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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the best receiver out there to buy if I just want one with a great DAC and only use 2channels through optical? Any speaker recommendations? Not including shipping and speaker wire, I'd like to keep the combined speaker cost no more than 150, but preferrably around $100-125. I'd like to keep the receiver at no more than $225 not including shipping.


I'm such a noob about audio equipment, so I apologize if I'm asking the wrong question.
 

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You could just go with an external pro DAC. Do you intend to plug multiple sources into it (CD, DVD, Vinyl, TV, etc.)? Also, it's recommended to spend more on speakers than electronics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks=] What I plan to do is to only hook my pc up thru s/pdif optical. so what dacs are best for my price range, and where should i buy?


Let's just say my combined budget is no more $350, but preferrably about $300. Or even less if possible. I'm not an audiophile, I just want a setup better than my Behringer MS20's.
 

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It's only been a few hours since you posted, give it time. That being said with a budget of $225 questions about quality of the DAC are pretty much irrelevant. Not to mention the overwhelming consensus is that all competently built DACs sound the same.


I wouldn't worry about where the DAC is(receiver or I'm assuming CD player).


Have at look at this HK

http://www.harmankardon.com/product_...203390&sType=C
 

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All DACs are "great" these days. So my advice would be to find the absolute cheapest AV receiver you can find. J&R's been advertising a Sherwood for $99.


That leaves the rest of your budget for speakers.
 

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You definitely want to go with an external DAC. I have the Musiland MD10 (nice but highs a touch harsh), but have moved on to the Musical Fidelity V-DAC which is just amazing for the $299 price. Connected thru USB (from my computer) or optical from CD player, the sound is smooth and detailed. If using a computer as your source, rip everything as lossless audio, it definitely makes a difference, trust me on this as I learned this the hard way having to re-rip everything.

Used with a Cambridge 640A integrated amp ($359 as a demo unit) into some older ESS tower speakers (used for $200)- loving this combo and value.

Buy this DAC!
 

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You're probably not going to find a 2-channel receiver in that price range with an optical input, so you are probably going to have to buy a multichannel receiver. But is there some reason you do not won't to or can't use an analog connection from your player? If you can use an analog connection, there are several stereo receiver in that price range.


But in the price range you are talking about for your speakers and receiver, buying an external DAC would be absolutely ridiculous.
 

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Only the used market can give you what you need in your price range. Many great receivers or integrated amps of the 90s have multiple digital inputs.
 

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Nothing new here: You ought to concentrate the majority of your budget in your speaker purchase. With a budget of $300, your best best is going to be an inexpensive AV receiver, like the Sherwood, if you need a digital input.


Why do you need a digital input? What is your digital source?
 

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Here's another take, if you find a DAC with a sound that you like, why don't you find out what chip model it's using and find a cheaper DAC with the same chip inside? With DAC's it's mostly depended on the chip inside anyway which is supplied by only a handful of manufacturers. Same deal as how the same ICEPower module is used inside different amps from low to higher end.
 

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Behringer DEQ2496. It's a DEQ, but there's a DAC, and instead of wasting money on a DAC, you get a DEQ (Digital EQ) which will give you tons of features and real improvements.


Or, you can get a Benchmark DAC1, which has no DEQ, but it costs 1000$, and it sounds absolutely wonderful. (meaning exactly the same as the 300$ Behringer DEQ2496)


Matrix HiFi blind test comparing these two units:
http://209.85.173.100/translate_c?hl...DGOkNf0MKbppIQ
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandarf /forum/post/15558797


Behringer DEQ2496. It's a DEQ, but there's a DAC, and instead of wasting money on a DAC, you get a DEQ (Digital EQ) which will give you tons of features and real improvements.

The Behringer is an awesome piece. Yea if you have the $ you should invest on one.
 

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I love these forums. They guy wants to spend $300-$350 for speakers and receiver and people are recommending $300-$1000 DACs. Sheesh the guy has a budget, don't forget he needs to spend $500 on interconnects and speaker wire yet.



Paleocons FTFW!: Go back and read ChicagoTC and mcnarus wrote, wise advice.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by David James /forum/post/15559480


I love these forums. They guy wants to spend $300-$350 for speakers and receiver and people are recommending $300-$1000 DACs. Sheesh the guy has a budget, don't forget he needs to spend $500 on interconnects and speaker wire yet.



Paleocons FTFW!: Go back and read ChicagoTC and mcnarus wrote, wise advice.

Doh! Didn't read too well then... The 1000$ Benchmark DAC 1 was sarcasm btw, why pay 1k just for a DAC when you can get a DEQ for 300$ which sounds exactly the same...


You could go for a Panasonic XR55 receiver then. You can find it around 200$ and it has an integrated DAC. You'll definitely want to spend more than 100$ on speakers though.


For speakers, if you can save for a couple of weeks, I'd recommend these little gems



The DAC is kinda important (just to have one that is) if you're using a noisy analog source like a laptop or to a lesser extent a computer. It can cut down the noise to 0%. But if you have a clean analog source, then the external dac is pretty much useless.
 

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+1 for the Panasonic. Built in tri-amp biwire capable Class D amp that's also a real HDMI receiver (the SA-XR57 that is). And oh so cheap...
 
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