your post and you did say you were looking for something with balanced outputs that can be muted, so the NFB-28 is the only one of my suggestions that meets your requirements.

Edited by djchup - 12/9/16 at 2:47pm
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check it out. The balanced preamp outputs are a must as i end up with interference when running RCA cables around my office despite the short runs. I suspect there is simply too much electronics in one small area.

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