Need some new gear suggestions

now that i got some IEMs, ( thie audio hype4 ) , i wanna buy some gear. preferably, i would like something that is a dac/amp and had ports that i can connect speakers too.

i been doing some research, watching some reviews, and the ones im looking at right now is

Mytek Liberty DAC II
burson funk or playmate 2 ( with upgraded opamps ) ( trying to figure out the difference )
Jotunheim 2 ( with multibit dac )
gershelli labs stack js2socket ( with ak4499 chip and burson v7 opamps ) and Archel 3 Pro amp.

or should i save a little more and get a Benchmark DAC3 (with hpa2 amp )

or if there are any better suggestions,

right now i have a sound blaster X7. so i need something better than that. i thought about upgrading the OPamps on it, but i don’t want to risk messing it up, or run into cooling issues, this device is running almost 24 7 being used as a sound card for my pc. if i leave the shroud open, it will collect dust. looking to get a dedicated headphone amp later on after i get some nice over ear headphones, and i want to have a legit dac. the cheaper the better but if its really worth it, i can muster something up. i cant find too many reviews for the benchmark dac3. if anyone had some insight on that or the brand in general, that would be appreciated.

thank you

Do you have powered or passive speakers that you’d like to connect? Also, what is your $ limit?

If you have powered speakers, one option from JDS Labs is a nice 2-in-1 combo unit, the Element III Mk2. It has RCA outs to connect to powered monitors. If you’d rather do separate amp/dac units stacked, they have that option too in the Element and Atom line.

From your mentions, the Schiit Jotun and RME ADI-2 DAC FS (was also on my wish list at one point) are also good routes to go. Each of these will have good output impedance for cans/iems to connect to so no need to worry about that. The dac options on these are also solid.

yes i have powered speakers. i want to spend around 800 max but if its worth it, im willing to spend the cost and get a benchmark dac3. what do you think about “chifi” will these last? i saw the element from jds, but it kinda looks basic. i wanna get something robust, so in the future, i can add stuff to it, like a class A headphone amp possibly with tubes.

If it were me, I think the RME would be a worthy investment. It has an awesome DAC and headphone power to boot, with outputs for low-impedance IEM’s and headphones. With unbalanced and balanced line outs, you have options to expand to a more powerful amp if you needed, or go tube like you said while still being able to send music to your monitors. Also, if you get it on Sweetwater, you can finance it which helps spread the $ bite a bit, if that’s something you are interested in. :money_with_wings:

I actually have a similar setup with my Motu M4 going to my Schiit Magni Heretic headamp, my powered speakers, and my Schiit Vali 3 tube headamp. Granted mine is on the lower cost of the spectrum but I am really happy with it (for now) and enjoy my music. :notes:

Hope this helps. I am sure some others will chime in with more advice too. :+1:

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