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New DAC for PC

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I recently got myself some Grado sr225i's and I'm in the market for a DAC for them (Currently running them from an ASUS Xonar DG). I am interested in the TC7510 that I found on eBay (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/370528529957?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649#ht_1405wt_1396). I've heard good things about them and it's very affordable.

 

I will also be buying a Little Dot 1+ (and upgrading the tubes and op-amp) to amp the Grados. Now, I know that the TC7510 -> Little Dot 1+ -> Grado sr225i will work fine, but I'm also going to be purchasing the Swan M50w 2.1 system that I intent to run from the same DAC, whichever one that will be. The reason I'm so interested in the TC7510 in the first place is because it's a sub 200 dollar DAC that has 2 outputs. However I've noticed that the two outputs aren't the same. One is Variable Amp and the other is Fixed Line. From what I understand the variable has it's volume controlled by the volume knob on the front of the DAC whilst the fixed line cannot be adjusted.  I just want a decent DAC with two outputs; one for my headphone amp and one for my 2.1 amp. I have no idea if those two different RCA outputs are intended for different uses.

 

Will it be an issue? Both the Swan Speakers and the Little Dot amplifier have their own volume controllers, I just want to know if the set up I want to do is going to work properly:

 

                                                       / RCA output 1 --> RCA cable --> Little Dot 1+ --> Grado sr225i

PC --> SPDIF cable -->  TC7510 DAC 
                                                       \ RCA output 2 --> RCA to 3.5mm cable --> Swan M50w 2.1

 

I'm quite new to this, so please excuse my ignorance smily_headphones1.gif If there is a better PC DAC to achieve this, by all means, educate me.

Thanks in advance!


Edited by HeretixAevum - 6/19/12 at 5:35pm
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeretixAevum View Post
I recently got myself some Grado sr225i's and I'm in the market for a DAC for them (Currently running them from an ASUS Xonar DG). I am interested in the TC7510 that I found on eBay (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/370528529957?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649#ht_1405wt_1396). I've heard good things about them and it's very affordable.

I will also be buying a Little Dot 1+ (and upgrading the tubes and op-amp) to amp the Grados. Now, I know that the TC7510 -> Little Dot 1+ -> Grado sr225i will work fine, but I'm also going to be purchasing the Swan M50w 2.1 system that I intent to run from the same DAC, whichever one that will be. The reason I'm so interested in the TC7510 in the first place is because it's a sub 200 dollar DAC that has 2 outputs. However I've noticed that the two outputs aren't the same. One is Variable Amp and the other is Fixed Line. From what I understand the variable has it's volume controlled by the volume knob on the front of the DAC whilst the fixed line cannot be adjusted.  I just want a decent DAC with two outputs; one for my headphone amp and one for my 2.1 amp. I have no idea if those two different RCA outputs are intended for different uses.

Will it be an issue? Both the Swan Speakers and the Little Dot amplifier have their own volume controllers, I just want to know if the set up I want to do is going to work properly:

 

                                                       / RCA output 1 --> RCA cable --> Little Dot 1+ --> Grado sr225i

PC --> SPDIF cable -->  TC7510 DAC 
                                                       \ RCA output 2 --> RCA to 3.5mm cable --> Swan M50w 2.1

 

I'm quite new to this, so please excuse my ignorance smily_headphones1.gif If there is a better PC DAC to achieve this, by all means, educate me.

Thanks in advance!

Plug the speakers into the Asus Xonar DG's line-out and the TC7510 to the DG optical input.

 

Or get a used Xonar DX (or D1) ($55) which has a better DAC then the DG,

Hook speakers to DX (or D1) line-out and TC7510 to DX's (or D1) optical output.

 

And with either case, have the Little Dot connected to the TC7510.

 

Check ebay for these DACs, just for comparsion.

Muse DA20

SMSL SD-793

SMSL SD-1955

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Plug the speakers into the Asus Xonar DG's line-out and the TC7510 to the DG optical input.

 

I'm not sure how the DG's optical input works. Does that mean whatever DAC is hooked up to the DG via optical will do the conversion for the speakers that are hooked up to the DG's line out? If so, that would work great. 

 

edit- Nevermind, I understand what you mean now. You're saying to use the sound card for the speakers and use the external DAC for the headphones.


Edited by HeretixAevum - 6/19/12 at 8:20pm
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Would it make more sense if I was to buy just an Asus Xonar STX and hook up both the speakers and the little dot to it? I really don't want to run my speakers from my DG, I want to give them something better. However, I don't want to have to buy both a new soundcard and an external DAC. I'd rather get one of either than can feed both devices. Would this work? 

 

               RCA Output

                     -->  RCA Cable --> Little Dot 1+ --> Grado sr225i

                   /

Essence STX

                   \

                     -->  Male to male 3.5mm cable (with 6.35mm adaptor)  --> Swan M50w

            6.35mm Line Out

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeretixAevum View Post
I'm not sure how the DG's optical input works. Does that mean whatever DAC is hooked up to the DG via optical will do the conversion for the speakers that are hooked up to the DG's line out? If so, that would work great. 

edit- Never mind, I understand what you mean now. You're saying to use the sound card for the speakers and use the external DAC for the headphones.

You got it.

Hopefully you will sell off the DG and get a used ($55) DX or D1

Better DAC, 7.1 surround (vs 5.1), better audio processor.

The headphone jack on DX & D1 is not great at driving headphones, but it does not matter in your case.

 

Hopefully you will at least check out the DACs I list.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

You got it.

Hopefully you will sell off the DG and get a used ($55) DX or D1

Better DAC, 7.1 surround (vs 5.1), better audio processor.

The headphone jack on DX & D1 is not great at driving headphones, but it does not matter in your case.

 

Hopefully you will at least check out the DACs I list.

Yeah I had a look at those 3 DACs on eBay just to get a feel for pricing, I do like the look of the SMSL SD-1955. How would the DAC compare to the likes of the STX? I can't find any reviews for it and I don't really know anything about differing DAC quality. 

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeretixAevum View Post

Yeah I had a look at those 3 DACs on eBay just to get a feel for pricing, I do like the look of the SMSL SD-1955. How would the DAC compare to the likes of the STX? I can't find any reviews for it and I don't really know anything about differing DAC quality. 

The SMSL SD-793  (PCM1793 DAC) would be about equal to the STX (PCM1792A DAC)

SMSL SD-1955 (AD1955 DAC) should (guessing?) be a little better.

 

They are no-name DACs sold on eBay.

As they are sold and shipped from China, so not like the warranty is very useful, (cost too much to ship back).

May not be as reliable as name brand. (some name brands are not that reliable anyway).

But you can buy two for a little less then what you would pay for one name brand.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

I see, so I imagine the PCM1716 dac in the TC7510 would be behind all of those (If the numbering of the models works the way I'm lead to believe). The whole no-name brand thing worries me, though. I'd rather go with something with a proper warranty and some reviews to back it up. I'm also still pretty set upon being able to hook up both the speakers and headphone amp to the one external DAC. I could always just buy a DAC and get some RCA splitters for it, I guess.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeretixAevum View Post

I see, so I imagine the PCM1716 dac in the TC7510 would be behind all of those (If the numbering of the models works the way I'm lead to believe). The whole no-name brand thing worries me, though. I'd rather go with something with a proper warranty and some reviews to back it up. I'm also still pretty set upon being able to hook up both the speakers and headphone amp to the one external DAC. I could always just buy a DAC and get some RCA splitters for it, I guess.

I'm far from a DAC expert, numbering may not tell the whole story, a newer DAC might be a cut back on over all sound quality to shrink the die size to lower cost.

Or over all sound quality is cut back to make room for added features.

But I'm far from a DAC expert.

 

I have no idea on what happen when you split RCA cables.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the advice, I think I might look into the Xonar Essence STX since it seems to be the best combination of price, DAC quality and connectivity to multiple devices. 

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeretixAevum View Post

Thanks for all the advice, I think I might look into the Xonar Essence STX since it seems to be the best combination of price, DAC quality and connectivity to multiple devices. 

Good Choice.

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