Portable DAC, CLAS & iPod classic pickle
Sep 27, 2015 at 5:43 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


Member of the Trade (Cable maker)
Sep 15, 2013
Cambridge, UK
Hi peeps.

As everyone knows the DAC is a key part of the portable sound chain and a good one will unlock the potential of the headphones at the end of it.
I'm sorry to say my DAP of choice has been the iPod since the Classic 2nd gen.
But now I'm in a quandary. I ran some Altone200's and Focal Spirit Classics from a Fostex hpp1 and the results were great, certainly from a DAC pov. Now, if the classic was still in production, I'd have no issue forking out for a CLAS to run with the Vorzuge Pure2+.
Trouble is I'm now in two minds.
The DAC is the hpp1 was simply awesome! And I'm not talking about the subjective sound. I'm talking about the quality. Now I know the chip is not the only issue. It's the implementation and surrounding components that bring it to life.
Are there any cheeper DAPs (can't stretch to an A&K) that have a DAC stage that would compete with the AK chipset in the hpp1 and the CLAS?
Has anyone tried a non-iDevice DAC and CLAS and done a direct comparison?
Does anyone else think investing in a CLAS with the redundant Classic to be a waste of money when I could just buy a new DAP with a great DAC stage to run directly into the Pure2+?
I've trawled this site looking for a standalone portable DAC other than the CLAS and can't seem to find one?!
I'm happy to run a 3-box rig as long as the extra DAC would be better than an all-in-1 DAP.

Headphones are staying put as they're awesome. Headphone amp is too for the same reason.

So in a nutshell, do I move on from the iPod and save a load of money buying a CLAS??

Great to have ideas from you.
(I know sound is subjective and I'm happy with my amp/phones but I want the best neutral, line-level output to them)

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