New Denon DA-300USB DSD DAC with headphone amplifier
Sep 20, 2014 at 9:19 PM Post #18 of 41

sinphase

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Any alternative recommendations, in terms of a 2-in-1 setup? Ideally around the same price range. I had this for a couple weeks, and as a previous reviewer noted, the amp on this was not able to adequately power my HD650s. Even my fiio e9 did a better job at higher volumes. Really disappointing considering that the size of this was perfect for my desk. 
 
Sep 21, 2014 at 1:06 PM Post #20 of 41

czcsfb

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 Any alternative recommendations, in terms of a 2-in-1 setup? Ideally around the same price range. I had this for a couple weeks, and as a previous reviewer noted, the amp on this was not able to adequately power my HD650s. Even my fiio e9 did a better job at higher volumes. Really disappointing considering that the size of this was perfect for my desk. 

 
This is a shame because I also had same complaint but even a decent amp can improve DA 300's performance a lot when driving high impedance headphones.
 
Before got my DA 300, Asus Essence STU and NAD D1050 were also on my target list. Since Denon's was the only one available for me to demo and the fact I could get a great discount on it, plus I am a big fan of Denon, I went with DA 300 without thinking more opinions.
 
TBH, the amp part of DA 300 is indeed rather disappointed if u wanna drive those high impedance monsters. And in that regard, Essence STU dose a way better job, however I still love Denon's fine mids and details, balance and black background.
 
So, Essence STU might be the candidate in terms of value and high power; NAD D1050 has good feedback and high expectation from me but I never got a chance to hear it; Sony UDA-1 seems another choice which is over this price range a little but I also doubt it has enough power to drive those monsters. All in all, you will need to do some extra homework by ur own.
 
Sep 21, 2014 at 10:34 PM Post #21 of 41

Prophet293

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  TBH, the amp part of DA 300 is indeed rather disappointed if u wanna drive those high impedance monsters. 

that's because the DA300 was never made for high impedance headphones, Denon's own headphone line-up is parked around 25-30 ohms, if you own non-Denon headphones then the DA300 is meant to be used as a standalone DAC that's why it has RCA-out at the back. 
 
The DAC portion is an absolute monster, it's the same DAC Denon uses for its flagship $6000 SACD player, and that's a mass production unit too, not some independently produced players with a massively jacked up price tag.
 
Read the specs first, the DA300 does Double-DSD, that's 128x the sample rate of CD! How many audiophile DACs on the market does that for only $500? Woo Audio's 24/192 PCM DAC costs $1100 in comparison!
 
Nov 18, 2014 at 7:23 PM Post #22 of 41

Rodat

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My first post at Head Fi. I just got the Denon DA 300 with Grado 325 i

I have only had it for a couple of days. It looks like the comparative advantage of this DAC is its ability to produce good results with any type of source. So you do not need the highest quality audio to make the most out of it.

I do agree with the reviews that the built in amplifier may not produce the most punchy amplification.

I still find the built in amp decent although I am not so fond of the volume knob.

I have by now connected the DAC output of the Denon to another external amp, a Fiio E09K desktop amplifier and the amplification turns out to be slightly more dynamic indeed, maybe the bass is a little bit more punchy although this is subtle.

I quite like this combination Denon DA300 as a DAC with an external amplifier.
 
Nov 26, 2014 at 5:32 PM Post #23 of 41

Rodat

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A few more observations. A couple of weeks later , it looks like I experienced some clipping at nearly max volume from the Denon built amp DA300. I played back the same track using the output from the Fiio E09K and there is no issue. I am getting the impression that the clipping only occurs at max volume output from the Denon. I cannot really draw a conclusion based on this one occurence but this seems to confirm other s comments that the comparative advantage of the Denon unit is the DAC and not the amp. Given that I have been using a Grado at 32 Ohms, this probably show that the power of the amp won t drive more powerful headphones indeed as others commented in this thread and in some reviews about the Denon DA300. Although the Fiio is on the cheap side, this amp seems to deliver. Although this is somewhat subjective, it looks lie the Denon DAC handles very well sources like Spotify at low resolution.
I am really inspired by the beauty of some products like the woo Audio Fireflies but I strongly suspect that the combo I have provides equal performance.:D:D
 
Jan 22, 2015 at 1:17 PM Post #24 of 41

catonas

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I bought denon da 300 today and after a couple of minutes of use i get distortion from my left speaker. I am connecting denon via usb to a laptop running windows 8.1 64 bit. I reinstalled the usb driver, i checked the cables but i keep getting this noise. When i turn off the dac for a couple of minutes, it works without a fault but after 15 minutes or so, the distortion comes back. Before i send it back, does anyone have any suggestion regarding this? Thank you in advance.
 
Jan 22, 2015 at 3:55 PM Post #25 of 41

Prophet293

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  I bought denon da 300 today and after a couple of minutes of use i get distortion from my left speaker. I am connecting denon via usb to a laptop running windows 8.1 64 bit. I reinstalled the usb driver, i checked the cables but i keep getting this noise. When i turn off the dac for a couple of minutes, it works without a fault but after 15 minutes or so, the distortion comes back. Before i send it back, does anyone have any suggestion regarding this? Thank you in advance.

Never had this problem with my unit, send it back and see if the new unit give you the same problem, if it does then it's obviously something wrong with your PC.
 
Jan 28, 2015 at 12:25 PM Post #26 of 41

BearMonster

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Just want to bump this. Found these on sale in the uk for £189, that like $288. Was originly going to get a schiit modi 2 uber but the discount kind of made me think about these instead.
 
I am planing to use these as a dac paired up with my little dot i+. So how do these compare to schiit modi 2 uber & bifrost.
 
edit: changed my mind.
 
Jan 28, 2015 at 4:14 PM Post #27 of 41

jocar37

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Has anyone who owns or has at least heard the DA-300USB also listened to the Marantz HD-DAC1?  
 
Jan 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM Post #28 of 41

evanft

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  Just want to bump this. Found these on sale in the uk for £189, that like $288. Was originly going to get a schiit modi 2 uber but the discount kind of made me think about these instead.
 
I am planing to use these as a dac paired up with my little dot i+. So how do these compare to schiit modi 2 uber & bifrost.
 
edit: changed my mind.

 
Even though you changed your mind, I'll still offer some opinion.
 
I just got this today and compared to my Modi 1. I thought the DACs sounded the same.
 
Jan 30, 2015 at 1:42 PM Post #30 of 41

evanft

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Even though you changed your mind, I'll still offer some opinion.
 
I just got this today and compared to my Modi 1. I thought the DACs sounded the same.

 


Is that so. Guess i would be paying more for some features.


That's generally how it works with DACs nowadays. I paid $275 for mine, so I'm pretty happy.
 

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