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Advice on first DAC

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I always enjoyed the benefits of using portable Amplifiers versus the puny stuff in most mp3 players, I as well listen to some music at home, but I never once listen to a line out signal, my amp has always been connected to a Headphone out :(

 

I considered a uDac not too long ago, but I suspect that it's status as a hybrid might've divert it's quality as a Dac during development. I'm looking for a entry Dac only unit for around $100, I already own a Mini3 as an amplifier, My sound card is a Xfi XtremeMusic which has a Mic input that can be switch to digital out,  I assume I'll need and adapter or adapter cable to transport a digital signalfrom there

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

bump, would love some suggestions :)

post #3 of 7

I use the uDac as a standalone dac connected to other amps all the time.  I seldom use the headphone out.  It is also a usb to spdif converter.  It only has usb input, so if you need coax or optical, then it's a no go. 

 

 

As a standalone dac connected to another amp.

 

udac2.jpg

 

 

As a usb to spdif converter connected to another dac.

 

udac1.jpg

post #4 of 7

I'm going to be testing the Icon uDAC 2 and posting pro-grade results on my blog--hopefully in the next week or two. There are not many DACs around in the $100 range that get decent reviews besides the uDACs and the FiiO E7 which is a somewhat different animal. Even the sketchy no-name Asian ones on eBay often sell for more. And the Behringer UCA202/222 have horrible headphone outputs with a 50 ohm impedance as do most other cheap USB sound interfaces.

It's worth noting the $99 uDAC2-HP supposedly uses the original uDAC volume pot that's known to have left/right tracking problems at low volumes. But the $129 uDAC2 with the line and digital outputs uses a new, higher quality, pot. Even if you don't need the extra outputs, with efficient phones, the better pot may be worth the $30. You can check out my blog article on headphone amps & dacs for more info on the volume tracking and other issues.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 


uDac's pot is for it's amp right? if that's the case i won't need it since im gonna use my mini3 for amplification

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwavguy View Post

I'm going to be testing the Icon uDAC 2 and posting pro-grade results on my blog--hopefully in the next week or two. There are not many DACs around in the $100 range that get decent reviews besides the uDACs and the FiiO E7 which is a somewhat different animal. Even the sketchy no-name Asian ones on eBay often sell for more. And the Behringer UCA202/222 have horrible headphone outputs with a 50 ohm impedance as do most other cheap USB sound interfaces.

It's worth noting the $99 uDAC2-HP supposedly uses the original uDAC volume pot that's known to have left/right tracking problems at low volumes. But the $129 uDAC2 with the line and digital outputs uses a new, higher quality, pot. Even if you don't need the extra outputs, with efficient phones, the better pot may be worth the $30. You can check out my blog article on headphone amps & dacs for more info on the volume tracking and other issues.

post #6 of 7

What did you decide on Fort...?   Some suggestions were given to you...What was the end result...?


Edited by HeatFan12 - 3/22/11 at 3:31pm
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 


Sorry for the slow reply, I'm looking to get the Tianyuin Zero Dac/Amp since my mini3 seemed to have burned out, a good choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post

What did you decide on Fort...?   Some suggestions were given to you...What was the end result...?



 

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