Best desktop amp for around $200
Nov 7, 2008 at 6:08 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

Tapiozona

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I currently have a IBasso D2 Boa and am looking to move to a desktop amp. I don't want to spend more than $200 and at this point I really only have 1 amp on my list. The Zero Dac/Amp.

Would that be my best bang for buck or can anyone else recommend anything instead?
These would power a set of woodied Denon D2000's with upgraded cables.

THanks
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 6:14 AM Post #2 of 14

xxbaker

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if you're just looking for an amp, there are much better choices. if your source is bad then getting the zero might be a nice choice (but then later you'll probably want to upgrade to a separate amp and just use the zero as a dac)

just my $.02
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 6:17 AM Post #3 of 14

Tapiozona

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I wasnt planning on getting the dac..it just seemeed the Zero offered the best bang for buck. My sources are my laptop and zune. What would be the other options you mentioned above.
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 6:57 AM Post #4 of 14

socrates63

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DIY amp designs offer the most bang for your buck and there are many designs to choose from. Either pick one up used or commission a builder to make you one.

If you want to stick with commercial amps, it's a bit challenging to find new desktop amps for $200. Meier Audio's Corda Arietta is $230, and Firestone has some choices, but other than that, I can't think of anything else (forum search function is your friend). Typically, lower end commercial desktop amps seem to start at $300-$400. You can probably pick up a used Gilmore Lite for under $300.

I don't have any experience with the Denon D2000 so I can't make specific recommendations based on your headphone.
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 8:29 AM Post #5 of 14

godbreath

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If you want, you can use ebay's 25% back on any of the little dot amps. I got my little dot v for my d2000 with that discount and another 10% coupon for $217.

on a side note, where did you get woodies for your d2000?
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 8:53 AM Post #6 of 14

xxbaker

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well i'd check out the fs forums, a lot of times you can get nice equipment there for a nice price. also paying someone to build you an amp is always a good choice the only cons being it might not look as professional (though most builders' amps look very good) and the wait.

here's an amp you should be able to get for about $200
Little Dot MK III Headphone Tube Amplifier/Pre-Amp - eBay (item 200272222622 end time Dec-06-08 06:31:06 PST)

if you use the live search cashback you'll end up spending slightly under $200 total. if you'd rather avoid the rebate deal, then an mkII or I+ might also be nice
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 12:13 PM Post #7 of 14
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If you want a DAC as well, the Zero is a good unit to start out with. Though I've moved on to more expensive gear, going back to it (as I was testing HDAMs) it still sounds quite musical. It'll power D2000s and other headphones sufficiently.
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 3:24 AM Post #8 of 14

Tapiozona

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I actually made the woodies myself.

Looks like I'll have to spend some more money. No point in trying to force myself into a purchase to save money only to replace it in the near future when I realize I should have spent more originally.

At this point Im thinking of the Zero DAC + the Little Dot MK ...

I'd like to get one of the custom ones but all the tech talk with amps has me completely confused and I wouldnt even know what to look for, who to ask, and what it is that I need from a custom amp.

Thanks for the advice
 
Nov 9, 2008 at 6:45 AM Post #10 of 14

Gollie

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Zero + a Darkvoice or Little Dot offering fit in your budget.
 
Nov 10, 2008 at 3:31 AM Post #13 of 14

Drag0n

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Nov 10, 2008 at 5:33 AM Post #14 of 14
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The reckoning for Denons is a solid-state amp, not a tube one. I just bought an amp from here I'm very pleased with, so one of their cheaper amps might be the go, if you can wait a few days while they build and test one.
 

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