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Budget USB DAC/amp combo with digital out and digital or line in connectors

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am planning to buy USB DAC/amp combo with a budget around 130-150£ (approx. 200USD). I have looked at numerous devices but all in that price level were missing some of the connectors I need.

I require USB in  (preferably asynchronous) for connecting laptop and occasionally Samsung Galaxy S3, pair of line (RCA) in or better digital in (doesnt matter which one) connector to be able to connect bluray player or DVD recorder, so it would be an universally connectable headphone dac/amp.

In the same time, I would also like to have digital coax out to be able to pass signal through and connect it to my AVR when willing to listen music from my laptop on main speakers (bluray player is connected directly to AVR via HDMI). I dont need RCA line out connection.

Could someone please advice me a suitable DAC/amp within my price limit please? Looking for desktop, not portable one.

 

Also, last but not least, I want something what looks nice, doesnt like boring brick like design. E.g. I really like the look of Meier Corda Aria or Cantate, I konw they are out of my price limit and mainly lack digital out connector, its just an example.

 

Thanks a lot, Peter

 

 

My AV system: AVR Denon 2308, BD player Sony 780, DVR + HDD Pioneer 560, TV Samsung LE40a856, bi-amped pair of BW 685 speakers + BW PV1 subwoofer, Beyerdynamic DT770 Premium 250Ohm. Laptop Lenovo Ideapad with HDMI but not coax out connector. Samsung Galaxy S3.

 

Listen to all types of music, mostly chillout, electronic, dance music but also a lot of pop and rock, sometimes classic and dubstep, to mention extremes. 

post #2 of 6
The Audinst MX2 is pretty close (only have optical out though).

http://audinst.com/en/bbs/board.php?bo_table=HUDmx2&wr_id=5
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you pekingduck for a good advice, I have read plenty of very positive reviews of Audinst already and almost bought it during Christmas, I wouldnt mind it has optical not coax out. My main reason why I decided not to buy it (except I couldnt demo it anywhere in Newcastle) is  quite stupid maybe - I just dont like much its look, and if its going to sit in my living room for a few years, I want something more elegant.

 

Except mentioned beautiful design of Meier Cordas amps, I like e.g. classical look of Dacmagic plus but its too expensive. Otherwise it is a good  example of multiple in and out connection possibilities what I was writing about.

I have liked features of Maverick DAC/amp very much, for example.

 

I know there were plenty of similar treads here already, I have read many and always have a feeling that I have to start from the beginning, its confusing to me. So I appologize to everyone who thinks that such reccomendations were written and said already plenty of times, and also for my maybe confusing and too complicated explanation.

 

However I would appreciate any opinion. Thanks again.

post #4 of 6

Does your laptop have  HDMI output? If you connect that to your AVR, you wouldn't need digital out from the DAC/amp, that would open up more options.  I haven't been following the desktop amp scene, so I don't have any specific suggestions, sorry.

post #5 of 6
Check out the Tianyun Zero, I think I have narrowed it down to this one but it does not have a digital out, only line out. The audinst mx2 does look promising but I agree it does not look as nice.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi all, thanks for advices. At the end I have decided to buy Dacmagic + which has arrived yesterday. I am very happy so far, spdif in connection and headamp performance is perfect IMO.

 

However I am struggling with connecting to the laptop via original usb cable, no sound in my headphones when trying to play anything. It seems like my PC (windows 7 OS) doesnt recognize connected device, also when I try to install usb 2.0 driver there appears query that I should connect the device to computer however its connected already,turning off and on doesnt help.


Any advice? Thank you. Peter
 

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