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Audio Alchemy DDP-1 and whether to choose a unit like this or separates


rayhil
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Thanks so much Chris for the excellent Alchemy DDP-1 and all the other reviews that you and others post. Using them as a solid starting point as you suggest is a great way to narrow options and consider other alternatives. That review prompted me to post a few questions for you and the other members.

I am going to add a headphone/desktop system to my collection and I’d appreciate everyone’s views on the topic. My first decision is whether to go with a single unit such as the Alchemy and add active speakers (such as Dynaudio or Focal) or, alternatively, use separate components (such as the Schiit Gungnir or Yggdrasil and Ragnarok) with probably either Kef LS50s or Alec desktop speakers. All of this will be fed by USB input.

My specific question on the DDP-1 arises from an omission in your review that I’m hoping can be supplemented. While the Alchemy site shows both balanced and unbalanced headphone outs on the DDP-1, you don’t mention them in your review. I am hoping you or another poster can comment on the quality of the headphone amp in the DDP1. I have Hifiman 560s (with a higher end balanced cable), Sennheiser 650s and higher end Westone in-ears, and headphone listening will be a big part of the system. The only review I could find that addresses the headphone outs didn’t seem that impressed Review: Audio Alchemy DDP-1 Digital Pre/DAC/Headphone Amplifier | Reviews | StereoNET

Reading the Oppo HA-1, Meridian Prime and Grace 920 reviews makes me wonder whether one of these (compared to the DDP-1) would be a good choice or if a separates system would be superior for both uses. Hoping to keep my entire budget (for dac, amplification and speakers) in the $5-6K range.

I know there is no absolute answer to this question, just trying to lean on this great community for perspectives.

Thanks

MBP13-128gb ssd using VoiceOver to hear the screen, iTunes, Ayre QB-9, McIntosh mx119 & mc207, Thiel CS2.4

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Hoping for some feedback on the topic of separates driving passive speakers and headphones or a single volume-control DAC with active speakers and headphones.

Ray

MBP13-128gb ssd using VoiceOver to hear the screen, iTunes, Ayre QB-9, McIntosh mx119 & mc207, Thiel CS2.4

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HA-1

 

Concerning consumer Hi-Fi, I give time mostly to supporting my friends... Recalling, have you read Andrew Everard's HA-1 review ? An extract :

The HA-1 has been getting a workout of late with USB feeds from my MacBook Air and Mac Mini computers, an iPad Mini via USB and Bluetooth, and the digital outputs of Krell Connect and Naim NDS/555PS network music players. Content has ranged from Internet radio all the way up to DSD5.6 and 24-bit/352.8kHz, and I’ve been using software players including Amarra and Audirvarna on the Macs.

 

As is usually the way, the HA-1 need no drivers to be used with Apple computers; software drivers are downloadable from the Oppo website for Windows operating systems.

 

To characterise the sound of the Oppo in one sentence, I’d say it was...

 

Yes, I read AE because we're friends. Of products, KI's...

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I have a pair of Dynaudio Focus xD 200 and a Audio Alchemy ddp-1 on order — should be with me next week. I'll be happy to give you some impressions shortly thereafter :)

 

Hoping for some feedback on the topic of separates driving passive speakers and headphones or a single volume-control DAC with active speakers and headphones.

Ray

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