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newbie questions.. and first setup

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

im a newbie (looking for my FIRST home setup)

i wonder if nuforce uDac and audioengine a2 will be too good for a newbie?

or do i need a amp for this setup? (coz i thought audioengine was with built in amp as with all the powered speakers)

my requirements are pretty simple,

just a dac that can also be used as a headphone amp for my ath-m50, the setup can be anything, dac+amp+speaker, dac+speaker, etc etc.

dont worry about sound quality, as i want this setup because i wanna see the difference between those and the crappy logitech i have right now :D

my budget is $300 +-50, of course i want the price as low as possible, so $100-300? (big range i know :P)

i dont have anything, but shure se215, ath-m50, and a sony a864.

extra questions,

what is SQ?

if i use nuforce udac as headphone amp and connect to audioengine a2, can i have both connected the the dac and have both playing?

if the input on dacs (if theres any) and amps looks like AUX, does that mean it takes line out, or AUX?

do i have to use line out dock for a864 to connect to amps? if yes, why i cant use headphone jack?

and whats that "clock" thing when ppl are talking about DAC, etc?

thanks and sorry for any misuse of audio terms and bad english :P

Edited by oscar704 - 8/18/12 at 12:43am
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

anyone? ps. i figured out SQ means sound quality, is that right? im not sure :/

is dayton b652 any good? i think its a cheap solution but idk about it's sound quality, and if any1 know anywhere that sells headphones and speakers (good ones, not cheap brand) in melbourne, australia, can u please tell me? i only know jaben audio and volume..


post #3 of 8


post #4 of 8

A few answers that hopefully will help:


Check addictedtoaudio.com.au - they are in Kew, very knowledgeable personnel, lots of quality equipment to try out in the store.


You should let your ears and wallet decide whether any particular equipment is too good for you - your newbie status has very little to do with that.


A typical dedicated DAC output signal may not be suitable to drive headphones - it is meant to be fed into an amplifier, whether for headphones or speakers. What you should be looking for is a DAC plus amp combination, whether in one box or not.


Why DAC needs a clock? To tell the time :)

Well, to be more precise: not so much to tell the hour, but to be able to determine time intervals.


What for? The digitised sound is just a series of numbers representing amplitude of the original analog sound wave. These amplitude samples are taken at precise time intervals, which determine your sampling rate. When the signal is converted from digital back to analog, these samples must be fed to the DAC at exactly the same time intervals - and this is the job of this clock.


Sorry I can't answer the remaining questions, but they relate to specific equipment I have no experience with.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

so how do i connect the dac to both headphone amp and speaker amps when there are only 1 output?

would splitter do the work? would there be any quality loss with splitter?

also thanks for the suggestions on headphone stores :P

post #6 of 8

Splitter should be fine. Amps have pretty high impedance on the input, so two of them wouldn't overload the DAC. 

The alternative is to get a DAC/hp amp combo with a line out for the speaker amp.

post #7 of 8

I have a pair of AudioEngine 5+ speakers as a starter to my home theater setup, they sound freaking fantastic.  This is their flagship bookshelf speakers, which you can actually get for $350 with a coupon that's not too hard to find.  If you want to keep it modest though, I've heard nothing but glowing reviews for the A2 as well, and for the company overall.  From what I understand nothing else can top it in the $200 and under range, if you just want good sound for cheap and little fuss from your computer, it's the way to go.  However, you mentioned getting an amp and such, the A2's are self powered with a built in amp, the P4's are passive, just $50 more and designed to better scale with an external amp.  From what I've read they have far more clarity and "oomph."


If this is for computer speakers, you'd probably be fine with the A2's and a good sound card which would put you at $300.  If this is for a start to a home theater setup though, you'll probably want something a little bigger and more powerful.  I'm kind of thinking if you're going to buy P4's with an Amp, might as well just go with the 5+ though.  They're self-powered, larger, and are set up with a subwoofer out, though you honestly won't need it as these baby's thump pretty well on their own.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

yes ill probably getting a blu ray player for movies and cds anyway, so i might just increase my budget, are there anything to look for in bluray players?

current plan:

bluray player $150 +-50

dayton b652

nuforce udac/ fiio e10 (anyone can compare that/ review of those two compared?)

amp? receiver? (i have 3 sources for audio and video, but my screen only have one HDMI jack which i can only use, any solutions please?)

ipod, computer

bluray player in the future :D

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