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Do many people use a DAC? - Page 2

post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjf
I am no expert in high end, but I think they are VERY good
I think that also, i like them, right now i don't have any AMP and only a crappy audigy 2, my plan to the future is to get a DAC and AMP
post #17 of 65
A good DAC can make a huge difference in a system. Right now, do to the unfortunate demise of my Denon CDP, my headphone rig is using a crummy RCA DVD player as the source with digital output from it to my Proceed DAC. While not quite up to the level of the Denon the differences between the two are relatively small running through the Proceed (since all that is different between them at that point is the transport and digital output stage). Prior to getting the Proceed, when I was forced to listen to both the RCA and Denon with their analog outputs the differences were night and day (mainly due to the Denon's far superior internal DAC and analog output stage).

When I want to listen to speakers on that system I run a set of Labtech computer speakers from the headphone amp since I don't have a dedicated amp for that setup. My wife has commented on how much better the crummy RCA -> Proceed -> crummy Labtechs sound than my Rotel based HT system upstairs (which I'm in the process of upgrading but still has a better source and better speakers).

Ant
post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ref
ER-4S is a "high end and revealing" system?
No, it is a "high-end and revealing" headphone (or earbud if you want to be precise). Given the right source and amp, it can be part of a "high-end and revealing system." The ER-4S will not be the limiting factor in a system until you reach the megabuck rigs (I don't use mine with the SDS-XLR)
post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by allan-of-ca
Do many people use a DAC and do you really notice a difference?
Everyone uses one, but when there is dissatisfaction with the built-in DAC you are using (be it soundcard or separate player), it can be less expensive to add a DAC to your existing source than to buy a new source. In many cases, this will let you upgrade your sound without having to upgrade your entire source.
post #20 of 65
Just like any separate component set-up, you can yield great results. Just picture the size of the circuitry of a DAC in a portable CDP or DAP, compared to what can be done in a separate case that is DAC exclusive. Separate power supplies and larger components and perhaps filtering circuitry.
If you have a high-end player, like a Meridian, or a Krell or a Wadia, chances are, the DAC included inside is going to be of superior quality and a Micro DAC or a DAC1 is probably not going to be competitive.
But if you have a cheaper $300 Sony or Panasonic CDP, and use the digital out, to a DAC1 or a Bel Canto, the benefits should be huge.
The problem with the portables, is that there are very few with a bypass circuit that allows for a digital out. IRiver made one a couple of models ago, but their newer units and others like the Ipods, don't offer that option.

Use the receiver analogy. Except for a few exceptions, getting a separate amp, pre-amp, and tuner, is going to blow away, an all in one stereo receiver.
Things like isolated and unshared power supplies, lack of RFI floating from AC to DC components all are examples to helping audio Nirvana.

Using a separate transport and DAC instead of a 1 box CD player, allows you to have the transport concentrate on just spinning the disc and reading it, and the vibrations and transformer noise won't affect the electronics in the DAC, allowing the DAC do a better job to convert the digital to analog signals. Also, the size of the separate boxes allows for larger better componentry and paths, and not to have electronics on top of each other.

This is not to say that all DACS are good, just because they are a separate unit. You need to read the reviews, and follow impressions, and do your own listening sessions.
But separate components are the way to go, if you want better sound and upgrades.
post #21 of 65
amp forum?
post #22 of 65
I'm no expert, but doesn't this belong to the source forum?

Yes, an external DAC may improve the sound of your system, depending of the quality of the DAC integrated in your digital player. My now digital player itself sounds as good or better than when feeding one of the two external DACs I have at hand.
post #23 of 65
I bought the iAudio X5 which can work as a USB host. It doesn't currently work with soundcards but the potential is obviously there. I posted on their "forum" asking for this feature but am yet to get a response. Maybe others should jump on them too


Oh, hello BTW. Nice forum
post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ
I'm no expert, but doesn't this belong to the source forum?
I moved it to the source forum. Thanks JaZZ.
post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by ayt999
and I'm talking about DAC's in general since that's what you asked.
Haha, Alex FTW!


Yep, I use an external DAC. And I can definitely hear a difference.

But then again, I am using slightly above average headphones to listen.

-Ed
post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emon
Call my cynical, but I'm betting DACs aren't the magical devices people make them out to be. I wouldn't doubt if you couldn't tell the difference between a high end PC audio interface, CD player, etc., and a DAC1.
I can tell a huge difference between my EMU 1212M and Cyrus CD6. Source last! Otherwise you won't hear the difference and you'll be disappointed .
post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riku540
...but I don’t think you would need an external DAC if your portable player already does it. DAC’s should be bit-perfect so regardless of internal or external it should produce the same signal...
The notion of bit-perfect only applies in the digital domain. Every DAC handles the analog side of things a different way, so all of them will sound different (if the rest of the system is good enough to discern this). When it comes to analog, everything affects the sound: from circuit layout, to PCB signal trace weight and spacing, to ground planes, to power supplies, to RF shielding. And that's not even taking the issue of jitter into account...
post #28 of 65
To make it clearer, only digital stuff has bits in the first place. What goes into a DAC may be bitperfect, but what comes out cannot be, since it is an analog signal not digital.
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2Grey
To make it clearer, only digital stuff has bits in the first place. What goes into a DAC may be bitperfect, but what comes out cannot be, since it is an analog signal not digital.

Unless the DAC outputs in true DSD!
post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by immtbiker
Unless the DAC outputs in true DSD!
wouldn't that be a DDC then?
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