Is there an amp unit that can do it all?

Hi all, first off F in chat for my AAA 789. It went up to amp heaven in a big cloud of smoke this afternoon.

I noticed there was a lot of static on my desk, especially when I would grab my headphones, but I’ve been busy with life and school and I just thought it was one more minor annoyance life was throwing at me. Until my amp clicked, went silent and the LED turned red. I reached over to turn it off and on again and when I did I heard the unmistakable sound of a short and smoke started to rise from the front vents.

I was frozen in shock (no pun intended, please I’m in mourning here), and the smoke kept rising for what it seemed like an eternity. I finally came to and unplugged my amp for the last time. The smell of e-death lingering in the air… a piece of my heart broke off and turned to dust.

Anyway, is there a unit like the Topping MX5 that has balanced headphone out? I’m thinking of finally pulling the trigger on a pair of RB42s and also minimizing my desk setup, so I’m looking for an all in one unit that can power speakers and headphones.

I have an SMSL M300 balanced dac to a Little Bear (Douk Audio?) XLR switcher box that feeds my powered speakers and headphone amp. So I’m looking to just have one black box that does it all on my desk.

I’ve been out of the game for a couple of years and I just happened to catch the MX5 review one of these days, which looks awesome, but I have balanced XLR cables for all my cans so I’d still like to use them.

Thank you if you made it this far, I’m sorry for the long post. Thanks for any and all advice.

Schiit Ragnarok with the DAC option “fully loaded” they call it should fit your bill… It’s got the DAC, the headphone amp with 4 pin balanced out, the speaker amp, and the line level outs if you want to feed a sub that way. 1 desktop box that does all the things.

I have no idea how it sounds, though I would be interested to hear some of our more experienced members comments if they have heard it.

whats your budget and are you certain you want another analytical stack?

hmm I have a $500 budget and no, it doesn’t have to be analytical. I’m mostly concerned about finding an all in 1 unit instead of a stack. But it looks like a stack might be the move here. At lest everything will match with a stack.

1 Like

a combo is convenient, which is why the are so popular as they fill several niche needs that are common. however they have two distinct limitations… one being if it dies you lose more than one piece of kit and the other being the loss of adaptability in swapping the parts to experience the nuances of sound your chain can give you.

I understand the convenience draw when you have space constraints, but some if these can be tucked away in wasted space, like the underside of your desk, at the back near the wall or secured to one if the side panels where nothing goes. these aren’t usually huge parts, so their size doesn’t influence the dynamics, ergonomics and use if your desk … usually, but especially so if they have a remote!

you can look for a used sprout100. they are 700$ new, pretty sure you should be able to find one used for less then 500. especially since before covid/trump taxes price hikes, it was 600$ new.

edit: PS Audio Sprout 100 Integrated Amplifier - USB DAC - MM Phono Stage | eBay

ebay auction right now starting at 385$