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DAC Interconnect Issue

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am intending to get a DAC for my desktop rig (PC Source) that has both Coaxial and USB input. I have my sights set on the Fiio e17 (so when I upgrade in the future I could just include it in my portable setup as well). The Fiio e17 has a SPDIF, Coaxial and USB input, but I was wondering

 

[1] If I could use a 3.5mm to Coaxial wire into my PC headphone jack and to my DAC to bypass my onboard DAC.

[2] Could I use a 3.5mm to RCA (red and white), by plugging in one of the RCA connectors into the DAC, and still get stereo sound?

 

My current concerns are:

 

1. 3.5mm to Coaxial wire only transmits analog signal, not digital

2. Headphone jack output of my PC does not bypass the soundcard's DAC 

 

As for why I do not want to use USB?

1. I want to expand my options

2. USB input is limited to 24/96, whereas Coaxial input goes up to 24/192

 

Any constructive input is appreciated!

post #2 of 12

You can run a 3.5mm to 3.5mm analog cable from your computer's line-out/headphone jack to the line-input jack on the E17, bypassing the E17's DAC and just using the E17 as a headphone amplifier.

 

Not sure why your bring up coaxial cable and RCA connectors for an analog connection between the motherboard and the E17?

 

If you connect the E17 to the motherboard's using USB or S/PDIF (optical & coxial) digital connection, you will bypass the motherboard's DAC.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

You can run a 3.5mm to 3.5mm analog cable from your computer's line-out/headphone jack to the line-input jack on the E17, bypassing the E17's DAC and just using the E17 as a headphone amplifier.

 

Not sure why your bring up coaxial cable and RCA connectors for an analog connection between the motherboard and the E17?

 

If you connect the E17 to the motherboard's using USB or S/PDIF (optical & coxial) digital connection, you will bypass the motherboard's DAC.

 

Oh sorry, missed out the most crucial part :D I intend to use the e17 as a DAC only for my rig. And have a separate tube amp as an amplifier. So I want to bypass the DAC on my PC and bypass the amp in the fiio e17.

post #4 of 12

Do you NEED 24/192? 

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockah View Post
 

Hi, I am intending to get a DAC for my desktop rig (PC Source) that has both Coaxial and USB input. I have my sights set on the Fiio e17 (so when I upgrade in the future I could just include it in my portable setup as well). The Fiio e17 has a SPDIF, Coaxial and USB input, but I was wondering

 

[1] If I could use a 3.5mm to Coaxial wire into my PC headphone jack and to my DAC to bypass my onboard DAC.

[2] Could I use a 3.5mm to RCA (red and white), by plugging in one of the RCA connectors into the DAC, and still get stereo sound?

 

My current concerns are:

 

1. 3.5mm to Coaxial wire only transmits analog signal, not digital

2. Headphone jack output of my PC does not bypass the soundcard's DAC 

 

As for why I do not want to use USB?

1. I want to expand my options

2. USB input is limited to 24/96, whereas Coaxial input goes up to 24/192

 

Any constructive input is appreciated!

 

Heya,

 

Unless you are listening to media that was recorded at 24/96 and 24/192 or anything other than 16/44 basically, you do NOT need anything that will be rated for more. It's just numbers being thrown out there that are bigger. At the end of the day, very little is recorded at this bit and sample rates. If you truly do have HD or Super Audio CD's, etc, things that are actually recorded and not just encoded later at these sample rates, then sure, get what you need. But if you're just listening to FLAC/MP3/CD RIPs, etc, you don't need that stuff. 24/96 is more than enough as virtually nothing is done higher than that in the real world of audio when it comes to the consumer and music.

 

So that makes it simple. Get whatever is the most simple solution for you.

 

Use USB or optical output to your E17. Then line-out to your tube amp of choice. Done deal.

 

Don't stress having "options" for high sample rates unless you actually have a ton of media that is recorded that way (this is rare). But hey, maybe you do. I just doubt it based on the equipment we're talking about here.

 

Very best,

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I see, thanks for all the replies. One more thing though, is it crucial to have a high quality usb interconnect, or will most usb cables that cost like $2 do the job just as well?
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockah View Post

I see, thanks for all the replies. One more thing though, is it crucial to have a high quality usb interconnect, or will most usb cables that cost like $2 do the job just as well?

 

Heya,

 

The $2 cable and the $150 cable are both made of the same metal, and sound the same. You pay more for what's wrapped around the cable, the marketing, the labeling, and the branding, for the psychological feeling of having something "audiophile grade."

 

I would get the $2 cable.

 

Using the word crucial here is an over-statement too. Cables are one of the biggest snake oil rubs you'll ever experience the distressing pleasure of reading about from the golden-ear elite.

 

Very best,

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockah View Post

Oh sorry, missed out the most crucial part biggrin.gif  I intend to use the e17 as a DAC only for my rig. And have a separate tube amp as an amplifier. So I want to bypass the DAC on my PC and bypass the amp in the fiio e17.

A FiiO L7 would allow you to bypass the headphone amp in the E17 and run a connection to your amp.

However, if you aren't going to use the headphone amp at all, I would recommend getting a Schiit Modi DAC. Better than the one in the E17.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


A FiiO L7 would allow you to bypass the headphone amp in the E17 and run a connection to your amp.

However, if you aren't going to use the headphone amp at all, I would recommend getting a Schiit Modi DAC. Better than the one in the E17.

 

I did consider that, however, I would also like a portable amplifier to power mid-high impedance headphones when I'm out auditioning them. Since the e17 can serve both purposes and is only slightly more expensive than the Modi, its is my primary choice.

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockah View Post

I did consider that, however, I would also like a portable amplifier to power mid-high impedance headphones when I'm out auditioning them. Since the e17 can serve both purposes and is only slightly more expensive than the Modi, its is my primary choice.

Ahhh...makes sense smily_headphones1.gif
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockah View Post
 

Oh sorry, missed out the most crucial part :D I intend to use the E17 as a DAC only for my rig. And have a separate tube amp as an amplifier. So I want to bypass the DAC on my PC and bypass the amp in the Fiio E17.

Is the PC audio just for music? or also movies and gaming?

If the PC audio is just for music, then get an external Hifimediy Sabre U2 USB DAC, $54 plus shipping

and plug your tube amp into the Sabre.

If your also using PC audio for movies and gaming, then get an Xonar DS, DSX ,DX, D1 sound card.

Used DX & D1's can sell for $60, on eBay.

 

Use the E17 with anything portable.

 

What headphones were you planing on hooking up to your future tube headphone amplifier?

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Is the PC audio just for music? or also movies and gaming?

If the PC audio is just for music, then get an external Hifimediy Sabre U2 USB DAC, $54 plus shipping

and plug your tube amp into the Sabre.

If your also using PC audio for movies and gaming, then get an Xonar DS, DSX ,DX, D1 sound card.

Used DX & D1's can sell for $60, on eBay.

 

Use the E17 with anything portable.

 

What headphones were you planing on hooking up to your future tube headphone amplifier?

I would be using PC audio solely for music. As for the Hifimediy Sabre U2 USB DAC, it is not sold in my country, and does not ship here on eBay either. In fact even DACs like the Schiit Modi cannot be found in local stores. Thankfully headphone availability is not an issue and speaking of which, I intend to use the HD600 with my amp. Moreover, as I mentioned earlier, I intend to use the fiio e17 interchangeably with my portable rig and my desktop rig. Sound cards are also out of the question as my PC is a laptop.

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