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Discrete PC for living room - Page 4

post #46 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

Thanks mate. Yeah I know standalone DAC's are more expensive but I guess they're more fun too. I'll look into that next.

 

A standalone DAC doesn't have to be hugely expensive unless you want it to go directly to the speakers. Otherwise, a pre-amp or receiver in between can likely solve the problem for you. All depends on your budget, though. If you give us a ballpark of what you'd like to spend I'm sure recommendations can be made.

post #47 of 53
Thread Starter 
Well the DAC I'm using was £40. Could I expect an improvement in sound quality if I spend up to £150? Also, I'm using the USB input to the DAC. How does USB compare to both optical and coaxial? In theory I think it should be the same, I mean, digital is digital, innit? Or not?

Richer Sounds have a deal on at the moment for a TEAC DAC for £150 whereas the normal price is £300!

Goggs.
post #48 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

Well the DAC I'm using was £40. Could I expect an improvement in sound quality if I spend up to £150? Also, I'm using the USB input to the DAC. How does USB compare to both optical and coaxial? In theory I think it should be the same, I mean, digital is digital, innit? Or not?
Richer Sounds have a deal on at the moment for a TEAC DAC for £150 whereas the normal price is £300!
Goggs.

 

Be sure to review the specs of the DAC. Many cheaper DACs are limited to 16/48 in USB but a better DAC will do 24/96. Likewise, when it comes to optical and coaxial they're almost always at least 24/96, from what I've seen.

 

There's also a bit of a difference in how they get to your DAC from your computer. They're both digital but they're also different interfaces. They work in slightly different ways.

 

As for whether or not a £40 DAC can compete with a £150 DAC, it depends on the DAC but my gut reaction is yeah, you'll get something more for your money. At that price range you should start expecting to get 24/96, for a start. You could probably get the Audioengine D1 for that price, though. I'm not familiar with TEAC so I can't comment on the sound.

post #49 of 53
Thread Starter 
The TEAC won't be happening as its a time limited offer and I'm leaving for a few days holiday tomorrow. Do all DAC's play good with Ubuntu? Or are there some brands (I'm looking at you Nuforce) that aren't supported and should be avoided?

Goggs.
post #50 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

The TEAC won't be happening as its a time limited offer and I'm leaving for a few days holiday tomorrow. Do all DAC's play good with Ubuntu? Or are there some brands (I'm looking at you Nuforce) that aren't supported and should be avoided?
Goggs.

 

Well, anything that does optical out should be fine. I'd imagine anything that worked on Windows and OS X would work on Ubuntu. Just avoid anything that says it needs a driver.

post #51 of 53
Thread Starter 
Is optical considered to be better than USB then? I would prefer to use USB all things being equal. I think the headphone socket on my laptop also doubles as an optical output but it's mounted on the front edge of the laptop. Its very vulnerable to knocks in this position.

Goggs.
post #52 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post

Is optical considered to be better than USB then? I would prefer to use USB all things being equal. I think the headphone socket on my laptop also doubles as an optical output but it's mounted on the front edge of the laptop. Its very vulnerable to knocks in this position.
Goggs.

 

I wouldn't say there's a conclusive answer to the USB vs Optical.

But USB works perfectly alright.

post #53 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

I wouldn't say there's a conclusive answer to the USB vs Optical.

But USB works perfectly alright.

 

There are pros and cons to both. However, as long as he can get a USB DAC that does 24/96 then he should be fine. The problem is that many of the USB DACs I've seen that are priced on the low end don't do more than 16/48.

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