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Dac with volume control for studio monitors

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Noob alert. Greetings first post. I'm having a hard time deciding on my first dac. The system I want to run if possible  1. Source computer based windows vista   2. Usb out to my dac with volume control  3 .Dac hooked directly into my powered speakers. Is this setup even Possible? I would like it to have usb to 24/96 with coaxial and optical inputs as well. But here's were I am having trouble, I want the dac to have volume control for my powered studio monitors. I will not be using any headphones. I see several dacs/headphone amp combo units with volume control. But I am assuming the volume knob on these units only control the headphone out. Can someone suggest a couple dacs that have volume control for my studio monitors? Does it even exist?  Since I'm just getting my feet wet I would like to keep it under $400.00 if poss.  Thanks for any help.

post #2 of 16

I like the AudioEngine D1. It meets all of your requirements except that it has optical and USB in, rather than optical and coaxial, and it sounds and measures well. The headphone output is only average in my opinion, but as a preamp it's very good. Because it's well below your budget, you might consider upgrading it with a battery power supply if you use the optical input.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks,  I'll look at that option. Anything from audio-gd fit my needs? Thanks again

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Would a yulong  u100  fir the bill?
 

post #5 of 16

Since you already have studio monitors it would make sense to get an interface from the same stable of manufacturers.

 

The simplest most straightforward would be the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 @ ~$160.

 

http://uk.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-2i2

 

Although from personal experience I would recommend you get something with an extra pair of outputs. You don't think you want them now but you will in future.

 

So consider the 2i4 instead. There are many competing companies in this market. Look up Akai, Roland, Presonus among many others.

 

If you don't want any inputs then the Native Instruments Audio 2 is a terrific deal atm. ~ $100 for daul stereo out and you get a free copy of Traktor as part of the deal.

 

http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/dj/traktor-audio-2/

 

If you want to spend a little more RME is the gold standard of pro quality audio interfaces. Have a look at the Babyface. ~ $600 but it's the best in class and legendary driver quality and support. They have to be good. It's what engineers and producers use as part of their job.

 

http://www.rme-audio.de/en_products_babyface.php

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks, it is interesting to explore the pro audio options

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

 I may try the Audinst hud mx1. I see it will control the line out or the headphone out with a switch on the front panel.  Anything else similar up to about 3-$400.00  I should  look at?   Thanks

post #8 of 16

Try the DR.DAC2 DX, project86 said it's a good upgrade from audinst hud mx-1, or the grant fidelity tube dac-11.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

I just took a look at it, could you post a link to the review?   I can't tell if it will control the line out volume.  Thanks

post #10 of 16

You might give the new Emotiva XDA-2 a look too. They've added an analog volume control, rather than handling volume in the digital stage.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

That sound mighty interesting.  It seems the studio monitors are on sale.  I may have to grab a pair of the air motiv 6

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by apexten View Post

I just took a look at it, could you post a link to the review?   I can't tell if it will control the line out volume.  Thanks


best to look at project86's profile or just do a search on head-fi search function for dr.dac2 dx

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

I will give it a whirl. Thanks to all!

post #14 of 16
Another option would be a passive volume control between a DAC and the speakers. http://www.nhthifi.com/passive_volume_control_PVC_PC
post #15 of 16

you can just go for a AMP/DAC combo too and get a lot more options.  I have my monitors controlled from a Audio-gd nfb-12.  It has a very powerful headphone amp included that I don't know if I've ever used (since I use it as a DAC and volume control for my computer speakers).
 

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