Hey guys, I could probably put this in the digital section but since it concerns my head rig, here I am.
I'm tired of the mess of cables i have for my Head fi rig. b/c the usb ports on my laptop don't provide enough bus power to my HRT MSII, I have to put a self-powered USB hub in the chain and the extra cables that entails makes it a pain in @ss with where i keep the rig.
I want to simplify my rig. I've got a couple of options i'm considering but i'm not sure which route I want to go. I could ask this question on Headfi.org, but there might be too much info running around on that site. I don't want to spend more than $600 total on either a DAC/Amp combo or DAC and Head amp separates and the less the better, but the DAC must have usb input with 24/96 as I like to listen to hi-res on occaision but don't have a ton of it yet.
the following is what i'm considering.
keeping the Fiio E9
-changing out the HRT for a Fiio E17 and docking it into the Fiio E9, its an all in one solution with one usb connection to the dac/amp combo and will drive my HD 650s however it is not Async and the dac may not be quite as good as the HRT (by far the cheapest solution)
-getting a separate selfpowered DAC and connecting it to the E9 - not an all in one solution but eliminates the dangling USB HUB issue. (i worry about getting an DAC that will completely outclass the amp)
scrapping the entire thing
- getting a new amp and self-powered Dac separates ( ie a DACit, Music Hall DAC15.2, MF VDac, Cambridge Dacmagic 100, Arcam Rdac with a separate Head amp, ie a schiit, vcan, or Creek type amp) still some cables but again eliminates the dangling USB hub
- getting a brand new (to me) DAC/amp combo ( lots of options CA DACmagic plus, TEAC dacamp combo, Audioquest Dragonfly(not sure if i would have same bus power issue with this one though), Music Hall DAC 25.3, Nuforce Dac/amps, alphas design, Yulong etc)
I've heard great things about the CE Dac Mini and the Burson DAC/amp but i really don't want to spend the amount it would cost to get into those two.
anyway just any thoughts if anyone has tried any specific combos.