What are good combo DAC/Amps?

suggestions at price points up to $500? by good I mean don’t suffer from simple flaws like compression and such. so don’t just name options just because they’re combo. validate your submissions with why you think they fit into the ‘good’ for more than just ‘price to performance’. what performance makes them stand out to more expensive options?

edit - pre-outs for powered speakers preferred

The fiio K5 pro, a great bang for buck that can handle a ton of headphones

The schiit Asgard 3 with the regular or multibit dac, a great and powerful headphone amp with a solid dac offering

The aune x1s, a clean and effective amp and dac

The monolith thx desktop, a thx amp with balanced and a ton of features

The Klipsch heritage amp, a warm and nice amp that’s like a warmer thx

There are more, but here’s some for now

Edit: The sabaj D5 is a pretty nice product as well thats very solid for it’s price

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It’s $100 more, but if you ever plan on adding speakers or a turntable I can’t recommend the Sprout 100 enough. I wish I had gotten one sooner, as I end up using the headphone out as much as I do on my better sources. The Chord Mojo is awesome as well for $379

Well I mean it is pretty awesome, but I would only recommend it if you were planning on powering speakers lol

I started with the Massdrop CTH + SDAC and it’s garbage compared to the Sprout. Even if I never added speakers to it, it would have the better choice for me

just amended the query with pre-outs for powered speakers preferred.

The Klipsch heritage amp, schiit Asgard 3, and the Sabaj D5 have pre outs I think

also on the high side of the budget. :stuck_out_tongue: why can’t I get everything for next to nothing?

I mean 300 usd for the asgard with the ak dac isn’t bad

You could always get a topping d10 and a jds labs atom for 200 bucks and have a preout

but I want everything for nothing!!!

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Well then find a way to get it for nothing then, I’m just giving you some ideas lol

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This would be my choice for $500 Outstanding feature rich DAC with an outstanding amp.

The only issue for Marzipan is that there isn’t preouts, but you could always just get a monitor control like the Mackie big knob passive or jbl nano patch +

Yeah, it’s not an insurmountable problem. In the end I guess there’s always going to be some compromise. I’d have to go back and read the details again but I thought that pre or line was one of the things you could program as one of the numerous options. Like you said worst case and big knob solves that.

I think you can turn the inputs into outputs but I don’t know if you could set it as an active variable control for powered monitors (you might but I can’t remember)

I am in need of xmas gift ideas so I figured I would ask for a dac/amp :slight_smile: I am kind of interested in getting items to chain together. What would be good for dac/amp/tube amp, each with a range of $100-150 each?

Ricardos and 58X’s

Hmm, you could get a fiio k5 pro and then line out to a schiit vali or a little dot mk2

If you wanted separate components, a topping d10 or smsl m100 for the dac, a monolith liquid spark for the amp, and a little dot mk2 or vali to for the tube

I’m a big fan of my iFi Micro Black Label. I know it’s going to be near the cut off for the OP budget wise, but if you wait until black Friday you can find some great deals.

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Yeah that thing is super sweet, as long as you are actually willing to take it portable lol. I can’t bring mine on the go all the time

I have mine hooked up to my desktop PC at home and seldom take it anywhere. I’ve had a few other set ups the last couple of years. I just really like the sound (obviously), and the fact that it takes up so little space on my desk.