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Anyone heard/compared a Meier-Audio CORDA 2MOVE or a Ray Samuels Audio Predator?


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I would like to get a good quality portable headphone/DAC (with USB input) to use with headphones when away from my home system (MAC mini/Benchmark USB combo) and also to be used in another room that powers my patio speakers. I prefer this to to be less than $500 in cost. If there are some other considerations please let me know what you are using and why. Thanks in advance for your help.

 

Alan B

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Alan, I don't know if you would consider FW400 instead of USB, but if so, the Apogee Duet comes in just under your budget, has headphone out, is portable (powered by the FW port) and can also do ADC as a bonus. I have one and I can say it has very clean sound both in and out (I have been digitising some vinyl recently).

 

Note: It works on Macs only, and maximum resolution is 24/96 both ADC and DAC.

 

Peter

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Hi Peter. I have spent the last 1/2 day reading all of your posts concerning your search for a good a/d/a converter. I enjoyed reading markr's comments as well. A couple of questions:

 

1. What software did you end up using for your recording software?

 

2. Does the software you have chosen have the capability to get rid of the pops as the NX package for Sound Forge (according to the thread, Tips Vinyl to Digital) indicated? I know that Sound Forge is a MS PC product and Mac users have less choices.

 

3. Also if I remember correctly, you mentioned that there wasn't much difference in the sound of the Duet's headphone output over the direct headphone output on your Mac...that more than anything else concerned me as a $500 headphone preamp should be much better. Has your opinion changed?

 

I am new to MAC, and just purchased my mini about a month ago. I also plan to get a new Macbook Pro when the new models come out (soon, according to rumors) so this will be my new platform of choice.

 

Thanks,

 

 

Alan B

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Hello Alan, sorry for the delay in replying.

 

I am using Audacity (1.3.5b) for recording, mainly because it is free and does everything I need (recognises the Duet and Core Audio, handles 24/96, highlights clipped samples)

 

Audacity does have click removal and noise removal plug-ins but I have not used them - large clicks I massage myself, the rest I put up with!

 

Listening through amp and speakers, I felt that there was not a huge difference in the quality of the Duet output (using TS-RCA cables on the outputs of the 'cat-o-nine-tails' cable) plugged into the amplifier line inputs compared to just plugging a 3.5mm-RCA cable directly into the MacBook headphone port and using the inbuilt DAC, although the bass seemed tighter through the Duet.

 

I have not done any significant comparisons regarding listening through headphones via the Duet and directly out of the MacBook, since I do not have a set of good headphones to do justice to either output. I did not specifically buy the Duet as a headphone amp, so the quality of the headphone output was not as critical as it would be for you, but judging by the comments on head-fi linked by Tonyc, the quality seems good.

 

One thing I do find useful with the Duet is the volume control. I use both 'Play' (for FLAC) and iTunes with source files up to 24/192 AIFF, and I set the software volume control to maximum in both apps and just spin the knob on the Duet to control the volume. Now I think that the volume control on the Duet is a digital one and so is negating the bit-perfect output I am getting by setting the software volume controls to maximum, but it is a convenience thing! It still sounds good to me anyway.

 

Peter

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had the pleasure of meeting Ray and auditioning several of his products. They are top notch. Ray is very passionate about what he does and his amps are crystal clear and powerful for such small units. The Predator is very versatile and portable.

 

Meier also make excellent products, but I have had no experience with them.

 

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