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Old 18-04-2015, 02:03 AM   #1
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desktop dac/amp opinions

hi guys,

looking for a desktop dac/amp, planning to get headphones like hd800 or lcd in the future

kinda narrowed down to oppo ha-1 or hdvd800 (having balanced xlr for future upgrade?) for all-in-1

which one would be a better choice?

thanks
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Old 18-04-2015, 02:27 AM   #2
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If you don't mind the added clutter, can consider a separate DAC and amp instead. With that you have more room to play around each component.... as over time you may want to look into another sig, or upgrade either one, or change form (tube amp) etc. You know such occasional thoughts don't always come together one... as in want to upgrade both DAC and amp at the same time. You may have close shop on DAC and want to continue exploring amps, or the other way round.

With an integrated, common sentiments is... if it is meant to be built as a DAC, the amp section may be just average. If it is meant to be built as an amp, the DAC may now become the average. You want to improve it, gotta add DAC or amp, then end up spend even more. With separates, you get more flexibility and get to optimised your budget. But of course, probably cost you more than an integrated

Anyway, besides the options you mentioned, can check out the Marantz HD-DAC1 at Alpha Audio @Adelphi. Also an integrated. Feedback seems good. Costs slightly above $1k.
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Old 18-04-2015, 03:06 AM   #3
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If you don't mind the added clutter, can consider a separate DAC and amp instead. With that you have more room to play around each component.... as over time you may want to look into another sig, or upgrade either one, or change form (tube amp) etc. You know such occasional thoughts don't always come together one... as in want to upgrade both DAC and amp at the same time. You may have close shop on DAC and want to continue exploring amps, or the other way round.

With an integrated, common sentiments is... if it is meant to be built as a DAC, the amp section may be just average. If it is meant to be built as an amp, the DAC may now become the average. You want to improve it, gotta add DAC or amp, then end up spend even more. With separates, you get more flexibility and get to optimised your budget. But of course, probably cost you more than an integrated

Anyway, besides the options you mentioned, can check out the Marantz HD-DAC1 at Alpha Audio @Adelphi. Also an integrated. Feedback seems good. Costs slightly above $1k.
thanks weng bro for your kind opinions

took a quick look at Marantz HD-DAC1, it doesn't have xlr output i think.

for headphones like hd800/lcd series, going balanced would be better right? understand that quite some bros in the forum do use hd800 single-ended as well with many varieties of amp/dac

as kinda new to audio, was thinking a all-in-one kind would be a better start with some room to upgrade as well as not so informative on the many seperate dac and amps, not to mention limited budget too
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Old 18-04-2015, 09:37 AM   #4
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You can look for Gustard H10 which is price below $400, can order from Taobao. Review is good from Head-Fi...http://www.head-fi.org/t/735828/gust...#post_10915208

Do read up and justify whether does it suit you.
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Old 18-04-2015, 03:19 PM   #5
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Ohya the Marantz is purely single ended. Going balanced means spending more money on cables and such. Sound wise, may or may not like it. Subjective also la. You are indeed looking quite far ahead considering that you are still quite new.
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Old 18-04-2015, 04:23 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Vandyke;93281255

for headphones like hd800/lcd series, going balanced would be better right? understand that quite some bros in the forum do use hd800 single-ended as well with many varieties of amp/dac

[/QUOTE]

Not true.
Going balanced is only importance if your amp or DAC are true balanced design.
There are some good single-ended amp out there like ALO Studio 6, McIntosh MA100.

On some amps that have both balanced and single-ended outputs like Oppo HA-1, Woo WA22, the amps are designed to take advantage of the balanced topology and they tend to have more output power from their balanced output, hence many users prefer to use the balanced out.

For HDVD 800, bear in mind that they are designed for HD800 and IIRC, have an output impedance of 40 Ohm. Some users don't like the sound of this amp when use with Audeze's headphones or headphones with low impedance.
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Old 18-04-2015, 05:26 PM   #7
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Wa I think we don't have to get to Studio 6 or MHA100 to be considered good ba
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Old 18-04-2015, 05:51 PM   #8
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Ohya the Marantz is purely single ended. Going balanced means spending more money on cables and such. Sound wise, may or may not like it. Subjective also la. You are indeed looking quite far ahead considering that you are still quite new.
Wa I think we don't have to get to Studio 6 or MHA100 to be considered good ba
trying to look ahead + reduce spending to keep replacing equipments also

would rather get more different headphones to play

as per widget bro comments, actually also kinda skeptical to get HDVD800 just to suit HD800 and that it is not all that cheap. seperate dac/amp might cost less or similar to HDVD800 i guess?

weng bro, any seperate dac/amp that you think might suit my needs to recommend? will try to go audition if possible
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Old 18-04-2015, 08:47 PM   #9
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Wa I think we don't have to get to Studio 6 or MHA100 to be considered good ba
Lol!
Just exaggerate mah! Coz I haven't listen to the Marantz.
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Old 18-04-2015, 11:12 PM   #10
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i've a iFi iDSD Micro -> iFi iTube -> HDVA600 -> HD800 (via XLR) setup and it's pretty good. I find it more musical than another AK240 -> Stax SRM-727 -> Stax SR-009 rig I heard.
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Old 18-04-2015, 11:28 PM   #11
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i've a iFi iDSD Micro -> iFi iTube -> HDVA600 -> HD800 (via XLR) setup and it's pretty good. I find it more musical than another AK240 -> Stax SRM-727 -> Stax SR-009 rig I heard.
was wondering if u have other headphones eg. audezes that u pair with your setup and how it sounds?

read thru some thread earlier and saw u posted some time back your setup was different with yulong dac, bryston bha-1?
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Old 19-04-2015, 08:00 AM   #12
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was wondering if u have other headphones eg. audezes that u pair with your setup and how it sounds?

read thru some thread earlier and saw u posted some time back your setup was different with yulong dac, bryston bha-1?
yes, that's my other rig
The Audeze sounds better with the BHA-1 (better control, more dynamic), and likewise the HD800 with the HDVA600 (less bright). The HD650 is great with both amps, and the Sony Z7 is awesome with the BHA-1.
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Old 19-04-2015, 04:38 PM   #13
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trying to look ahead + reduce spending to keep replacing equipments also

would rather get more different headphones to play

as per widget bro comments, actually also kinda skeptical to get HDVD800 just to suit HD800 and that it is not all that cheap. seperate dac/amp might cost less or similar to HDVD800 i guess?

weng bro, any seperate dac/amp that you think might suit my needs to recommend? will try to go audition if possible
Actually... suit or don't suit is also subjective haha... "made for HD800" is what Sennheiser thinks it is. It may or may not be to your liking. At least I am one of those, however few, who didn't like it.

I don't intend to run balanced so have not been following specifically decks with balanced connectivity, so can't recommend any other than those already mentioned.

Last edited by weng; 19-04-2015 at 05:21 PM..
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Old 19-04-2015, 05:48 PM   #14
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hi guys,

looking for a desktop dac/amp, planning to get headphones like hd800 or lcd in the future

kinda narrowed down to oppo ha-1 or hdvd800 (having balanced xlr for future upgrade?) for all-in-1

which one would be a better choice?

thanks
you should just go and test a few setups and show the seller the $ when it meets your sound criteria.
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Old 19-04-2015, 07:28 PM   #15
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Actually... suit or don't suit is also subjective haha... "made for HD800" is what Sennheiser thinks it is. It may or may not be to your liking. At least I am one of those, however few, who didn't like it.

I don't intend to run balanced so have not been following specifically decks with balanced connectivity, so can't recommend any other than those already mentioned.
perhaps will take a look at single ended options as well as seperate dac/amp, any recommendations for all rounder dac / amp (seperates that is) to audition?
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