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Dac/Amp to go with Grado RS-2s

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by matt120, Aug 7, 2012.
  1. matt120
    Hi Guys
    I've had to dig my headphones out again since moving from a detached house to a flat and well they just aren't cutting it compared to my last speaker set up.
    My current rig is Foobar/FLAC -> Emu 0404 USB -> Modded HeedCanamp -> Grado RS-2s but the combo just isn't making me smile, all sounds too dry and fatiguing
    I'm not sure if I should upgrade to say an M-DAC with its built in amp or an Audio-gd NFB-5.  I would like to be able to drive active monitors at a later date.
    Any input would be greatly received. 
  2. HeatFan12 Contributor
    Well Matt, I recently received the NFB-16 & NFB-15.1 and both sound great with Grados including RS-2s.  IMO the 15.1 would fit the bill nicely.
  3. matt120
    Thanksf or the feedback, have you heard the M-DAC for comparison, I know it's twice the price of the NFB-15, how does it compare to the NFB-5?
  4. HeatFan12 Contributor
    Hi Matt,
    No, sorry I have never listened to the M-DAC or NFB-5.  In the NFB-15.1 thread it was mentioned that it would be a great head to head with the NFB-5.2, however don't think too many folks own both.
  5. mentt
    HI, I have M-DAC/Grado PS500 combo and it sounds superb.
  6. formula1
    If price is no object, you'll like the HA-160D. Warm amp, not fatiguing sound. 
    You can use active monitors with it. 
  7. matt120
    I think the 160D is a little out of range

    I emailed AudioGD saying I'd like to go for the NFB5.2 to which he came back saying you can nowhve a 32bit upgrade for free but then I noticed the NFB 11.32 which has the Saber DAC in it like the MDac...too many options

    Kingwa said the 11.32 is more transparent and neutral where as the 5.2 is smoother and warmer which I think will suit Grasps better...any thoughts?
  8. HeatFan12 Contributor
    Hey Matt,

    Well, since I posted in this thread about the NFB-15.1 & NFB-16 being great with Grados, I have since acquired the NFB-11.32 as well.  I spent some good quality time the last couple days with it and Grados and have to say it's great indeed.  I was worried about the Sabre chip and Grados being too analytical-sounding and fatiguing, but the result was a very detailed, and full-bodied presentation.

  9. matt120
    So basically I can't go wrong haha
    Which did you feel gave a more enjoyble listening experience, or would you keep if you were only allowed one amp :) Also what genre of music do you listen to
    I'm soooo close to purchasing one or the other but can't quite decide
    Many thanks again
  10. Chris J
    Just lurking,
    thinking about picking up a pair of RS-2i and and M-DAC myself...........[​IMG]
  11. HeatFan12 Contributor
    LOL...Nope, you can't go wrong.  Great sound coming out of each one....[​IMG]
    The genres I listen to- rock, metal, house, trance, dubstep, hip-hop.
    If I had to choose only one I would go with the NFB-11.32.  In 2010 the initial NFB-11 came out but the usb implementation was having problems with the Sabre chip. So I waited and waited and Kingwa stayed with it and produced the 11.32.  I jumped on the initial pre-order and it was well worth the wait.
    I started two delivery and impression threads (11.32 & 15.1) in the computer sub forum if you want to take a look.
  12. matt120
    Now there is the Compass 2 that lets you switch out dacs and opamps
    Arrgghhh I'm going crazy with the choices!!
  13. Satori
    Has anyone combined the Schiit Magni/Modi with the RS-2s?

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