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post #1 of 17 Old 09-05-2019, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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dac selection help

I use a PC and all flac music files(stored on my network server) played via foobar. Set up for bitperfect playback
it currently outputs via optical from my chaintech soundcard to a lite audio dac 68 - > parasound p3 pre -> parasound hca 3500 amp -> polk sda srs 1.2 TL speakers.

I am considering replacing my dac. And i have been for a while but never got around to it. so much so that i have not been able to stay up to date with the technology

I wanted to go with USB (asynchronous?) out so that I can bypass the internal clock as I heard that would make a big difference with jitter.

What are my options in the different price points of available dac's. What can I expect if i am willing to pay around 500 or maybe even go to 1000. Or am I not really going to see a big improvement? or is there a diamond in the rough at a lower price point. I would prefer BALANCED out from the dac (personal preference)

Should I just keep my current dac and swap out the tube's in there and look for another way to get the audio to it and bypass the computer?
What are the kids doing these days :-).

i have been out of keeping up with the reading for a bit so I am looking for opinions.

What should I consider spending on and how much to see a nice improvement.
I really love my power amp and my speakers so that stays constant. But everything else is up in the air.

I did read some stuff about I2S with a rasberry pi and even some stuff about HDMI. Is there a superior delivery method that I can look at the find a new spark in my life?

PS. forgive me if this is already being discussed. At this point I would be open to suggestions on things to search and read about but I have fallen so far behind on keeping up with this tech that I dont know which wasy is the right way anymore
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-05-2019, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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So I realized that Parasound has a 2.1 preamp with a a dac built in.
I have been a pure 2 channel guy especially with the sda's but I am considering adding a sub and this seems to be a good fit.

the dac is built in and has usb as well.

Is there other options of balanced pre-amps that are 2.1 with built in dacs?

Are there good options for network streamers that have built in dac's? Would that be a good option to just bypass the computer?
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-06-2019, 12:37 PM
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So I realized that Parasound has a 2.1 preamp with a a dac built in.
I have been a pure 2 channel guy especially with the sda's but I am considering adding a sub and this seems to be a good fit.

the dac is built in and has usb as well.

Is there other options of balanced pre-amps that are 2.1 with built in dacs?

Are there good options for network streamers that have built in dac's? Would that be a good option to just bypass the computer?

Look at the Denafrips R2R DACs .. they're very clean, at a great price, and sound phenomenal. A true bargain in the DAC world. The models above the Ares have I2S inputs so you can go that route. This is a DAC though, so you'll need a computer - but paying for a dedicated network streamer isn't always that great - you're locked into a specific product vs. a wide choice available on a PC. Much better to get a laptop you can dedicate to the job.
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-06-2019, 04:22 PM
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I would recommend you look a Schiit dac's. I have a Bifrost Mutibit that I'm very happy with. I have it feed by my computer with USB and optical and honestly I dont hear any difference between them.

The lazy man finds the easiest way ... Ben Franklin

Rouge Audio Cronus Magnum II integrated amp, Goldenear Technology's Triton 2+ speakers, Schiit Bifrost Multibit Dac, Technics SL-1200MK2 turntable with Audio Technica 440ml cartridge, Teac X-1000R reel to reel, custom computer as main music source
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post #5 of 17 Old 09-07-2019, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I would recommend you look a Schiit dac's. I have a Bifrost Mutibit that I'm very happy with. I have it feed by my computer with USB and optical and honestly I dont hear any difference between them.
Interesting. I always thought that I was experiencing listerner fatigue after a while and it was because of jitter. But maybe I have other issues going on in my room or it could just be time for a new dac
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-12-2019, 03:20 PM
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I'm looking to do the same thing as well. Replace my DAC but am only willing to go to $200. My toss up is between an Audioengine D1 or a Schiit Modi 3. But I've heard complaints about the Schiit one when regarding USB which is what I'm going to strictly be using this for. Any suggestions?
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-13-2019, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
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Interesting. I always thought that I was experiencing listerner fatigue after a while and it was because of jitter. But maybe I have other issues going on in my room or it could just be time for a new dac
In the $4-500 Range the Topping D-70 DAC and the $1000 range the RME ADI-2 DAC. Built in Germany by a highly respected pro audio company. You can check out both reviews at Audio Science Review.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-13-2019, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Is a windows pc still a good choice to be at the start of the chain? I see a lot of network audio streamers out there. I like the flexability of my windows pc and have considered different OS's

i want bit perfect since i invest heavily in my lossless music collection.

Are these network streams ahead somehow?

Right now I am leaning towards the P6 from parasound for the built in dac plus an upgrade to my preamp.
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-13-2019, 10:16 AM
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Is a windows pc still a good choice to be at the start of the chain? I see a lot of network audio streamers out there. I like the flexability of my windows pc and have considered different OS's

i want bit perfect since i invest heavily in my lossless music collection.

Are these network streams ahead somehow?

Right now I am leaning towards the P6 from parasound for the built in dac plus an upgrade to my preamp.
As long as you use USB for your connection then you're bypassing the soundcard in the computer. So there shouldn't be any colouring but you might find jitter or play issues. Especially if you tax your processor as the data runs through that from your HDD.

My computer is rather weak and anemic and I've never had play issues or jitter so even that shouldn't be an issue for you.
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-16-2019, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nathan Loiselle View Post
As long as you use USB for your connection then you're bypassing the soundcard in the computer. So there shouldn't be any colouring but you might find jitter or play issues. Especially if you tax your processor as the data runs through that from your HDD.

My computer is rather weak and anemic and I've never had play issues or jitter so even that shouldn't be an issue for you.
my flacs are all saved on a server. my computer is old like 2010 old i added a ssd to speed things up. but i think it should be alright
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-16-2019, 10:51 PM
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The general consensus, and personal experience, say that a dedicated streamer offers superior SQ over a PC.
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-17-2019, 05:40 AM
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I've never heard a night and day difference in DACS.

Between the one in my Sonos, my Bluesound Node, and my Parasound Hint. Any differences are very subtle or not at all. Maybe I haven't spent enough money but I would hate to spend it for very little difference. My chosen combination is Bluesound for streaming using the Parasound DAC.

Sony ES600VW Projector, 110" motorized screen, Yamaha 2060 AVR, Parasound Halo Hint, KEF LS50s, Focal 926 Arias, PS Audio Power Plant, Velodyne 12" Sub-Woofers (2), PSB In Wall Surrounds (4), Music Hall 7 Turntable, Grado Gold, Apple TV, Sonos (6 Zones), , 55" Samsung Q6F, Klipsch Forte IIIs, 75"Sony 940E , Crown Li1500 power amp...330WPC @ 8 ohms
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post #13 of 17 Old 09-17-2019, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
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how much should you spend on a dedicated streamer?
is it as simple as building a rasberry pi using volumio?
If you have a seperate DAC and you are either using usb out from your streamer will you see differences depending on the brand of streamer you go too?
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post #14 of 17 Old 09-17-2019, 10:49 PM
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So far for streamers I tried a simaudio mind2 and a ultrarendu both sounded nice with my nuprime evolution dac but I did prefer the ultrarendu.

One day I was bored and I threw a large ssd into a cheap CHUWI GBOX Mini PC. Then placed all my hi res music on the ssd, I then connected it to my dac via usb and use it as a roon endpoint, and it sounds every bit as nice as the ultrarendu and is more than powerful enough to do this including streaming tidal mqa files through roon.

Also I was quite impressed with a cheap smsl su8 v2 my buddy brought over.
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post #15 of 17 Old 09-20-2019, 09:42 PM
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get an smsl su8 for 2oo bucks and save your money for Tidal
i am using this with airpulse Model 1-a200 - ribbon tweeters
plenty of air, EDM sounds fantastic
balanced xlr outputs
i do use a wyred4sound re-clocker

Last edited by wassup; 09-20-2019 at 09:46 PM.
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post #16 of 17 Old 09-27-2019, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone have any experience with Tube preamps or line stages?
Anything good that doesnt cost and arm an a leg?
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post #17 of 17 Old 09-30-2019, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vzphoneman View Post
I would recommend you look a Schiit dac's. I have a Bifrost Mutibit that I'm very happy with. I have it feed by my computer with USB and optical and honestly I dont hear any difference between them.
I did add a Schiit WYRD "The Orignal USB Decrapifier" to my setup a while back. Can't honestly say I heard a huge difference but for $99 I figured why not. I do use the USB input on my Bifrost.

The lazy man finds the easiest way ... Ben Franklin

Rouge Audio Cronus Magnum II integrated amp, Goldenear Technology's Triton 2+ speakers, Schiit Bifrost Multibit Dac, Technics SL-1200MK2 turntable with Audio Technica 440ml cartridge, Teac X-1000R reel to reel, custom computer as main music source
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