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Seeking DAC / AMP combo suggestions, please!

kaylf1016

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Hi guys!

I’m completely new to the audiophile world and just purchased a pair of HD650’s. I’ve found myself getting lost in a sea of varying opinions / reviews on how to optimally drive them. I’d deeply appreciate all advice and suggestions for a DAC / AMP combo - either all in one or separates. Hoping to stay under $400USD total, but willing to consider going over.

Thank you so much!
 
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kaylf1016

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Thanks for the response! Streaming through my phone and MacBook.
 

andreasmaaan

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So you want something with a USB input only, right? And no other particular features? Just USB input, DAC, and volume control?
 

VintageFlanker

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either all in one or separates. Hoping to stay under $400USD total, but willing to consider going over.
For 350$, I would go for a Topping D50s and a JDS Atom. I see nothing which perform better at this price.
 

Name

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I would go with JDS Atom and Topping D10 to save money. You don't need the features of the D50.
 
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exo

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You could also look at the Topping DX3 Pro if you prefer an all-in-one device, more features but less power than the Atom + D10 combo. Also seems to have some quality issues...

If you dont mind 2 devices then i would also go for Atom + D10 :)
 
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kaylf1016

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Thanks so much everyone! This newbie infinitely appreciates your input.

I’m definitely going with JDS Atom (though I was strongly considering the liquid spark for a while based on build quality) but still feeling undecisive on DAC. Main players in the running are: Topping D10 or D30, Grace SDAC JDS EL Dac, Khadas Tone Board, or even something from Aune. I’m guessing my untrained ear won’t even know the difference, but I’d like to set myself up nicely for future headphone purchases.
 

exo

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You should be golden with any of these so i personally would just look at the price and the features you want.
D10 should be more than enough ;) Or Khadas Tone Board / Grace SDAC if they are cheaper or more appealing to you
 

Veri

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I’m definitely going with JDS Atom (though I was strongly considering the liquid spark for a while based on build quality) but still feeling undecisive on DAC. Main players in the running are: Topping D10 or D30, Grace SDAC JDS EL Dac, Khadas Tone Board, or even something from Aune. I’m guessing my untrained ear won’t even know the difference, but I’d like to set myself up nicely for future headphone purchases.

I think SDAC or Khadas board are the ideal low-budget DACs, each at ~$100. I personally rock an older Aune S16 nowadays so I do like Aune as a brand, too :)
 

BDWoody

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Thanks so much everyone! This newbie infinitely appreciates your input.

I’m definitely going with JDS Atom (though I was strongly considering the liquid spark for a while based on build quality) but still feeling undecisive on DAC. Main players in the running are: Topping D10 or D30, Grace SDAC JDS EL Dac, Khadas Tone Board, or even something from Aune. I’m guessing my untrained ear won’t even know the difference, but I’d like to set myself up nicely for future headphone purchases.

FWIW, I just received my new Atom today, and using it as we speak with my Senn HD6xx's, using my phone (LG G8) as DAC. Wow...very very nice. Just good clean power. Everything I need.
Good luck!
 
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kaylf1016

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Thanks so much for your feedback! So glad you’re enjoying it. I will be ordering it very soon, I can’t wait. I heard JDS may be coming out with a new DAC soon, so I may wait for that.

Also, speaking of LG’s... I’ve been considering buying an unlocked one on eBay and using it as a sort of DAP (I’m interested in having a separate, dedicated on-the-go music source that isn’t my phone) since I’ve heard, pretty much across the board, how good the sound is. Being an owner yourself, can you attest to this? Thanks again :)
 

BDWoody

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Thanks so much for your feedback! So glad you’re enjoying it. I will be ordering it very soon, I can’t wait. I heard JDS may be coming out with a new DAC soon, so I may wait for that.

Also, speaking of LG’s... I’ve been considering buying an unlocked one on eBay and using it as a sort of DAP (I’m interested in having a separate, dedicated on-the-go music source that isn’t my phone) since I’ve heard, pretty much across the board, how good the sound is. Being an owner yourself, can you attest to this? Thanks again :)

In general, the LG's are viewed pretty well, and my experience is nothing but positive with regard to audio. The G7 was reviewed by Amir recently, and it measured quite well.
 

Name

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I really like the Topping D10. I own it as well as the Behringer UMC204HD, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, the ODAC, and also the ones in my AVR's like the Integra DHC-80.2 I think for the money the D10 is great. Good quality sound processing and I love the digital readout.
 

Name

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oh and I also have the LG V30. Just thought of it after I saw the last guys comment lol
 

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The LG V30 makes my HD650's get loud enough and it sounds good, but I start doing any EQ'ing on my phone to make my HD650's sound how I like, there isn't enough power to overcome the preamp. So my suggestion is still the JDS Atom and the Topping D10.
 

Name

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You can get the topping d10 and the jds atom for a combined total that is equal to, or less than, the Dx3 Pro and the benefit to me would be more amp headroom with the jds atom which you will want if you do any EQ'ing.
 
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