I am looking to purchase a DAC in the under $300 range for following uses:
XPS laptop (stream MOG)>DAC>Perreaux SXH1 (headphone amp)>HD650
XPS laptop>DAC (stream MOG)>Denon AVR3806> Revel Concerta F12 speakers
Denon DVD 1920>DAC>Perreaux SXH1 (headphone amp)>HD650
As you can see, I do not have high-end or 'audiophile' equipment. I have been looking at the Audioquest Dragonfly, standalone ODAC and Audioengine D1, but now that I've come across the iDAC, I will definitely add that to the list. I will mainly stream music from MOG and play CD's. For my use, here are my concerns/thoughts:
Dragonfly ($270 w/Dragontail):
Although I am not a 'road warrior' and will use at home, I'm leery about the durability. If I purchased, I would purchase the Dragontail and velcro the bottom of the Dragonfly and attach the DF to something stable and mobile for use next to my listening/reading chair and attach to shelve of audio system when using AVR. I know that it has received great reviews and is on the CASH list. I like that it uses analog volume control. 24/96 is probably fine for me.
Odac ($159 w/RCA's):
Love the price and it also receives good reviews. For me, what is most important is how something sounds to me, not whether you can check off all of the 'required' or 'newest' tech options. Thus, I'm not as concerned as some that NwAvGuy uses a 'minimalist' approach. If the Odac does not have a trial period (I need to check w/ various retailers), I will not be able A/B the DF and Odac. Has anyone compared the DF, Odac and/or Audioengine D1? Is the volume control analog?
Audioengine D1 ($169):
I believe most who have done comparisons between DF and D1, prefer the DF. However, the D1 accepts an optical input, thus I could run my Denon DV1920 through the D1 either to my headphone amp or AVR. However, as I will stream music from MOG quite a bit, I'll be giving up sound quality if the D1 is not as good as the others. They do have a 30 day trial, though.
Looks very intriguing, but as it is so new, there are very few reviews and I have not come across any comparisons. Though I may not need or use 24/192 that much, it is nice having that capability. Like the DF, volume control is analog. Another potential consideration is that I will probably pick up the iUSB sometime in the future, and maybe upgrade my amp (iCAN???) and assume they will all work well together. I have a hunch that the iDAC will be just as good, if not better than the DF, and hope that there is a trial period.
Any and all thoughts, suggestions and tips will be appreciated.
Senn HD 650, Perreaux Sihoutte SXH1 amp; Dell XPS 8100 Realtek HD Audio SC w/ Tru Studio PC software (Creative/THX); Dell XPS laptop; Swann D1080 Mk II speakers
Denon AVR 3806; Denon DVD 1920; Revel Concerta F12 speakers; Monster HTS 3500 Mk II and various cables.