I'm looking for recommendations on a solution for my desktop setup. I listen to vinyl, FLAC, and 24-bit WAV almost exclusively, and I'm looking to get two things for my desktop:
1. A dedicated DAC + headphone amp (preferably tube) for listening to FLAC files on my Grado SR-225's (I currently just plug my headphones in to my M-Audio powered bookshelf speakers, and it sounds... not good)
2. A phono preamp to run from a record player like the Music Hall USB-1, that I'll also be using to rip vinyl to 24-bit WAV and FLAC for archiving, in to the headphone amp
I realize after researching this that I'll likely need at least two devices for this job. I was thinking I could find a dedicated phono amp to pair with something like the Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1, which would serve as both a DAC and a headphone amp. The main constraint is that I'm looking to not spend more than $600 on this total setup. The D1 is around $200, and the table is around $250, so that gives me another $150 toward a phono preamp.
Any recommendations on any part of this setup would be very much appreciated. Thanks!
PS. For what it's worth, my main room setup is a Luxman PD-277 turntable with a Grado Blue cartridge, running to a Marantz 2275, which powers a pair of Boston Acoustics T-1000 speakers. That is the sound I'm accustomed to and love, and I'm trying to at least get in the same solar system of sound from my desktop setup. Hopefully that analogy makes sense.
Yeah. I would expect the M-Audio speaker headphone amp would suck. (lol)
I have the D1. Good device for the money with the various input options. For the same money, you could also get the Schiit Modi and Magni stack and then use a splitter for the output from the Modi to your phono preamp and the Magni.
You can't use the D1 for ripping vinyl, though. You would need to hook the phono preamp to some kind of input on the computer to do that. In other words, you need something that converts analog back to digital (ADC), not DAC.
I think I can solve all my problems by picking up the D1 and then something like the Music Hall USB-1 as my turntable. The USB-1 has a built-in phono preamp, so I could run that via analog in to the D1, and use the D1 as my headphone amp for the turntable. Then the D1 would serve as a DAC for my PC and a headphone amp, and I can connect the USB-1 via USB to my desktop for ripping vinyl.