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New user needs help selecting an inexpensive DAC

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi! Just FYI, I am pretty new to this stuff.

 

I recently bought some HD 600s and I absolutely love them. I am running them through my Marantz 2230 receiver and even though it sounds great, I just know it can be better.  Guy at the local audio shop told me the biggest improvement I can make is upgrading my source (I am playing music from my computer as well as my Audio Technica LP-60 USB) and recommended that I buy a DAC to improve sound quality from my PC. I just started looking into this today, so  I really don’t know anything about DACs like which models or anything are great but I would love to hear your guy’s input! My budget is pretty tight right now, so I am wondering if there is anything that I could use to improve my set up that is below 150$ The more inexpensive the better!  

 

Thanks for the help!

 

Edit* I know that upgrading my turntable will help with my records, but thats a little out of  my budget right now


Edited by bobcatgentry - 2/6/13 at 5:29pm
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcatgentry View Post

Hi! Just FYI, I am pretty new to this stuff.

 

I recently bought some HD 600s and I absolutely love them. I am running them through my Marantz 2230 receiver and even though it sounds great, I just know it can be better.  Guy at the local audio shop told me the biggest improvement I can make is upgrading my source (I am playing music from my computer as well as my Audio Technica LP-60 USB) and recommended that I buy a DAC to improve sound quality from my PC. I just started looking into this today, so  I really don’t know anything about DACs like which models or anything are great but I would love to hear your guy’s input! My budget is pretty tight right now, so I am wondering if there is anything that I could use to improve my set up that is below 150$ The more inexpensive the better!  

 

Thanks for the help!

 

Edit* I know that upgrading my turntable will help with my records, but thats a little out of  my budget right now

 

If you're really interested in an external DAC, the (USB-attached) Behringer UCA-202 and UCA-222 sell for US$20-$30. Internally, I think they're identical. The UCA-222, which comes in an inexpensive plastic case, has very good performance.

 

For US$150, I recommend the Objective DAC (ODAC). Its performance is excellent. There are a number of threads here at Head-Fi which discuss the ODAC and Objective2 headphone amplifier (O2, from the same designer.)

post #3 of 8

For sub $150, +1 for the ODAC, it's excellent for the price.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, I'll look into those options

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobcatgentry View Post

Thanks guys, I'll look into those options

Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card ($55-$75) comes with the CS4398 DAC chip.

 

Hifimediy Sabre USB-DAC, $52-$74

 

Schiit Mody USB-DAC, $99

post #6 of 8

I've been searching for a more complete thread of cheap DACs from $30-$100, and I can't find any, although I'm pretty sure they existed a couple of months ago when I was thinking about buying one. I'm still trying to buy one, but I don't have a budget to buy any of the DACs in the other threads that mention cheap or inexpensive DACs because those words apparently mean something around $250. I've got AKG k702s and an Objective2 headphone amp. If anyone has suggestions or ideas or can just point me to a thread, I am definitely willing to do my research.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vizknox View Post

I've been searching for a more complete thread of cheap DACs from $30-$100, and I can't find any, although I'm pretty sure they existed a couple of months ago when I was thinking about buying one. I'm still trying to buy one, but I don't have a budget to buy any of the DACs in the other threads that mention cheap or inexpensive DACs because those words apparently mean something around $250. I've got AKG k702s and an Objective2 headphone amp. If anyone has suggestions or ideas or can just point me to a thread, I am definitely willing to do my research.

 

Behringer UCA-202 or UCA-222: US$20-30.

ODAC: US$150

post #8 of 8

At that price point the Fiio e17 is worth a listen.  The sound gets even better if you add the e9 caddy later.

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