Author Topic: Recommendations for DAC  (Read 40835 times)

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Offline Clinton

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Recommendations for DAC
« on: Jul 11, 2011 at 10:33 AM »
Hi! any recommendations for DAC which I can hook it up to my PC and amp. Thanks!

Offline JoeyGS

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #1 on: Jul 11, 2011 at 10:43 AM »
For low budget --- SuperPro 707
For deep pocket ---- Benchmark DAC, M2Tech DAC

Offline Wildfire™

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #2 on: Jul 11, 2011 at 12:12 PM »
is SuperPro 707 the best dac for its price?

Offline cls

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #3 on: Jul 11, 2011 at 10:25 PM »
Also check out HRT Music Streamer

Offline deuce

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #4 on: Jul 12, 2011 at 07:29 AM »
The Rega distributor just brought in the Rega DAC, which has been reaping rave reviews in user forums. But then, it's more than 5x the cost of the SuperPro 707 :).

Offline shrek7

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #5 on: Jul 12, 2011 at 09:46 AM »
have heard hrt, very nice for the price!!!!!

Offline Euphony101

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #6 on: Jul 12, 2011 at 11:59 AM »
[/url]
DAC_Magic_rear by Euphony101, on Flickr[/img]


Whats your take on Dacmagic? any user opinion on this?

I like the connection option for this dac, there are 3 inputs and two outputs. I was thinking, I can hooked up two sources  1- HDX for my rip/ downloaded  music & 2-Use my low end pio dvd player as transport  for CD's.

then

since there are two outputs-one  digital & one analog, I can connect the digital out to my receiver (denon 1910) for multi-channel listing and the analog output to a integrated amp for two channel listing.


Any comments would be appreciated. :)



Offline otep_32

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #7 on: Jul 12, 2011 at 12:04 PM »
The Rega distributor just brought in the Rega DAC, which has been reaping rave reviews in user forums. But then, it's more than 5x the cost of the SuperPro 707 :).
Rega DAC is now available here in the Philippines,PHP36,000 SRP.

Offline dukesociety

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #8 on: Jul 12, 2011 at 12:12 PM »
[/url]
DAC_Magic_rear by Euphony101, on Flickr[/img]


Whats your take on Dacmagic? any user opinion on this?

I like the connection option for this dac, there are 3 inputs and two outputs. I was thinking, I can hooked up two sources  1- HDX for my rip/ downloaded  music & 2-Use my low end pio dvd player as transport  for CD's.

then

since there are two outputs-one  digital & one analog, I can connect the digital out to my receiver (denon 1910) for multi-channel listing and the analog output to a integrated amp for two channel listing.


Any comments would be appreciated. :)




what hifi winner last year, 'nuff said.


Offline Wildfire™

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #9 on: Jul 12, 2011 at 12:28 PM »
pareho lang ba ang soundcard and dac?

Offline JoeyGS

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #10 on: Jul 12, 2011 at 12:37 PM »
For me, best in price-performace....so the answer is a big YES

is SuperPro 707 the best dac for its price?

Offline FrancisD

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #11 on: Jul 12, 2011 at 02:04 PM »
@Clinton

Hard to say unless we know what you will be using it for and with. Pls post your PC, soundcards you can use if you have any and the system the dac will be connected to.

If you dont have a good soundcard (isolated like asus xonar) to output digital signals you need at least at a minimum a usb based DAC. Hoping one of your usb ports is not grounded. If you usb ports are grounded you need to fix this issue first before using anything as you will notice at a minimum a hum in your music.

I am assuming its a mid to high end system you will connect this with. Cheapest would be just to get a usb based dac that outputs digital signals and connect this to your receiver to get passable sound quality, much better than standard output from PC.

To go high end, I found it best to use the asus xonar soundcard to output digital signals to an even better dac (asus has a good built in dac). With this digital output, you can really rock and use really good dacs. To use less you will find the pc digital output even from usb is not optimal for maximum sound quality. Just so happens this is the reference system used at stereophile.

Happy shopping ...

Offline deuce

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #12 on: Jul 13, 2011 at 09:19 AM »

Actually, with a PC, you can dispense with the expensive sound card. Most modern pc motherboards have decent audio codecs and built-in S/PDIF headers.

Just tap the S/PDIF header with two wires ("out" and "gnd" pins - your motherboard manual lists the pinout, or you can use a multitester), then solder the other ends to RCA socket you can buy at ACE hardware ("out" pin to center, "gnd" to body of socket). Then buy whatever length of 75-ohm coaxial cable you need, and terminate each end with RCA (again, you can buy all these at ACE hardware), to connect your motherboard's digital audio stream to the coaxial input of your DAC or receiver. Total cost of materials, plus tip to a technician if you don't solder, should not exceed P800.

Then if you use Foobar as your player with Wasapi, you can get bit-perfect stream. I don't have a proper tester, so I can't swear that the stream I'm getting is bit-perfect, but the sound - to my ears - leaves nothing to be desired. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on the jitter-rejection capability of your DAC or receiver.

Offline indie boi

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #13 on: Jul 13, 2011 at 09:39 AM »
Is there are WASAPI interfaced player for the Mac?

Offline rascal101

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #14 on: Jul 13, 2011 at 11:52 AM »
Most motherboards have processors with built in DAC. From what I understand most of these DACs are using Sigma Delta architecture. If the external DAC being proposed is also Sigma Delta architecture (wherein the vast majority are) there is only minimal improvement in sound. It's like going to Jollibee. The biggest Jollibee restaurant maintains the same standard as the smallest one so it's practically the same ambiance. If you really want to have different or better sound for your PC get a motherboard or ext DAC using different DAC architecture. You can look this up by checking the datasheet of the DAC used.

I believe it is better to tweak existing soundcard or motherboard than purchasing an ext DAC which has same DAC architecture as far as price performance ratio is concerned.
« Last Edit: Jul 13, 2011 at 11:53 AM by rascal101 »

Offline Wildfire™

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #15 on: Jul 13, 2011 at 12:13 PM »
i saw asus xonar soundcard using burrbrown, will it be a better choice than an external dac?

Offline rascal101

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #16 on: Jul 13, 2011 at 01:23 PM »
For me I would rather tweak the sound card rather than purchasing an external DAC. Personally I'm using pre-1995 sound card. Comparing it's sound to my Yamaha CD-3, Lo-D DAD-800, Sony CDP-750 and Sony CDP-950 it is practically the same. Of course I have some small tweaks that I place in my sound card, PC power supply and my PC speakers. Total BOM (bill of materials) cost of the tweaks is around Php 200. However, time to develop the tweak took me almost two years but since I can use it in many applications I feel it is worth the time.
« Last Edit: Jul 13, 2011 at 02:26 PM by rascal101 »

Offline rascal101

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #17 on: Jul 13, 2011 at 11:03 PM »
i saw asus xonar soundcard using burrbrown, will it be a better choice than an external dac?

In my experience it does really matter if it is Burr Brown, Analog Devices, Asahi Kasei, Wolfson Microelectronics etc. I know they are all good. With the appropriate base/gate drive circuit, it is possible to make your sound card sound very good you need not have to upgrade.

Offline Wildfire™

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #18 on: Jul 13, 2011 at 11:16 PM »
In my experience it does really matter if it is Burr Brown, Analog Devices, Asahi Kasei, Wolfson Microelectronics etc. I know they are all good. With the appropriate base/gate drive circuit, it is possible to make your sound card sound very good you need not have to upgrade.

how?

Offline FrancisD

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #19 on: Jul 14, 2011 at 12:31 AM »
@wildfire
Simplest solution is a usb dac / soundcard. If you can borrow any usb dac do so and test your usb ports for any hum. If there isnt any, you can get a good usb dac - there are many now available. Its simple and flexible - you can use this for your netbook and laptops.

I have used turtle beach micro 2 as an optical out quite successfully and its cheap. Sound is good, if you want better get a DAC with optical input. How good? People use it with mid range Dacs and mid-high end equipment.

Offline rascal101

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #20 on: Jul 14, 2011 at 04:42 AM »
how?

I already mentioned the appropriate base/gate drive circuit. The circuit is placed after the output coupling capacitors - prior to the output jacks or at the wires leading to your powered PC speaker or amp. It is basically the resistor tweak mentioned in the choke thread which targets the sound of vinyl.
« Last Edit: Jul 14, 2011 at 05:06 AM by rascal101 »

Offline Wildfire™

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #21 on: Jul 14, 2011 at 08:29 AM »
Simplest solution is a usb dac / soundcard. If you can borrow any usb dac do so and test your usb ports for any hum. If there isnt any, you can get a good usb dac - there are many now available. Its simple and flexible - you can use this for your netbook and laptops.

I have used turtle beach micro 2 as an optical out quite successfully and its cheap. Sound is good, if you want better get a DAC with optical input. How good? People use it with mid range Dacs and mid-high end equipment.

im a little hesitant to use the usb coz it is easily pulled, i'll try the optical route na lang thanks

Quote
I already mentioned the appropriate base/gate drive circuit. The circuit is placed after the output coupling capacitors - prior to the output jacks or at the wires leading to your powered PC speaker or amp. It is basically the resistor tweak mentioned in the choke thread which targets the sound of vinyl.

oh i havent tried it yet pero i will once na magka spare time, bali ung choke lang brader ang gagawin ko no more snubber?

Offline rascal101

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #22 on: Jul 14, 2011 at 10:41 AM »
im a little hesitant to use the usb coz it is easily pulled, i'll try the optical route na lang thanks

oh i havent tried it yet pero i will once na magka spare time, bali ung choke lang brader ang gagawin ko no more snubber?

Yes. No more snubber circuit. Choke lang.

Offline rascal101

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #23 on: Apr 27, 2012 at 02:22 PM »
I wonder anyone in PDVD has these DACs or CDPs using the D/A chips mentioned below.

DAC
-----
1. S.M.S.L. SD-1955 - based on Analog Devices D/A chip AD-1955
2. Yulong D100 - based on Analog Devices D/A chip AD-1955
3. Yulong Sabre D18 - based on ESS-9018
4. Audio-GD Reference 7 - based on Burr Brown PCM-1704

There are some reviews in the Head-fi.org website.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/493801/interesting-little-dac-optical-coax-input

http://www.head-fi.org/t/499562/review-yulong-d100-dac-amp-reference-quality-with-a-reasonable-price

http://www.head-fi.org/t/586153/yulong-sabre-d18-thread-reviews-impressions-discussion-full-review-added-2-5/300

http://www.head-fi.org/t/466765/audio-gd-reference-7-the-new-flagship-dac
http://www.head-fi.org/t/552185/audio-gd-reference-7-1-dac

Some notes:

a. The Analog Devices AD-1955 is multi-bit Delta Sigma D/A converter chip like the Wolfson WM8740.
b. The ESS-9018 is based on a new DAC architecture which ESS Technology refers to as Hyperstream architecture.
c. The PCM-1704 is based on the R2R ladder which has the oldest and "cleanest" conversion method according to Robert Watson and Richard Kulavik of Burr Brown. Some notable R2R ladder DACs are the PCM53, PCM63 and PCM1702 which have been used in CDPs in the past.

To check what D/A chip you have, below is a link on the D/A chips used by the various DACs and CDPs.

http://www.dutchaudioclassics.nl/the_complete_d_a_dac_converter_list/

Offline haboky

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2012 at 09:13 PM »
have heard hrt, very nice for the price!!!!!

yes, hrt music streamer II is nuetral sounding and bang for the buck. :)
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Offline Mr. Bungle

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2012 at 10:03 PM »
^ True, 'cept for the clicks and pops when routing audio via WASAPI to the HRT.

The only solution I've found so far is to use JRiver Media Player and its "Event-Style" WASAPI output with the Hardware Buffer size set to 10ms. Problem is, JRiver costs like 50USD which is waaay overpriced in a sea of free music players.

I'm open to recommendations for any free or low-cost alternatives that offer similar output options and run glitch-free with asynchronous USB DACs.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012 at 10:11 PM by °BSΩLE†e »

Offline Nelson de Leon

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2012 at 10:08 PM »
^ True, 'cept for the clicks and pops when routing audio via WASAPI to the HRT.

The only solution I've found so far is to use JRiver Media Player and its "Event-Style" WASAPI output with the Hardware Buffer size set to 10ms. Problem is, JRiver costs like 50USD which is waaay overpriced in a sea of free music players.

I'm open to recommendations for any free or low-cost alternatives that offer similar output options and run glitch-free with asynchronous USB DACs.



I'm using foobar on my asynchronous Musiland USB DAC. It works fine with my system naman.  ;)

Offline Mr. Bungle

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM »
Yeah but I think the HRT is worth keeping for its sound signature alone so I'd rather change the software.

I have noticed that JRiver sounds much better that Foobar anyways. Perhaps there's some DSP enhancement going on under the hood? Thats one other thing that might force me to bite the bitter pill of shelling out so much cash on a piece of music playin' software. :-\ I still have 11 days left on the trial period to look for similar alternatives.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2012 at 10:22 PM by °BSΩLE†e »

Offline rascal101

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2012 at 02:16 AM »
Quote
I'm using foobar on my asynchronous Musiland USB DAC. It works fine with my system naman.  ;)

I am using foobar with the asynchronous Musiland USD 01. It also works fine in my system.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012 at 02:19 AM by rascal101 »

Offline Stagea

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Re: Recommendations for DAC
« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2012 at 02:55 AM »
I am using foobar with the asynchronous Musiland USD 01. It also works fine in my system.

Same here. I'm pretty satisfied with Foobar at the moment, and I've used it with different asynchronous USB devices (from Audiophilleo, M2Tech, Cambridge Audio, NuForce and Musiland).

The current version of MediaMonkey when configured properly (running wasapi exclusive mode, with normalization/leveling/fading disabled) is also quite good.