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Question about a desktop amp\dac...

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#1
I am looking for an amp\dac combo for my desktop...something small...somewhat inexpensive...around that $200.00 CND or less... and preferably Sabre or AK based...

Now the issue I'm facing is that what I am finding mostly resides in portable units. So my question...would there be any harm in leaving the unit plugged in at all times?? So basically there would be a constant trickle charge to the battery.

Unless someone can point me in the direction of an actual desktop unit that would work for me :)

Any comments are appreciated...thanks!!
 

andreasmaaan

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#2
I am looking for an amp\dac combo for my desktop...something small...somewhat inexpensive...around that $200.00 CND or less... and preferably Sabre or AK based...

Now the issue I'm facing is that what I am finding mostly resides in portable units. So my question...would there be any harm in leaving the unit plugged in at all times?? So basically there would be a constant trickle charge to the battery.

Unless someone can point me in the direction of an actual desktop unit that would work for me :)

Any comments are appreciated...thanks!!
You're looking for something with a headphone amp, right? The Topping units excel in this price range, either the D30 or D50. Neither of these are portable units though.

And what are your headphones? Would be useful to know in terms of the amp's output impedance and power output.
 
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Thread Starter #3
Yes...sorry I should have made it a tad less foggy :D

Not a portable but a desktop unit...running AKG K240 Studio and K550 along with a Grado 60...

Those Topping units are dac only...no headphone section...although the NX4 has both but is portable...I need an NX4 in a desktop solution...
 

andreasmaaan

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#4
Yes...sorry I should have made it a tad less foggy :D

Not a portable but a desktop unit...running AKG K240 Studio and K550 along with a Grado 60...

Those Topping units are dac only...no headphone section...although the NX4 has both but is portable...I need an NX4 in a desktop solution...
Ok clear, thx.

You actually do need quite a lot of power with AKG K240.

I was going to suggest the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 which measures very well and is affordable, but I'm not sure if the headphone output level of 10dBu (about 2.5V) would be quite enough for you. Also the headamp output impedance is 10 Ohm, so not a perfect match for your closed cans. I think it would be an ok option, but I'm sure someone else here has a better idea...
 

maverickronin

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#5
I have a 2i2 first gen and think the output impedance is too much for any of my low impedance 'phones.

Leaving something like the NX4 trickle charging all the time might reduce the battery life somewhat but if it's never going to leave your desk then it's not going to be issue. I did the same for several years with a different portable DAC/amp combo and never had any trouble.

If you decide to go with desktop components the Topping D10 and Schiit Magni 3 should work well enough for low impedance headphones and is under $200USD at least. Not sure what it might cost up north.
 

maxxevv

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#6
You could look at some of budget USB powered units though. example being the Sabaj Da3. They definitely have enough juice for the AKG.
If your computer has a USB C output plug, perhaps you can get one of those ES9038Q2M units that run off a 5V, 1.5A plug, get a suitable wire and power it from the computer without the need for an extra wall adaptor.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/New...c053-4466-99db-a3f476df90c6&priceBeautifyAB=0
 
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Thread Starter #8
Thanks for all the replies!!

The DA3 is something I've already looked at and would purchase easily if an actual desktop... no battery... solution is not available...
 
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