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Recommendations for new DAC/Amp's

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am looking at getting a new DAC and AMP to replace my Asus ThunderFX, as well as a portable one (needs both a DAC and headphone amp in one) to help my laptop's TERRIBLE sound quality.

My desktop audio setup:
Asus ThunderFX
Klipsch Promedia 2.1
Breakaway Live (got a key from a friend, never would pay that much for a program)
Klipsch Image One (first revision)

I have currently spent only $150 on my whole audio setup, so I don't see me replacing my speakers or headphones any time soon.

I will be using my Image Ones as the primary audio device for my laptop.

For my desktop, I will do a lot of gaming, but the most important thing is music sound quality. I also watch a lot of TV shows and movies. All aspects are important. I like clear and balanced sound with a bit of extra bass, and a warm quality. My budget is about $100 and the cheaper the better. I would much prefer an external DAC but a sound card would suffice. I would prefer one that would fit my build though (black/silver/green) or at least stay hidden.

I will be doing mostly music and movies/TV shows from my laptop. My budget is $30-40 bucks.

I have looked at the suggestions thread and I'm not finding anything that really fits the bill for me. I do not mind buying used or refurbed. I very much like Newegg, Amazon, Ebay...

Thanks for the help!
Edited by phillyd - 7/14/13 at 9:14pm
The Spectre
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The Spectre
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Lenovus Maximus
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For Sale: Logitech UE6000 headphones
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4510U  Lenovo Z97 board AMD R9 M275 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
1TB 5400RPM HDD 8GB SSD cache Western Digital Passport 1TB Windows 8.1 Pro x64 
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14" 1080p AHVA panel (aftermarket) Thule Gauntlet 15" case Logitech G602 Insignia hard gaming mat 
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post #2 of 8
So the issue is that you need a dac AND amp. A dac alone is not a great idea.

That being the case, I would recommend to looked at used gear.

I found this one for 100 bucks, and you can probably push him a bit lower http://www.head-fi.org/t/671251/audioengine-d1-usb-dac-headphone-amp
Yin&Yang
(19 items)
 
Soon
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4820K Gigabyte X79 UP4 GTX 660 (waiting for new AMD cards) Samsung green  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Adata SP900  Seagate 2TB hard drive (the power of 1 edition)  Custom WC Loop Linux (various versions) 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung SyncMaster T240HD Coolermaster XT Green switches XFX 1000w Corsair 800D 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Naga Epic 2014 edition Razer Vespula Stax Lambda Nova Classic Custom DIY DAC 
AudioAudioOther
300b PP monoblocks Snell J3 NZXT Hue 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz 8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz EVGA X99 SR?  AMD 390x 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
AMD 390x 128 GB ECC DDR4  1TB PCI-e SSD Custom WC Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Linux 16:10 Samsung PLS 4K monitor Corsair RGB keyboard with custom cherry MX supe... EVGA 1600 watt titanium  
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Caselabs Magnum STH10 DIY my own mouse Snell J 3 
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Yin&Yang
(19 items)
 
Soon
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4820K Gigabyte X79 UP4 GTX 660 (waiting for new AMD cards) Samsung green  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Adata SP900  Seagate 2TB hard drive (the power of 1 edition)  Custom WC Loop Linux (various versions) 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung SyncMaster T240HD Coolermaster XT Green switches XFX 1000w Corsair 800D 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Naga Epic 2014 edition Razer Vespula Stax Lambda Nova Classic Custom DIY DAC 
AudioAudioOther
300b PP monoblocks Snell J3 NZXT Hue 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz 8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz EVGA X99 SR?  AMD 390x 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
AMD 390x 128 GB ECC DDR4  1TB PCI-e SSD Custom WC Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Linux 16:10 Samsung PLS 4K monitor Corsair RGB keyboard with custom cherry MX supe... EVGA 1600 watt titanium  
CaseMouseAudio
Caselabs Magnum STH10 DIY my own mouse Snell J 3 
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

So the issue is that you need a dac AND amp. A dac alone is not a great idea.

That being the case, I would recommend to looked at used gear.

I found this one for 100 bucks, and you can probably push him a bit lower http://www.head-fi.org/t/671251/audioengine-d1-usb-dac-headphone-amp

Yeah I guess. I'll need to output to speakers and headphones for the desktop one, both auxiliary (I would like the one for my desktop to be bigger) and just headphones from the Laptop one.
Edited by phillyd - 7/15/13 at 12:17am
The Spectre
(28 items)
 
Lenovus Maximus
(13 items)
 
For Sale: Logitech UE6000 headphones
$75 (USD) or best offer
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4510U  Lenovo Z97 board AMD R9 M275 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
1TB 5400RPM HDD 8GB SSD cache Western Digital Passport 1TB Windows 8.1 Pro x64 
MonitorCaseMouseMouse Pad
14" 1080p AHVA panel (aftermarket) Thule Gauntlet 15" case Logitech G602 Insignia hard gaming mat 
Audio
(See audio gear in sig) 
  hide details  
Reply
The Spectre
(28 items)
 
Lenovus Maximus
(13 items)
 
For Sale: Logitech UE6000 headphones
$75 (USD) or best offer
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4510U  Lenovo Z97 board AMD R9 M275 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
1TB 5400RPM HDD 8GB SSD cache Western Digital Passport 1TB Windows 8.1 Pro x64 
MonitorCaseMouseMouse Pad
14" 1080p AHVA panel (aftermarket) Thule Gauntlet 15" case Logitech G602 Insignia hard gaming mat 
Audio
(See audio gear in sig) 
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post #4 of 8
ehhhhhhhh what kind of speaker are they?
Yin&Yang
(19 items)
 
Soon
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4820K Gigabyte X79 UP4 GTX 660 (waiting for new AMD cards) Samsung green  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Adata SP900  Seagate 2TB hard drive (the power of 1 edition)  Custom WC Loop Linux (various versions) 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung SyncMaster T240HD Coolermaster XT Green switches XFX 1000w Corsair 800D 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Naga Epic 2014 edition Razer Vespula Stax Lambda Nova Classic Custom DIY DAC 
AudioAudioOther
300b PP monoblocks Snell J3 NZXT Hue 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz 8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz EVGA X99 SR?  AMD 390x 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
AMD 390x 128 GB ECC DDR4  1TB PCI-e SSD Custom WC Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Linux 16:10 Samsung PLS 4K monitor Corsair RGB keyboard with custom cherry MX supe... EVGA 1600 watt titanium  
CaseMouseAudio
Caselabs Magnum STH10 DIY my own mouse Snell J 3 
  hide details  
Reply
Yin&Yang
(19 items)
 
Soon
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4820K Gigabyte X79 UP4 GTX 660 (waiting for new AMD cards) Samsung green  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Adata SP900  Seagate 2TB hard drive (the power of 1 edition)  Custom WC Loop Linux (various versions) 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung SyncMaster T240HD Coolermaster XT Green switches XFX 1000w Corsair 800D 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Naga Epic 2014 edition Razer Vespula Stax Lambda Nova Classic Custom DIY DAC 
AudioAudioOther
300b PP monoblocks Snell J3 NZXT Hue 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz 8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz EVGA X99 SR?  AMD 390x 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
AMD 390x 128 GB ECC DDR4  1TB PCI-e SSD Custom WC Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Linux 16:10 Samsung PLS 4K monitor Corsair RGB keyboard with custom cherry MX supe... EVGA 1600 watt titanium  
CaseMouseAudio
Caselabs Magnum STH10 DIY my own mouse Snell J 3 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
It's in the OP, Klipsch Promedia 2.1

I shouldn't've said power them, I just meant output to them.
The Spectre
(28 items)
 
Lenovus Maximus
(13 items)
 
For Sale: Logitech UE6000 headphones
$75 (USD) or best offer
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4510U  Lenovo Z97 board AMD R9 M275 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
1TB 5400RPM HDD 8GB SSD cache Western Digital Passport 1TB Windows 8.1 Pro x64 
MonitorCaseMouseMouse Pad
14" 1080p AHVA panel (aftermarket) Thule Gauntlet 15" case Logitech G602 Insignia hard gaming mat 
Audio
(See audio gear in sig) 
  hide details  
Reply
The Spectre
(28 items)
 
Lenovus Maximus
(13 items)
 
For Sale: Logitech UE6000 headphones
$75 (USD) or best offer
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4510U  Lenovo Z97 board AMD R9 M275 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
1TB 5400RPM HDD 8GB SSD cache Western Digital Passport 1TB Windows 8.1 Pro x64 
MonitorCaseMouseMouse Pad
14" 1080p AHVA panel (aftermarket) Thule Gauntlet 15" case Logitech G602 Insignia hard gaming mat 
Audio
(See audio gear in sig) 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well it seems that a bigger budget is needed to improve sound on my desktop noticeably, but the Fiio E7 would work awesomely for my laptop. So I'll be getting a used one next week.
The Spectre
(28 items)
 
Lenovus Maximus
(13 items)
 
For Sale: Logitech UE6000 headphones
$75 (USD) or best offer
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4510U  Lenovo Z97 board AMD R9 M275 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
1TB 5400RPM HDD 8GB SSD cache Western Digital Passport 1TB Windows 8.1 Pro x64 
MonitorCaseMouseMouse Pad
14" 1080p AHVA panel (aftermarket) Thule Gauntlet 15" case Logitech G602 Insignia hard gaming mat 
Audio
(See audio gear in sig) 
  hide details  
Reply
The Spectre
(28 items)
 
Lenovus Maximus
(13 items)
 
For Sale: Logitech UE6000 headphones
$75 (USD) or best offer
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4510U  Lenovo Z97 board AMD R9 M275 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
1TB 5400RPM HDD 8GB SSD cache Western Digital Passport 1TB Windows 8.1 Pro x64 
MonitorCaseMouseMouse Pad
14" 1080p AHVA panel (aftermarket) Thule Gauntlet 15" case Logitech G602 Insignia hard gaming mat 
Audio
(See audio gear in sig) 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 8
See I am thinking a simple asus STX will do you just fine. The audio engine D1 also has RCA out, so again you should be good there as well.
Yin&Yang
(19 items)
 
Soon
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4820K Gigabyte X79 UP4 GTX 660 (waiting for new AMD cards) Samsung green  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Adata SP900  Seagate 2TB hard drive (the power of 1 edition)  Custom WC Loop Linux (various versions) 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung SyncMaster T240HD Coolermaster XT Green switches XFX 1000w Corsair 800D 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Naga Epic 2014 edition Razer Vespula Stax Lambda Nova Classic Custom DIY DAC 
AudioAudioOther
300b PP monoblocks Snell J3 NZXT Hue 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz 8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz EVGA X99 SR?  AMD 390x 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
AMD 390x 128 GB ECC DDR4  1TB PCI-e SSD Custom WC Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Linux 16:10 Samsung PLS 4K monitor Corsair RGB keyboard with custom cherry MX supe... EVGA 1600 watt titanium  
CaseMouseAudio
Caselabs Magnum STH10 DIY my own mouse Snell J 3 
  hide details  
Reply
Yin&Yang
(19 items)
 
Soon
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4820K Gigabyte X79 UP4 GTX 660 (waiting for new AMD cards) Samsung green  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Adata SP900  Seagate 2TB hard drive (the power of 1 edition)  Custom WC Loop Linux (various versions) 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung SyncMaster T240HD Coolermaster XT Green switches XFX 1000w Corsair 800D 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Naga Epic 2014 edition Razer Vespula Stax Lambda Nova Classic Custom DIY DAC 
AudioAudioOther
300b PP monoblocks Snell J3 NZXT Hue 
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz 8 core xeon E6 @ 3.5ghz EVGA X99 SR?  AMD 390x 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveCooling
AMD 390x 128 GB ECC DDR4  1TB PCI-e SSD Custom WC Loop 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Linux 16:10 Samsung PLS 4K monitor Corsair RGB keyboard with custom cherry MX supe... EVGA 1600 watt titanium  
CaseMouseAudio
Caselabs Magnum STH10 DIY my own mouse Snell J 3 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'll look into them, thanks!
The Spectre
(28 items)
 
Lenovus Maximus
(13 items)
 
For Sale: Logitech UE6000 headphones
$75 (USD) or best offer
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4510U  Lenovo Z97 board AMD R9 M275 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
1TB 5400RPM HDD 8GB SSD cache Western Digital Passport 1TB Windows 8.1 Pro x64 
MonitorCaseMouseMouse Pad
14" 1080p AHVA panel (aftermarket) Thule Gauntlet 15" case Logitech G602 Insignia hard gaming mat 
Audio
(See audio gear in sig) 
  hide details  
Reply
The Spectre
(28 items)
 
Lenovus Maximus
(13 items)
 
For Sale: Logitech UE6000 headphones
$75 (USD) or best offer
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4510U  Lenovo Z97 board AMD R9 M275 2x4GB 1600MHz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
1TB 5400RPM HDD 8GB SSD cache Western Digital Passport 1TB Windows 8.1 Pro x64 
MonitorCaseMouseMouse Pad
14" 1080p AHVA panel (aftermarket) Thule Gauntlet 15" case Logitech G602 Insignia hard gaming mat 
Audio
(See audio gear in sig) 
  hide details  
Reply
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