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How does this compare to the Schiit Jotunheim at the same price? I've read really good things about both the Schiit DAC/Amp and the Grace Design m9XX... but if one could only have one... My current cans are the HD650s and Philips SHP9500S. Thoughts?
Currently using a Nu Force uDAC5 which I am happy with, but need another DAC for a 2nd location.
The Jotunheim is a really, really good value, especially considering it has a balanced headphone input. While this DAC/Amp is pretty good, I don't think it beats the Jotunheim in overall value
Awesome. Thank-you for your thoughts.
I got both cans, and it drive them fine, i also have a polar he500 and it drives it well to, never have to go over 85.
The Jot is bigger/heavier; has more power, has balanced capability and sounds a bit bright to my ears (glare).
The Grace is smaller, doesn't have balanced capability, and less power, but sounds better and smoother to my ears.
In my case I put the Jot in the closet for now. If you need more power than the Grace and don't want/need the balanced connection, you might consider the iDSD Micro-iCan Black Label - it's pretty dope for listening fun.
Would you recommend the uDAC5? I am thinking of getting it, but there seem to be a few people saying it's not good over at the drop page.
Yes, definitely check out the iFi iDSD Black Label, it's frequently on sale from $379 at Adorama. It's a pretty great dac/amp with a ton of features and plenty of power. I use it with my HD800S along with the m9xx, they're both great, but the iFi can get really loud whereas the m9xx get just loud enough for anything I need.
How frequently is it on sale?
I'd heard good things about the Grace Design, but with those specs there is no way it can properly amp an HD650.
I think you are better off with the Jot.
It was on sale recently, might still be! Search for the link on the slick deals forum. I'd post it, but I'm on my phone right now.
BuyDig.com has iFi Micro iDSD Black Label USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier on sale for $549 - $170 w/ coupon code c117744736 = $379. Shipping is free