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To DAC or not to DAC ? (with amp)

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by broootal, Jan 15, 2014.
  1. Broootal
    I currently own a set of Sennheiser HD 598's and an audio interface i use for recording called the Native Instruments Komplete 6. The device has a spdif out and i am currently debating whether an amp/dac combo would improve my sound profoundly. The interface itself has a 24/96khz cirrus logic DAC and the technical specs of the interface are listed below if that means anything to you. I am looking for something that will improve yet not colour the sound too much, something that can strike a balance between neutrality and 'fun'. Any recommendations for a flexible 500 dollar budget? or should i just forget the idea since i won't get too much of a difference for that price?
    Thanks!! (p.s. im still a newbie to the forum)


    Cross Talk

    -87 dBu



    8... 600 Ohms (Load)

    Maximum Output Level

    9.3 dBu 4.26 V rms, 100 mW @ 100 Ohms

    THD + N

    0.012 %


    95 dB (A-weighted)

    Frequency Response

    10 - 40 kHz±0.5 dB

  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    If your looking into making a long term investment for something that should be able to work with your current HD598 and any headphone you buy in the future.
    Audio-GD NFB-15.32 external DAC/Amp, $255+shipping
  3. Broootal
    Thanks for the suggestion, would I be better off in buying something more expensive in their range such as the composer 2 or is the price difference not worth it?
  4. rubinstein
    +1 for audio GD 15.32
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Not sure, currently the Audio-GD website is down, so can not compare.
  6. Broootal
    compass 2 * is what i mean, i think the composer is something burson makes :p
  7. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Personally I would not spend the extra for the Compass 2, but I'm not into swapping DAC chips (yet).
  8. rubinstein
    The only advantage of Compass 2 over 15.32 or 11.32 is analog input.
    You could just go for 15.32 with tcxo upgrade, if you can wait until march. Otherwise, go for 11.32, this uses Sabre ES 9018 chips for the dac, hence it is 65 US$ more.

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