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So I just bought a CKKIII with a built in Alien DAC and the Alien just isn't cutting it for me. The CKKIII is a big upgrade for me, and I thought it was amazing from USB until I hooked it up to my parents cheap CD Player ( JVC XL-FZ158 ) and then it sounded a LOT better. So I think I need a new source to bring to college. Problem is that I don't have a lot of money to spend.

For reference I have K701s and Headphiled SR225s. I like the K701s better as of right now. My budget is around $300.

I was thinking of several things:

The cheapest solution would be to use the Wolfson in my iPod. I could hook up my iPod to my Meier Move, which would function as a pre-amp. I'd just need to buy a mini to RCA adapter cable.

I was also thinking of a Beresford TC 7510 DAC. I had heard good things about it over at head-fi. At $250 or so that would be great. If I bought this I would also need an EMU 0404 or a USB thingie to connect the DAC to my laptop.

I was also thinking of selling the meier move and trying to get a pico and using that as a pre-amp, either through the DAC on pico or on my iPod.

Or I could just buy the JVC CD player for around $100. But I had never heard of it, so I figured there were probably better options.

Another option would be way out of my budget, but I could get a Stello DA100. I sort of want to do this, but its kind of double my budget...

Any thoughts, suggestions, impressions would be great. Thanks

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Uh.. Ipod to Meier Move sounds like an ultra travesty. I don't know much about that Beresford DAC per se but the EMU 0404 usb doesn't sound too terrible in its own right. If you are looking for something better I would hold out for Headamp's DAC only version of the Pico.

People seem to like the Apogee Duet if you are a mac user... used it is also only slightly above your price point.

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I think the beresford is a pretty good deal for it's price.

But it in no way is a giant killer. And as "perfect" as it sounds to some user, when the next model/revision comes out, all of a sudden it improves on flaws/faults that were not previously mentioned before by them.

Quite a few laptops these days have optical out from the onboard soundcard. Maybe you can hook up direct from your laptop to DAC that way. The emu 0404 works for some as a DAC by itself, and going emu 0404 --> Beresford seems a bit pricy. There might be a better combination for the money.

The M-Audio USB Transit is a cheaper way to go usb -> optical -> DAC., at about $50 used I believe

I can't say how it compares in performance to units like the USB Thingee/Trends UD-10.1/hagtech usb.

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I'd say it's a safe bet that I'll build at least one when the design is complete.

amb even mentioned that he's building a higher end DAC in future.

"Yes, I would indeed like to do a high-end DAC in the future. With a larger form-factor, it would permit the addition of an ASRC, the choice of a DAC chip with fully-differential output, and perhaps a discrete output stage, etc. In the mean time, the little γ1 should still be better than most in its size/price class."

[url=http://headwize.com/ubb/showpost.php?fnum=3&tid=7469&pid=70575&fpage=2]HeadWize: View Post [DIY Workshop

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