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Amp+dac or amp/dac for AKG 712 pro (first time buyer) ~230€ budget [I made a list w/ all my options]

leyo96

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Hello,
I just ordered my first pair of real headphones and now I need a Dac and Amp or a dac/amp combo for them. I currently have a bad 25€ amp/dac from amazon for my Sennheiser Momentum.

Ideally my budget would be 200€, I spent 160€ for the headphones, I don't really want to spend way more for the dac and amp. If it's really really worth it I could go up to something like 260€, but not really above that.

Thank you for your help!

Ok so these days I carefully made a list with all the amps, dacs amp/dacs that I was suggested, with their price and shipping time. It took me a while
I hope you can help me having all my options in front of you.
Thank you a lot!


DAC
  • Schiit Modi 3:
    • 139€ // currently out of stock in Europe (Italian Schiit dealer)
    • 128€ + probably taxes= ̴ 178€ // 1-week (schiit USA)
  • Topping D10:
    • 109€ // 1-2 weeks (Ebay UK) [no optical in]
    • 99€ // 3-4 weeks (Topping Audio EU) [no optical in]
  • SMSL m100: 91€ // 1-2 weeks (Ebay Germany)
  • Topping E30: 143€ // 20-30 days (Audiophonics.fr)
  • Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100: 148€ // 4-5 days (Ebay IT)
  • Topping D30: 111€ // 20-30 days (Audiophonics.fr)

AMP
  • JDS Labs Atom Amp: 123€ + probably taxes= ̴ 172€ // 5-9 days (JDS Labs)
  • Schiit Magni 3+: 146€ // 2-7 working days (Schiit UK)
  • Pro-Ject Head Box S: 95€ // 1 week (Ebay IT)
  • Topping A50: 184€ // in a week (Audiophonics.fr)

DAC/AMP
  • Aune X1s 10th Anniversary Edition: 209€ + possibly taxes= ̴ 286€ // 1 month (AliExpress)
  • Topping DX3 pro v2: 220€ // 1 week (Amazon)
  • xDuoo XD-05: 217€ // 10-25 days (Banggood)
  • FiiO K5PRO: 180€ // 1 week (Amazon)
  • iFi ZEN DAC: 150€ // 3-4 weeks (Amazon)
  • Fostex HP-A3: 293€ // 2-4 days (Thomann)
  • Beresford Caiman SEG: 236€ (I could get a discount) // 5-10 days (Home HiFi)
  • Pro-Ject Head Box Digital S2: 245€ // 1-2 weeks (SoloMusicaOnline)
  • JDS Labs Objective2+ODAC combo RevB: 291€ + probably taxes= ̴ 391€ // 5-9 days (JDS Labs) [no optical in]
  • AudioQuest DragonFly Red: 163€ // 6-11 days (Ebay IT)
  • AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt: 260€ // 6 days (Ebay IT)
  • xDuoo TA-01B: 179€ // 3-4 weeks (Ebay USA)
  • JDS Labs Element 1: 160€ // 1 week (USED 2 years – Reddit, from Slovakia) [no optical in]
  • Creative Sound BlasterX G6: 160€ // 1 week (Amazon)
  • LOXJIE D10: 100€ // 1 week (amazon)

DAC+AMP STACK
  • JDS Labs OL DAC usb + optical & JDS Labs Atom Amp: 257€ + probably taxes= ̴ 347€ // 5-9 days (JDS Labs)
  • Schiit Modi 3 & Schiit Magni 3+:
    • 268€ // currently out of stock in Europe (Italian Schiit dealer)
    • 228€ + probably taxes= ̴ 311€ // 1-week (schiit USA)

RCA CABLES (X2)

  • Handmade Van Damme cable w/ Monster connector: 20€ // 1-4 weeks (Ebay UK)
 
Last edited:

M00ndancer

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My advice is to get the DAC + AMP combination that gives you the features you want, or looks. Perhaps both.
That was my reason for getting the slightly worse Swissonic HAD-1 from Thomann, it had all the features I needed for a price I could afford at the time.
€120 ish.
 

ZolaIII

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Creative Sound BlasterX G6 around 150$/€ on Amazon.
 
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leyo96

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My advice is to get the DAC + AMP combination that gives you the features you want, or looks. Perhaps both.
That was my reason for getting the slightly worse Swissonic HAD-1 from Thomann, it had all the features I needed for a price I could afford at the time.
€120 ish.
I'm not really looking into any feature, maybe optical in is the only thing I might need
 

ReaderZ

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Based on review here I would go with E30 + Atom. If budget is an issue get a cheaper DAC but keep Atom, it's an amazing almost state of the art headamp for $99. For all in one, DX3 pro, amirm used it for a long time before upgrade to DX7 pro, consider what he has access to, it says a lot about DX3 pro.

Based on my own personal experience and many post here and on reddit, I would not get G6. When using USB alone, it would completely stop working randomly with lots of noise, crack and pop. When using both USB and S/PDIF(USB for power, as it's usb powered only) it still have noise, crack and pop, just less. Other people also report driver can't detect device, which happened when I used it on my laptop with USB as well. There is just no reason to get it over DX3 pro.
 
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leyo96

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Based on review here I would go with E30 + Atom. If budget is an issue get a cheaper DAC but keep Atom, it's an amazing almost state of the art headamp for $99. For all in one, DX3 pro, amirm used it for a long time before upgrade to DX7 pro, consider what he has access to, it says a lot about DX3 pro.

Based on my own personal experience and many post here and on reddit, I would not get G6. When using USB alone, it would completely stop working randomly with lots of noise, crack and pop. When using both USB and S/PDIF(USB for power, as it's usb powered only) it still have noise, crack and pop, just less. Other people also report driver can't detect device, which happened when I used it on my laptop with USB as well. There is just no reason to get it over DX3 pro.
The JDS Atom is 167€ for me though, w/ a topping E30 plus cables it's 330€ total. Is this combo really worth 110€ more than a DX3 pro v2?
Isn't the amp inside the Element 1 basically an Atom? Or am I wrong? I could get that used for 160€
 

ZolaIII

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How about LOXJIE D10 for DAC it's 90$ on Ali and you have measurements hire.
 
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leyo96

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How about LOXJIE D10 for DAC it's 90$ on Ali and you have measurements hire.
Could you send me a link, I can't find it.
May I ask why did you choose this headphones among plenty of others?
I asked opinions in several forums and the top 3 options I got in my budget (under 250€) were the akg712 pro, the fidelio X2HR and the 58x. After many videos, reviews, and reading other people opinions I decided to get the k712 and actually I got them 6 month used with an extra pair of earpads and 50-70€ cable for 160€ instead of 233€. I can't complain
 
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leyo96

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ZolaIII

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Who on earth thought that that is a good shape for a dac lmao. I'm too much a noob to really understand those measurements, but I can tell that the DAC is good but the amp not that much.
DAC is rather transparent & I didn't meant that you use in bilt headaphone Amp for that stick to the already mentioned Schiit (Magni Heresy 3+) or Atom, which ever you can get cheaper where you live. The shape is what it is, cheaper better performing desktop DAC you won't find.
 

ReaderZ

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The JDS Atom is 167€ for me though, w/ a topping E30 plus cables it's 330€ total. Is this combo really worth 110€ more than a DX3 pro v2?
Isn't the amp inside the Element 1 basically an Atom? Or am I wrong? I could get that used for 160€

It's not, you can read review of both and you can see the difference between element 1's amp vs Atom is very significant and DAC part of element is not on the same level as DX3 pro or E30. I would go for Dx3 pro if you want to stay in your budget. But I would go for E30 plus Atom.
 
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leyo96

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which ever you can get cheaper where you live
Atom is 167€, magni 3+ is 178€.
It's not, you can read review of both and you can see the difference between element 1's amp vs Atom is very significant and DAC part of element is not on the same level as DX3 pro or E30. I would go for Dx3 pro if you want to stay in your budget. But I would go for E30 plus Atom.
Ok, thank you!
 
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leyo96

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Edit: found the Magni 3+ at 146€ from schiit UK instead of 178€ from schiit USA
 

tankas

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What did you choose?
 
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