An Amp and DAC for $500
May 28, 2008 at 5:26 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


Headphoneus Supremus
Sep 25, 2006
So I sold a lot of equipment and was thinking about the Gilmore Lite (used) + a DAC but was wondering what you guys thought before I took the plunge. It will be powering a Sextett and Grado SR60 (occasionally). Any combos you have tried?
May 28, 2008 at 6:23 PM Post #2 of 6
You might be interested in the PreSonus Central Station. I owned one until the Great Analog Seduction happened and was very happy with it. The amp is powerful enough for AKGs and the upsampling DAC is clean and clear. I ran it via TOSLINK off an Intel Mac Mini and it made for a nice system.

Also nice is the second, complete headphone amp. If you ever want to A/B headphones or listen with someone else, it's perfect. There's a nice relay-based preamp in there, too. Check the threads - a number of people here have them.

The Gilmore Lite is a good amp. I built a Dynalo (DIY version) awhile ago and it's a fine amp. I've always liked Dr. Gilmore's designs. I'm not terribly familiar with other DACs, but have listened to the SilverStone EB01. For $100 or so, it's far from bad. Though I think the Central Station is the best deal overall.
May 28, 2008 at 6:30 PM Post #4 of 6
Maybe a used Corda Aria or Cantante? Haven't tried either but read that both are good.

If you don't mind the wait, the Headamp Pico will probably also fit the bill as will the RSA Predator. These are both newer designs that might be better?
May 28, 2008 at 7:49 PM Post #5 of 6
I'll second Uncle Erik's CentralStation recommendation, it is a very good bang for the buck unit with great sound if you don't mind the subjectively not so pretty and somewhat bright rackmount enclosure and proaudio style outputs.


Originally Posted by malldian /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What kind of speaker outs are those?

balanced TRS designed to drive powered monitors. The line-outs are also all balanced TRS so you do need a special cable (TS to RCA) if you decide to add an amp later on, I'm using a set of ProCo cables from sweetwater.
May 28, 2008 at 11:06 PM Post #6 of 6
Yeah, I wouldn't discount the Pico or Predator... They are seriously versitile devices.

I favor the Predator for the lifetime warranty, great battery life, and smooth/enjoyable sound sig.

Update: oh and the fact that you won't have to wait!

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