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USB DAC question

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I just picked up a pair of new M60's for $160 total. I also just ordered a HK 3480 stereo amp online. I'm just playing cds through a cd player and an old receiver my dad had lying around. I want to be able to play music from my computer through my HK 3480. This FiiO D3 DAC seems like it would be good enough for my needs, http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-Digital-Analog-Audio-Converter/dp/B005PWPUW6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top. The only thing is I can't figure out what kind of cable I would need to hook it up to my computer. A usb A to B? Like this, http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-Hi-Speed-USB-2-0-Cable/dp/B001MXLD4G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1376446477&sr=8-3&keywords=usb+a+b+cable? Or something else? The optical in jack looks like a different shape than the end of the usb A to B cable. I would really appreciate any help or advice! Thanks!

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by kadrek View Post

I just picked up a pair of new M60's for $160 total. I also just ordered a HK 3480 stereo amp online. I'm just playing cds through a cd player and an old receiver my dad had lying around. I want to be able to play music from my computer through my HK 3480. This FiiO D3 DAC seems like it would be good enough for my needs, http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-Digital-Analog-Audio-Converter/dp/B005PWPUW6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top. The only thing is I can't figure out what kind of cable I would need to hook it up to my computer. A usb A to B? Like this, http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-Hi-Speed-USB-2-0-Cable/dp/B001MXLD4G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1376446477&sr=8-3&keywords=usb+a+b+cable? Or something else? The optical in jack looks like a different shape than the end of the usb A to B cable. I would really appreciate any help or advice! Thanks!

What brand are these "M60" headphones?

 

Maybe spend a few more dollars on a USB DAC, like the Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC.

Plugs into the USB port of your computer, just need a 3.5mm stereo to RCA (analog) audio cable.

$42 plus shipping and tax(?).

Plus the cable, $5?

post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by kadrek View Post

I just picked up a pair of new M60's for $160 total. I also just ordered a HK 3480 stereo amp online. I'm just playing cds through a cd player and an old receiver my dad had lying around. I want to be able to play music from my computer through my HK 3480. This FiiO D3 DAC seems like it would be good enough for my needs, http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-Digital-Analog-Audio-Converter/dp/B005PWPUW6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top. The only thing is I can't figure out what kind of cable I would need to hook it up to my computer. A usb A to B? Like this, http://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-Hi-Speed-USB-2-0-Cable/dp/B001MXLD4G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1376446477&sr=8-3&keywords=usb+a+b+cable? Or something else? The optical in jack looks like a different shape than the end of the usb A to B cable. I would really appreciate any help or advice! Thanks!

 

The DAC that you've identified does not transfer the audio data over USB---the usb is only there for power.

 

Make sure that you find a USB dac if you want to connect via USB. I use the Schiit Modi USB DAC and I really think it's a great DAC. It costs a bit more than the Fiio (Modi is $99), but it works with any computer without needing drivers, and it is powered by the same USB cable that sends it the music data. On top of that, it comes in a nice solid case and was built by veteran audio engineers!

Schiit Modi

My personal opinion is that the Modi is the best bang for your buck for an entry level DAC---as you can see it is what I chose to buy for myself so you can factor that in your interpretation of my advice.

 

Another "inexpensive" option that folks really really like is ODAC for $149, but i don't think it is "better" than the Modi that it's work the extra $50, but relatively speaking, it's also a high quality device that is a good bang for the buck relative to everything else.

 

The DAC purple_angle linked to looks intriguing, although I've never heard of it before. It needs additional drivers to operate and it looks like it was developed as a DIY design.

 

A usb DAC from the pro-audio side of things and which has a reputation for good measurable performance for it's specs and for exceeding expectations is the Behringer UCA-202. Made by a major audio equipment manufacturer, it probably represents the best performance you can get for $30.

 

There are some other combo DAC+amp combos that are reasonably cheap, but i think most of them are aimed toward the portable market. Perhaps some of the folks with experience with the other devices can chime in about those options

 

Good luck!

 

Cheers


Edited by ab initio - 8/14/13 at 9:29pm
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