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Recommendations on a DAC/Amp combo
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It turns out to be rather challenging to find a headphone amp that's also a functioning preamp (ie, the volume controls signal out of RCAs, allowing use of powered speakers w/o volume controls of their own). Units w/both capabilities tend to be either very cheap or very expensive. In the past 2 weeks I picked up a couple used Matrix M Stage HPA-1s, and I'm very impressed by this 2012/2013 vintage Chinese unit, which earned critical praise for its warm, bass-rich sound, ability to drive finicky 'phones, & easy opamp upgradeability. I'm upgrading the opamp of one of these units--the classic OPA627AP class A biased upgrade--inexpensive and easily done. It sounds pretty good already, and may improve. Strongly recommended (if you can find a used one).