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DAC/HP Amp for portable setup, mastering quality
Old 3rd November 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
 
E Artsy Moods's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
DAC/HP Amp for portable setup, mastering quality

Hey guys,
My "real" mastering studio will be in the center of the school where I'm teaching production/mix/mastering, and so I need a real solution into a portable setup format.

There's many talk here and there about how headphones are evolving (thanks Thermos for your help btw!), and so I went ahead and ordered a pair of used Inear PP8 (perfect details in the mids, incredible to hear different kinds of distortions, good and bad ones) and the new LCD-1 (LCD-X with smaller soundstage, no metal but plastic, but exactly same tech). I'll use Canopener and eq etc to get a more realistic space (more like monitors...) and tone balance.

Now the last question is what kind of portable (read with Baterry!) DAC/HP Amp can I find without loosing the DA quality that I'm use to on my Dangerous Converters-8? Is that even possible today??

My shortlist right now is around those, but I'm a newbie in this territory so all help will be greatly appreciated!!

- Chords Mojo
- iDSD Micro Black Label
-?
Old 3rd November 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
lowland's Avatar
 
Verified Member
16 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by E Artsy Moods ➑️
Hey guys,
My "real" mastering studio will be in the center of the school where I'm teaching production/mix/mastering, and so I need a real solution into a portable setup format.

There's many talk here and there about how headphones are evolving (thanks Thermos for your help btw!), and so I went ahead and ordered a pair of used Inear PP8 (perfect details in the mids, incredible to hear different kinds of distortions, good and bad ones) and the new LCD-1 (LCD-X with smaller soundstage, no metal but plastic, but exactly same tech). I'll use Canopener and eq etc to get a more realistic space (more like monitors...) and tone balance.

Now the last question is what kind of portable (read with Baterry!) DAC/HP Amp can I find without loosing the DA quality that I'm use to on my Dangerous Converters-8? Is that even possible today??

My shortlist right now is around those, but I'm a newbie in this territory so all help will be greatly appreciated!!

- Chords Mojo
- iDSD Micro Black Label
-?
I don't think you'd go far wrong with a Benchmark DAC 1 - you should be able to pick up older, but still very usable, models at quite modest cost. It's a half-rack and therefore portable form factor, has conversion that still holds up and includes a good headphone amp.

Last edited by lowland; 3rd November 2019 at 06:09 PM..
Old 3rd November 2019
  #3
Gear Guru
Chord is very good but about $1800. Also very good but cheap is the Project Audio Pre Box S2 at $399 list. I have 3 of those here, tiny but they sound huge. For super compact the $299 AudioQuest Cobalt Dragonfly in the USB package is as small as you will get but still great sound with the ESS 9038 DAC.
Old 3rd November 2019
  #4
I have an Apogee Groove that travels with me and I really like it. It's good enough for doing work outside the studio and I have no problems with it driving my headphones. The main reason I like the Groove is form factor. It fits inside my headphone case, it's always there along with the iLok, it's just that convenient.

It does sound great, at least as "great" as the whole working outside the studio scenario can be!
Old 3rd November 2019
  #5
Deleted 49af092
Guest
I've had great success with the Grace m900.

I've been hit with a few urgent mastering requests while traveling and I'm usually able to get approval on version 1 when using the m900 and headphones.
Old 3rd November 2019
  #6
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Hi, this is worth to be considered:
https://www.sonosax.ch/product/sx-m2d2/

Erich
Old 4th November 2019 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
TanTan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin P. ➑️
I've had great success with the Grace m900.

I've been hit with a few urgent mastering requests while traveling and I'm usually able to get approval on version 1 when using the m900 and headphones.
I've recently had the same experience with Grace M900

I've been traveling with my family in Andalusia for a few weeks (highly recommended ) and had to do some urgent masters on the road,
Using my LCD-4z with an M900 and Sonarworks has made it easily possible, this is one of the most accurate and revealing systems I know, although a bit darker compared with my scm100's + JLM subs system but I had only one recall request in about 20 songs (client asked to lower the level by about 0.5dB).
It's also very small and plug n play.
Old 4th November 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 
E Artsy Moods's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thank you all guys!

I've done a bit of research on the various models you've shared here, and the Grace design seems really cool in form factor (real portability), possibility of being drive more if needed with second usb port, plus sound quality and various filters settings available, crossfeed option (good or gimmicky?)...
I feel this Grae Design M900 really could be the one I was looking for!!

Last edited by E Artsy Moods; 5th November 2019 at 06:52 PM..
Old 5th November 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
E Artsy Moods's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Just found and bought a B-stock Grace Design M900 near half price! Thanks guys for your help!
Old 2nd March 2020
  #10
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Portable mode is cool but can it work within complex setups? I want to use it as aggregate device in Mac OS or as additional DAC with RME UFX+ via SPDIF or ADAT. It is stable enough in setups like these?
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