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Looking for a narrow footprint DAC with tone control and high rez and XLR analog outs.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Looking for a half size front width DAC preamp with audiophile Tone control and both rca and xlr capabilities. Problem is I never found one. May I ask some recommandation?

post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by telecaster View Post

Looking for a half size front width DAC preamp with audiophile Tone control and both rca and xlr capabilities. Problem is I never found one. May I ask some recommandation?

Err lemme just say people rarely if at all put tone control (bass/treble/low pass filter) on a Dac, much less a "compact" dac (circuit takes up places). Also I assume half width is comparing to pro audio rack mount stuff? Height/length doesn't matter?

 

That said I do know a few Dac with preamp/rca/xlr but without tone control, still interested? tongue_smile.gif


Edited by khaine1711 - 5/8/13 at 4:27pm
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

The tone control is primordial for me as I see no prejudice in doing some mild EQ. Records equing varies greatly in my playlist and I'm seeking a neat unit that can do the trick.

Half width represents something like 20cm or so in my mind a full unit is 40cm in width. Lenght can be as long as 45cm.

The real requierements are XLR analogue outs, USB asynchronious with high res capability and tone control and the creme de la creme would be a remote.

Me asking is because I failed in all my search for such a unit ^^.

post #4 of 12

No such thing. The smallest Async USB (32/384khz) module would be 1/4 that size. You can't possibly put a dual mono dac board, quality transformer, a dedicated linestage AND a tone control circuit in the same box. Also let's face the truth that nobody in their right mind would put "tone control" in a high quality Dac with a dedicated linestage - just use a high quality para EQ (izotope) and call it a day.

 

Still the only two thing that come close to all of the requirement is the Centrance M8 (no dedicated linestage, not out yet so not sure about "real" XLR or not (differential/trans)) and the Apogee Duet 2 (digital attenuation/mac only/no tone control)

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

it's a shame, that would have been gorgeous if such unit would have existed to populate my rack...

post #6 of 12

You don't mention a budget but there are a number of products that come close to your requirements offered by the pro and semi-pro audio manufacturers.

 

A middle market possibility (~$500) of which I have personal experience is the MOTU Ultralite. http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/ultralite-mk3/body.html

 

You don't get a straightforward tone control as such but you do get a total of 7 easy to use, graphic parametric EQs, 2 compressors and infinitely variable reverb available on any input, output or mix channels. These can be controlled from the front panel if you wish. There is no dedicated phono outs as such, you would have to use an adapter on the full size balanced jacks or headphone 3.5mm socket.

 

The only model I know of with remote control is the RME Fireface UCX. http://www.rme-audio.de/en_products_fireface_ucx.php

 

On a budget check out the Focusrite 2i2. http://www.thomann.de/gb/focusrite_scarlett_2i2.htm

 

There are loads of alternatives ranging from $100 up to $2,000.

 

Note that not many offer XLR out due to size constraints but it's easy to get a 7mm balanced jack to XLR cable.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the imput but I'm not looking into a PC interface. I would like an audio unit which could have easy bass and treble adjustement but isn't a low cost alternative.

 

Well I have found such a unit but it ain't cheap. It's Meridian preamp/processor. I thought as I'm allergic to all the audiophile advertisement I wasn't aware of what's was available in the market, but the unit I'm after sure isn't.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
I'm not looking into a PC interface

 

For the record. Neither the MOTU or the RME are dedicated PC interfaces. They can operate stand alone. Much more versatile than the Meridian too.

 

Whatever though. Glad you found what you were looking at.

post #9 of 12

I am looking for the exact same thing, but without any luck as well.  To me it would be obvious to put tone controls on a DAC.  

 

Dacs are increasingly used as pre-amps (that's how I am using my DAC1, with various digital inputs, and feeding straight into my power amp). This set-up works great, but I would love to have tone controls in the digital domain, i.e., after the dac's input selector but before the actual digital-to-analog conversion. Such tone controls would be great for old and poor recordings, and for some loudness adjustment at low volume, etc.

 

The reason tone controls are now removed from pre-amps, is because of concerns that they degrade the audio quality, even when they are disengaged (the good old "tone direct" button). But by placing them in the digital domain, they would be 100% bit perfect when disengaged. And digital filters are better than analog ones.  

 

I would love to get back my long-lost loudness button, and putting it in the dac is the perfect place for it. But the closest I have found is the miniDSP, and it is too much of a hack for me. 

 

Can anybody help?

post #10 of 12

mytek 192?

post #11 of 12

The Mytek 192 looks like a fine DAC, but I don't think it has tone controls (bass, treble, loudness, etc.).

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosorensen View Post
 

The Mytek 192 looks like a fine DAC, but I don't think it has tone controls (bass, treble, loudness, etc.).

like the person said above, very few highend dacs have tone controls, let alone one that also satisfies your other requirements (xlr, preamp, half width). i think you are better off using software tone controls.

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