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Non-USB DAC for about $250

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I hate to make another one of these threads, but every DAC thread is about USB, and I rock with a CD player. So I need a DAC with either optical or coaxial input and stereo RCA output. Size doesn't matter, but I do need to stay right around the $250 mark. I have a pretty good nuetral amp and some DT880 pro's.

 

My list consists of these so far...

 

Audioengine D1

Zero DAC

 

I have no idea if either of these are good, especially the zero. I might also be able to stretch for a Matrix cube if they are really great. Thanks, you guys are always super helpful.L3000.gif

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stouty447 View Post
I hate to make another one of these threads, but every DAC thread is about USB, and I rock with a CD player. So I need a DAC with either optical or coaxial input and stereo RCA output. Size doesn't matter, but I do need to stay right around the $250 mark. I have a pretty good nuetral amp and some DT880 pro's.

My list consists of these so far...

 

Audioengine D1

Zero DAC

I have no idea if either of these are good, especially the zero. I might also be able to stretch for a Matrix cube if they are really great. Thanks, you guys are always super helpful.L3000.gif

I have not used these DACs myself, sold on eBay.

Muse DA 20

SMSL AD-793

SMSL AD-1955

post #3 of 11

I know you said HAS to stay at $250, but the non usb bifrost is $350.  You could possibly find a used one for your price range.  I do own an Audioengine D1 and do like it, but it' my first dac and have nothing to compare it to.  It does have USB though and a headphone amp built in for under your price range so you get stuff you wont be really using factored into the price.  Either way, nice dac though.. def noticed a positive difference.

post #4 of 11

I rate the Firestone Audio Spitfire DAC, use it myself (although with the external Supplier psu) solely with the optical input. Can be had for £200 in the UK so I suspect it'll be a similar dollar price point.

 

Few threads knocking about, one here... http://www.head-fi.org/t/528288/firestone-spitfire-mkii-16-48-usb-coax-toslink-24-96-s-pdif-dac-unboxing-first-impressions

post #5 of 11
Audiotrak DR DAC 2 DX is only $300 on eBay, brand new. Really great sounding little unit with tons of features.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm really hesitant on those Ebay DAC's, especially since you say you haven't tried them. The Bifrost I have looked at before, and looks good for the money. Right now though the Firestone Audio DAC looks like my best option, do you know where I could purchase one in USD? Do you have the "supplier" to go with it, or a different power source?

 

Right now I'm looking at..

1.) Firestone Audio

2.) Audiotrak DR DAC 2 DX

2.) Bifrost

3.) Audioengine D1

4.) SMSL AD-1955

 

Also, does anyone know anything about the Matrix Cube? It looks good, but since no one has suggested it I am not sure if I should include it in my hunt.

 

Thanks, as always.
 

EDIT: Project 86, you posted that while I was typing, I looked at that, and it looks to be pretty good also, I'll slip that into my list.


Edited by Stouty447 - 6/13/12 at 7:24am
post #7 of 11

The Spitfire has it's own little power supply, you don't need to buy the Supplier (that's just an upgrade).

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

I realize that, but as a future upgrade, do you know how big of a difference i makes?
 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

Anyone else have any input on this matter?

post #10 of 11

Why do you want a DAC to use only with a CD player? Doesn't the CD player contain a DAC already?

 

Since the most critical component in the D>A conversion process is the clock (no one doubts bit perfect data deliver or the accuracy of modern chip designs) and you are already using the clock in the CD to produce S/PDIF it seems unneccesary extra stage? What am I missing here?

 

Meanwhile, back on topic, I like the look of these at the moment.

 

http://www.focusrite.com/products/audio_interfaces/scarlett_8i6/specifications/

 

It does have USB as well as S/PDIF input. Best of both worlds. Output is on 1/4"  jack rather than phono but it's easy find appropriate cables.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

The current DAC in my CD player is not of very high quality, and I am looking for increased quality. I am most likely going to go with the SMSL DAC 1955 on Ebay, unless some one has a major objection.
 

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