Best amp dac combo unit under $1000
Feb 13, 2015 at 2:54 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

Silentanarchy

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I want a usb dac and amp that can drive any headphones High impedance to low impedance. I'm not worried about driving electro statics because i don't plan on ever getting electrostatic headphones, Speakers definetly but not headphones. Also I'd prefer something under $600 but $1000 is okay. A hybrid would be awesome, one with two different outputs Tube and solidstate.   
 
Feb 13, 2015 at 3:05 PM Post #2 of 10

Mr Rick

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  I want a usb dac and amp that can drive any headphones High impedance to low impedance. I'm not worried about driving electro statics because i don't plan on ever getting electrostatic headphones, Speakers definetly but not headphones. Also I'd prefer something under $600 but $1000 is okay. A hybrid would be awesome, one with two different outputs Tube and solidstate.   

You could get A Schiit Asgard 2 ( Solid State ) Valhalla 2 ( Tube ) and Bifrost ( DAC ) for that kind of money.
 
May 28, 2015 at 5:43 PM Post #6 of 10

knorris908

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A bit late, but if you seek the option to go portable, my iFi iDSD Micro has an awesome DAC, and the integrated amp drives even my Sennheiser HD-650s almost as well on its internal battery power as my desktop ASGARD 2 does!  I also have a FIIO e17 which while great with all my other headphones, doesn't make the HD-650s "shine" like i know they do when properly fed power.
 
Caveat:  Portable, but not "pocketable"  (A coat pocket?  Yes, but not pants pockets unless you wear cargo pants/shorts)  Fits nicely in a laptop bag for travel while providing desktop-class performance.  To beat it, I'd have to spend $2500 + on a Chord Hugo, and it still wouldn't be a huge win for the HUGO in my opinion.
 
I think the iFi iDSD Micro is up to ~$600-$650 now, but I'd buy it all over again at this price as well, knowing what I know after almost a year with it.
 
Good luck!
 
May 28, 2015 at 6:04 PM Post #7 of 10
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Garage1217  Project Ember (hybrid tube amp)  $390 w/aluminum chasis AND  
Garage1217 Project Polaris (solid state amp) $290 w/aluminum chasis AND
HRT Music Streamer II+ Dac  $250
 
=$930 before shipping. Still under a grand shipped. (even if you add the thumb screw option to the garage1217 amps)
 
 
just the polaris with the dac gets you in under your $600 alternate limit. 
 
go for the non-combo unit :wink:
 
May 28, 2015 at 11:35 PM Post #8 of 10

KLJTech

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I've been using the Schiit Audio Gungnir (Gen 2 USB) and their Asgard 2 in my office system for about six months now and I couldn't be happier. The Gungnir replaced a Bryston BDA-1 and I've never looked back, plus the Asgard 2 drives everything from my HE-400 & 500's on High Gain and sounds incredible when paired with my Westone W40's IEM's on Low Gain. I use the preamp outputs of the Asgard 2 to feed a Parasound Halo A23 stereo amp and its does a fantastic job in that capacity as well. There are a lot of great combinations you can find at or near your price point. Good luck!
 
Jun 3, 2015 at 3:15 PM Post #9 of 10

aqsw

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  Oppo HA-1 meets your needs..

I agree, It's a fantastic choice. Jack of all trades that sounds superb. It is $100.00 over the budget, but it would be well worth the extra.
 
Jun 6, 2015 at 2:26 AM Post #10 of 10

natemact

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I don't use a dac at home (only portable) so can't help you there but I know I wouldn't be alone here in recommending the Gustard H10 for your amp. It's basically a $350 clone of the Violectric V200 with the Alps RK27 soldered directly to the pcb, effectively shortening the signal path.
 
For it's price it's a complete stunner but it's iron fist control over planar magnetic drivers is where the H10 really shines. Many respected members have called the H10 the greatest value in head amps going today preferring it to Lyr 2's and Crack+speedball's (I kept it over my G109P). IMHO it's the best <$500 amp currently available and it's synergy with the HE-560 is absolutely absurd for it's price. Check out the thread and meet the swabbies of the SS Gustard!
 

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