Amp/DAC combo or separate?
Nov 13, 2008 at 5:01 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 33

theeviljesus

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I was wondering what your experiences concerning dac/amp-combos compared to separate units are.

It would also be helpfull if you'd comment your choice (what did you compare?) and what's important to you: sq only/bang for buck/...

(whatever price range - even though I'm mostly interestet in the ~1000$ (for everything) segment
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Thanks!
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Nov 13, 2008 at 6:15 PM Post #3 of 33

krmathis

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I never had a combined DAC/Amplifier unit.
Have and have had several separate DAC's and Amplifiers though. I prefer separate units since it gives me more flexibility. Allowing me to hook various amplifiers up to the DAC, and the other way around.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 6:18 PM Post #4 of 33

rdmorris

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I have the pico and want separate units.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 8:25 PM Post #5 of 33

Pricklely Peete

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Separates all the way !!!


Peete.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 9:27 PM Post #6 of 33

illy2k

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Separate! Allows you to mix and match components for the best of all worlds.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 9:35 PM Post #7 of 33

mow_the_hawk

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for your price range, separate units are always best. Dac/Amp units are better for a very limited price range are better, but different are better for that price.
 
Nov 14, 2008 at 4:41 AM Post #8 of 33

Anacondastan

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Strangely in hi-end audio: separates are best, but less is more! Go figure???
 
Nov 14, 2008 at 5:25 PM Post #9 of 33

theeviljesus

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Thanks for all your replies!

Looks pretty clear at the moment...I presumed so before I posted the poll - but you never know
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@Anacondastan
I'm not sure wheter I got your point. Do you mean more links in a system alter the signal more which (probably) makes it worse?
 
Nov 14, 2008 at 11:03 PM Post #10 of 33

Anacondastan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by theeviljesus /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for all your replies!

Looks pretty clear at the moment...I presumed so before I posted the poll - but you never know
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@Anacondastan
I'm not sure wheter I got your point. Do you mean more links in a system alter the signal more which (probably) makes it worse?





Exactly...think of it this way; the more people who tell a story to the bigger it gets by the time it reaches back to you!
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 7:42 AM Post #11 of 33

theeviljesus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Anacondastan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Exactly...think of it this way; the more people who tell a story to the bigger it gets by the time it reaches back to you!


That sure is an interesting thought. Maybe that's a counterargument:
No matter if you use separate units or a combo, the signal has to pass a dac and an amp anyways, so is it really more links in the end?

But ok, on the other hand you don't have to worry about interconnects and such because they are already (and hopefully well) implemented...

Well probably that's a stupid point or has even a wrong assumption in it...but it's just a thougt (I'm not very familiar with the technical stuff)
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Nov 15, 2008 at 8:27 AM Post #12 of 33

JamesL

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When you're looking at up to around $300-500 or less, I definitely think that a DAC/AMP combo has it's place.

For the parts and manufacturing price alone, you get more for your money, considering only 1 chassis(biggie), less connectors, less switches, less shipping, etc etc...
On top of that, the manufacturer has to cover distributing costs, labor cost, etc.... which means that it costs more to sell two different products, than one (combo) product.
Again, you get more for your money.


In the higher end market, I think it's much more worth it to invest in a separate dac and amp.
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 9:12 AM Post #13 of 33

Kraps

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Quote:

Originally Posted by theeviljesus /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for all your replies!

Looks pretty clear at the moment...I presumed so before I posted the poll - but you never know
wink.gif


@Anacondastan
I'm not sure wheter I got your point. Do you mean more links in a system alter the signal more which (probably) makes it worse?



No controversy here for less is more indeed. A separate component is less than two-in-one "talking" to each other.
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 9:15 AM Post #14 of 33

Kraps

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JamesL /img/forum/go_quote.gif
When you're looking at up to around $300-500 or less, I definitely think that a DAC/AMP combo has it's place.

For the parts and manufacturing price alone, you get more for your money, considering only 1 chassis(biggie), less connectors, less switches, less shipping, etc etc...
On top of that, the manufacturer has to cover distributing costs, labor cost, etc.... which means that it costs more to sell two different products, than one (combo) product.
Again, you get more for your money.


In the higher end market, I think it's much more worth it to invest in a separate dac and amp.



On some occasions dac/amp could be more practical, like for instance on your desk in an office, where you don't do critical listening anyway, but you have space limitations.
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 12:58 PM Post #15 of 33

tfarney

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I've had the opportunity to plug my Senn HD580s into a roomful of Pioneer Elite, Denon and high-end Yamaha AV receivers, where DAC, amp and much more are integrated into a single component, and I suspect that most Head-Fi users wouldn't be able to consistently ID them from their own rigs in blind AB/X testing. Even the mid-priced Yamahas are pretty remarkable, perhaps the best unknown buy in headphone listening. I can't really tell you why they sound so good. Perhaps they've paid special attention to the impedance output of their HP jack because they want to maximize their proprietary (and excellent) HP surround simulation, "Silent Cinema." Perhaps it is because their "Pure Direct" switch delivers such a clean signal. Then again, if I plugged a pair of low-impedance phones into one of them, perhaps it would sound bad. Who knows? Someone want to send me a pair of Denons so I can try it out?
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Tim
 

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