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post #1 of 12 Old 04-17-2017, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Simple DAC recommendations?

I'm looking for a simple Digital to Analog Converter. I think. The current system is:

Source is a Mac Pro, files at CD quality, analog output from the 3.5 mm jack.
Schitt pre-amp (just a simple potentiometer).
NAD 2600A amplifier (2-channel, 150 WPC).
XTZ 95.24 bookshelf speakers.

It seems like the weak link in this system is likely the Mac's DAC and pre-amp. I'd like to change the set-up so that I'm using the digital output from the Mac connected to a DAC with a pre-amp, and eliminate the Schitt potentiometer. (Or, if the DAC has a fixed output, keep the Schitt pot in-line before the amplifier input.)

This is an office system. I'm looking for a basic DAC that will be an improvement over the Mac's built in DAC and amp. I think something with a volume knob would be nice just to reduce the number of boxes on my desktop, but as I mentioned, I can always use the little Schitt pot in the system.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-17-2017, 01:44 PM
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There are tons of options, but you didn't mention a budget or if you needed a headphone output?

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post #3 of 12 Old 04-17-2017, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post
There are tons of options, but you didn't mention a budget or if you needed a headphone output?
Maybe $400, if that's necessary...?
No headphone jack needed. If one is included, that's ok.
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-17-2017, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Francis View Post
Maybe $400, if that's necessary...?
No headphone jack needed. If one is included, that's ok.
Well you could always buy more Schiit, like a bitfrost. I was looking into the same sort of thing, but I wanted headphone support and preamp support. I am probably going to go with the Emotiva Stealth DC-1. The little ego by emotiva is on closeout and the headphone output can be used to connect to stereo out etc. Audioengine D1 and Audi-GD NFB - 11 are other options that would fit your needs.

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-17-2017, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Francis View Post
I'm looking for a simple Digital to Analog Converter. I think. The current system is:

Source is a Mac Pro, files at CD quality, analog output from the 3.5 mm jack.
Schitt pre-amp (just a simple potentiometer).
NAD 2600A amplifier (2-channel, 150 WPC).
XTZ 95.24 bookshelf speakers.

It seems like the weak link in this system is likely the Mac's DAC and pre-amp. I'd like to change the set-up so that I'm using the digital output from the Mac connected to a DAC with a pre-amp, and eliminate the Schitt potentiometer. (Or, if the DAC has a fixed output, keep the Schitt pot in-line before the amplifier input.)

This is an office system. I'm looking for a basic DAC that will be an improvement over the Mac's built in DAC and amp. I think something with a volume knob would be nice just to reduce the number of boxes on my desktop, but as I mentioned, I can always use the little Schitt pot in the system.

Thank you!
Darth,

It sounds like your need is very similar to an AudioEngine D2. From the audio audioengineusa site "Audioengine D2 Premium 24-bit Wireless DAC allows you to stream wireless HD audio from your computer to any music system, independent of your Wi-Fi network. D2 includes USB and optical inputs, a high-performance DAC, plus the isolation benefits of wireless. Setup is fast and simple, with no software to install and without the frustration of trying to connect to your network."

I drive it with a Toslink from my Mackbook Pro. I am very satisfied with its performance
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-18-2017, 09:11 AM
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When you put your new external DAC into play, make sure that you run something like BitPerfect on your Mac to make sure that everything is bypassing Apple's internal audio processing.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-18-2017, 03:39 PM
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https://hifimediy.com

I bought their $89 (currently sold out) USB DAC with
Sabre ES9018K2M DAC chip.
Works amazing. Does magic. I didn't need mine with volume control, but they have various models. worth every dollar.


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post #8 of 12 Old 04-18-2017, 03:42 PM
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Forgot to add...I have mine connected from MacBook Pro via USB. Mac reads it without any drivers, just plug and play. Amazing difference is output sound.


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post #9 of 12 Old 04-19-2017, 03:32 AM
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Get the Odac, no need to spend $400
https://www.mayflowerelectronics.com...jVAaAndx8P8HAQ
Also the Schiit audio Modi 2 [don't let the name fool you]
http://schiit.com/products/modi-2
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-19-2017, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post
Also the Schiit audio Modi 2 [don't let the name fool you]
http://schiit.com/products/modi-2

If you go with the Modi 2 I would recommend the Multi Bit version

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post #11 of 12 Old 04-20-2017, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the suggestions so far! I'm going to search around stereo stores and see if I can find any of these to listen to this weekend.
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post #12 of 12 Old Today, 04:54 PM
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I can recommend the Schiit Modi which works flawlessly from my Mac and sounds great, and it will have the added advantage of matching your Schiit SYS.
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