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  • DACs

    I have been pondering for to damn long now and i dont seem to be geting far, i need a usb device to power my amps. 2 DSL amps, 1 mono block 1000RMS sub amp and 1 4 channel, i need something with a strong output 4v would be nice.

    im staring to investigate DACs and yes im still pretty new around here. i dont realy understand how a DAC works and how its different from a sound card for example an SB audigy 2 nx. can someone explain the difference between a USB soundcard and a DAC to me?

    does a DAC sill work like a sound card as in does it require drivers and does it come with software for Eq and stuff????

    i have investigated the silverstone DAC but i prefer to have something with a sub channel separate if possible

    pulling my hair out here trying to reach a conclusion as i want decent quality to match my alpine head unit ill be removing with 4v outputs

    thanks in advance guy

  • #2
    take all of the sound processing out of a soundcard and you have a DAC. A dac is a Digital to Analog Convertor. It is the simplest path a digital audio signal takes without anything getting in the way such as sound processing to alter the signal.

    A sound card has a DAC built into it, but then the signal has to go through the processor chip.

    If you use a DAC, windows recognizes it and installs basic drivers from my understanding. If you want any audio processing to be done, then it must be done by 3rd party software, (It's not built into any driver software since there isn't any).

    Last but not least, DAC do not have a line in if you need to connect any audio input such as an FM tuner, or satelite radio, etc
    System always under construction


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    • #3


      Agree with Durwood..

      Most USB DACs have a mainstream usb chip that Windows recognizes and it will Plug&Play as a 'USB Audio Device.' There is no more software at all, no EQ, mixer, etc as it is using generic drivers from windows.

      With Foobar and Winamp it will then show up in your output preferences. You can send the music via Kernel stream or DirectSound output to the USB DAC direct from Winamp/Foobar. Your primary sound card is still there and you can use it for other things if you want/need and use the DAC for music only... Of cours you could select the DAC as yor primary sound card also, but the music will then be sent through the Windows Audio stack and be resampled.

      Most of these are designed as high end Headphone amps and Different units have different designs, so they vary in output voltage, DAC chips, etc.

      I will tell you that i use 'The Bloat' from HippoHifi and LOVE it. I am not using it in my car, as it has only 1 pair of stereo output at 4V, but i do use it in my home rig and also as a Headphone amp. It is amazing how much better it sounds than a off the shelf or onboard soundcard..


      Laters...

      //
      Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.

      ___________________________________
      Current SYSTEM
      AMD64X2 2.5
      Xenarc
      ZAPCO DSP-6
      ARCAUDIO SE Amps
      Rainbow Profi CS365 & Profi Vanadium 12"

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      • #4
        what has been stated above with the exception of the input. some dacs have the ability to detect a second digital signal and switch between the two, IIRC my coustic can do this. You can convert the xmdirect box's output to toslink and be good to go
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        • #5
          stupid question: id still be able to use the equalizer in centrafuse for example if i wanted to wouldn't I?

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          • #6
            I believe Centrafuse has a built in music player and is actually using the Windows mixer as it's volume.. Saying that, any device you have picked as the primary sound card for windows would be the output for CF. If you used a USB DAC, then you would need to select it as Primary Sound device..

            So Yes, I think you would be able to use the EQ.

            Maybe someone else can confirm this...

            ..
            Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.

            ___________________________________
            Current SYSTEM
            AMD64X2 2.5
            Xenarc
            ZAPCO DSP-6
            ARCAUDIO SE Amps
            Rainbow Profi CS365 & Profi Vanadium 12"

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            • #7
              thanks for all the great answers and input guys, but one more stupid question: regarding having no audio input, I understand they have no audio input but if i was to add on a usb device like a tv tuner or radio the audio would be outputted thru the dac wouldn't it?

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              • #8
                yup... but what tunner you have does have an effect with that... for instance the ati tv wonder outputs its audion through a stereo headphone bit... then is supposed to link up to a sound cards line in...

                you can still do this if you hav a second sound card that is used just for an input.... and stilll have the dac for the output

                2006 Mazda 3
                Behringer DCX-2496
                JL300/4 Focal 6W4311B Focal TN52
                JL500/1 JL10w6v2

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                • #9
                  I think That would depend on how you set up your devices..

                  If you set up the DAC as the primary sound card, everything that goes through windows should output through your DAC. When Windows adds the USB device, you can then go to the sounds and audio in Control panel, go to the Audio Tab, you can then select the default playback device from a pull down list...

                  The way I use mine in my home rig it would not work. I use the motherboards onboard sound for my default sound device. When i plug in my USB DAC windows adds it as a USB audio device.. I then play my music in Foobar or Winamp. Both of these players allow you to pick a different output device to send the music to, so i pick the USB audio device in the player preferences. I have my USB DAC output going to my stereo amp and to the speakers. I have a small set of powered computer speakers hooked to the on board sound card if i want to hear any other sounds from windows.(usually have them turned off)


                  Hope this helps...

                  //
                  Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.

                  ___________________________________
                  Current SYSTEM
                  AMD64X2 2.5
                  Xenarc
                  ZAPCO DSP-6
                  ARCAUDIO SE Amps
                  Rainbow Profi CS365 & Profi Vanadium 12"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Felix is on the money.

                    The way Felix has described is very common with Bloat Owners. You have an option to set the Bloat as default in windows or to select the Bloat as default in your media player. I have captured a how to install The Bloat as the default windows audio device in the downloads section on HIPPOhifi.

                    cheers,
                    Brent
                    HIPPOhifi

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