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DAC Selection Assistance

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 



I have loved high quality music for as long as I can remember, but never had the money to buy nice quality equipment. Last year I purchased a pair of Bose AE1s, and made a big leap forward in listening quality and satisfaction. I'm now looking for a DAC to get away from my computer's weak sound output. I have been reading a lot about different DACs, and would appreciate some guidance from your community as you have a wealth of experience with different products.


I was bidding on a used Beresford TC-7520 on eBay and narrowly missed out (which was extremely frustrating!). DACs on eBay seem to be very rare, so I have had to start searching elsewhere and broadening my possible choices of DACs. Currently, the TC-7520 is ~$400 new on eBay, whereas the Beresford Bushmaster TC-7530SEG is about $300 new. The TC-7530SEG seems to be lacking USB. It is my understanding that USB generally provides the highest sound quality; is this correct? Does somebody know how the two units compare sound quality wise?


There is another whole option with an item like the FiiO D3. Does anybody know how these compare to something like the TC-7520.


The bottom line: I'm looking for a reasonably priced DAC (up to $250, and preferably second hand to get a better item for less) that will work off USB and give me a great increase in sound quality. It'd also be nice to be able to change the opamps and tweak the sound. Essentially, I want a spacious, crisp, full, wonderful listening experience! Is this possible?


Thanks for all your help!

post #2 of 4

USB ports can be noisy. Could possibly be your onboard dac. 


As a DAC rec, the ODAC/modi from schiit are both reasonably priced. 

post #3 of 4

my jds labs odac is a bit noisy via usb but it must be something with my PC as i also get some noise with the fio e17 via usb (haven't tried the spdif). don't get any noise when using the essence st (dac only). all feeding a little dot tube amp. will keep the fio for portable use but most likely will part with the odac. will the bifrost be any significant upgrade from the odac sound wise. don't need the usb version.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

In the end I forewent the USB requirements and chose a Beresford Bushmaster and couldn't be happier. Stan's support was great, and the sound quality is superb. No noise over optical either. Thanks for the advice!

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