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Anyone know much about the SMSL M6 and how it would do with these? I can't decide on a DAC and amp 🙀
DACs and Amps are 2 different beasts. It's not a "one or the other". Once you understand what they do, you can pair that up with what you want to accomplish and you'll figure out which one (or both) that you need. DAC = Digital to Analog Converter -- takes input from a digital device and converts to to an analog sound signal (like you get from RCA jacks). The Amp takes analog signals and amplifies them so you can drive speakers or headphones.
What are you trying to pull audio from? If a computer, then a DAC is wise unless you have a dedicated sound card in your machine. If you are just looking to amplify sound that is coming from a DAC then the Amp is the way to go. Often you can use both (which is why DAC/AMP combos are so popular). Schiit makes their 'stack' which separates their DAC (Modi) from the AMP (Magni) and gives you options. Lots of info available online but it all depends on what your audio "source" and "destination" .
Pc use. 65/35 gaming/music. I currently just have onboard audio running optical to an old mixamp. Wanted to get a "decent" desktop DAC and amp DAC/amp combo. The schiit stack is out of my(wife's) price range so I am looking to go slightly cheaper. Was thinking about getting a magni and a ~$50 DAC but saw the m6 and thought it may be a good option? I edited my original post as I could see how you thought I wanted one or the other. I need both but have a tight budget making a magni/modi just out of my reach being that would be $220-240. Need to stay closer to $150.
Just get the Magni for now and save up to get the Modi later so you don't have to live with a worse DAC for a longer time than if you wait and save. (that's exactly what I'm doing)
Hard to say if m6 is actually worse. It may or may not be. No comparison reviews that I've seen. Would very much like to though.
E5 will run it and it's on sale right now via md
There's the creative e5 for 150$ on drop ATM and it looks OK.