Grado RS-2i NEED Amp and DAC
Jun 1, 2011 at 11:43 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

maideniron

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Hello Head-fiers,
 
My girlfriend gifted me a new pair of Grado RS-2i. I am completely new to good quality audio, the last headphones I had were Koss porta pro.
 
I am looking for a good amp and dac (individuals or combined). I am using Laptop for source (foobar2000 + FLAC). I usually listen to Rock, Classic rock and Metal. I have read a lot of posts here, but they got me more confused as I am new to all this. So it will be awesome if audiophiles here can guide me to a good choice.
 
I plan to spend at max $300.
 
Jun 1, 2011 at 3:15 PM Post #2 of 6

zenemano

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if I were you I'd buy a combined unit. I use an Audinst HUD MX-1 with my SR125i, it's a very nice pairing ($180 + free shipping). Also check out the Audio-gd products, NFB-12 for example, different technology, more features ($200 + shipping). The Matrix mini-i is also a nice device with a lot of features and fits your budget too if I remember well.
 
Jun 1, 2011 at 4:44 PM Post #3 of 6

maideniron

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Zane, thanks for the reply.
 
I looked at Audinst HUD MX-1, looks like it is DAC with no Amp. I read some posts on "Total Bithead" amp+dac. How does the sound quality compare for these?
 
Also, a lot of posts talk about Bellari Ha 540 Class A Tube Headphone Amp for 299$. Are the tube amps better sounding than component.
 
Jun 1, 2011 at 6:07 PM Post #4 of 6

LCfiner

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I own the E7 and E9 Amp and DAC combo from Fiio. it's 230 total (100 for the E7 which acts as a DAC and 130 for the E9 amp). it's quite decent. the the power in the E9 is way more than enough to power the grados. (I won a pair of RS2s).
 
I have heard that the DAC in the E7 is not great but I haven't compared it to anything else yet. I have ordered an HRT music streamer 2 DAC (150 dollars) and that is shipping now to replace the E7. I guess in 2 weeks I could give a review of the differences :)
 
I think, for the money, the E9 is a great, great amp. but you may want to check out reviews for the best combo units or standalone DACs.
 
aside from the searching you can do on on head-fi, here's a few links to headphonia reviews.
 
 
http://www.headfonia.com/category/source/desktop-source/
 
http://www.headfonia.com/the-new-recommendation-the-yulong-u100-usb-dac/
 
http://www.headfonia.com/fiio-e9-dekstop-amplifier/
 
http://www.headfonia.com/the-udac-2/
 
http://www.headfonia.com/the-hrt-music-streamer-ii-asynchronous-2496-for-149-95/
 
Jun 2, 2011 at 9:25 PM Post #5 of 6

zenemano

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Quote:
Zane, thanks for the reply.
 
I looked at Audinst HUD MX-1, looks like it is DAC with no Amp. I read some posts on "Total Bithead" amp+dac. How does the sound quality compare for these?
 
Also, a lot of posts talk about Bellari Ha 540 Class A Tube Headphone Amp for 299$. Are the tube amps better sounding than component.


 
it'a a DAC/Amp unit, and it can drive 30-600ohm impedance headphones. plus it's happy even with the usb power, and ultra portable... I used to throw it in my bag every morning before I go to work.
 
and tube amps are comletely different.. oh well, a couple hundreds of hours of reading and you will get the picture. :)
 
Jun 3, 2011 at 6:46 PM Post #6 of 6

detoxguy

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First off, you must have a pretty awesome girlfriend. 
Secondly I'll let you know what I did and was completely happy with: I bought an iBasso D12 which is a portable amp/DAC combo with great sound (approx $300) then in a little bit I ordered the Little Dot LD1+ tube hybrid amp (just over $100). I cannot say how happy I am with this current set up I have the D12 acting as a stand-alone DAC most of the time feeding into the LD1+ from the optical out on my Macbook Pro and the sound is exceptional for the price. The other main benefit is that if I want to go to the back yard I just unplug the D12 and plug it into my iPhone or nano (LOD cable) and get amazing sound for hours running off the battery on the D12. 
 
I have found this to be a perfect combo as the DAC on the D12 is quite impressive and being able to swap it out to take to the bedroom or backyard and use the built in amp is a pretty sweet bonus. If you look around you'll notice much deserved love of the synergy between the LD1+ and Grados. With the ability to easily adjust the sound of the LD1+ with a wide variety of tubes/opamps the value for money with that amp are unbeatable. 
 
Just my two cents....
 

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