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Looking for a usb DAC/headphone amp/ with pre-outs

Discussion in 'DACs' started by Huck, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. W9TR

    W9TR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    The Neutral Zone
    Yikes! You had me going - for a second. :)

    Huck, good luck with your search.

    I can tell you the Benchmark stuff is the real deal.
    I'd put my DAC3 HGC up against much more expensive DAC's. I've got really good headphones and the DAC1 in my office system really lights them up.
     

     

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  2. Huck

    Huck Active Member

    Messages:
    267
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks......maybe I just made a step to the side,instead of one or two up when I ordered the Schiit?!...not really looking to make a giant leap up,just something better sounding with my 305's and headphones than the Audioengine D1. Huck
     
  3. olderroust

    olderroust AK Member

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    Location:
    286 miles south of arcata
    don't waste time on the monoprice I mentioned - it would compete with the schiit, but I don't think either is better than your D1.

    In addition to some of the other recommendations, keep an eye out for a chance to listen to an Ayre Codex. even used it's above your price range, but while I like the irdac ii, the codex was noticeably better when I listened to them side-by-side.
     
  4. Danddd

    Danddd AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    937
    Location:
    Wheaton, IL
  5. Huck

    Huck Active Member

    Messages:
    267
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    That one looks good...and I think I will wait a bit (but still looking) and go up a little in price....maybe $1K CAN.Thanks,Huck
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  6. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    I've just modded my Schiit Sys passive "preamp" from 2 inputs->1 variable output to 1 input->1 fixed+1 variable outputs, fixed goes to a dedicated headphone amp with its own volume control, variable goes to active monitors, the push button on the SYS now controls which output is connected to the input. I know it is 3 boxes (DAC, SYS, Headphone amp) vs. 1 all-in-one but small form factor like those from Schiit will stack up nicely w/o taking too much desk space, and will provide more flexibility in the long run. Just a thought.

    Also not sure why you originally said Jotunheheim is a no-go, it has variable outputs and mutes the single-ended output (but not the XLRs) when the headphones are plugged, this is what I found on the interwebs but double check with Schiit to be sure.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018

     

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  7. Huck

    Huck Active Member

    Messages:
    267
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Seems to me that the RCA outs are not muted when headphones are plugged in,as that was my question to Schiit when I was really looking to buy....I will ask again,as I forgot already?! Huck
     
  8. gvl

    gvl Super Member

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    1,012
    Schiit really need to work on adding more useful information and fewer jokes in their manuals.
     
  9. Huck

    Huck Active Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    This just came from Schiit regarding if the RCA outs are muted when headphones are plugged in: Quote "All outputs on the Jotunheim are active at all times. SO if you wanted to listen to headphones, you would need to turn down your speakers".....That would be a major PITA,as I would have to crawl behind my large computer table and turn 3 speakers down!..forget it! I thought I asked that a while back when I was interested in the Jot.Huck
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  10. gvl

    gvl Super Member

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    1,012
    Ugh, sounds like I misinterpreted what Jason of Schiit said on another forum. Sorry for the false alarm.
     
  11. olderroust

    olderroust AK Member

    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    286 miles south of arcata
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018

     

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  12. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    Schiit Sys can be easily modded to do this:

    DSC_3160.JPG

    You can stack Modi, Magni, and modded Sys which will do what Huck wants all for $250 + S/H, well, you'd have to switch the outputs back and forth by hand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  13. olderroust

    olderroust AK Member

    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    286 miles south of arcata
    I'm not arguing against schiit by any means but the 8 buck switch (or 40 for the swankier one) gives a way to plug in headphones and mute monitors without swinging cables.

    I'm not sure what you're meaning about switching outputs by hand - turn of a knob, or pull and reseat RCA jacks?

    (goes and reads)

    Actually, an unmodded sys would do what a selector switch does, if one input was left open. however, it would add another volume knob to the mix and be a little pricier.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  14. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    By hand meaning you'd need to push a button as opposed to just inserting a headphone jack. Yes, a simple A/B switch will do to with a DAC-pre that doesn't cut the outputs.
     
  15. Huck

    Huck Active Member

    Messages:
    267
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Would you (or anyone) happen to know if the RCA/XLR outputs are muted when a headphone is plugged in on this Cambridge Audio DAC Magic Plus? Thanks,Huck
     
  16. KevinJS

    KevinJS Lunatic Member

    Just checked and yes, they are muted.
     

     

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  17. Huck

    Huck Active Member

    Messages:
    267
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks...where did you find this information,as I don't think I saw it on the PDF Manual?Thanks,Huck
     
  18. KevinJS

    KevinJS Lunatic Member

    I plugged headphones into my DACMagic so I could check it for you.
     
  19. Huck

    Huck Active Member

    Messages:
    267
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Perfect! Thanks,Huck
     
  20. olderroust

    olderroust AK Member

    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    286 miles south of arcata
    A concern for me about the DAC magic plus was the headphone output impedance of 30 ohm. That suggests you'd do best with 300 or 600 ohm cans - I know it'd sound awful with mine, as I've tried them with some higher impedance sources.
    .
     

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