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post #76 of 771
Yes, that is correct, only one chip is used. I have tried many DACs and found that the PCM2705 did a better job all by itself of running headphones then the NON-BUFFERED chips like the PCM2702.

This is not to say that a non-buffered chip with a buffer chip like say a TPA6120a2 can't out-perform a PCM2705, but as far as I can tell, no other combinations I've tried will work better then the PCM2705 all by itself.

I will eventually incorporate the PCM2705 and TPA6120 together, but at the moment I'm torn.

Sometimes I listen to the combination together and sometimes I prefer the sound of the 2705 all by itself. So I leave the two stages (DAC-BUFFER) separate for now.

In honglongs case, he actually has one of my first units which used a PCM2704 or PCM2707 ( I can't remember...). Very nice sweet sounding chip/s, very accurate, but not quite as much PUNCH as the 2705s. So now I exclusively use the PCM2705s in all my DACs.

But you have to remember too, that just because I use the same chip in all of my DAC models does NOT mean they all sound the same. The components surrounding the 2705 make a huge difference too. Probably as much as the chip itself does.

That's why I have a few models.

They all sound very similar, and only a trained ear could hear the differences. But there are differences and thus the price differences between the models.

I must also note here too that there are a few pairs of headphones that are VERY HARD to drive.

If you have headphones like that, then you probably need a 12 Volt buffer stage because these particular headphones seem to require lots of drive to drive them.

The way you can tell if your headphones are difficult to drive is quite simple actually.

Plug your headphones into a normal MP3 player or computer sound card, and if you can get a satisfactory level of volume out of them, then they will be fine with all of my DACs.

If you add one of my buffers (HEADPHONE AMPS - ie. TPA6120a2 models) then you will get about double to three times the volume, which in many cases is WAY TOO LOUD. In fact sometimes the drivers in my headphones move so much that I can actually feel my headphones lifting away from my ears. That can't be good for my hearing....

post #77 of 771

hotaudio's preamp with 2 RCAs and a headphone out

so, anyone's been using it? it is currently only 85$ compared to regular 130$. i'd like to get a good sounding and cheap USB DAC to connect my desktop computer to my amp, so originally was interested in the one with only 2 RCAs. but since there's this one - which i could also use as a soundcard for my laptop occasionally with it's headphone out - are these too items comparable? or would anyone suggest something else?

post #78 of 771
Yes, they are very comparable, in fact other then the USB cable being soldered in, they are the same components used inside.

post #79 of 771
Right, so my hotusb1 arrived, and I feel compelled to dispel (ehehe) my own apprehensions.

It costs exactly the same as my creative sb live external, which in spite of everyone hating on creative, sounds very good. Really it does, quite the upgrade from onboard sound. So spending the same amount could possibly have meant a sidegrade, and that was not what I wanted.

So, definitely, the hotusb1 is quite an upgrade from my sb live, even with just an hour or so on it. The upgrade in detail is very evident, some passages sound completely different, in one song I found out that what I thought was one single sustained note is in fact many! Thievery Corporation's La Monde now has the deep, heavy bass line that it does when played on speakers. Impact is also much more evident, fast transitions from soft to loud actually sound like they should.

I'm not sure if this kind of quality is available anywhere else given the price, and if this is the kind of sound that comes from simple, lean designs, then I have new-found faith in DIY design. It is astounding that a readily available chip like the PCM2705 can do such an amazing job.

Honglong told me "you'll love it". Just the right words I think.

(oh, and I'm using HD555's)
post #80 of 771
Anyone have experience with the DAC Destroyer? I'm really interested in it...

DAC DESTROYER [DAC DESTROYER WITH PREAMP OUTS] - $120.00 : HotAudio.Com, Hand Crafted Audio Perfection.

I'd like to know more about it, so if anyone could fill me in, I would appreciate it!

EDIT: Also how does it differ from the "USB DAC Preamplifier with Gold RCAs and 3.5mm Headphone Output"?


Newest EDIT: Nevermind. Dave answered my questions.
post #81 of 771
i have a HOTUSB1 and have had it for a couple months, great on my alessandro's but was wondering if i could plug my speakers into it? they're 2.1s, jbl creature IIs, just wanna make sure so like they don't blow up or nothing lol, onboard sucks.
post #82 of 771
Yes you can, you can plug the HOTUSB1 into any powered speakers, and the creature IIs are powered speakers.

Just use a 3.5mm stereo male to 3.5mm stereo male audio cable and plug one end into the HOTUSB1 and the other end of the cable into the green connector of the sub-woofer of the creature IIs.

I got that from the creature II online manual

It won't blow up the HOTUSB1 as the creature IIs are powered speakers.

But NEVER plug the HOTUSB1 into speakers directly.
This would void any warranty!!!!

Owners manual for Creature II:

post #83 of 771
Thread Starter 
Wow, just wow

i am the guy who created this thread a year ago, and waited for his product's impressions for days before i finally gave up after bumping this thread a few times. I kinda have a feeling about this hotaudio40 fellow having lots of passion on building amps from reading his ebay pages of really simple home-made amps, WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THIS THREAD JUMPED TO 9 PAGES and the dude also now sells USB DACs(i was just checking my history and thought it was wierd a thread i created can last to 9 pages and growing)???

man, congratulations, you have gone far
post #84 of 771
It's really good stuff! If you were to build a simple dac like the Bantam dac, just buying a multimeter, soldering iron, components, etc would be way more than the hotusb1.

That Millett starving student looks like a good project for a first time DIY though, I saw a particularly well done example in the build thread with fan-shaped heatsinks!
post #85 of 771
mine just came in today! I can't wait to try it out
post #86 of 771
hmm I'm really new to this.. but it seems it won't work when I try to play songs through itunes, but with windows media player it plays properly...
post #87 of 771
Originally Posted by Gberg View Post
hmm I'm really new to this.. but it seems it won't work when I try to play songs through itunes, but with windows media player it plays properly...
Hmm... I don't have iTunes installed anymore, but I think there's a setting to choose "External Sound Card". Maybe look under "Preferences".
post #88 of 771
Yes, there is a setting in itunes, somewhere in itunes, I can't remember where. You have to select "usb sound card" or something like that.
I use winamp personally. I just think it sounds better....

post #89 of 771

Thanks for great product + fast shipping.

Hi Dave,

Just wanted to give you a belated thank you for the excellent buying experience I had getting one of your HOTUSB1 DACs.

From Canada to Florida the shipping only took 3 days flat.

For the last day and a half I've been enjoying hearing the sound quality bloom and open up on this little black box. At this point it easily surpasses the quality of my former iPod + portable headphone amp.

I think it was money well spent. Cheers!
post #90 of 771
fixed the itunes thingy! I think it just needed a proper reboot.
silly me!

P.S. Thanks for the excellent and fast shipment!!
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