Question Amp+dac or amp/dac for AKG 712 pro (first time buyer) ~230€ budget

leyo96

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Apr 28, 2020
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Hello,
I just ordered my first pair of real headphones and now I need a Dac and Amp or a dac/amp combo for them. I currently have a bad 25€ amp/dac from amazon for my Sennheiser Momentum.

Ideally my budget would be 200€, I spent 160€ for the headphones, I don't really want to spend way more for the dac and amp. If it's really really worth it I could go up to something like 260€, but not really above that.

Thank you for your help!
 
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Deleted member 188533

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Hey..... I recognize those headphones! :p

You ruled out the Aune X1S right?
 
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Deleted member 188533

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10th Anniversary measures the best and is the most common one out there. There's a new one that makes the amp section Class A but the DAC doesn't measure quite as well. I'm sure it's great but I just haven't seen any trusted reviews and I don't own one. I use my X1S as a DAC for the SP 200. And I've got the D30 paired with the X7S.

20200202_173852.jpg
 

leyo96

Active member
Apr 28, 2020
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10th Anniversary measures the best and is the most common one out there. There's a new one that makes the amp section Class A but the DAC doesn't measure quite as well. I'm sure it's great but I just haven't seen any trusted reviews and I don't own one. I use my X1S as a DAC for the SP 200. And I've got the D30 paired with the X7S.

View attachment 1167
That's a very nice setup!

  • Aune X1s 10th Anniversary Edition: 209€ // 1 month shipping (AliExpress)
 
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Deleted member 188533

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The price is right. Are you patient enough to wait?
 

leyo96

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Apr 28, 2020
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The price is right. Are you patient enough to wait?
The problem is not waiting, the problem is that if they stop it at customs it becomes a 283€ total more or less.
I’m making a list with all the suggestions I got and they’re price and shipping time
 

leyo96

Active member
Apr 28, 2020
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Ok so these days I carefully made a list with all the amps, dacs amp/dacs that I was suggested, with their price and shipping time. It took me a while :sweatsmile:
I hope you can help me having all my options in front of you.
Thank you a lot!

Edit: Added xDuoo TA-01B and JDS Labs Element 1, clarified that the Topping DX3 pro is v2

DAC
  • Schiit Modi 3:
    • 139€ // currently out of stock in Europe (Italian Schiit dealer)​
    • 128€ + probably taxes= ̴ 178€ // 1-week (schiit USA)​
  • Topping D10:
    • 109€ // 1-2 weeks (Ebay UK) [no optical in]​
    • 99€ // 3-4 weeks (Topping Audio EU) [no optical in]​
  • SMSL m100: 91€ // 1-2 weeks (Ebay Germany)
  • Topping E30: 143€ // 20-30 days (Audiophonics.fr)
  • Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100: 148€ // 4-5 days (Ebay IT)
  • Topping D30: 111€ // 20-30 days (Audiophonics.fr)

AMP
  • JDS Labs Atom Amp: 123€ + probably taxes= ̴ 172€ // 5-9 days (JDS Labs)
  • Schiit Magni 3+: 146€ // 2-7 working days (Schiit UK)
  • Pro-Ject Head Box S: 95€ // 1 week (Ebay IT)
  • Topping A50: 184€ // in a week (Audiophonics.fr)

DAC/AMP
  • Aune X1s 10th Anniversary Edition: 209€ + possibly taxes= ̴ 286€ // 1 month (AliExpress)
  • Topping DX3 pro v2: 220€ // 1 week (Amazon)
  • xDuoo XD-05: 217€ // 10-25 days (Banggood)
  • FiiO K5PRO: 180€ // 1 week (Amazon)
  • iFi ZEN DAC: 150€ // 3-4 weeks (Amazon)
  • Fostex HP-A3: 293€ // 2-4 days (Thomann)
  • Beresford Caiman SEG: 236€ (I could get a discount) // 5-10 days (Home HiFi)
  • Pro-Ject Head Box Digital S2: 245€ // 1-2 weeks (SoloMusicaOnline)
  • JDS Labs Objective2+ODAC combo RevB: 291€ + probably taxes= ̴ 391€ // 5-9 days (JDS Labs) [no optical in]
  • AudioQuest DragonFly Red: 163€ // 6-11 days (Ebay IT)
  • AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt: 260€ // 6 days (Ebay IT)
  • xDuoo TA-01B: 179€ // 3-4 weeks (Ebay USA)
  • JDS Labs Element 1: 160€ // 1 week (USED 2 years – Reddit, from Slovakia) [no optical in]
  • Creative Sound BlasterX G6: 160€ // 1 week (Amazon)
  • LOXJIE D10: 100€ // 1 week (amazon)

DAC+AMP STACK
  • JDS Labs OL DAC usb + optical & JDS Labs Atom Amp: 257€ + probably taxes= ̴ 347€ // 5-9 days (JDS Labs)
  • Schiit Modi 3 & Schiit Magni 3+:
    • 268€ // currently out of stock in Europe (Italian Schiit dealer)​
    • 228€ + probably taxes= ̴ 311€ // 1-week (schiit USA)​

RCA CABLES (X2)

  • Handmade Van Damme cable w/ Monster connector: 20€ // 1-4 weeks (Ebay UK)
 
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Deleted member 188533

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OK rather than going item by item....

I would not buy an O2/ODAC for that price. When I got mine ( from Mayflower ) years ago it was a viable choice but now you can do better cheaper. Massdrop has an O2/SDAC combo for $150 US and that's still a good value at that price but don't pay more.

  • Beresford Caiman SEG: 236€ // 5-10 days (Home HiFi)
  • Pro-Ject Head Box Digital S2: 245€ // 1-2 weeks (SoloMusicaOnline)
^ I'm not familiar with either.

The K5 Pro is a solid amp but the DAC section is just OK. That doesn't mean it's bad it just means there are better choices in the price range.

The Fostex HP A3 is a solid device but the amp is weak for the price.

Anything Topping, Aune, JDS Labs ( except the O2 at that price ), xDuoo or Schiit gets a thumbs up from me.
 

leyo96

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Apr 28, 2020
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Edit 2: I could get a discount on the Beresford Caiman SEG, added a 10€ cheaper Topping D10 option but w/ longer shipping
 

leyo96

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Apr 28, 2020
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Anything Topping, Aune, JDS Labs ( except the O2 at that price ), xDuoo or Schiit gets a thumbs up from me.
My cheapest option between these brands would be a used JDS Labs Element 1 at 160€, then a xDuoo TA-01B at 179€, then xDuoo XD-05 at 217€ and lastly a Topping DX3 pro v2 at 220€
 
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Deleted member 188533

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My number one choice is the X1S just because of how good the DAC implementation is for the price. It measures up there with stuff that costs 10 times as much. The good thing about that is you can always add a better amp in the future and use the X1S as a pure DAC.

Best Audio DACs 2019 Reviews.png

That being said, any of those choices are going to be solid. I don't see anything I would recommend against.
 
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leyo96

Active member
Apr 28, 2020
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My number one choice is the X1S just because of how good the DAC implementation is for the price. It measures up there with stuff that costs 10 times as much. The good thing about that is you can always add a better amp in the future and use the X1S as a pure DAC.

View attachment 1190

That being said, any of those choices are going to be solid. I don't see anything I would recommend against.
It's in the top of my list for sure, thanks!
 

leyo96

Active member
Apr 28, 2020
15
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Edit: added LOXJIE D10 at 100€ from Amazon, found the Magni 3+ at 146€ from schiit UK instead of 178€ from schiit USA
 

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