Using DAC/Amp Combo or seperate components question
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lsevenl

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I recently purchased the E7/E9 setup for HD650. While I was fairly happy with the overall sound and quality I realize that I'm going to want something that will eventually power a set of bookshelf style speakers and perhaps a sub. Originally I thought portability would be important but it is no longer a requirement.  I'd like to keep my selection in the $1000 range.
 
My question is this: I've looked at several DAC/Amp combo units. Is there a reason I should look for two seperate components instead of purchasing a combo unit?
 
Obviously I'm looking for as much amp and as much DAC as i can possibly get for my money. The idea is to use computer or ipod as input. 
 
Thanks for help!
 
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Tilpo

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I recently purchased the E7/E9 setup for HD650. While I was fairly happy with the overall sound and quality I realize that I'm going to want something that will eventually power a set of bookshelf style speakers and perhaps a sub. Originally I thought portability would be important but it is no longer a requirement.  I'd like to keep my selection in the $1000 range.
 
My question is this: I've looked at several DAC/Amp combo units. Is there a reason I should look for two seperate components instead of purchasing a combo unit?
 
Obviously I'm looking for as much amp and as much DAC as i can possibly get for my money. The idea is to use computer or ipod as input. 
 
Thanks for help!

I'm not sure whether you want an amp powering speakers or a headphone, could you maybe elaborate?

And as far as combo's go: there is no definite answer. Sometimes a combo offers better bang for buck, but many times this is not the case. The main advantage of a combo is that it's usually cheaper, however the main disadvantage is that it allows for less tweaking in the sound.
I think in the $1000 range two separate units is better, as the combo's only reign supreme in the sub $500 range, in my opinion.

You could buy as a DAC the Audio-GD NFB-3 ($300 + ~$50 shipping) leaving you with about $650 for the amp.
One suggestion I could give you for the amp is the Schiit Lyr ($450). I heard it pairs excellently with an HD 650, and since it's a tube amp you can also spend the remaining amount of money on tube rolling. This allows you to tweak the sound a bit more.

Another suggestion I could give you is the Little Dot MK VI+. It is a little bit over budget with its $684 + $95 shipping to the States. But the main advantage is that it's balanced (greater SQ according to many), and on top of that it also has a large amount of power, like the Lyr.
The VI+ has 5W @ 120 Ohms, the Lyr has 6W @ 32 Ohms. This allows you to drive small speakers, in addition to driving orthodynamic headphones such as the LCD-2. And from what I understood that is exactly what you wanted.
 
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lsevenl

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Thank you for your assistance
   I have some info to work with now.  I was looking for a combo pair at first, something like the peachtree inova.  I don't care so much it can pair with an ipod but would like my dac/amp combo to accept usb. But now I'm leaning towards two different components.  I wanted it also to be able to push a set of high end bookshelf speakers should I decide to go that route in the future.  Right now it's just headphones, but want to be able to expand in the future. 
 
I'll take a look at using seperate components for the flexibility of tweaking :)
 
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