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Suggestion on a small sized, portable or transportable DAC/Amp combo for SE846/ HD650/ HD800/ and soon the Fostex TH-X00
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At this point, I would think the Chord Mojo is your best bang for buck, it's quite capable. Strong enough to drive the headphones you mentioned without too much of a hassle (The HD800 is quite quirky, though). It sounds great and it's proved time and again that it can stand on its own as a "end-game" piece for many a serious audiophile. It's definitely one of the easiest to transport of the bunch.
Also, are you referring to the Gen 2 WA7? Because I still think that's not portable.
Additionally I consider the WA8 and ALO CDM to be a bit too expensive, considering what the Mojo offers and at how little a price when compared to the others. Of course, that is just my take on it.
Have you ever considered the AK 120 II to be good for your necessities? None of the headphones you mentioned are as mean in terms of amplification necessities as... Say the Fostex T50RP modded versions or the Hifiman HE-6... Or just planars in general, so maybe give that a listen, you be pleasantly surprised :)
I understand the Chord mojo is best bang for my buck, I'm curious how big of an upgrade(or is it?) is the WA8. Mojo is portable and WA8 is transportable. Let's say if you have the money for the WA8, as a transportable DAC/AMP combo, will you go for it, or settle for the Mojo/Hugo?
I'm looking for small DAC/Amp combos, so I put WA7 (2nd Gen) into the mix too. The reason is I don't really want a huge desktop system sized like the HDVD800. WA7 is sort of acceptable size... and transportable-ish if I have the desire to. Just adding it as that's one of the least transportable options...
I do have the AK120 (1st Gen though) and still use it a lot as it's built really well. I understand the headphones I've listed are not requiring lots of amplification vs planars, but I felt the HD800 can be finicky to drive on some amps. Even the HD650s does not sound as good especially on small DAC/AMP combos. I've heard good things about the Hifiman headphone, haven't had the chance to try them though. I've looked at the Audeze, are these something you would recommend as well? Thank you.
For me? My main headphone at the moment is a ATH-A1000X. Not that popular, but one of the best closed-back headphones I've heard due to it's very much open soundstage. I'm not using my Audeze LCD-XC anymore and to be honest, I don't think the Mojo would be amazing in driving them, but if I use dynamic headphones, then yeah, I would definitely stick to the Mojo.
Perhaps I would invest the rest of the money in some other headphones? I head the MrSpeakers Ether is amazing.