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Portable DAC/Amp with parametric EQ - what's out there? Needs USB input - Under US $600

Music1969

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Per thread title - are we pretty much limited to:

1. Qudelix 5K

2. FiiO BTR7

3. miniDSP IL-DSP

?

Need USB input

Under USD $600

I want to connect my iPhone/iPad to a "box" that does PEQ + DAC + headphone amp.
 
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Jimbob54

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Per thread title - are we pretty much limited to:

1. Qudelix 5K

2. FiiO BTR7

3. miniDSP IL-DSP

?

Need USB input
I suppose if you wanted something more powerful you could use the DSP on the Qudelix then output to something like the topping g5. But that's clunky.
 
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Music1969

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I suppose if you wanted something more powerful you could use the DSP on the Qudelix then output to something like the topping g5. But that's clunky.
The Qudelix 5K doesn't have digital output?

But definitely wanted DAC + headamp combo. And portable.

And if there's anything other than the 3 I mentioned in OP.

There's definitely a market for this @JohnYang1997 - to separate from all the DAC/amps measuring well.

10 band PEQ.
 

Trell

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If by portable you mean USB powered , then there is also the audio interface RME Babyface Pro FS with a three band EQ.
 
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Music1969

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If by portable you mean USB powered , then there is also the audio interface RME Babyface Pro FS with a three band EQ.
Thanks, that ticks the boxes. So that's a list of 4 devices
 

staticV3

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E1DA PowerDAC V2.1 is USB powered and has seven peaking filters, of which you can exchange some for LP and HP filters. Direct biquad entry is supported, too.
The DAC's got some quirks though.
 
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Music1969

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E1DA PowerDAC V2.1 is USB powered and has seven peaking filters, of which you can exchange some for LP and HP filters. Direct biquad entry is supported, too.
The DAC's got some quirks though.
Nice. What are the main quirks?
 

Trell

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Thanks, that ticks the boxes. So that's a list of 4 devices
The pickings are slim indeed if you require onboard PEQ, even if you drop the USB power requirement to allow for battery power in general.
 
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Music1969

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The pickings are slim indeed if you require onboard PEQ, even if you drop the USB power requirement to allow for battery power in general.
Yeh want to take USB output of iPhone/iPad for portable use.

So needs to have onboard PEQ.

There are miniDSP boxes but don't take USB input and have USB output (to normal USB DAC/Amp)

Maybe @MC_RME can fill in this gap with next Babyface product - 10 bands PEQ and 4.4mm balanced headphone output.

USB 3.0 powered.
 
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Trell

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Yeh want to take USB output of iPhone/iPad for portable use.

So needs to have onboard PEQ.

There are miniDSP boxes but don't take USB input and have USB output (to normal USB DAC/Amp)

Maybe @MC_RME can fill in this gap with next Babyface product - 10 bands PEQ and 4.4mm balanced headphone output.

USB 3.0 powered.

Sure, but the power draw from the USB port will significantly reduce the time you can use it before having to recharge your iPhone/iPad.
 
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Music1969

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Sure, but the power draw from the USB port will significantly reduce the time you can use it before having to recharge your iPhone/iPad.
Easily sorted with a powerbank.

Apple's lightning/USB-C adapter feature USB-A port and a port to charge at same time.

I already do this for portable use with a USB powered DAC/amp - but without PEQ :-(
 

staticV3

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Nice. What are the main quirks?
It gets hot, is too noisy for IEMs (for me), is not easy to plug into external Amps, and the PEQ has an annoying issue where the center frequency of each peaking filter gets shifted by a set percentage, depending on what sample rate you're sending to the DAC:
PEQ_investigation2000x.png

"Beat-tones" refers to a setting in the companion App, which helps get rid of a high-pitched whistle noise. Some units have that noise with this setting enabled, others with it disabled.

On the flip side, the way you work the PEQ is really fun and intuitive.
Here for example you see me overlay a preset from AutoEQ and trace it by dragging and pinching the filters around. (YouTube link)

The app is called HPToy. It's free for iOS and Android and connects to the PDv2.1 via Bluetooth, but you can explore all features without owning the hardware.

I for example use it quite often to design PEQ filter presets, just because of how easy it is.
 

Trell

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Easily sorted with a powerbank.

Apple's lightning/USB-C adapter feature USB-A port and a port to charge at same time.

I already do this for portable use with a USB powered DAC/amp - but without PEQ :-(

If I understand you correctly your main issue is powering the device and not size/weight with respect to portability?
 
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Music1969

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If I understand you correctly your main issue is powering the device and not size/weight with respect to portability?
Correct, if it can be powered by a powerbank that's portable enough

But I don't think this changes the list of options much at all :-(
 

maverickronin

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Correct, if it can be powered by a powerbank that's portable enough

But I don't think this changes the list of options much at all :-(

Depending on how much DIY you're up for you can power most DC powered devices with a USB PD power bank.

I have a setup to run my RME ADI-2 DAC that way.

The specific PD voltage selector I use is probably unobtanium now, but there may be others available now.
 
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Music1969

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maverickronin

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Yes my powerbank already has 12Vdc output also

But we're going off topic of Parametric EQ needs

Well, you can run the ADI-2 DAC off of 12Vdc and it has 5 to 7 band EQ depending on how you use the configurable tone controls, which is why I brought it up.
 

boswell

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What will be the source? PC or phone or .....? Can't PEQ can be done at the source rather than DAC/Amp? I understand that USB Audio Player Pro has a PEQ plugin for instance!
 

dualazmak

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KORG DS-DAC-10R to be connected PC via one USB 2.0 cable. The DAC with volume control (preamp) sounds very good.

Headphone out also available.

This can be used as DAC as well as ADC; even you can digitize LP by phono input: both LINE IN and PHONO IN are available.

As for DSP, you may use in upstream any of PC (or Mac) DSP software, such as JRiver, Roon, EKIO, etc., etc.
 
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