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Need help with amp/DAC decisions :)

ChickenChaser

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Discussion:

I bought a Lyr 2 because I was auditioning a ton of stuff at home and I wanted something I was sure would power anything I caught hold of. I've basically never heard any other upstream gear besides a couple other Schiit amps. I was always skeptical of audiophile reviews, despite falling for some expensive headphones, so I just stuck with the first thing I heard.

I'm probably sticking to my current headphones for the foreseeable future. Maybe another Audeze at some point or an Atticus/Eikon. So I'm ready to nail it down, now that I know what I'm trying to power. That said, I've never been able to wrap my head around the basics of impedance, sensitivity, etc. So I'm a noob at this despite my cans being at the "endgame" price range.

Neither the RAD-0 or the Verite Closed sound as good to me out of the Hidizs AP80 as they do at my desk. I'm entirely open to the possibility that that's just sighted bias, but I'd also like to know if it isn't. I've yet to fully set up the V20 for use as a DAP, so I'm not sure yet if I'd need more than that. I would like the option of using the HD800 too (with 25-75% values of oratory's EQ settings, which probably limits me to the V20 of my available DAPs).

I hope no one minds me posting this twice. I looked for other advice threads and it seems like most of them are over here rather than the subforum I posted in initially. In any case, once I sell the old gear and settle on my replacements I'm planning to chip a few bucks in here as thanks :)

Priorities:

1. Quite simply, get something with better price-to-performance. From looking around here it sounds like my Lyr 2 Modi 2 setup isn't the best bang for the buck. Resale value is around 550, I think. If possible, I'd like to take a couple hundred bucks home net after selling them. I can go maybe a couple hundred higher on the replacement if it's really worth it, but I'm expecting that won't be the case and something much cheaper will already measure great.

2. I'd really like to transition to a "portable" setup. Something I can use and be sure I'm getting the best possible quality when carrying it around the house, riding in a car, etc. Something that would pull double-duty for desktop+portable use would be awesome, as I assume that would keep total costs for covering both uses down.

3. Reliability / durability / warranty (if buying new which I probably won't) are important

Current chain:
Modi 2 -> Lyr 2 (LSST tubes)

Cans:
HD800 (SDR EQ)
Rosson RAD-0
ZMF Verite Closed
(Also JH Angie, ER3XR)

Portable DAPs:
iPod + Rockbox
Hidizs AP80
LG V20 Phone

Budget:
$550 (approximate resale value of Lyr 2 with LSST and Modi 2).
Unless there's a big jump in price-performance after that.
If there is, maybe considering an extra $2-300 max.
But if there isn't, I'd prefer going even cheaper.
 

ZolaIII

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So what exactly isn't good enough regarding LG ThinQ V20 as a DAC? How about just getting an rather good amplifier for it? You won't be able to drive HD800 (300 Ohm's @ 500 mV) really good on anything portable but you can try.
 

ZolaIII

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Pufff... Topping NX3S 70$, upgrade 10 Ah battery for LG v20 30$, UAPP around 10$ & a arms caring permission as it's over half a kilogram like that.
 
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ChickenChaser

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So what exactly isn't good enough regarding LG ThinQ V20 as a DAC?

Don't know, that's why I'm asking. All I have to compare it to is a Modi 2 connected by USB! I'd also like to be able to use the iPod / AP80, but I guess it might make more sense to just sell them and get a 2nd backup V20.

How about just getting an rather good amplifier for it? You won't be able to drive HD800 (300 Ohm's @ 500 mV) really good on anything portable but you can try.

Only argument against this is I'm hoping to double up desktop and portable use. Could I look for a desktop DAC and a portable amplifier that would plug into it when at the desk, or is that a bad idea?

Edit: Just looked up the UAPP, and... wait. It would actually be worth plugging the V20 in as a desktop DAC? Mind = blown.
 

ZolaIII

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On desktop and also portable (to carry around & use with laptop) Creative Sound BlasterX G6 146$.
Of course those are just my humble propositions.
 
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ChickenChaser

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A laptop is one thing I probably won't be using much / at all. I'm making note of the NX3S and UAPP, though.
 

ZolaIII

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A laptop is one thing I probably won't be using much / at all. I'm making note of the NX3S and UAPP, though.
It's not exactly about laptop but something you can carry around which will work with PS's and has enough power to drive HD800 good enough (not great). However Creative Sound BlasterX G6 won't work with mobiles, drivers will be a pain in the ass but it's high quality, long lasting product with long support & has quite lot of additional futures which you might find useful.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...w-and-measurements-of-sound-blasterx-g6.7016/
NX3S fit's the bill for on the go battery powered serious enough amp.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...attery-operated-portable-headphone-amps.6312/
UAPP is an app with which you will gain (almost) full control of LG ThinQ series ESS DAC along with MQA, which supports streaming services.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...o-measurement-of-lg-g7-thinq-smartphone.4468/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.extreamsd.usbaudioplayerpro
You can download trial version from their website.
With each & every of them you will be at 18~19 bit SINAD territory. Regarding shortcomings be sure to read reviews carefully.
Now have a nice day.
 

Jakkal

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Creative Sound BlasterX G6 works with my LG G8 without any issues, plug and play. The only problem is that he has not enough power when feeded directly from smartphone. I guess the smarphone can't supply enough current.
 

ZolaIII

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Creative Sound BlasterX G6 works with my LG G8 without any issues, plug and play. The only problem is that he has not enough power when feeded directly from smartphone. I guess the smarphone can't supply enough current.
Well X6 actually uses CS43131 DAC.
 
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