Where is the DAC sub-forum? This place needs one! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-14-2013, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Shopping for DACs is a dizzying experience. Just too many to choose from! It would help if AVS had its own dedicated DAC forum.

I am looking for something ($500-1500) to fit between a CAPS PC and NAIM XS2 or SN2 and my Dynaudio Focus 160 speakers in a 2.0 setup.

Current HiFi: Dynaudio Focus 260 | Meridian Direct DAC | NAIM XS 2 (2013)
Past HiFi: Dynaudio Excite X16 | Dynaudio Focus 160 | Harman Kardon HK3490
Portable IEMs by Audio-Technica

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post #2 of 14 Old 08-14-2013, 01:09 PM
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I'd try audiogon etc. They all sound the same, didn't you know that yet!
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-14-2013, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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That seems to be an opinion here lol...

According to others in other forums, your music will sound like a$$ unless you spend $5K on a T+A DAC, etc.

Current HiFi: Dynaudio Focus 260 | Meridian Direct DAC | NAIM XS 2 (2013)
Past HiFi: Dynaudio Excite X16 | Dynaudio Focus 160 | Harman Kardon HK3490
Portable IEMs by Audio-Technica

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post #4 of 14 Old 08-14-2013, 01:51 PM
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According to others in other forums, your music will sound like a$$ unless you spend $5K on a T+A DAC, etc.
Well then those forums sound like the right ones for you, bucko. Here we have better things to spend our money on.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #5 of 14 Old 08-14-2013, 02:07 PM
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I have found through some serious research and a couple real world experiences that your PC's DAC and/or your Pre/Pro/ Avr is as good as it gets. Spend your money somewhere else.
Credit does go to this forum and the science and engineering members we are blessed with. Otherwise if you want a Bentley to get you the same place as my Chevy, enjoy, but don't expect your 75 MPH to arrive faster than my 75 MPH.

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post #6 of 14 Old 08-14-2013, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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TBH, I have always thought that many components are smoke and mirrors.

That said, I assume you all still believe that a good pre/amp/integrated is something worth investing in? Like a NAIM XS2 or SN2?

Current HiFi: Dynaudio Focus 260 | Meridian Direct DAC | NAIM XS 2 (2013)
Past HiFi: Dynaudio Excite X16 | Dynaudio Focus 160 | Harman Kardon HK3490
Portable IEMs by Audio-Technica

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post #7 of 14 Old 08-14-2013, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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BTW, you guys must love the folks over at computeraudiophile.com...

Current HiFi: Dynaudio Focus 260 | Meridian Direct DAC | NAIM XS 2 (2013)
Past HiFi: Dynaudio Excite X16 | Dynaudio Focus 160 | Harman Kardon HK3490
Portable IEMs by Audio-Technica

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post #8 of 14 Old 08-14-2013, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTaudiophile View Post

TBH, I have always thought that many components are smoke and mirrors.

That said, I assume you all still believe that a good pre/amp/integrated is something worth investing in? Like a NAIM XS2 or SN2?

Not a chance. Trouble with legacy devices like those is the fact that they lack useful things like digital inputs, video switching, bass management, or automated system optimization facilities. It's a classic case of less for more.
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-15-2013, 04:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Not a chance. Trouble with legacy devices like those is the fact that they lack useful things like digital inputs, video switching, bass management, or automated system optimization facilities. It's a classic case of less for more.

Wow. Your comments about NAIM gear are a first for me.

Current HiFi: Dynaudio Focus 260 | Meridian Direct DAC | NAIM XS 2 (2013)
Past HiFi: Dynaudio Excite X16 | Dynaudio Focus 160 | Harman Kardon HK3490
Portable IEMs by Audio-Technica

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post #10 of 14 Old 08-15-2013, 05:04 AM
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I don't think he's picking on the brand. He's picking on the concept of using outdated equipment.
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-15-2013, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Not a chance. Trouble with legacy devices like those is the fact that they lack useful things like digital inputs, video switching, bass management, or automated system optimization facilities. It's a classic case of less for more.

Wow. Your comments about NAIM gear are a first for me.

I'm not targeting Naim all by themselves. Most of the hardware on the separates market could have been built as-is or at least as work-alikes in 1980. Audio technology has changed quite a bit since then. For example, almost all of our music players are digital and there is this crazy thing called video.
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-15-2013, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay.

What I am looking for is something that will take USB audio from a CAPS PC (that also serves as DVR with HD HomeRun) and will output to my Dynaudio Focus 160 speakers in a 2.0 setup. And do it better than my current HK 3490.

So while my sources tend to be "new-school" my stereo setup is more "old-school" and I intend to keep it that way. A 5.1, 7.1, 7.2, etc. setup does not interest me.

My previous thought was CAPS PC > DAC > NAIM XS2/SN2 > Speakers.

Current HiFi: Dynaudio Focus 260 | Meridian Direct DAC | NAIM XS 2 (2013)
Past HiFi: Dynaudio Excite X16 | Dynaudio Focus 160 | Harman Kardon HK3490
Portable IEMs by Audio-Technica

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post #13 of 14 Old 08-15-2013, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTaudiophile View Post

Okay.

What I am looking for is something that will take USB audio from a CAPS PC (that also serves as DVR with HD HomeRun) and will output to my Dynaudio Focus 160 speakers in a 2.0 setup. And do it better than my current HK 3490.

So while my sources tend to be "new-school" my stereo setup is more "old-school" and I intend to keep it that way. A 5.1, 7.1, 7.2, etc. setup does not interest me.

My previous thought was CAPS PC > DAC > NAIM XS2/SN2 > Speakers.

Unless there is something wrong with your receiver, there is no reason to expect that an outboard DAC would affect the sonics of the system. You would simply be trading one DAC for another.
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post #14 of 14 Old 08-15-2013, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTaudiophile View Post

Okay.

What I am looking for is something that will take USB audio from a CAPS PC (that also serves as DVR with HD HomeRun) and will output to my Dynaudio Focus 160 speakers in a 2.0 setup. And do it better than my current HK 3490.

So while my sources tend to be "new-school" my stereo setup is more "old-school" and I intend to keep it that way. A 5.1, 7.1, 7.2, etc. setup does not interest me.

My previous thought was CAPS PC > DAC > NAIM XS2/SN2 > Speakers.
Your 3490 has 4 digital inputs. Run coax or optical out from your pc to your 3490....it ain't gonna get any better then that unless you exchange your hk for a modern avr...the improvements won't be the dac, but rather room correction eq and good bass management features for sub intergration. Until then stop sweating it and enjoy the music!

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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