Noob DAC recommendation please.... - AVS Forum
Receivers, Amps, and Processors > Noob DAC recommendation please....
johnangelo's Avatar johnangelo 10:02 AM 12-11-2012
Looking to upgrade my existing set up.....Ps3 as cd/media player to Denon avr 1712 to Klipsch quintet iii...

Dac's I'm looking at are the Maverick d2 (fully upgraded ) or the ZHAOLU D3.5 DAC..

Just looking to upgrade my overall music quality..thanks for any input......or maybe another recommendation...

NorCalJason's Avatar NorCalJason 10:23 AM 12-11-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnangelo View Post

Looking to upgrade my existing set up.....Ps3 as cd/media player to Denon avr 1712 to Klipsch quintet iii...
Dac's I'm looking at are the Maverick d2 (fully upgraded ) or the ZHAOLU D3.5 DAC..
Just looking to upgrade my overall music quality..thanks for any input......or maybe another recommendation...

What makes you think the DAC in your Denon is insufficient?
johnangelo's Avatar johnangelo 10:33 AM 12-11-2012
Thanks for asking....I have have heard generally across the board that Dac's in the denon and in the PS3 take a back seat to stand alone DACs.....Thinking that a dedicated DAC might not make a difference?
NorCalJason's Avatar NorCalJason 10:48 AM 12-11-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnangelo View Post

Thanks for asking....I have have heard generally across the board that Dac's in the denon and in the PS3 take a back seat to stand alone DACs.....Thinking that a dedicated DAC might not make a difference?

I'm sure you're aware, a DAC simply converts audio signals from the digital domain (Optical/Coax Digital/HDMI) to analog (RCAs/Speaker Level Outputs).

If you're connecting your PS3 to your Denon with a digital connection, you're not using the DAC in your PS3 at all.

To make a fair comparison you should figure out what DAC the Denon uses... and compare that DAC to the one in the equipment you're considering.
johnangelo's Avatar johnangelo 11:17 AM 12-11-2012
How I hate when sensibility stands in the way of my purchase!! LOL. Thanks for your credible input...going to do a little more research on the Denon DAC......
johnangelo's Avatar johnangelo 11:54 AM 12-11-2012
OK...upon doing a little research the Denon uses the AK5358B while the outboard DAC I am looking at has the ad1955........is that a considerable upgrade? In addition I use the hdmi output as well as the analog output from the ps3...in using the Denon zone 2 feature it only accepts analog signal....and further thoughts that I can run with? Thanks again...
NorCalJason's Avatar NorCalJason 12:23 PM 12-11-2012
Using google, looks like:

AK5358B = 24bit up to 96khz DAC, with 102db dynamic range.

AD1955 = 24bit up to 192khz DAC, with 120db of dynamic range.

So the AD1955 is capable of higher sampling rates, and more dynamic range. Do you listen to any content that's sampled above 96khz? Most music is done at 44.1khz...
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 12:54 PM 12-11-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnangelo View Post

Looking to upgrade my existing set up.....Ps3 as cd/media player to Denon avr 1712 to Klipsch quintet iii...

Dac's I'm looking at are the Maverick d2 (fully upgraded ) or the ZHAOLU D3.5 DAC..

Just looking to upgrade my overall music quality..thanks for any input......or maybe another recommendation...

Given the great DACs in the AVR you have, a DAC upgrade will be an example of spinning the wheels.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 01:06 PM 12-11-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnangelo View Post

OK...upon doing a little research the Denon uses the AK5358B while the outboard DAC I am looking at has the ad1955........is that a considerable upgrade? In addition I use the hdmi output as well as the analog output from the ps3...in using the Denon zone 2 feature it only accepts analog signal....and further thoughts that I can run with? Thanks again...

http://www.akm.com/prodfolder-adc.asp?p=AK5358B

ADC : AK5358B

SNR: 102dB
S/((N+D): 92dB
Resolution: 24-bits
Max fs: 96kHz

http://www.analog.com/en/audiovideo-products/audio-da-converters/ad1955/products/product.html

ADC AD1955

120 dB SNR/DNR (not muted) at 48KHz Sample Rate (A-Weighted Stereo)
-110 dB THD+N

The AD1955 is the better DAC and not by just a little, looking at the numbers.

However the sound quality of any system is set by the weakest link, not one of the stronger ones which even the AK5358 is.

BTW many AVRs lack a facility for bypassing the DACs in the AVR. Is this true of yours? What does the owner's manual say?
speavler's Avatar speavler 01:12 PM 12-11-2012
i'm pretty satisfied with my Calyx USB DAC. you might consider a DAC that has volume control and theater bypass to ease the implementation into your system. Wyred 4 Sound makes such a DAC.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 01:27 PM 12-11-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnangelo View Post

Looking to upgrade my existing set up.....Ps3 as cd/media player to Denon avr 1712 to Klipsch quintet iii...

Dac's I'm looking at are the Maverick d2 (fully upgraded ) or the ZHAOLU D3.5 DAC..

Just looking to upgrade my overall music quality..thanks for any input......or maybe another recommendation...

Another question. Are you using a subwoofer with that Klipsch quintet iii setup like Klipsch recommends?

If you don't have a sub, now there is a place where you can obtain strong sound quality benefits.

If you do have a sub, then you have to figure out how you are going to do bass management without an AVR.
johnangelo's Avatar johnangelo 02:39 PM 12-11-2012
Thank you for everyone's input. After looking at the differences between the Denon on board DAC and the dedicated DAC....the difference seems that it might be negligible ... particularly with my set up, although I enjoy tremendously, is quite entry level. At the end of the day I don't think the upgrade in sound quality will be equal to or greater than the financial expenditure.
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