DACs under £350, combination headphone amps and CA DacMagic Plus upsampling
I'm considering a variety of DACs for my first decent seperates system with a budget of up to £800.
I'll probably be pairing one of them with my Sony laptop (USB only), CA Azur 351A or Marantz PM6004 or Rotel RA-10 amps, and Monitor Audio BX2s.
1) What are people's opinions on the DacMagic Plus' supposed ability to 'upsample' computer audio? This is particularly of interest to me, since the majority of my source files are bog-standard 16/44.1 320kbps MP3 files, played in iTunes.
2) Would the DacMagic Plus perform well as a headphone amp? I'll probably be looking at buying some HD 650s or similar in the next couple of years. Additionally, is it a benefit that it can also act as a preamp?
3) Most importantly, would £350 be too much to spend on a DAC, given the rest of my (proposed) set up?
DACs I've considered so far:
- DacMagic 100/Plus
- Musical Fidelity v-DAC II
- Arcam rDAC
- HRT Music Streamer II
- Arcam rPAC
Many thanks in advice, Matthew