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Thread: Cheap USB DAC Audio from a non-audiophile perspective: A review

  1. #11
    Low Bitrate SoulR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    101
    Great review Chester,

    Looking forward to seeing results of the Radio testing.

  2. #12
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    261
    I'm thinking of going this route too. I just fried my terratec usb soundcard. first price on ebay is this one :

    http://cgi.ebay.com/MUSE-Mini-USB-DA...item3a649c1e5b


    wonder if it's as good as the one you bought !!!

  3. #13
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
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    337
    Sorry, I've been away for a week, didn't notice the post there hadaak!

    I think the good thing about these units is they are all pretty much the same. The higher end units include some better filters and components, but at this price point, they are all essentially the same design inside.

    And the good thing being, its cheap enough that you don't have a fit if it doesn't work!

    Disclaimer: I tend to have a fit when ANYTHING I buy doesn't work right, but the level of fit varies depending on the price of the part!

  4. #14
    Maximum Bitrate Mickz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Australia
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    878
    Hi Chester, how is the system going, great writeup on this USB DAC, I'm temped to try one and compare the quality against my onboard audio.

    Did you see my post on earthing the RF shield on the DAB-FM radio module?

    I now have the absolute best FM-DAB reception with this system. I just fitted an amplified roof mount aerial and getting perfect DAB way past the designated fringe area.

    Since my redesign/rebuild this install has been perfect.
    Surface Pro 2 128GB portrait mode, Win8.1, Reverse camera, Dual 10HZ GPS RX's for Speed Display & Sat Nav, FM-DAB & Phone Modules, iDrive interface. T-Screen HVAC control, custom microcontrollers, microcode and FE. Previous Car-PC Project

  5. #15
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    337
    The system is working really well, the USB DAC works really happily, and I don't think I have had any issues with it. I probably need to do some final adjusting on the amp itself to get the bass boosting and levels sorted out properly, but it is already many times better than the original onboard audio

    The only issue i have now is lack of integration of the PCI DAB+ card that I use with Centrafuse. Now that I'm back in the swing of things again, I have a contact to try at Realtek to see if we can get a proper SDK for these cards....It looks like some other groups have gotten hold of the SDK direct from Realtek, so we might get lucky, you never know!

    Thankfully I have earthing all covered, as the DAB+ PCI card I uses doesnt have an RF shield over it like other tuners do, this is either very low interference, or they just didn't think the cards were expensive enough to warrant the extra 1 cent for an RF shield

    The other good thing about the PCI DAB+ card, is that there is no interference from long audio cables or anything, its feeding the digital signal straight into the software for decoding, just makes it one less thing for me to worry about.

    I bought one of these for my DAB+ and TV reception in the car:

    http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView...a&form=KEYWORD

    And that is bolted between my two roof rack crossbars, and works a right treat, plus its 5V powered, so runs happily off the computer power supply! The only downside to that antenna is that it is DAB/DTV frequencies only, so I think I might get a multiplexer to feed the stock FM/AM aerial into the feed, to give me the best of both worlds.

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