Micca OriGen USB audio DAC and Preamp - 192khz/24bit and DSD64 - NEW?
Sep 17, 2015 at 1:16 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 30

bwcgrx

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While browsing through Amazon I recently found the following portable DAC/Headphone Amp for $99.99
 
[size=24.57px]Micca OriGen USB audio DAC and Preamp[/size]
 

Has 3.5mm and 6.35mm headphone jacks, gain switch and line output.
 
Supports up to 192khz/24bit and DSD64
 
Key Components
 
- VIA VT1736 USB 2.0 High Speed 480Mbps audio controller
- Cirrus Logic CS4392 Stereo D/A Converter
- JRC NJM4556 operational amplifier
 
Other than the manufacturer's website "Micca Electronics"I've not found any other information about this little DAC/Amp.
 
I decided to purchase it and give it a try as it has intrigued me.  It may make a good DAC/AMP for bedside or office desk use.
Given the op amp I don't think it will drive high ohm cans very loudly however the line out may be good for feeding an O2 amp like the one I recently purchased on Massdrop.
 
I wonder if any Head-fiers would know more about this little unit and it's potential performance?
 
Sep 21, 2015 at 8:42 PM Post #3 of 30

bwcgrx

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Any updates on this? Saw it on Amazon too and was wondering how it sounds.

 
I received the Micca OriGen on Saturday.  Configuration of the driver was relatively easy. One caveat regarding setup of the VIA ASIO driver in Foobar there is no 64bit driver so I had to uncheck use 64bit driver before the VIA ASIO driver would show up in selection panel.  Once I discovered that I was off and running.
 
The OriGen has a weighty steel chassis with machined aluminum top plate and combo power/volume knob.  This reflects a higher than average build quality, it looks and feels good as you would expect when paying just barely south of a Benjamin.
 
As a headphone amp this device is for the less power demanding headphone crowd, sub 40 ohms.  It will drive higher impedance cans however the you will find yourself cranking it to the max on highest gain to get appreciable volume.  In addition those more demanding headphones, I used HE-400, DT 880 250, and HD--600, sound more compressed and closed-in with the headphone out on the OriGen.  With headphones of lower demand however the OriGen is quite capable of producing a rather nicely detailed and relatively smooth sound.  The line out provided a much more spacious and a markedly less congested sound when fed to a Schiit Magni 2.  For the record, my music collection is made up of primarily 16/44.1k FLAC with some higher res PCM FLAC and DSD 64 ISO files.
 
In comparison to my two other USB DACS, I find the OriGen less warm yet slightly more detailed in the midrange than my ifi idsd nano.  The nano still wins in bass and treble clarity though.  The OriGen is not as detailed as the Geek Out 450 in my estimation.  I think the Geek Out's class A amplification gives it much better imaging overall vs the OriGen or the nano for that matter.  I do find the Sabre DACs to be quite revealing and spacious and I've yet to be too turned off by any edginess that they are often credited with.
 
This is a quite capable and rather compact semi portable DAC/AMP combo and is competitive  to others I've heard at this price point and feature set.  It does really fall into a sort of in between category as it is neither very portable being on the large size of portable and it is not really powerful enough as a headphone amp with more demanding headphones.  I plan to use it with my Brix PC on my bed side table.  I will probably add the $70 O2 amp I purchased on Massdrop on a recent drop once it arrives.  This would then allow me to drive more demanding headphone at this listening station.
 
I may follow up with further impressions as I have more time to listen to the OriGen.
 
Interestingly enough, I found a link to the same DAC/AMP under the Syba Sonic brand name minus the gain switch here. LINK
 
They have some pictures of the internals.  These layout and parts are nearly identical to the OriGen based upon my own investigation inside. 
 
Sep 21, 2015 at 8:56 PM Post #4 of 30

mohdkhamsya

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I received the Micca OriGen on Saturday.  Configuration of the driver was relatively easy. One caveat regarding setup of the VIA ASIO driver in Foobar there is no 64bit driver so I had to uncheck use 64bit driver before the VIA ASIO driver would show up in selection panel.  Once I discovered that I was off and running.

The OriGen has a weighty steel chassis with machined aluminum top plate and combo power/volume knob.  This reflects a higher than average build quality, it looks and feels good as you would expect when paying just barely south of a Benjamin.

As a headphone amp this device is for the less power demanding headphone crowd, sub 40 ohms.  It will drive higher impedance cans however the you will find yourself cranking it to the max on highest gain to get appreciable volume.  In addition those more demanding headphones, I used HE-400, DT 880 250, and HD--600, sound more compressed and closed-in with the headphone out on the OriGen.  With headphones of lower demand however the OriGen is quite capable of producing a rather nicely detailed and relatively smooth sound.  The line out provided a much more spacious and a markedly less congested sound when fed to a Schiit Magni 2.  For the record, my music collection is made up of primarily 16/44.1k FLAC with some higher res PCM FLAC and DSD 64 ISO files.

In comparison to my two other USB DACS, I find the OriGen less warm yet slightly more detailed in the midrange than my ifi idsd nano.  The nano still wins in bass and treble clarity though.  The OriGen is not as detailed as the Geek Out 450 in my estimation.  I think the Geek Out's class A amplification gives it much better imaging overall vs the OriGen or the nano for that matter.  I do find the Sabre DACs to be quite revealing and spacious and I've yet to be too turned off by any edginess that they are often credited with.

This is a quite capable and rather compact semi portable DAC/AMP combo and is competitive  to others I've heard at this price point and feature set.  It does really fall into a sort of in between category as it is neither very portable being on the large size of portable and it is not really powerful enough as a headphone amp with more demanding headphones.  I plan to use it with my Brix PC on my bed side table.  I will probably add the $70 O2 amp I purchased on Massdrop on a recent drop once it arrives.  This would then allow me to drive more demanding headphone at this listening station.

I may follow up with further impressions as I have more time to listen to the OriGen.

Interestingly enough, I found a link to the same DAC/AMP under the Syba Sonic brand name minus the gain switch here. LINK

They have some pictures of the internals.  These layout and parts are nearly identical to the OriGen based upon my own investigation inside. 


Thanks for the extremely detailed review. So here's where I am right now. I have my portable setup of the dx90 and asg1+ and my home setup consisting of the he560 and gustard h10. I use the dx90 as the source at home too. But I'm thinking of installing a 2.0 desktop system with my PC. This is why I find the origen enticing. It's a compact solution. However, I'm also considering selling my gustard and getting an all in one solution like the audio gd nfb29 which will have sufficient power to drive my 560s and has an rca out for the powered speakers. He other thing i could do is to get a dedicated dac with two paira of rca outs. Decisions decisions.

Edit: The Sybasonic and Origen are indeed identical!
 
Oct 5, 2015 at 11:18 PM Post #5 of 30

mohdkhamsya

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I got this for myself and paired it with a micca pb42x powered speakers (Amazon had this deal where you can buy them together for 200). I really dig the form factor. Easy to adjust the volume (it's got a pre amp out). Sounds great too, especially with the speakers. The headphone outs are decent. Very neutral with minimal coloration. Staging and imaging are decent too, although nowhere near my dx90. Solid piece of hardware for less than a hundred bucks. My only gripe is that the RCA outs don't cut out when you plug in your earphones/headphones. Oh and its got native DSD! Quite cool although I don't usually listen to DSD tracks. 
 
Oct 6, 2015 at 8:39 PM Post #8 of 30

bwcgrx

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Sub 40 ohms, what? It says 16 - 600 on the site, what are you basing this on? I'm not an impedance expert, but I bought this to power more than a fricken 40 ohm headphone - please enlighten me.


Okay, let me clarify. Yes this device will power headphones up to 300 ohm with a level of sound that exceeds most motherboard headphone outs. I just found that I was unable to get authoritative levels with by HD-600 or DT880s. In my opinion you would need a very quiet listening environment for this amp to provide satisfying sound levels with higher impedance open headphones. Having said that I suspect that I do enjoy an overall higher sound level than some. Interestingly enough I found that the Micca's seemed to have a more difficult time producing satisfying sound levels with the K7xx than the previously mentioned headphones. It will probably work well for most headphones 250 ohms or less. As I understand it the K7xx has a high current demand which may explain the Micca's difficulty driving it. Ultimately I would not expect Magni or Objective O2 performance.
 
Nov 23, 2015 at 7:36 PM Post #10 of 30

Bryan S

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Okay, let me clarify. Yes this device will power headphones up to 300 ohm with a level of sound that exceeds most motherboard headphone outs. I just found that I was unable to get authoritative levels with by HD-600 or DT880s. In my opinion you would need a very quiet listening environment for this amp to provide satisfying sound levels with higher impedance open headphones. Having said that I suspect that I do enjoy an overall higher sound level than some. Interestingly enough I found that the Micca's seemed to have a more difficult time producing satisfying sound levels with the K7xx than the previously mentioned headphones. It will probably work well for most headphones 250 ohms or less. As I understand it the K7xx has a high current demand which may explain the Micca's difficulty driving it. Ultimately I would not expect Magni or Objective O2 performance.

Would you also lump the K702 in with the K7xx as far as being able to use this Amp/Dac. I am getting the K702's and was looking at this one. I was also looking at the E10k, but this seemed better.
 
Dec 1, 2015 at 7:54 PM Post #12 of 30

maul

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  Hey I was wondering if you thought this would be a good entry level amp/dac for sennheisers. I was looking at this or the FiiO e10k

 
Which Sennheisers? I definitely prefer it over the e10k (I've tried both), but if you're talking about the 600s it might not be enough. 
 

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