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Help to choose a DAC/Amp

Tricky

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Hello everyone,

I'm trying to create my full audio setup and I've already decided on most of the parts, but after pulling my hair off on trying to understand how one should choose his DAC/Amp, I've decided that the best option should be to ask peoples that know how it works.
So, my gear would be the Audio Technica ATH-R70x (maybe Sennheiser HD650 if I find it at a cheap price), The Moondrop Blessing 2 (still a bit hesitating between the normal and the dusk version), and an Audio Technica AT2020 for my microphone (in XLR).
I'm looking for a DAC + Amp (all in one or a stack) that can drive everything flawlessly while staying in a reasonable budget, would say that 300-350 would be my upper limit. I already have a Focusrite 2i2, but the amp isn't perfect to drive that gear and since it doesn't have RCA at the back), is quite hard to pair cleanly with something else. I've already looked at the JDS element 2 but JDS doesn't have anything in Europe and that will increase the cost too much with importation fees. Lastly, I would like it to be clean, I don't mind pairing to a different brand but not if I have to use adapters to get the cable to work between the DAC and Amp.

PS : I don't mind getting rid of my 2i2, I got it for free and will give it to my brother if I don't need it anymore

I think I've said everything, so please help me ^^"

Thx in advance
 
Last edited:

Jimbob54

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Hello everyone,

I'm trying to create my full audio setup and I've already decided on most of the parts, but after pulling my hair off on trying to understand how one should choose his DAC/Amp, I've decided that the best option should be to ask peoples that know how it works.
So, my gear would be the Audio Technica ATH-R70x (maybe Sennheiser HD650 if I find it at a cheap price), The Moondrop Blessing 2 (still a bit hesitating between the normal and the dusk version), and an Audio Technica AT2020 for my microphone (in XLR).
I'm looking for a DAC + Amp (all in one or a stack) that can drive everything flawlessly while staying in a reasonable budget, would say that 300-350 would be my upper limit. I already have a Focusrite 2i2, but the amp isn't perfect to drive that gear and since it doesn't have RCA at the back), is quite hard to pair cleanly with something else. I've already looked at the JDS element 2 but JDS doesn't have anything in Europe and that will increase the cost too much with importation fees. Lastly, I would like it to be clean, I don't mind pairing to a different brand but not if I have to use adapters to get the cable to work between the DAC and Amp.

I think I've said everything, so please help me ^^"

Thx in advance
You need an amp with quite a bit of power for the R70- but also quiet for the IEM. Think about the Schitt stack if the Euro store has some in stock. The Modi 3 DAC plus IE Magni might be a good bet.https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/schiit-iemagni-review-headphone-amplifier.23341/
 
OP
T

Tricky

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You need an amp with quite a bit of power for the R70- but also quiet for the IEM. Think about the Schitt stack if the Euro store has some in stock. The Modi 3 DAC plus IE Magni might be a good bet.https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/schiit-iemagni-review-headphone-amplifier.23341/
The problem is the mic: There's no xlr for it in the modi (to my knowledge) I still can use the 2i2 for that but I would prefer to keep it as minimal as possible.
PS: Shiit is available in netherland so yeah it works for me ^^
 

phoenixdogfan

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You don't really want an amp/dac. What you need and want is an audio interface which is something like your 2i2 in that it has inputs for your mic, A to D conversion, USB interface for a digital work station and/or computer, and a headphone amp. The 2i2 is the cheapest one I know of out there, but it has its limitations.

A better one (which I own) is a Motu M4 for around $250. It has a quality A to D converter, balanced inputs and outputs including balanced TRS outputs on the back, USB digital input (but no SPDIF!) and a very high quality DAC. It has a somewhat underpowered headphone amp, but it is probably OK for a Sennheiser HD 650 and your Moon Drop Blessing 2 IEMs.

In any case, if you are creating input from a microphone and you want something that can process it in one box you do need a digital interface, not something like a Schiit Modi or whatever which are DAC/AMPS with no mic input or A to D conversion whatsoever.
 
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Tricky

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You need an amp with quite a bit of power for the R70- but also quiet for the IEM. Think about the Schitt stack if the Euro store has some in stock. The Modi 3 DAC plus IE Magni might be a good bet.https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/schiit-iemagni-review-headphone-amplifier.23341/
What do you think of the Ifi Zen DAC v2?
 
OP
T

Tricky

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You don't really want an amp/dac. What you need and want is an audio interface which is something like your 2i2 in that it has inputs for your mic, A to D conversion, USB interface for a digital work station and/or computer, and a headphone amp. The 2i2 is the cheapest one I know of out there, but it has its limitations.

A better one (which I own) is a Motu M4 for around $250. It has a quality A to D converter, balanced inputs and outputs including balanced TRS outputs on the back, USB digital input (but no SPDIF!) and a very high quality DAC. It has a somewhat underpowered headphone amp, but it is probably OK for a Sennheiser HD 650 and your Moon Drop Blessing 2 IEMs.

In any case, if you are creating input from a microphone and you want something that can process it in one box you do need a digital interface, not something like a Schiit Modi or whatever which are DAC/AMPS with no mic input or A to D conversion whatsoever.
The R70x is 470 ohms so I'm not sure that a usb interface would be enough. I'm trying to get the most of it that's why I'm looking for a DAC + Amp or a stack that is affordable
 
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Tricky

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Jimbob54

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Well, it was my first choice but the cost of importing here is from 35 to 200 euros (depending on the number of controls) so it would cost me at least a third of the amp cost up to the double :s
If its cheaper and easier than from the US in a post Brexit world, Hifiheadphones.co.uk stock JDS stuff.
 
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Tricky

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Well, I think that my answer is between those 2: Modi/Magni Stack and keep the 2i2 for the mic or take the Magnius and use the 2i2 as DAC and mic.
 
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