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Another DAC/AMP combo thread...

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Jul 15, 2020
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#1
Hey everyone,

Newbie here, been into the audio scene for a while always peaking from the outskirts and thought given the current climate I might look to invest into my setup. As such, being from the land down under and having a terrible market and overpriced local suppliers thought I would ask the brains trust for a little direction. Basically I want a desktop DAC/AMP combo and it doesnt necessiraly have to be a combo unit or matching components. Basically the best value for money given that there is quite a few new components being released. My current headphone that I'll be needing to power is the original HiFiMAN HE-400, I am probably going to have to look into new cables as they are the original ones which are starting to fail and depending on the setup may need to suit a balanced output which is not being taken into account budget wise. Current budget is ~$250USD incl shipping to Australia.

The current options are:

Schiit Magni/Modi stack - Purchasing from them directly with a lovely $50USD shipping cost as even at $250USD they come out cheaper than the $520 AUD to buy them from the local supplier
FiiO K5 Pro stack - From AliExpress
FiiO K5 Amp + Another DAC - From AliExpress
JDS Labs stack - Again direct from JDS

After looking at all the reviews I was mainly wondering if anyone owns/owned a pair of the original HE-400 and could provide an actual suggestion based of a real listening test rather than pure numbers sake. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Tks

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#2
There's conflicting info here, you said you may want to go balanced, if that's the case, then these choices aren't suitable. If that was just you thinking out loud for something in the future, then nevermind.

As for those choices you set out for yourself, the only two that make sense are the Magni/Modi, and JDS Stack. The Magni Heresy is pretty much one of the best amps period, and beats the JDS. Though the Modi 3 seems a hair worse than the JDS DAC.

It's a case of Modi 3 came out before the the JDS DAC, so it's a tad worse. And a case of The Magni Heresy came out later than the JDS Atom, so it's a bit better.

Either way you go they're both a good choice. Especially getting them over their in AUS where everything costs a bunch for no reason.
 

Racheski

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#3
Realistically if you want a fully balanced set up you will have to increase your budget to ~$400, not including shipping. And just a heads up on the Schiit Heresy - the Gain switch is on the rear of the amp, which is a deal breaker for me.

You should also look into the Topping E30. It is $130 and Shenzen Audio should ship it to you for free. It is a better DAC than the JDS & Schiit, and you get a digital display with a remote.

In 2-3 months you can sell whatever amp you purchase now and buy the Topping L30 from Shenzen as well. The E30/L30 stack will be the budget endgame combo.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...asurement-of-topping-l30-headphone-amp.14252/
 
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Thread Starter #4
Sorry I may have not written it as clearly as I thought it was in my head, I wasn't intentionally going the balanced route just if thats the output the amp I ended up going for had that the cost of a balanced cable wouldn't be taken into consideration.

Since this post I have purchased the E30 from a local suppliar at the Shenzen AliExpress cost and he will be getting the new L30 by the end of the month which if it stays true to pricing just above $100USD should be as you said the endgame combo.
 
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