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Help me choose a future-proof Amp/Dac (~$1200 budget)

Kamyar

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Hello everyone,

This is my first post on this forum, but I've been a long-time lurker. This is one of the few places online that I'd actually ask for advice since there is very little snake oilery going on.

Long story short, I want an amp/DAC setup (preferably a combo). I want to buy one and then never think about future upgrades. I will only use it for my headphones (so there is no need for it to be a preamp), and I will only use it with a digital source (Apple music through mac with sound source app for EQ) since I'm using a computer I don't need the DAC/amp to have a receiver or peq capabilities.

Right now, I want it to be able to drive hd800s. I might go up to DCA Stealths in the future. TBH I'm not looking at really hard-to-drive HPs like susvara or Diana, but I'd like to have peace of mind.

The essential quality of the DAC /amp other than being able to drive something like stealth is to be heavy enough that it won't move, to have an excellent volume dial (Phonitor is not a good amp, but they nailed the volume control / JDS element also comes to mind). It'd be great if it's beautiful since I'll be looking at it all day.

Thank you for the help in advance.
 

RickSanchez

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... then never think about future upgrades
Well, not sure you can buy anything that will guarantee that.

That said I think the RME ADI-2 might work well for you given its performance, build quality, feature set, etc.
 
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Kamyar

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Well, not sure you can buy anything that will guarantee that.

That said I think the RME ADI-2 might work well for you given its performance, build quality, feature set, etc.
I mean if it's powerful enough it should actually do that (provided it doesn't crock). it's not like future headphones will become more power-hungry or something and the DAC and amps these days are basically noiseless.
I know RME adi-2 but I don't need any of the abilities it has. So I'd much rather get something "dumber" but with more power.
 
F

freemansteve

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Given the current situation, I recommend Iodized Salt, but I'm old enough to know "future proof" is largely a myth.

With many separate components, you can argue that each piece can be upgraded as and when, and I'd say anything relying on internal software will not last the test of time. Suppliers stop supporting kit that ought to have new software/firmware, because they want you upgrade all the time and put old kit into landfill. Never trust promises on software support.

Having said that, if you buy an all in one that does most things and is reasonably priced, you can afford to give it away ina few years and get a better one.

Automatic obsolescence is the order of the day, I'm afraid, so buy whatever takes your fancy. For reference, I have a CA Evo 75 but I doubt it will, for example, support the latest streaming apps in 5 years - just like TVs with built-in apps and proprietary OSs will become useless.

This sounds like "spend the bulk of the money on speakers" which don't change much, and the least on streamers/DACS and so on, which are constantly being superseded. A decent power amp may last years too.
 

RickSanchez

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Having trouble squaring your comment of "... then never think about future upgrades" with your comment of "So I'd much rather get something 'dumber'". Seems like those two goals are in opposition.

More powerful DAC/amps (there are obviously others):
You can use this to search for DAC/amp combos, or separate DACs and amps. It doesn't not have power ratings however so you'll have to search through the initial measurements to see what the power output is for each amp. (Just click on the date in the results table and it will take you to the review.)
 
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Kamyar

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Having trouble squaring your comment of "... then never think about future upgrades" with your comment of "So I'd much rather get something 'dumber'". Seems like those two goals are in opposition.

More powerful DAC/amps (there are obviously others):
You can use this to search for DAC/amp combos, or separate DACs and amps. It doesn't not have power ratings however so you'll have to search through the initial measurements to see what the power output is for each amp. (Just click on the date in the results table and it will take you to the review.)
OK Dude I've been on this forum a lot and was never a fan of your brand of bullshit. It's obvious that you just parrot what you read here without knowing much. I don't really understand why you feel the need to give "guidance" when you have no idea.

I ask for something that's powerful enough to run susvara and Diana, is not a preamp, is not a receiver, does not have peq, can last a long time so it's not a product that has the need for fucking firmware and proprietary software.

And what do you recommend? an amp/dac that CAN NOT run susvara or any other power-hungry HP for that matter. is a preamp, is a receiver, has peq and tons of other bells and whistles which means it will be outdated when the company eventually stops giving it updates.

It's literally the opposite of what I wanted in Every Single Way. Dude, it's ok to not know your shit but why the fuck do you go around recommending something you have no idea about? and then when I say I want something dumber with less bells and whistles so it can last for a long time you act salty and like I'm the one who has no idea what he's talking about. Linking me the index. Dumbass I can use google what I want was certainly not readily available on the fucking index.

Rick Sanchez! what a fucking cringy 12-year-old! How can you spend 2.5 years here writing 3 comments every day and still not know if the amp you are recommending can run the fucking headphone other people are asking about? Fuck it ...I'm done

***Moderator Comments: We are leaving this post up as a perfect example of how to get Perm Banned in one single post.***
 

Χ Ξ Σ

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OK Dude I've been on this forum a lot and was never a fan of your brand of bullshit. It's obvious that you just parrot what you read here without knowing much. I don't really understand why you feel the need to give "guidance" when you have no idea.

I ask for something that's powerful enough to run susvara and Diana, is not a preamp, is not a receiver, does not have peq, can last a long time so it's not a product that has the need for fucking firmware and proprietary software.

And what do you recommend? an amp/dac that CAN NOT run susvara or any other power-hungry HP for that matter. is a preamp, is a receiver, has peq and tons of other bells and whistles which means it will be outdated when the company eventually stops giving it updates.

It's literally the opposite of what I wanted in Every Single Way. Dude, it's ok to not know your shit but why the fuck do you go around recommending something you have no idea about? and then when I say I want something dumber with less bells and whistles so it can last for a long time you act salty and like I'm the one who has no idea what he's talking about. Linking me the index. Dumbass I can use google what I want was certainly not readily available on the fucking index.

Rick Sanchez! what a fucking cringy 12-year-old! How can you spend 2.5 years here writing 3 comments every day and still not know if the amp you are recommending can run the fucking headphone other people are asking about? Fuck it ...I'm done
Chill man, you gonna get banned for the language you used regardless whether what you said is true.
 

Jimbob54

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OK Dude I've been on this forum a lot and was never a fan of your brand of bullshit. It's obvious that you just parrot what you read here without knowing much. I don't really understand why you feel the need to give "guidance" when you have no idea.

I ask for something that's powerful enough to run susvara and Diana, is not a preamp, is not a receiver, does not have peq, can last a long time so it's not a product that has the need for fucking firmware and proprietary software.

And what do you recommend? an amp/dac that CAN NOT run susvara or any other power-hungry HP for that matter. is a preamp, is a receiver, has peq and tons of other bells and whistles which means it will be outdated when the company eventually stops giving it updates.

It's literally the opposite of what I wanted in Every Single Way. Dude, it's ok to not know your shit but why the fuck do you go around recommending something you have no idea about? and then when I say I want something dumber with less bells and whistles so it can last for a long time you act salty and like I'm the one who has no idea what he's talking about. Linking me the index. Dumbass I can use google what I want was certainly not readily available on the fucking index.

Rick Sanchez! what a fucking cringy 12-year-old! How can you spend 2.5 years here writing 3 comments every day and still not know if the amp you are recommending can run the fucking headphone other people are asking about? Fuck it ...I'm done
You're right. You are.
 

AdamG247

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OK Dude I've been on this forum a lot and was never a fan of your brand of bullshit. It's obvious that you just parrot what you read here without knowing much. I don't really understand why you feel the need to give "guidance" when you have no idea.

I ask for something that's powerful enough to run susvara and Diana, is not a preamp, is not a receiver, does not have peq, can last a long time so it's not a product that has the need for fucking firmware and proprietary software.

And what do you recommend? an amp/dac that CAN NOT run susvara or any other power-hungry HP for that matter. is a preamp, is a receiver, has peq and tons of other bells and whistles which means it will be outdated when the company eventually stops giving it updates.

It's literally the opposite of what I wanted in Every Single Way. Dude, it's ok to not know your shit but why the fuck do you go around recommending something you have no idea about? and then when I say I want something dumber with less bells and whistles so it can last for a long time you act salty and like I'm the one who has no idea what he's talking about. Linking me the index. Dumbass I can use google what I want was certainly not readily available on the fucking index.

Rick Sanchez! what a fucking cringy 12-year-old! How can you spend 2.5 years here writing 3 comments every day and still not know if the amp you are recommending can run the fucking headphone other people are asking about? Fuck it ...I'm done
Indeed you are. Permanently done here!
 

AdamG247

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Jimbob54

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It's also worth noting the OP said the following. As an example of unclear requirements its pretty good. Parse this :

"Right now, I want it to be able to drive hd800s. I might go up to DCA Stealths in the future. TBH I'm not looking at really hard-to-drive HPs like susvara or Diana, but I'd like to have peace of mind."

I would say that something capable of driving the 800 and the Stealth is needed, not necessarily something that can do the Susvara.
 
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