Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Dedicated power button on USB DAC needed for my setup?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Dedicated power button on USB DAC needed for my setup?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Currently have ~160G of music on my computer that consists of downloaded classic rock recordings….from soundboards, FM broadcasts and audience recordings. Very little is FLAC, but do have a substantial amount in mp3 at 160 or 320kbs. I listen to my music by going from computer soundboard to a Yamaha ampè bookshelf speakers (which I’m getting ready to upgrade). Borrowed a friend’s Wavelength USB DAC in an attmpt to improve sound quality and was quite pleased with the results.

 

I want to purchase a USB DAC as a bridge from my computer to amp. One main issue is that I leave my computer on 24/7 sometimes for months at a time. With that set up, am I better off buying a USB DAC with a power button (like the Audioengine D1)? The USB DACs I’m considering include the

 

HRT Music Streamer II

Audioquest Dragonfly

Dac IT

Audioengine D1 (dedicated power button)

 

Overall, the quality of the recordings I will listen to will not be studio quality and the equipment is not high end so assume synch vs. asynchronous USB DAC is not critical. My main issue is whether I need to feature of an on/off button for the USB DAC given how it will be used (hooked up to a 24/7 on computer). Will probably also either use software like J River or Audacity to further tweak the sound.

 

For < $400…what should I be considering? The USB DAC does not absolutely need to have it’s own amp for headphones. Obviously, I'm also looking for the best quality/value though appreciate the sound quality is a subjective thing..

 

Thanks in advance for any feedback you provide!

Richard

post #2 of 5

I highly doubt that a On/Off Button is needed. If the Dac is well built and tested, it probably is more durable than your computer parts.

 

In additional to those above you can consider the Odac and DacPortLX. Both are around the price of those you listed and are USB driven. If you need a external volume pot there is the O2+Odac and Dacport, both come with a amp section but the same Dac section as above. For something bigger theres also the Maverick D1. Within you budget range, there is Matrix M-Stage USB.


Edited by tassardar - 11/22/12 at 4:01pm
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your comments. Cannot see connecting/disconnecting the USB DAC daily from my computer and don't want to leave it attached sans power button so I guess I will steer clear of dragonfly or the HRT Music Streamer. Have not heard stelar comments about the Audioengine (well, there are a few) and will look into the O2+ODAC and Marix M-Stage USB. I strongly assume that all of these will be inferior to the Wavelength I have as a loner but blow away my 'puter soundcard!

post #4 of 5

If you set the computer to Sleep or Hibernate, unless you hooked up the USB DAC to one of those charging ports that work as long as your computer is plugged into an active socket (or has a cahrged battery if its a laptop), it won't even send power through the cable to trigger the DAC.

 

I have my iPad connected to my Cantate.2 and the only reason why I switch if off is because on screen locked-standby mode (or whatever it's called on an iDevice) it still sends power to light up the USB input indicator lamp on the amp. Whenever I switch it off, with one hour or so listening per day, the battery can last over a month. My laptops don't have the same issue of running that indicator lamp when put to sleep or hibernate (which is all I do with them).

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hmmmm....good point. I'm out of town at the moment but once home will look to see if the Wavelenght light goes out in sleep mode. If so, I'll probably steer clear of USB DAC with power button/amp (not critical to be able to play music through my headphones and it I did, it would go through my amp).....which leaves me with the choices of

 

HRT Music Streamer II

Audioquest Dragonfly

Odac

 

....and picking up some nice quality bookshelf reference speakers. My "man cave" will be seriously improved and I look forward to trying to improve the soundscape of recordings not necessarily of the highest caliber (but the performers are dead so it's not like I'll be finding better material)

 

Richard

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Dedicated power button on USB DAC needed for my setup?