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USB DAC recommendation

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Id like to have some USB DAC recommendation. As I have powerful amp with punchy headphone, I want a neutral DAC. Also, good jitter handling is a high priority for me. How's little dot DAC 1 or Pico? Is there a better one with more recent chips? My price point is $300 or lower.
post #2 of 57

The CEntrance DACPort LX (like normal DACPort but line instead of heaphone out) is worth looking at. It is $49 over budget, but is known to perform very well from an objective viewpoint (see Stereophile measurements: http://www.stereophile.com/content/centrance-dacport-usb-headphone-amplifier-measurements). Much safer bet than the Little Dot or Pico.


Edited by Willakan - 8/9/11 at 7:37am
post #3 of 57

well for around $300, the HRT music streamer II+? should be around that as well.

post #4 of 57

The Fubar II MKII seams to be a great little DAC for me so far. You can roll opamps in it to, but be aware that it's an NOS DAC.

post #5 of 57
Thread Starter 
I intend to use it with iPad. Hence any DAC that draws electricity from USB isn't an option.
post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by codeninja View Post

I intend to use it with iPad. Hence any DAC that draws electricity from USB isn't an option.


Then the HRT is out. I had the Music streamer II for a week and could not get it to play nice with my system even using powered  USB hub.

post #7 of 57

Ya the HRT is great but thats too bad it wont work for you. Also, one of the tubes in my amp just went bad and since there is no headphone jack on the dac itself I cant use it at all.  That should also be considered.  I just need to wait for new tubes but still, its annoying.

post #8 of 57

The NuForce Icon HD is probably what you're looking for since it uses an A/C adapter and the USB audio interface is of the traditional sort, so it should work with the iPad. It has an awesome headphone amp, but since you already have one, you can use the fantasticly detailed DAC through the line-out ports on the back (Red and White RCA's). Note: they're also controlled by the volume knob.

 

Despite what negative reputation some NuForce products have received (and deserved) this one is a real gem.

 

They're also releasing the Icon iDo in month or two that should be perfect for what you're looking to do because it was designed exactly for it.

post #9 of 57
Thread Starter 

Any more info regarding DACPort?  When I do search, I end up with sold threads, which implies many people have moved on with this...

post #10 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by codeninja View Post

Any more info regarding DACPort?  When I do search, I end up with sold threads, which implies many people have moved on with this...



I really enjoy my DACport. I also have the DACport LX and managed to get it on sale for $300.00 during its introductory sale. I use it with my Fiio E9 amp and they work wonderfully together. The DACport is very transparent and balanced in my opinion. There is a lot of detail throughout the 3 frequencies. Nothing appears overly emphasized. The E7 was a big bottleneck to the E9 amp. It really doesn't do it justice, and for the price of $130.00 the amp is also a steal. The DACport also offers 24/96 playback and its running a class A amp so it runs quite hot and draws a bit of power. I think (I can't guarantee this) but I think since the ipads last update in firmware it should work with the DACport. At least that is what I remember seeing on a thread when I was looking up information on the DACport before I purchased it. I'm pretty sure a USB hub will be essential though as the DACport draws a lot of power and I even had issues with this on my Alienware Area 51 machine. Once I got the USB hub no more issues.


Edited by lee730 - 9/12/11 at 4:29am
post #11 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post





I really enjoy my DACport. I also have the DACport LX and managed to get it on sale for $300.00 during its introductory sale. I use it with my Fiio E9 amp and they work wonderfully together. The DACport is very transparent and balanced in my opinion. There is a lot of detail throughout the 3 frequencies. Noting appears overly emphasized. The E7 was a big bottleneck to the E9 amp. It really doesn't do it justice, and for the price of $130.00 the amp is also a steal. The DACport also offers 24/96 playback and its running a class A amp so it runs quite hot and draws a bit of power. I think (I can't guarantee this) but I think since the ipads last update in firmware it should work with the DACport. At least that is what I remember seeing on a thread when I was looking up information on the DACport before I purchased it. I'm pretty sure a USB hub will be essential though as the DACport draws a lot of power and I even had issues with this on my Alienware Area 51 machine. Once I got the USB hub no more issues.

With E7, while I hear many detail in high frequency, bass got scaled back a lot. I use d7000 and Burson, so it was rather surprising to me. So, bass is good? How about sound stage?
post #12 of 57

Sound staging is also very nice. The E7 won't compare to the E9 in that department. In all honesty the E7's amp even bottlenecks its own DAC, not that the DAC is very special to begin with. My UHA 4 does everything much better than the E7. Although the bass boost is a nice feature on the E7 I really don't see the need to get more bass with my IE8s.

post #13 of 57

CHeck out the Cambridge audio DAC magic

post #14 of 57
Thread Starter 
I was checking out DACMagic until I heard about the jitter performance.

BTW I don't need the most revealing DAC but musical and balanced thru all frequency range.
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by codeninja View Post

Id like to have some USB DAC recommendation. As I have powerful amp with punchy headphone, I want a neutral DAC. Also, good jitter handling is a high priority for me. How's little dot DAC 1 or Pico? Is there a better one with more recent chips? My price point is $300 or lower.


There is **zero** concrete evidence that deterministic jitter below 10ns PP is in any way audible, Jitter in most competent digital kit is way better than that. random jitter just raises the noise floor and here is much less damaging so more jitter goes undetected certainly several 10s of ns in this case

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