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DAC / Headphone Amp Recommendations?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

Currently have a HT Omega eClaro, it's a great card, but I have been thinking of switching to a DAC for my main rig (internal space reasons):

I really like the NuForce Icon HDP, but not sure if I want to shell out $450 on it or not.

Anything in the $200-250 range that would still be better / as good as my current card + have the features I'd need from the HDP?
Or would it be "totally worth it" just to pony up and get it since it's just THAT much better than what I have / is out there?

I definitely need a DAC / Headphone amp combo since I want to use my headphones and my speakers + sub.

Any suggestions / info / help are welcome!
TIA smile.gif
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Stugots III
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post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by candy_van View Post

Hi everyone,

Currently have a HT Omega eClaro, it's a great card, but I have been thinking of switching to a DAC for my main rig (internal space reasons):

I really like the NuForce Icon HDP, but not sure if I want to shell out $450 on it or not.

Anything in the $200-250 range that would still be better / as good as my current card + have the features I'd need from the HDP?
Or would it be "totally worth it" just to pony up and get it since it's just THAT much better than what I have / is out there?

I definitely need a DAC / Headphone amp combo since I want to use my headphones and my speakers + sub.

Any suggestions / info / help are welcome!
TIA smile.gif

Schiit magni/modi, Odac/o2 amp, sschiit modi and a custom tube amp. Any one will work and only one sounds the best devil.gif
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thx for the suggestions, I'll def take a look. Welcome any others too smile.gif
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Stugots III
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post #4 of 10
I don't necessarily think you should spend the budget, but something that comes to mind in that price range is the Audinst HUD-mx2. I don't have one; I just remember seeing it around $250, and it has the features you want (if I interpret you correctly) in one box.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audinst-HUD-mx2-Hi-Fi-USB-Audio-DAC-/181089835201
post #5 of 10
Wait wait wait.

I just reread your post.

You want to hook up your speakers and sub too?

A headphone amp does not have enough power to drive speakers. You either need a receiver or a speaker amp with a headphone out.
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
My speakers / sub are active, not passive, so that shouldn't be an issue (only using a sound card now).

There are a few things I'm concerned with though if I switch to a DAC / amp combo, like gain matching etc (I don't know that much about this).
Essentially, I'd have to match the volume on the DAC (preamp) with that on my speakers right, or does it just override that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

I don't necessarily think you should spend the budget, but something that comes to mind in that price range is the Audinst HUD-mx2. I don't have one; I just remember seeing it around $250, and it has the features you want (if I interpret you correctly) in one box.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audinst-HUD-mx2-Hi-Fi-USB-Audio-DAC-/181089835201

That looks interesting. I wouldn't say I'm completely averse to stacking a DAC / amp like with the Schiits, but nothing against convenience either lol.
I really like how that has an output toggle switch for headphones or RCA line out. WIll have to do a little homework on this too (thanks).
Edited by candy_van - 4/11/13 at 6:22pm
Stugots III
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Stugots III
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

I don't necessarily think you should spend the budget, but something that comes to mind in that price range is the Audinst HUD-mx2. I don't have one; I just remember seeing it around $250, and it has the features you want (if I interpret you correctly) in one box.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audinst-HUD-mx2-Hi-Fi-USB-Audio-DAC-/181089835201

Free shipping on the MX2 as well. I have one. Don't know how it compares to the original MX1, but there are a lot more features.

Driving a pair of DJ1s with it, and I have a post somewhere in the headphones club thread about it.
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post #8 of 10
I never really liked Nuforce stuff, but all the recommendations so far have been excellent. You can't really go wrong with any.
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post #9 of 10
O2/ODAC, AudioQuest Dragon Fly, Schiit Magni/Modi, Aune T1
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the suggestions guys, I really like the features on that Audisnt HUD-mx2,
Would be nice if it was a us based company like some of the others, but seems to have everything I'm looking for (still of course open to further feedback / ideas).

Only reason I'm really thinking about this is b/c I won't be able to keep my eClaro with my new vid card (will choke in the slot below, since it's not a blower-type cooler).
Do you guys think I should just get a cheap $100(ish) DAC instead for the interim (will get new board for Haswell), or would something like that HUD-mx2 actually be better anyway?
Edited by candy_van - 4/16/13 at 3:31pm
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Stugots III
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