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Best Budget, Bang for the Buck Desktop DAC

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Ok guys please chime in on this. Newbie here and I have a Dell Tower and an HP Lap top. Both are about a year and a half old. I have noticed a lot of my listening is on the computers via music files and Pandora. . I want a desktop DAC and it does not need to be an analog amp too as I already have that for portable use or use with the Sony Home Stereo. The DAC will be driving my m50's. A DAC with good Bass is important as I noticed the m50's really wake up in that area with my analog amp I use with them. I'm on a fairly tight budget so low cost and bang for the buck are important.

Thanks in advance,

Eric.

post #2 of 21

You need a DAC/amp combo and start with Fiio E17 and then you can always upgrade later on.
 

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah the DAC would have to have an amp to drive the phones. No analog input is what I was going towards in the post. Upgrade later would be a different DAC I take it? Tnx for tip on unit.
post #4 of 21

So you are pretty much looking for the best desktop DAC for a low price. Are you planning to use it with anything other than your desktop?

 

The ODAC is great for about $150 if you don't need an amp, but it is USB input only.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Amp and DAC combo is what I need. Computer tower and lap top on drive devices.I have an amp to use with mp3 player and home stereo (analog input devices)and I do not see my buying a high end device as an input.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzjin View Post

So you are pretty much looking for the best desktop DAC for a low price. Are you planning to use it with anything other than your desktop?

The ODAC is great for about $150 if you don't need an amp, but it is USB input only.
Just a USB input is all I need. My analog input only amp will work for other devices and as long as the USB only input $150 DAC drives the m50s I am good. Sorry for the confusion.
post #7 of 21

Better than the Fiio E17 would be a second hand HRT Music Streamer II(USB only) and O2 amp.

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Can Junkie View Post

Just a USB input is all I need. My analog input only amp will work for other devices and as long as the USB only input $150 DAC drives the m50s I am good. Sorry for the confusion.

 

A DAC (only) will output analog that goes into your amplifier, which can power your headphones.The ODAC will not drive any headphones by itself; it must be paired with an amplifier. Any amplifier you have should drive the M50's fine, since they sound fine out straight out of an iPod.


Since this will mostly be used with a PC. why not just upgrade your soundcard? The Essence ST or STX are very good cards that are well-recommended.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzjin View Post

A DAC (only) will output analog that goes into your amplifier, which can power your headphones.The ODAC will not drive any headphones by itself; it must be paired with an amplifier. Any amplifier you have should drive the M50's fine, since they sound fine out straight out of an iPod.


Since this will mostly be used with a PC. why not just upgrade your soundcard? The Essence ST or STX are very good cards that are well-recommended.
Interesting as I was thinking in that direction also. Would sound card be cheaper?
post #10 of 21

They will end up to be about the same price. It's your choice really.

If you ever plan on listening with a laptop, get an external DAC. However, the STX is much less obtrusive and is upgradeable/customizable with opamps. Personally, I don't use desktops, so the ODAC would be my choice, but I can see it falling either way. There shouldn't be a large difference in terms of sound quality.

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzjin View Post

They will end up to be about the same price. It's your choice really.


If you ever plan on listening with a laptop, get an external DAC. However, the STX is much less obtrusive and is upgradeable/customizable with opamps. Personally, I don't use desktops, so the ODAC would be my choice, but I can see it falling either way. There shouldn't be a large difference in terms of sound quality.
well,.......I took a look at that little ODAC board and it would fit very easily into the amp kit I built. One DPDT switch and the output of the ODAC would be my amp input. Is the ODAC board powered by the USB or would a 3 prong TOO Case voltage regulater be in order?. The amp runs off a 12v wall wart which gets kicked down to 9v by a 9v TOO reg. If the ODAC uses 9v I'm good to go and the amp even runs off a 9v battery. Depending on your response, another 9v in parellel may be in order. I think I could squeeze the battery and ODAC board in the amp case. Sounds like I might end up firing up the solder iron.
post #12 of 21

Audinst HUD-mx1.  

 

//thread

 

tongue.gif

post #13 of 21

ODAC is completely USB powered.

post #14 of 21

New coming audinst HUD - mini

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyline315 View Post

Audinst HUD-mx1.  

 

//thread

 

tongue.gif

this is what I use for my desktop, it's a great bang for the buck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacknight View Post

New coming audinst HUD - mini

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audinst-HUD-mini-Hi-Fi-USB-Audio-DAC-/180927550552?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item2a201f5458#ht_6147wt_1163

 

it currently has a special introductory price of $99, VERY TEMPTING!

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