Should I get this DAC, an external sound card or something else? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-21-2019, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Should I get this DAC, an external sound card or something else?

Hello everyone, I have a question on which DAC should I get for my system, and if I should buy a DAC at all.

BUDGET: At most 200€.

WHAT I WANT IT FOR: My speakers will be playing over my laptop in my living room. I will be using them only for music playback.

MY EQUIPMENT:
Speakers: A pair of active JBL LSR305 (has a balanced XLR input)
Subwoofer: Active SVS sb13-ultra (has both balanced XLR inputs/outputs and unbalanced RCA inputs/outputs)

REQUIREMENTS: From some stuff i've read online I am not sure that a DAC is exactly what I need.

What I want to do is mostly to upgrade the sound coming from my laptop. But are there DACs (especially in that price range) that are made for 2.1 systems? I am wondering how am I going to properly EQ and Crossover* the whole system, and also what is the best way to connect everything together.

*So far my speakers were connected to Asus Xonar D1 (internal sound card to my desktop computer) which had a Subwoofer Output, and also a graphic equalizer and built-in crossover so it was easy to control which frequencies go to the speakers and which go to the sub (the speakers and the sub were connected to different outputs of the sound card).

WHAT I THINK OF BUYING SO FAR: Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100 (sold for 160€ in my country). I've read good reviews on it, it has a USB input to connect it with my laptop and unbalanced RCA outputs.



So, is getting this DAC a good idea or should I go for an external sound card? To solve the EQ problem I've found the program "Equaliser APO" which many have been using, and as for the crossover my subwoofer has some settings for High and Low pass filters so that's what I should use, right?

Bonus question: How should I do the connection if purchase the DAC?


Is this the proper way?

And one last thought... Something that would be nice not to lose is the convenience that I have now to hear the full spectrum of music only via the Speakers when I turn off the Subwoofer with just one click in my sound card's software (by disabling the crossover). Is there a way to control that with the setup that I have in mind? If not, I wouldn't mind losing that if I am going to have a better quality audio overall.

Last edited by astrapogiannos; 09-23-2019 at 04:21 AM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-21-2019, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Ugh, my message doesn't appear the way I indented to (and I can't find an edit option - some help here?)

The picture I wanted to embed is this one https://i.imgur.com/3i5zRQL.jpg
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-23-2019, 04:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay I managed to edit my original post (I posted it from my smartphone and it didn't have an edit option on the mobile edition).


So, anyone can help?
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-23-2019, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrapogiannos View Post
Okay I managed to edit my original post (I posted it from my smartphone and it didn't have an edit option on the mobile edition).


So, anyone can help?
That drawing and configuration looks fine, although having the EQ on the PC won't do much for your bass management. Instead, use the level/crossover settings on the sub itself.

As for the one-touch full-range speakers, you won't be able to do that unless the svs has some kind of bypass setting (which I don't think it does).
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