I've been doing a lot of reading and I'm struggling to find the right solution. My setup at the moment consists of an Edirol UA25 which uses balanced outs to an SM Pro M-Patch 2 to some KRK Rokit 8's. I'm looking at hopefully bypassing the Edirol and M-Patch and having a more all-in-one, better sounding setup. I'm not overly fond of the M-Patch's passive volume knob which has poor L/R tracking however I do like the fact that it has an aux RCA input which I use from time to time.
My main priorities in a DAC are sound quality and a good volume control (knob). I would prefer balanced outputs since I am running studio monitors however I'm not sure if it would make a difference if I just ran unbalanced RCA's instead. Having an aux line input would be great but I guess if I have to its not a necessity.
I've looked at the DAC Magic, however I would need some kind of volume control, would it be worth getting a separate volume control?. The Audio-GD FUN looks perfect and even has aux inputs BUT does not have a balanced output. The Mini-i is another contender but I'm still open to other suggestions. My price range is around that of the DAC's mentioned (~300-600AUD).
Sorry for all the questions and thanks for reading, any advice would be sensational!