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Old 03-01-2009, 02:36 PM
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Clubcard Clubcard is offline
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Default Good integrated DAC/headamps for computer audio

I'm currently looking for a good combined headphone amplifier and DAC with USB or FireWire in to use with my computer. I realize that getting these units separately would grant a more... audiophilic return, but unfortunately I'm on a budget (approx. 500). Correct me if I'm wrong, but not having a separate DAC shouldn't be that big a bottleneck to sound quality.

I've already auditioned the Musical Fidelity X-Cans v8. The amp itself sounds really good (especially with lower impedance headphones), but the built-in DAC (Burr Brown PCM2706) seems to knit brows over head-fi. I know next to nothing about DAC's so I can't tell if it's arrogant audiophile bogus or not.

So please, audio-gurus of ABi, guide me to the promised land of headphone listening with your invaluable advice (yes, I'm looking at you Martin). In short, which integrated headamp/DAC should I buy or should I just get the two devices separately? Thanks in advance!
Cowon J3 + Phonak PFE's
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