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In Search of a DAC & Monitors for the enhancement factor :)

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi

Since my home theatre build is on hold.. waiting for my house to be built.. I am enthralled by building a great 2.0 stereo system for playback of MP3, Flac, and any other digital format i may have. I would love to have lossless music streaming

after reading this review of the teac I am most certain this is the one for me.

Quote:


It's a solidly built unit available in black or silver that can accept 24/192 digital inputs via coaxial, optical, and USB inputs, and it has balanced and single-ended analog outputs. The USB interface is capable of asynchronous data transfer via its Tenor 8802 input chip; the DAC chips are dual 32-bit/192kHz Burr-Brown 1795s. The HD-H01C also has a toroidal transformer, a removable IEC power cord, and LEDs to indicate the frequency of the incoming digital signal. The UD-H01 can even be used as a headphone amplifier. Now that's a lot of DAC for the money.

from soundstageglobal


reading the manual online i noticed all i need is a good set of powered monitors and im good to go:

[Computer] -> [TEAC's XLR out] -> Monitors
[digital audio device ] -> [TEAC's XLR out] -> Monitors


i've been reading about the following.. i have yet to hear anything

- KRK Rokit 5
- Yamaha HS50M
- M-Audio BX5 D2


thoughts and suggestions?

Phil
post #2 of 13
I haven't heard the Rockit 5s, but I did demo the Rockit 8s at Guitar Center. Really liked the sound of them better than similarly priced Mackies and Yamahas. If there is a Guitar Center in your areas, they should have plenty of powered monitors setup for demo.
post #3 of 13
Behringer 2030A should be in the same price range. If you go higher, look at Adam A5
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'll definitely look at those

Now that I've read more I think I should be looking at no less than 7 -8 inch woofers so I get better accurate representation of bass
post #5 of 13
If you have room for the larger enclosure size, it would make sense to me. In a 2.0 setup, I'd rather spend my budget on larger monitors and a less expensive DAC than the other way around. For example, AVS members have reported being quite happy with the Emotiva XDA-1.
post #6 of 13
I'll agree with the suggestion of the KRK, and larger monitors in general. I also have liked Mackie monitors whenever I've used them, but I couldn't tell you which models specifically (larger units (good 8" woofers), near that kilo-buck price range (if not over)). Have never been very impressed with the M-Audio monitors. Never seen the Yamahas outside of magazines; if their passive speakers are any indication though, they should be competent.

As far as something "ahead" of them, the Emotiva makes sense, there's also the PreSonus Central Station (it has lots of features, costs a bit more). Depending on where this has to be deployed, you might also look at an AVR/SSP either as a pre-amp for the active monitors, or coupled with passive speakers - would get you room EQ and more adjustments, including bass management (we like this), as well as all of the decoding features.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Behringer 2030A should be in the same price range. If you go higher, look at Adam A5

I definitely also recommend the Adam's. I spent a long time at guitar center listening to all of their monitors and really didn't like any of them until I heard the Adams. They are amazing sounding speakers. Their ribbon tweeter is what sets them apart and they produce very solid and tight bass for their size. They are pricey -- I went with the A3x due to size and budget limitations. They have a small 4.5" woofer, but the bass is quite strong. I run them with a sub, but bass is pretty strong (for their size) even without the sub.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phillukk View Post

I'll definitely look at those

Now that I've read more I think I should be looking at no less than 7 -8 inch woofers so I get better accurate representation of bass

I recommend checking them out at guitar center. If you get the right person to help you, they will spend a lot of time going back and forth. I wouldn't focus too much on woofer size but just listen to all of them and form an opinion. To my ears, the Adam A5x (5.5" woofer) and even the A3x (4.5" woofer) were much more solid on bass than some others with much larger woofers. Although the bass is great on the Adams, the really special thing is their tweeter which sounds like nothing else.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjp View Post

I definitely also recommend the Adam's. I spent a long time at guitar center listening to all of their monitors and really didn't like any of them until I heard the Adams.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post

the Emotiva makes sense

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I'd rather spend my budget on larger monitors and a less expensive DAC than the other way around.

Thanks for all the suggestions.. now i have some work to do.
What can i take away from this??

I must look at the Adam's and compare them with the KRK's and Yamaha's... I will take some serious time with this and go into my local guitar shop (long & mcquade).

Once i have decided on these monitors then i can take some time and look into which DAC i want to pair them with. if it be Emotiva, teac or Audiolab

on that thought... am i crazy or cool to pair a dac with monitors?
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillukk View Post

on that thought... am i crazy or cool to pair a dac with monitors?

Not at all. Computer motherboard analog audio out is usually pretty crappy. Although I would tend to think that instead of spending more than $200-$300 for a DAC, the money is better spent on speakers for best bang for your buck in audio quality in your spending range. Some people might even say that number is lower. I bought an Asus Xonar Essence STX for my PC (under $200), and it has amazing clarity. I can't imagine that I would get much additional benefit from a higher priced DAC with my setup: I have Energy RC-10s and an HK 3390 receiver.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
cel, that's exactly what i was thinking..

my computer audio lacks considerably and this upgrade should help tremendously.

I can't wait to actually hear my FLAC collection for the first time
post #11 of 13
I'm sure you'll be very happy with the sound of your flacs with this kind of setup

Have fun auditioning speakers. That's the best part. Once you get them and your DAC, come back and update this post and let everyone know how it turned out.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillukk View Post

on that thought... am i crazy or cool to pair a dac with monitors?

It depends upon what kind of computer and sound card you have, but you may be able to get good sound out of the computer itself. I first hooked up to the Adams using a 1/8" (mini-headphone) jack out of my iMac splitting to 2 RCA's into the Adams. This is a pretty poor connection approach but the sound was pretty good. Then I got an Apogee Duet 2 recording interface which is supposed to have a VERY good DAC, plus it gave me XLR inputs into the Adams instead of RCA's split from 1/8" jack. I was expecting a big improvement in sound with the DAC, but it really wasn't that huge to my ear. One problem I have with the Apogee is that I don't have any way of feeding the sub off of the XLR inputs (sub only has RCA), so when I run the Apogee it must be without the sub.

The combination of not being able to run the sub with the Apogee and the fact that I mostly need the Apogee downstairs in our home studio made me just continue using the 1/8" output from my desktop to drive the Adams. I didn't spend a lot of time comparing with and without Apogee, so I can't say with authority that it didn't make a difference, but I can say I'm quite happy with the sound of the imac sound card. I am normally a DAC snob, and use a high-end DAC in my dedicated 2-channel audio system, but I didn't hear a striking difference on the imac.

Definitely better speakers will be the better bang for the buck. Probably would be good to get the speakers connected to the computer sound card as a start, then try to borrow a DAC to see if it makes a huge difference.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillukk View Post

Hi

Since my home theatre build is on hold.. waiting for my house to be built.. I am enthralled by building a great 2.0 stereo system for playback of MP3, Flac, and any other digital format i may have. I would love to have lossless music streaming

after reading this review of the teac I am most certain this is the one for me.


from soundstageglobal


reading the manual online i noticed all i need is a good set of powered monitors and im good to go:

[Computer] -> [TEAC's XLR out] -> Monitors
[digital audio device ] -> [TEAC's XLR out] -> Monitors


i've been reading about the following.. i have yet to hear anything

- KRK Rokit 5
- Yamaha HS50M
- M-Audio BX5 D2

thoughts and suggestions?

Behringer 2030A will probably trounce the above, courtesy of lower range drivers that are very competent for their size with about twice the cone area.

Focus on speakers and room acoustics. That's where you can make the most gains in sound quality for the least cash. This is partially due to the relative ineffectiveness of common panaceas like fancy new DACs.
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