Originally Posted by Scrith
After acquiring a Benchmark DAC1 USB I was able to conduct some direct blind comparisons between it and my Empirical Audio Off-Ramp Turbo 2 w/ SuperClock 4. To both my ears and my wife's (whose ears are more sensitive than mine) the Benchmark DAC1 USB sounded SLIGHTLY better when being driven directly by a USB connection. I sold the expensive S/PDIF converter a few days later.
The Off-Ramp is 990$ right?...I mean expensive mustn't mean good, but this is really disillusioning. Well it's just (not meant disrespectful) two opinions and I already read the opposite, but even the possibility that it's just as good or even worse than a direct USB input makes me worry about a pc -> USBtoSPDIF -> DAC solution. Nonetheless I'll buy a USBtoSPDIF unit (a cheaper one though
) because my Yamaha receiver has an integrated 192 kHz/24-Bit DAC - that's why I try this first before I buy a separate DAC (no HP amp yet anyways).
I found some options like: ESI U24 XL, M-Audio Transit, HagUSB or more expensive: Trends Audio UD-10.1 and emu 0404 (I think 0202 has no digital out, right?)
Any opinions on these? (searched the forums and found some comments but would appreciate some more input - especially direct comparisons)
I hope the question is also in the OP's interest - actually don't wan't to hijack his thread