I plan to use it with t50rp mad dogs...
Edited by Ch1Kn - 2/1/13 at 4:12pm
Yes, an external DAC will clean that signal up quite well especially if it is from a USB port which can be made to have low jitter via various USB utilities. An amp/DAC combo I recommend is the Total Bithead from HeadRoom. It is $150 while not on sale, but can be found used or on sale for $99 and under. It can be fed via mini headphone jack or USB and outputs to two 1/8 inch headphone jacks. It is battery and USB powered so you can travel with it and use it as a desktop amp/DAC.
I have had mine for years and still use it.
You can read more about it here, but there is no doubt that it will help you with your noise problem.
Some receivers have good DAC chips in them and even allow USB / SPDIF connectivity. The receiver you will want is one that has a one of these connectors. This assumes you want to go from PC to the receiver / stereo amp?
You can always use a small headphone amp as a pre-amp. You basically could use a DAC between the PC and the stereo receiver / amp and the result would be the same.
After reviewing some other commends regarding the Total Bithead I first mentioned there are some better options. You can find them here:
Yes, if you are going from PC to an older receiver / amp you can use a USB DAC like the ODAC which has been shown to be a pretty darn good DAC for the price. It runs $150 from JDS Labs. There are other options like the FiiO E17 Alpen which is both an amp and DAC. You could then run USB from your PC into the FiiO E17 ( $139 ) and run the headphone out via Y-Splitter into the RCA inputs on the back of the receiver assuming it has those. One thing to make sure you check before going to FiiO route is to make sure that it is powered via USB when used as a DAC and not just running off of the battery. If it is powered via USB and can function as a DAC while being powered then you have a pretty good pre-amp and DAC combo for doing some PC listening.
The ODAC route involves a similar path. You would run USB from your PC to the ODAC and split the headphone out via Y-splitter and run that into the receiver. If the receiver has an aux jack on the back you can do away with the Y-Splitter in either case and just run a 1/8 to 1/8 connector straight from either device to that to get the signal to the receiver.
Anyone else see any issues with that setup?
You can always give the gurus at HeadRoom a call and ask away about the FiiO products they carry.
ODAC @ JDS Labs
FiiO E17 at HeadRoom