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DAC newbie question

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi All! Not only am I a newbie, but I'm an old guy comming to grips with new technology. Just got a Little Dot MK IV SE and am very pleased with it, astounded would be a better word. I listen with Grado RS 1's. Usual source is CD, but also listen to music (Slacker Radio) streamed from my Droid. Not surprisingly, it doesnt sound nearly as good as a source as the CD's do. It is not convenient for me to use a computer as a source. If I fed the Droid into a Little Dot DAC I, and then to the headphone amplifier, would that improve the sound? Are there DAC's that "add to" the sound, is that upsampling? Thank you for your patience and I appreciate any equipment suggestions. My budget is under $1000. By the way, I am considering upgrading my CD player to Yaqin SD32A HDCD tube. First priority is improving the internet audio. Thanks again, best from mountains of NH!
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildings View Post

Hi All! Not only am I a newbie, but I'm an old guy comming to grips with new technology. Just got a Little Dot MK IV SE and am very pleased with it, astounded would be a better word. I listen with Grado RS 1's. Usual source is CD, but also listen to music (Slacker Radio) streamed from my Droid. Not surprisingly, it doesnt sound nearly as good as a source as the CD's do. It is not convenient for me to use a computer as a source. If I fed the Droid into a Little Dot DAC I, and then to the headphone amplifier, would that improve the sound? Are there DAC's that "add to" the sound, is that upsampling? Thank you for your patience and I appreciate any equipment suggestions. My budget is under $1000. By the way, I am considering upgrading my CD player to Yaqin SD32A HDCD tube. First priority is improving the internet audio. Thanks again, best from mountains of NH!

Unfortunately, the sound from your Droid is probably as good as it's going to get with streaming radio.  You need a USB DAC.  With a Droid and the right app, the Droid can act as a music player feeding the USB DAC. Your sound will easily compete with/exceed the quality of the CD player, depending on the DAC and whether you're using FLAC files (lossless compression).

 

If you can't use a PC, then that might the next best thing, although small laptops/netbooks are very cheap (and small) these days.  One of those with even the cheapest 500GB-1TB separate hard drive, a good DAC, and properly-ripped FLAC files will be vastly superior to any CD player, no matter the audiophile grade - a good deal cheaper, too.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your advice and explanation. Would the Little Dot DAC 1 be an OK choice, or would you have better suggestion? I am very pleased with the MK IV SE headphone amp.
post #4 of 5

For about $500, you can get the V-DAC II and V-PSU II.  You won't do much better for $500 if you ask me.  I love this combo and it's the best I've heard (I haven't heard anything over $1000 for full disclosure).

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi Jack, thank you and others for your replies.  I obviously dont have the background knowledge to bring  much to a dialogue here, and I appreciate your patience and advice.  I listen to all types of music, mostly with headphones (Grado RS 1's)...source mostly being CD's, but often Slacker from my Droid, via headphone out to RCA split L&R.  At this point, no files on computer or phone.  I was so pleased with the improvement from headphone amp (Little Dot IV SE), that I am investigating the next step.  I am intrigued by descriptions of greater 3D dimension to the 'soundstage'.  Could you please clarify for me what the V DAC II and the V PSU would do, in very simple terms. I was looking at a Yaquin SD 32A vacume tube CD HDCD also a possible upgrade, but have to prioritize and I understand that wouldnt add as much as a DAC.  Thanks again, Tony from NH

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