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800$ budget for a Headphones/Amp/DAC (Help the newbie)


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Squeezebox is a good idea, you can later add a better dac or use the squeezebox in another room.

I have both the Pico and a Stax 2050 (and a Squeezebox). I have not heard the HD650, but if I where to choose between Pico / DT880 and Stax 2050 I would take the Stax.The Pico is very good, my DT770 got a new life after I got the Pico, but it has some "problems" with handling more power hungry headphones and I do believe HD650 is among them. Hmm, a Pico would go nice with the Stax (but that will blow your budget a bit ....), more choices.

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Assuming the CKK3 costs you $200, $300 is a strange sector for USB DACs. If everything I've been reading on the Pico DAC here is true (which I have a hard time believing otherwise) then it's worth the whole $500 just for the DAC alone. I think the only viable options for $300 USB DACs are those Chinese/Taiwanese ones like Zero, Paradisea, Constantine, or whatever.

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I like the pico with my 600s, though not so much with the 650s, but as has been said before, I'm a bit of a snob about these and somewhat spoiled. I've never heard it with the 701s.

I'd still get the pico if I were you, though reports of the Duet intrigue me. You can branch out to other amps later, but still keep the pico for the dac and as a portable.

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I like the pico with my 600s, though not so much with the 650s, but as has been said before, I'm a bit of a snob about these and somewhat spoiled. I've never heard it with the 701s.

I'd still get the pico if I were you, though reports of the Duet intrigue me. You can branch out to other amps later, but still keep the pico for the dac and as a portable.

I agree, if you really want/need a USB DAC, go with the Pico.

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I know.

But if i choose CKIII i will need DAC as well, since my laptop built-in sound card is just horible ;D

M-Audio Sonica, which was the precursor to the Transit, is a step up from the internal soundcard in your laptop, but probably not as good as the Pico. M-Audio Audiophile is out of production, so if you want current technology, I'd just look around here. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of anything better until you jump up to the Apogee MiniMe or Duet (the latter of which requires an Apple...for now).

But that's intended for a match with the CKIII -- I'd just go with the Pico.

Pico's biggest competition (in my head), believe it or not, is the Musical Fidelity X-CANv8, which now has a USB option. But you'd have to check around for a bargain, because they are pushing your budget. But I haven't heard it, so have no idea if it comes even close to the Pico, it's just on my short list of items to hear.

Plus, it requires external power, whereas the Pico, I believe, does not.

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