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I have a budget of $700 - 800 for a DAC/Amplifier combo. Which one do you recommend?

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I have a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-R70x (470 ohms) headphones and I'm looking for a good DAC / Amp combo. My budget is 700 - 800 USD. Thank you very much for your suggestions.
 

bogi

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Is that ideal if I want to use it for Mixing and Music Production?
For mixing and music production I would use higher resolution DAC than above suggested E30 (which is only RCA unbalanced).

My recommendation is SMSL or Topping stack.
SMSL SU9n + SMSL SH-9
Topping E50 + Topping L50
 
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For mixing and music production I would use higher resolution DAC than above suggested E30 (which is only RCA unbalanced).

My recommendation is SMSL or Topping stack.
SMSL SU9n + SMSL SH-9
Topping E50 + Topping L50


What do you think about this one for mixing/music production?


Monolith by Monoprice Desktop Balanced Headphone Amplifier and DAC with THX AAA Technology (Dual AKM 4493 DACs & Dual AAA-788 Modules)

244591.jpg
 

NiagaraPete

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Amp for headphones I'm assuming? For your budget maybe look at.

 

HiFidFan

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For mixing and music production I would use higher resolution DAC than above suggested E30 (which is only RCA unbalanced).

"Higher resolution"?

OP, look into the Schiit Modius & Magnius. Both reviewed here by Amir.
 
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Amp for headphones I'm assuming? For your budget maybe look at.


Yes, for my Audio-Technica ATH-R70x (470 ohms). I want to use it for music production and mixing. I was checking this option but I can't find much info about it: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24459
 

NiagaraPete

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Yes, for my Audio-Technica ATH-R70x (470 ohms). I want to use it for music production and mixing. I was checking this option but I can't find much info about it: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24459
My understanding is the Monoprice is pretty good. I know there was a review here on ASR but I don't know if its that model. I suggested the D30 and A30 for one because I own the stack and its really versatile. The headphone amp is really powerful plus if you add active monitors you have balanced outputs. Or you could run amp speakers. Look through the review index there are lots of great options.
 

raistlin65

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Is that ideal if I want to use it for Mixing and Music Production?

Yes. It will work great.

If you look at the measurement reviews for those devices here on ASR, you'll find they are easily arguable to be noise and distortion free within the range of human hearing. In other words, they achieve the highest fidelity sound reproduction your ears can perceive.
 

dshreter

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For mixing and music production you should be looking at a quality audio interface like motu ultralite mk5. These recs for an amp/DAC with very high SINAD won’t make any difference in what you hear and your money is better spent on a fully featured tool with multiple inputs, outputs, and DSP
 

raistlin65

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For mixing and music production you should be looking at a quality audio interface like motu ultralite mk5. These recs for an amp/DAC with very high SINAD won’t make any difference in what you hear and your money is better spent on a fully featured tool with multiple inputs, outputs, and DSP

Just curious. If somebody doesn't need the extra inputs and outputs, and they have their own software already for mixing and mastering, why do they need a $600 interface?
 

dshreter

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Just curious. If somebody doesn't need the extra inputs and outputs, and they have their own software already for mixing and mastering, why do they need a $600 interface?
OP said budget of $700-$800. One feature that can be useful to most is built in DSP. Connecting to headphones or monitors you can EQ onboard. If making music, there’s a good chance you need to record things…. instruments, microphone input… an interface does that with ability to manage the inputs via hardware. And you probably want to listen to your mix with headphones and monitors because they’re pretty different. An interface makes that easy.

If you are doing only computer audio and only listening via headphones a DAC and headphone amp will do the job fine.
 

raistlin65

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OP said budget of $700-$800. One feature that can be useful to most is built in DSP. Connecting to headphones or monitors you can EQ onboard. If making music, there’s a good chance you need to record things…. instruments, microphone input… an interface does that with ability to manage the inputs via hardware. And you probably want to listen to your mix with headphones and monitors because they’re pretty different. An interface makes that easy.

If you are doing only computer audio and only listening via headphones a DAC and headphone amp will do the job fine.

I said if he doesn't need the extra inputs and outputs. I understand how they might be used. We haven't determined that he actually needs them.

As for onboard DSP, if you mean parametric EQ, that is free for Windows with Equalizer APO with Peace GUI.

A lot of times people have budgets for electronics because that's what they think they need to spend. It doesn't mean we need to encourage them to spend it if they don't actually need to.
 

dshreter

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I said if he doesn't need the extra inputs and outputs. I understand how they might be used. We haven't determined that he actually needs them.

As for onboard DSP, if you mean parametric EQ, that is free for Windows with Equalizer APO with Peace GUI.

A lot of times people have budgets for electronics because that's what they think they need to spend. It doesn't mean we need to encourage them to spend it if they don't actually need to.
The OP is welcome to share more about their requirements, but specified it is for mixing and music production. An interface is the tool for that job and can grow in utility if the need presents itself. A DAC/amp designed just for listening and chosen for SINAD can’t do that. For less money and features a product like Motu m2 like I mentioned is also great.
 
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The OP is welcome to share more about their requirements, but specified it is for mixing and music production. An interface is the tool for that job and can grow in utility if the need presents itself. A DAC/amp designed just for listening and chosen for SINAD can’t do that. For less money and features a product like Motu m2 like I mentioned is also great.


Thank you very much for the recommendations, friends.

I produce electronic and rap music using mostly samples and software synthesizers. I don't need to record acoustic instruments and the vocals are recorded in a separate professional studio when needed. Unfortunately, in the place where I live, I can't have monitors so I am obliged to use headphones for production. Fortunately I can listen to my productions in a studio with monitors and acoustic treatment when needed but it takes me a long time to get to that place.
 
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My understanding is the Monoprice is pretty good. I know there was a review here on ASR but I don't know if its that model. I suggested the D30 and A30 for one because I own the stack and its really versatile. The headphone amp is really powerful plus if you add active monitors you have balanced outputs. Or you could run amp speakers. Look through the review index there are lots of great options.

I think I will follow your suggestion and go for the Topping combo you suggest. Thank you very much.
 

bogi

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"Higher resolution"?

OP, look into the Schiit Modius & Magnius. Both reviewed here by Amir.
You have to look. I know those measurements. I reacted to the above E30 suggestion. Regarding Schiit Modius, both my suggestions are of higher SINAD, dynamic range etc. than the Schiit one. Therefore I don't understand your point.
 

bogi

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What do you think about this one for mixing/music production?

Not bad, but measured params of my suggestions are much better. Don't hesitate to buy 2 separate small devices. They are smaller than you may realize.

With E30 and E50 I have personal experience so my suggestion is not based only on measurements. The combo E50 / L50 is hard to beat form price/performance view on its price level.
 

raistlin65

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Thank you very much for the recommendations, friends.

I produce electronic and rap music using mostly samples and software synthesizers. I don't need to record acoustic instruments and the vocals are recorded in a separate professional studio when needed. Unfortunately, in the place where I live, I can't have monitors so I am obliged to use headphones for production. Fortunately I can listen to my productions in a studio with monitors and acoustic treatment when needed but it takes me a long time to get to that place.

Then the recommended headphone amp/dacs will work great for your needs.
 
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