Help with New Portable/Transportable Rig for D-303
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erikzen

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In anticipation of the D-303 I'm going to be getting (the money's definitely going out tomorrow! So don't worry, vwap.
) I want to start thinking about putting together a new system with the D-303 as the centerpiece.

The two sets of cans I currently use the most are Beyer DT-931 at home and Shure e2c or PX 200 on the road. My current amps are Xin SuperMini V6.2c, previous version Airhead and a mid level META42.

I anticipate using this primarily as a desktop/bedroom rig, although I would like to be able to use it portably. I guess my main question is what kind of amp should I use with the D-303? I don't want to give a budget right now because I will save/sell in order to finance something and I don't need to buy right away. What I'm wondering is how high up the ladder I should go. An Emmeline XP-7 or LaRocca Pocket Reference would be very nice but is that overkill with a pcdp? An amp that can be used with both batteries and a wall wart would be ideal.

Another option is using the optical out. Would I get better sound with an external DAC and an amp or wouldn't it be noticeable? Would it be worth it to buy something like the AOS Sostenuto-1 or Pace? Seems like a lot of money to put into a transportable rig.

As far as cans go, I'm happy with the DT-931 but if anyone can suggest a good headphone that has good synergy with the D-303 or a better phone that could be used portably, I'm all ears.


One more thing, is there such a thing as good quality portable speakers? Sometimes when I'm working I like to listen to background music but don't like to wear headphones.

Thanks for any and all advice.
 
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Sugano-san

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Quote:

Originally Posted by erikzen
In anticipation of the D-303 I'm going to be getting I want to start thinking about putting together a new system with the D-303 as the centerpiece.

I anticipate using this primarily as a desktop/bedroom rig, although I would like to be able to use it portably. I guess my main question is what kind of amp should I use with the D-303? An Emmeline XP-7 or LaRocca Pocket Reference would be very nice but is that overkill with a pcdp? An amp that can be used with both batteries and a wall wart would be ideal.



Recently I hooked up my D-303 as follows:

D-303 -> Zu Pivot cable -> Larocco Pocket Reference

That combo sounds very good with all kinds of headphones, incl. HD650 (Zu Mobius), Ety 4S and Grado PS-1.

Then I maxed-out the combo as follows:

D-303 -> Zu Pivot cable -> Musical Fidelity X10-D tube buffer -> Zu Varial cable -> Larocco Pocket Reference

(The X10-D tube buffer is equipped with NOS tubes and powered by an X-PSU with an aftermarket mains cable and mains conditioning.)

That overkill combo sounded really, really good! The first combo is kind of portable, but keep in mind that the D-303 does not have any shock protection. The second combo is trans-portable at best, but fun to listen to.

I did not miss an external DAC, the D-303 is good enough to be used in connection with the Larocco PR. But I cannot think of many PCDPs that meet this criterion. I have tried the XP-7 and did not like it as much as the Larocco PR, but that's obviously a matter of taste. As a practical matter, the PR is equipped with rechargeable batteries and a built-in recharge circuit. Moreover, it has proven immune to the anticipated negative effects of using a generic (and affordable) 24V switching power supply, i.e. no hum or hiss, when the PSU is plugged in. The XP-7 needs a $200 custom PSU.
 
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erikzen

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Interesting - I didn't realize the D-303 would be worthy of such a good quality amp. So you'd suggest the Pocket Reference over the XP-7? Can you give me an idea of the cost of the PR? I like the idea of the X10-D but I'm not sure I'm going to go that insane. At least not right away.
 
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Sugano-san

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Quote:

Originally Posted by erikzen
So you'd suggest the Pocket Reference over the XP-7? Can you give me an idea of the cost of the PR?


Yes, that's my clear favorite. Price-wise, the base model of the PR is around $350, which is the list price for the Grado RA-1 (I had that amp; the PR is way better), and the maxed-out version of the PR that I have is around $450. That includes Cardas RCAs, 4 stacked buffers per channel and Blackgate capacitors (did I forget something?).

You can get it "ultra maxed-out," which means that there are Blackgate capacitors at the output buffers (mine does not have that option and it beats the XP-7 hands down), but I do not recall the price for that option, which was only recently introduced. Finally, you can get it in black, which looks very sexy (have a look at the black PPA on www.laroccoaudio.com) and costs around $60, IIRC.
 
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erikzen

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I've checked out the Pocket Reference a bit more and it seems like a great amp. I'm just wondering if I should spend the $350 for the standard or $450 for the maxxed out! Wouldn't a maxxed out PIMETA get me close to the Pocket Reference for $75 or $100 less? After all, we're still talking about a pcdp no matter how great it is.
 
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DEMIW

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This thread made me thing about using a Pocket Reference (maxed out) with my Denon DCP 150....

I will check the ultra maxed out PR...
 
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erikzen

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DEMIW,

Do you already have a maxxed out Pocket Reference or are you going to buy one? I'm interested to hear how much it improves sound from your pcdp.

EZ
 
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