Anyone heard of these DACs? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-11-2009, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm searching for a way to better the sound quality of my stereo. The bottleneck so far seems to be my source...a macbook pro using the analog headphone jack out into RCA's to the amp. From my understanding, the internal DAC isn't really that great.

Right now, things sound pretty good, but not spectacular. I'm hoping that an external DAC might help widen the soundstage, improve imaging, and lower the noise floor. Sadly, most of my songs are MP3 (compressed), however I do have a good number of lossless files and plan on going that route from now on.

I'm looking for a DAC under $700. So far, I've heard good things about these two:

Music Hall http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo...HDAC25.2%20SIL

PS Audio http://www.psaudio.com/ps/products/d...-dac?cat=audio

Anyone ever listened to music over one of these guys? I'm wondering if I'll really have a noticeable improvement in the sound. For that money, I'd like to think so.
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-11-2009, 07:42 AM
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I can tell you the major problem is the mp3 files. On my system I can easily tell the difference between low quality mp3 vs flac or other higher bit recordings. How do the better recorded files sound?

I am not a huge believer in separate DACs. 20 years ago there was some differences, but today it really isn't difficult to build a good DAC. If people can't tell the difference between a $12,000 front end and a $700 one, DACs to me, won't be audible. Buy better speakers as that will make the largest difference. Room Treatments are also very important to get the most out of your current system.

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post #3 of 6 Old 09-11-2009, 07:54 AM
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-11-2009, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbyrnes View Post

I can tell you the major problem is the mp3 files. On my system I can easily tell the difference between low quality mp3 vs flac or other higher bit recordings. How do the better recorded files sound?

I am not a huge believer in separate DACs. 20 years ago there was some differences, but today it really isn't difficult to build a good DAC. If people can't tell the difference between a $12,000 front end and a $700 one, DACs to me, won't be audible. Buy better speakers as that will make the largest difference. Room Treatments are also very important to get the most out of your current system.

There's a major difference when you're talking about a computer DAC and computer analog output. Unless you have a high end soundcard, a separate DAC will definitely make a noticeable difference.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-11-2009, 08:02 AM
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Why not buy a new sound card which is a ton cheaper and keep the signal digital to the AVR?

Xbox Live: TheRealMaxPower --- PSN: BeyondMaxPower---- Vizio P75-C1    Vienna Acoustic Mozart Grands    Pioneer SC-72   Sony BDP-S790 Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, Astro Mixamp 2013, Soundblaster X7 (Sparkos Op Amps), Schiit Modi Multibit/Magni, LTA MicroZOTL2 headphone amp, Hifiman HE-X V2, AKG K702 65th Anniversary, Fostex TH-X00 Ebony, Monoprice Monolith M1060 (Vegan pads), DT990 Pro 250 ohm, Massdrop/Sennheiser HD6XX and PC37X Audio Technica ATH-M50x Antlion ModMic
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-11-2009, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emig5m View Post

Here's a cheaper alternative... http://www.obadimports.com/catalog/i...55/6829249.htm

That's better

Xbox Live: TheRealMaxPower --- PSN: BeyondMaxPower---- Vizio P75-C1    Vienna Acoustic Mozart Grands    Pioneer SC-72   Sony BDP-S790 Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, Astro Mixamp 2013, Soundblaster X7 (Sparkos Op Amps), Schiit Modi Multibit/Magni, LTA MicroZOTL2 headphone amp, Hifiman HE-X V2, AKG K702 65th Anniversary, Fostex TH-X00 Ebony, Monoprice Monolith M1060 (Vegan pads), DT990 Pro 250 ohm, Massdrop/Sennheiser HD6XX and PC37X Audio Technica ATH-M50x Antlion ModMic
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