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Thanks to MyTea for starting this poll! We've contacted the vendor on your behalf and they've made the Aune T1 Headphone Tube DAC and Amp available.

NelsonDrop Buyer

Aune T1 Headphone Tube DAC and Amp
$130

Aune T1 Headphone Tube DAC and Amp


no love for Yulong :(
@Sean @Gene I assume you googled and went to head-fi, hi-fi, stereo-fi, etc? Let me start off my response with a solemn declaration. I'm a firm believer in the Objective measurement judgement. To that end, I will ask you to go through nwavguy's blog, and in particular his critique of subjective measurement, and Schiit products. You both of course, seem to belong to the Subjective listening measurement thought of school. We are mutually incompatible by default. In what seems to be simple logic to me audiophile means higher quality audio. It does not mean a better sounding aural experience. A better sounding aural experience can be anything to anyone. For a basshead, it may mean Skullcandy or Beats. For trebleheads like me, it may mean Beyers. For others who prefer rich warm sounds it may mean Sennheiser. Basically, your mileage may and likely will vary. This is where objective measurements come in. For a DAC at the very least, I believe should be 100% transparent. For me personally, so should the amp. In the end what I should be listening should be coloured by nothing but my headphones and the original mastering as the artist intended it to sound as. Again, I urge everyone to go through nwavguy's blog, it's an eye opening read. For audiophiles perhaps even a Matrix-esque perception-bending moment. The mind hears and sees what it wants to see, but science doesn't lie. A high THD means a high THD, whether or not you claim to like how that sounds is of consequence to you only. The reason why Schiit doesn't post measurements? My very humble observation: Because they know they'll be blasted apart from every quarter that looks at measurements before purchase instead of googling "xyz dac/abc amp review". The last time Schiit was measured, the sheer disgust from a certain man led to the creation of the O2 and ODAC. http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/ came into being. If I'm paying for a three figure DAC and amp I expect it to measure up in terms of scientifically established audio quality measurements. You may differ of course. In my world, nwavguy is a powerful figure whose words not only ring scientifically true, but have struck at the very heart of so-called audiophile circles such as hi-fi, head-fi, stereo-fi and the ilk. The members of who, regrettably, decided instead of realizing they were buying hardware over-priced as much as 4x and shoddy engineering once again blinkered themselves. nwavguy was swiftly banned, and another reasoning voice relegated to the fringes, while newbie audio enthusiasts continued to flock to the number one search result on Google for audiophile forums and beguiled by companies like Schiit.

Look at that. Would you HONESTLY trust a company like that? Read the fiasco about it on nwavguy's blog. He was banned for insisting that this was dangerous while Schiit's CEO (idk his name) continued to insist it's completely harmless and only when AKG themselves posted an official warning not to subject their headphones to such voltages with increasing number of people reporting the same voltages at amp on-off did they relent and admit "there might be a small issue with some amps". The issue was quickly hushed in typical head-fi style, with dissenters like nwavguy banned, while Schiit quietly fixed the issue. Visit nwavguy's blog for a complete and comprehensive understanding of how audio works, measurement methods, and many relevant issues to your interests as audio enthusiasts. I apologize for the essay. But this is a subject I'm passionate about, and I took out 45 minutes despite 2 term reports due in a few hours to make sure people understand what they're voting for. QED my good sirs. The decision is yours of course. Personally I'd trust a man who gave us the ODAC and O2 for not a penny in return over a bunch of people who love sticking themselves with the word audiophile and claiming to have the mythical "golden ear" without understanding what that even implies. Sean, Gene, none of this was personally directed at you of course, somewhere along the first few lines this turned into an open address to anyone reading it.
I'm not sure if Shahzeb has had any experience with a Schiit product, but I have and wanted to share my experience. I was looking to buy a headphone amp and DAC some months back. I did my research across many websites to find information and Schiit products are often recommended in reviews and in forums, are priced reasonably (relatively speaking), and are made in the USA. I decided to go for it and ordered the Bifrost DAC with USB and the Asgard amp. Before I ordered, I emailed Schiit with a question. They responded very quickly and gave me the exact information that I was looking for. I have not listened to many DAC/amp combos personally, so I cannot say where the Schiit equipment I bought ranks against many other combos, however, I think the combo sounds very good. I was very impressed when I heard applause on a live track. It sounded more realistic than I had ever heard before. I can hear a difference compared to my Audioengine D1. I would say the Bifrost/Asgard combo is clearer and produces cleaner bass. Whether the items are worth their cost is up to each individual to determine but I have never experienced any problem with the two, nor have I had any situation where the two items caused any damage to any of my equipment. . .much less any "terrifying experiences" or "horrifying" engineering. That's not to say that nobody has had poor experiences with Schiit products. This is simply a recount of my own personal experience to add to the discussion.
Shahzeb, I did google "Schiit criticism" and not only found much less than you claim, but in what I did find I come to the conclusion that your claims about Schiit are overstated, out of date and not presented in their proper context. The discussion and exchange at the following site seems to get at the truth of it: http://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/15wunp/guide_dacs_and_amps/. On that page, do a search for "Schiit" and start with oderi's comment and continue down through Schiit's explanation to ruinevil's "Norse" comment. Btw, the fact that Schiit does or doesn't post measurements to me is of little significance; it's the listening that counts. The Schiit modi and especially the Bitfrost are getting rave reviews from a lot of people on boards and I think some more established reviewers, though the latter are only starting to come out (Andrew, their latest models got into reviewers' hands in the past few months). I have seen a couple of individual reviews that consider the Bitfrost "hard" sonically and not good for longer sessions. I trialed a Micromega MyDac, which according to one reviewer sound very similar to the Bitfrost, and has received almost universal happy reviews, but decided on John Kerry's Ciunas USB dac.
I've never used Schiit stuff myself, but they seem like they almost entirely depend on marketing and buzzwords to sell their stuff, I've had a hell of a time finding more feedback on their gear than first impressions.
White
They actually do just about no marketing whatsoever and use very few buzzwords. They don't pay for advertising and they rely almost solely on the reviews of the public for their business and success.
Dillon
Their site seemed otherwise to me. That is all I've ever looked at though, haven't really been anywhere else to look at their stuff, way too much money for me to shell out without being able to put my hands on it first. Maybe marketing wasn't the right word to use and that would be my bad, but I get nervous when all I've been able to find is schilling on Head-fi and various first impressions. They have all been pretty positive, but I can't find any followups and whatnot, which bums me out.
I haven't dealt with or paid attention to tubes since the 1990s, but based on that experience I've been hesitant to buy a tube Dac, simply because of the "overhead" dealing with tubes in the long run (if not short). However, it seems things have improved a lot and something like the Grant Fidelity TubeDac-11 is a great buy ($350) and the tube lasts more or less 10,000 hours. There's even whole forum threads devoted to "rolling" tubes to find the best sounding ones. I bought two Audioengine D1s in the last buy, but have already sold one and am afraid the other will have to go too. The first went simply because I wanted a better Dac and was willing to spend a bit more. The second one is on the chopping block because while sonically it makes a good Dac for my 2.0 TV set up with AE 5+ speakers, functionally the D1 does not handle switching between and even within devices very well (Toslink), with sound dropout about half the time. The problem is hardware, as there's no chip for handling switching, just for USB. have been in contact with AE about it, but who knows if or when they will deal with it (granted, it's not the typical application). I do know that the Micromega MyDac and the cheap FiiO Taishan D03K don't drop out, unless pushed very hard (switching channels a lot quickly), but they do give off a mild to moderate hash when switching devices. Which gets me to the Micromega MyDac. It is a very good unit, has garnered almost univerally glowing reviews here and in England - one couldn't tell the difference blind between it and the Schiit Bifrost - as well as developing what is already being called a cult following. The main downsides are 1) retail is $399, although most are selling it for $369, and thus it's not the easy entry point for better computer audio that the D1 is; and 2) it's not a headphone amp; they sell a MyZic separately, $269 retail. Then there's the Ciunas dac made in Dublin. That's at a whole different level.
Hi Guys, quick update. We've contacted Schiit and they're not interested in working with the group. Woo audio is interested but the WA7 is their newest product and they don't want to list it at the moment. The pricing on the O2+ODAC combo wasn't good enough to offer more than 5% off retail. Given that, we did some research and came up with the Aune T1 as a comparable option. The Aune T1 is an Amp/DAC combo that's reviewed very highly and outshines the Magni + Modi in direct comparison. " The Aune T1 DAC/amp sounds almost identically the same but due to tube customization and it being both a DAC and a very good amplifier all by itself, I am going to say the Schiit combo is a step or two behind the Aune in quality. I think the T1 offers more." - Headphonia There's also this thread if you want to take a look: http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq We're planning to list both versions (one uses a 6N11 tube and the other uses a 6922) of the Aune T1 later this month but let us know what you think. Ya'll call the shots so let us know if this is something you're interested in : ) Oh BTW, the pricing looks pretty attractive.
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@Shahzeb "I hope I'm not breaking any rules in posting this" Nope! Not breaking any rules here. Your comment was really well put together and we're always open to high quality debate on Massdrop. Saw this image at the top of reddit a couple days ago and I think your response, as well as the vast majority of responses on massdrop, fit into the top three levels of dispute.
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That said, is there one among you who would challenge Shazeb and defend the honor of Schiit? COME FORWARD AND PRESENT YOUR POINTS WITH CIVILITY AND CONVICTION! (PREFERABLY IN THE FORM OF A RAP BATTLE CHALLENGE)
Hey Shahzeb, Sean, and Gene - just writing to double confirm that you're NOT breaking any rules, not even a little. Unbiased reviews are what we want our site built on (which means harsh criticism). As a policy, we don't censor or delete anything that's not obvious spam so there's nothing to worry about. We also don't side with any specific brands or products. Our goal here at Massdrop is to represent our community and help them make the best decisions possible so feel free to say/post whatever you want.
I'd really like that D1 DAC
Jonathang
@Jonathang Good thing that product is now available! https://www.massdrop.com/buy/audioengine-d1
grant fidelity tubedac seems really interesting.
I just added the Yulong D100 and Grant Fidelity TubeDAC, since they have a US distributor I'm hoping deals should be easier to make, I also doubt schiit will do a deal. Depending on the headphone of course, the Yulong and Tubedac are both viable and very good alternatives, project86 did a review of them on a certain popular headphone site. And neither has received much negative feedback. I don't think I am in the market for either, but it was worth the mention. Oh wait, just remembered the Aune T1 - nice for work. and some low impedance headphones that need some tube rolling goodness - *COUGH* AKG K242HD, Hifiman HE-400 *COUGH*
Not sure why people keep voting for the Schiit products. Jason has made it clear that they will never do group buys, sales, or any other sort of discounting on their products. A vote for Schiit is a wasted vote. If you want it cheaper than the already great prices, buy it used.
I doubt it too, Liam. The O2 would be cool though, I've been weighing one for a while, and it is at least a tested solution while the Magni/Modi haven't seen nearly as much scrutiny.
Here's hoping Schitt does.
Schitt is not going to discount their shit. http://schiit.com/about/on-deals/ "So, here’s our position on sales, specials, financing, discounts, loyalty programs, EZ credit, buy-1-get-1-free, etc: We don’t do them."
Just voted for the dragonfly. @ Liam +1 , @ Alvaro +1
I reckon Schiit and the O2+ODAC combos are not realistic options for this Massdrop
Is this poll intended for headphone DAC/Amps?
Should probably go for the O2 + ODAC combo if Schiit doesn't do special group pricing.
I doubt Schiit audio will do a price drop on their amps and dacs, it states on their website that they don't offer any deals or special pricing.