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Help Me Build Fostex TH900 Setup Using MB Air

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I bought a pair of Fostex TH 900's that should arrive sometime in Feb. I plan on building a set up for them, exclusively using my macbook air as the only transport, via usb. Lately I have been doing a bunch of research here and on computer audiophile and still cannot decide on a bunch of things:

1. What is the best asynch usb 2 dac under $2k?

2. If the best solution is to use a usb to spdif converter, or just use the best usb implemented dac I can afford?

3. And basically what type of system will work best with my MB Air?


I still have not thought about which amp I will choose either, but as of now I'm more concerned about the best dac solution for the money. I just find it really hard to understand what is the best solution as far as usb, the more research and reading I do the more I get confused (converters, jitter, usb vs spdif, asynch,xmos etc etc) There's just so much information, and no clear cut solutions. 


My Schiit Balanced set up I use both optical out on mac and usb. I honestly cannot tell the difference, both sound superb & I'm quite happy. But the point of this new thread is to get some opinions and idea's so I don't regret a purchase and don't buy something I don't need. My objective is to get the best sound out of my TH 900 from my Air. If anyone can help me or offer some opinons I'd really appreciate it. 

post #2 of 7
I agree generally with your comments about optical vs USB out of a MacBook. In my case though, I can only use optical for Hi Rez files as my RWA Isabellina has a second DAC chip for Hi Rez but no USB implementation.
post #3 of 7
The Eximus is a great DAC for the TH-900 and includes a USB to spdif converter basically. I have both... A smidge over your budget but there is occasionally a used one around.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info, I will check out the eximus even though its a little over budget. I want to point out that all I need is a computer based dac, with great asynch usb implementation, and preferrably with balanced xlr output, but not a dealbreaker if it doesnt. Usb sound and pairing with my mac is the main priority. If I can help it, I really dont want to pay for extra features that will get no use. I have no intentions of adding speaker system or any of the others options full fledged dacs offer. I'm also trying the figure out which option would also be the most future proof.

post #5 of 7

Check out the Lynx Hilo.  Great DAC/HPA combo, with a bonus very high quality ADC.  It's in your price range if you shop carefully.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yea I have the Lynx in mind but the one drawback I see is no asynch usb. I don't know if the Hilo is geared for computer audio as much as other products out there. Plus I don't know how it would pair with ultra sensitive can like the TH 900. I am keeping my options open tho thank you for the recommendation. 

Right now I'm really intrigued by the Benchmark Dac2 HGC and the Fostex HP-A8C, but here just arent many reviews out there as of now. 

post #7 of 7

you can do async from usb-spdif converter and feed it to ANY dac. that would widens you choice of dac to literally every DAC under the sun. also whats the hot about this async ? i've listened to async dac and non async dac ,couldnt tell the difference.


I would take a legacy dac with a good implementation compared to async dac but with lousy implementation any time of the day

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