DAP/Amp pairing with CA Atlas?
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IamMe90

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Hi all,

I just purchased a CA Atlas. This is my first foray into TOTL-level gear and I want to make sure I'm getting the most out of it.

Currently, the only DAP and amp equipment I possess are an Astell & Kern AK-JR and a FiiO E11. I suspect this might not be sufficient to get the most out of the Atlas, but if you all think it would be, I'd be happy to save the money sticking with what I have.

If this isn't enough, I'm hoping to get some recommendations from the experienced audiophiles here on what DAP and/or external amps would be a good fit. My budget for this purchase would be approximately $500-$1,000.

I read in a review that the Opus#2 is a good fit and there's a sale on it for $800 right now, so I was thinking about going for that. But I'd love to hear other opinions.

Thank you all!
 
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PointyFox

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IEMs are easy to drive. I don't think there would be any audible difference if you upgrade. What may make an audible difference is trying different tips and possibly trying different impedance cables.
 
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Audiophonicalistic

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Opus 2 for reference sound. People really like it but it is a few years old. I had the ak jr and tried the ak 70mkii and that was a noticible upgrade in sq and ui. I thought the ibasso dx150 had an awesome sound but was pretty big. Wm1a cant go wrong and can find them used pretty cheap but it is also big.

A lot of good choices and I think anyone is going to be a lovely upgrade from akjr. I do love ak sound so maybe look at ak sr15. Its portable and I think people love it so far. If streaming then opus or dx150. Ive heard good things about dx120.
 
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Redcarmoose

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Just get a Sony 1A for 1K and don’t look back.

https://www.headfonia.com/review-sony-wm1a-walkman/

I have heard the CA Atlas but not with my 1A.

A small list which will show some reasons why folks love them.

1) battery life the longest in the DAP world
2) choice of 4.4mm balanced or single ended
3) smooth OS, intuitive OS, Non-Chi-Fi OS
4) sexy looking
5) giant screen
6) one of the best sounding DAPs around
7) accepts 400GB cards
8) Touch screen, side controls
9) has a relatively flat sound signature which I feel may take the Atlas to the next level, especially balanced.
10) Dead quiet

Negatives:
No Streaming

Going balanced is imperative to getting the darkest background, increasing image stability and getting profound separation of musical information. Soundstage will increase in multiple directions.....positively!
 
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Agreed. I did have the wm1a at one point with the atlas balanced and it was an excellent pairing. It was not modded but I hear great things about the mod. With the new firmware you can stream from phone through wm1a but I personally haven't done it.
 
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PointyFox

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One thing about the WM1A is it doesn't have dynamic playlists and you can only shuffle songs in the lowest level of a directory. I've had a few of the TOTL DAPs and my favorite was the Opus 2, mainly for build quality and having more features than the WM1A . I couldn't tell a difference in sound quality between any of them. Streaming with highly sensitive headphones is bad as it almost always introduces audible noise like on the DX200. In the end I concluded my phone with a sensitivity reducer was good enough and sold all my DAPs besides my Sansa Clip+.
 
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