DAC First or AMP
Mar 5, 2012 at 7:01 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

Cassadian

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Hi,
 
So after purchasing the Denon AH-D2000 (which I will open-back mod), I'm left with getting an AMP/DAC which I only have 100 dollars to spend.  The thing is, I realize that if I buy the JDSLabs Cmoy I will be left with amplifying an already terrible signal from my laptop (Realtek HD Audio) although it will be fine with my portable music player which is an iPod. However, I cannot find a pure dac on the sub-100 market that would be for only desktop use.  I do not want the FiiO E7 as it is also an AMP so that is a waste of money on the combo because I really want to purchase the Cmoy.
 
So should I buy the Cmoy, then save money for a more expensive DAC, or just not buy an dac or amp and then save money for a better and more expensive portable combination of the two?
 
Mar 5, 2012 at 8:14 PM Post #2 of 14

ZARIM

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You may find better AMPs in his price range than AMPs/DAC combo because the soundquality won't be better than AMPs alone, i will recommend to try Fiio E11, iBasso T3.
 
Mar 5, 2012 at 8:49 PM Post #4 of 14

mooshimuushi

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Quote:
The thing is though, won't I just be amplifying terrible sound quality with the amplifier?


Still new to all this AMP/DAC stuff. What about the E7? [USB(?) DAC + AMP]
 
Mar 5, 2012 at 8:58 PM Post #5 of 14

PurpleAngel

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Fiio D3 or D5 DAC, only $30.
 
Mar 5, 2012 at 9:09 PM Post #6 of 14

Cassadian

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But the D3 has a coaxial in which I could use to hook up to my s/pdif coaxial jack, but then then there are RCA outputs as opposed to me being able to plug in a my headphones into a USB dac.  And the reason I want to stray away from the E7 is that well it's DAC is decent but the amp is nothing substantial (surpassed by the CMOY and E11) so I don't want to do that but rather buy two separate DAC's and an AMP and then replace one by one.
 
Mar 5, 2012 at 9:22 PM Post #7 of 14

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
But the D3 has a coaxial in which I could use to hook up to my s/pdif coaxial jack, but then then there are RCA outputs as opposed to me being able to plug in a my headphones into a USB dac.  And the reason I want to stray away from the E7 is that well it's DAC is decent but the amp is nothing substantial (surpassed by the CMOY and E11) so I don't want to do that but rather buy two separate DAC's and an AMP and then replace one by one.

You can connect the RCA outputs on the D3 to the line in on the E11 or cmoy.
 
 
 
 
Mar 5, 2012 at 9:26 PM Post #8 of 14

Cassadian

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True, I guess I could just buy both...  How good is the sound quality of the D3 compared to the DAC of the hmm... HRT Music Stream ii at 24/96 kHz?  
 
Also could you recommend a good RCA adapter?
 
Mar 5, 2012 at 9:47 PM Post #9 of 14

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
True, I guess I could just buy both...  How good is the sound quality of the D3 compared to the DAC of the hmm... HRT Music Stream ii at 24/96 kHz?  
Also could you recommend a good RCA adapter?

Wow, a $30 Fiio D3 verses a $150 HRT Music Streamer II. I have not used either one (but i'm sure the Music Streamer II is way better).
Check out the New HRT Head streamer (DAC & Amp).
 
 
 
 
Mar 5, 2012 at 9:55 PM Post #11 of 14

Cassadian

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:p  I have knack for comparing giants to dwarfs.  
 
Then how is the E7 Dac compared to the D3?
 
Quote:
Wow, a $30 Fiio D3 verses a $150 HRT Music Streamer II. I have not used either one (but i'm sure the Music Streamer II is way better).
Check out the New HRT Head streamer (DAC & Amp).
 
 
 



 
 
Mar 6, 2012 at 4:50 AM Post #12 of 14

Astrozombie

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Confusing stuff, expensive and will add clutter, you know what i decided? I'm getting a bunch of Xonars, DG, DS, U3 for laptops and maybe one day the ST. At the end of it i always found people who said "Not sure if ____ was worth the ____ i paid" with the sound cards people always "great value for the money", some of them even have replaceable op-amps to mess with the sound.
 
Then someone will say "wait for the newer model, it's coming out in ____ weeks"
tongue_smile.gif
These sound cards have made a big difference with my budget-fi! Can you even connect speakers to those Fiio amps??
 
If you insist the Audinst MX-1 is supposed to be a great Dac-Amp combo.
 
Mar 8, 2012 at 6:13 AM Post #13 of 14

Sardonyx

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Quote:
Confusing stuff, expensive and will add clutter, you know what i decided? I'm getting a bunch of Xonars, DG, DS, U3 for laptops and maybe one day the ST. At the end of it i always found people who said "Not sure if ____ was worth the ____ i paid" with the sound cards people always "great value for the money", some of them even have replaceable op-amps to mess with the sound.
 
Then someone will say "wait for the newer model, it's coming out in ____ weeks"
tongue_smile.gif
These sound cards have made a big difference with my budget-fi! Can you even connect speakers to those Fiio amps??
 
If you insist the Audinst MX-1 is supposed to be a great Dac-Amp combo.


D3, D5 are DACs, they connect to a seperate amp - powered desktop speakers have an internal amp. 
OP wants a battery amp for ipod, not USB only like Audinst MX-1.
 
Start with a high quality amp, that way you have high quality music with your ipod.  Get the cmoyBB and try it with the audio out from your laptop, it might might not be as horrible as you fear.  Then if you decide you want a DAC, you can get the not-horrible D3 or D5 for $25 or wait & save for something better.
If the laptop has s/pdif output, I would get the D3, just to keep the USB ports free for other things.
 
 
Mar 8, 2012 at 7:00 PM Post #14 of 14

Cassadian

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What kind of cable would you recommend with it ( the D3 because it has two RCA outputs as opposed to a 3.5mm jack where I could use a 3.5mm interconnect to connect them.
 

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