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Thread: USB DAC options

  1. #1
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    USB DAC options

    Hey all.

    Seeing as how the USB DAC has become a popular option for some folks, I figured a thread listing the options out there would be beneficial.

    I'd like to set it up much like the 5.1 amps with digital ins thread, and the mini-itx threads on this board elsewhere.

    So show me what you have found!

    http://www.wavelengthaudio.com/ - This is by far one of the nicest DACs I've found. However, the price will cause some people to nearly stop breathing I'm sure.

    http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-eb01.htm
    Jan Bennett
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    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  2. #2
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    Seeing as how I'm sure there will be much debate and discussion regarding these DACs, I figured a few words about them from various sources might be beneficial to some.

    What is a DAC?

    From the Stereophile Forums talking about jitter and USB DACs as well as USB two way communications for error correction. VERY good read.
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  3. #3
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    well i guess i'll start.

    this is the one i'm currently testing:
    http://www.ecp.cc/HPDAC.html
    we'll call it the 'douglas' hpdac. since this is a diy board you can use whichever components you'd like. I'm currently running burr-brown opamps and blackgate caps.

    also... since it's a diy board you can wire it with female rca's to connect directly to your amp. This will give you a digital signal within inches (or less) of your x-over or amp. If you are going the x-over route you can also think about cracking that active x-over open and wiring the outputs of the dac directly to the inputs of the x-over.
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  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate proph's Avatar
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    I use the Silverstone USB DAC. It of course doesn't require a driver, just plug it in and it shows up as USB Speakers. You don't have to worry about turn on thump w/ most DAC's, as w/ the SS it doesnt turn on till it gets music to play. The DAC doesn't require in extra power... just a single USB cable will do comms and power. The sound is rich and clean.

    The problem most DACs (that have problems) have is that of IRQ's. On my setup I have 8 USB 2.0 powers onboard and a add on card, along w/ the normal basic interupts. When I first connected the DAC to this setup I had cracking and popping... after disabling a couple things in the bios I've lost all but a slight crackling every now and then. The fix is usually changing the PCI latency or changing IRQ's for the device.
    Setup:
    Dynaudio 240GT
    PPI PC4100, PPI PC2350
    Zapco DSP6
    ADS DAC
    Testing new board (Albatron KI690-AM2)

    "I dont know if complaints were filed, or mistakes were made, but feelings were hurt." -Krystal Washington

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate
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    You can change the volume of the DAC using your front end, correct?

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate proph's Avatar
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    Correct!
    Setup:
    Dynaudio 240GT
    PPI PC4100, PPI PC2350
    Zapco DSP6
    ADS DAC
    Testing new board (Albatron KI690-AM2)

    "I dont know if complaints were filed, or mistakes were made, but feelings were hurt." -Krystal Washington

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate jschrauwen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
    http://www.wavelengthaudio.com/ - This is by far one of the nicest DACs I've found. However, the price will cause some people to nearly stop breathing I'm sure.
    *clutches chest and reaches for phone to dial 911* j/k. Amazingly resembles the prices my brother charges for the high current tube amps that he builds.




    *edit*
    Would the average person/carpc system be able to discern the quality difference between an $84 Silverstone and a $195 HPDAC? I don't even want to try and get my head wrapped around the Cosecant, Brick, or Ultimate DPU.
    http://gickr.com/results4/anim_5055e...a2b3b197c9.gif
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  8. #8
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    The average person can't tell the difference between a MP3 ripped a 128 and the true CD source.

    However, it's like anything else in life. If it's something you are into, which we all have something, you know the differences.

    When you live and breathe something nearly every waking moment of your life, you can tell a difference.
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate proph's Avatar
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    If that was the truth it would be a shame.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
    The average person can't tell the difference between a MP3 ripped a 128 and the true CD source.

    However, it's like anything else in life. If it's something you are into, which we all have something, you know the differences.

    When you live and breathe something nearly every waking moment of your life, you can tell a difference.
    Setup:
    Dynaudio 240GT
    PPI PC4100, PPI PC2350
    Zapco DSP6
    ADS DAC
    Testing new board (Albatron KI690-AM2)

    "I dont know if complaints were filed, or mistakes were made, but feelings were hurt." -Krystal Washington

  10. #10
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    why do you think the iPod has become so popular? Why do you think there are companies making millions off of selling mp3s that are much less than CD quality?

    it's because people don't know the difference and don't care to.

    Try and find a music store online, where you can download music files in HIGH quality.

    There was 1 that I was aware of, and even then, it wasn't 'HIGH' quality by many standards...
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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