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DAC or A/V Receiver to use with laptop + cheap freeview tuner (August DVB400) + Audioengine 2?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

My current equipment is a Macbook, an August DVB400 Freeview HD tuner and Audioengine 2 speakers.  I want something that can utilize the coaxial output of the freeview tuner and can be used with the Macbook either via USB or the headphone output.  And then of course be output to the Audioengine 2's.  Looking to spend as little as possible. 

 

I use a projector not a TV.

 

The August Freeview tuner only has 1 coaxial output and 1 HDMI output thats it.

 

Should I buy an A/V receiver or a DAC?  I think the FiiO E17 is basically what I'm looking for but want to spend less than that if possible.  

 

I have been looking at the HiFimeDiy website but I don't think they have a DAC with all the features I'm looking for.  

 

Final note I'm not into loseless audio, mostly watching sports and movies.

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 10

Does the Macbook also have an optical output?

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

i believe the macbook 'headphone' output is an optical output.  not sure how it works its a standard 3.5mm jack.  

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmano View Post
 

i believe the Macbook 'headphone' output is an optical output.  not sure how it works its a standard 3.5mm jack.  

Mac will use the same 3.5mm jack for analog output (headphone) and S/PDIF optical output.

The Mac might come with an adapter or you just buy an optical cable with the 3.5mm plug.

(that is if you use the optical output).

With the Fiio E17, you can use the USB for the Mac and coaxial for the DV400..

You can get an external DAC for $60, off eBay (ships from China) which would have the digital inputs and analog outs for what you need,

but reliablity may not be as good as the E17.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 9/21/13 at 5:09pm
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

i can't seem to be able to find the chinese cheap DAC off ebay that has USB input, coaxial input and RCA outs.  if anyone has a link it would be appreciated.  

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmano View Post

Should I buy an A/V receiver or a DAC?  I think the FiiO E17 is basically what I'm looking for but want to spend less than that if possible

In that case, an AVR is out unless you buy used. New would likely cost more than an E17.

However, an AVR would give you a good upgrade path from here. For instance, it's EASY to find passive speakers at the same price as what you paid for the A2s that have better SQ than the A2s. For example, look into the Wharfedale Diamond series.
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmano View Post

i can't seem to be able to find the chinese cheap DAC off ebay that has USB input, coaxial input and RCA outs.  if anyone has a link it would be appreciated.  

Sorry I can't help with that. Don't know of any. I think it might be hard to find both coaxial and USB on a DAC for cheap because they seem to focus on USB or SPDIF/coaxial.

And you don't have to have RCA output. 3.5mm line output on a DAC will be fine. Just need an adapter cable.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

ive read similar recommendations on other forums saying that a used/budget AVR and passive speaker combo is better than the AE 2/5's.  why is it that the AE's are so expensive compared to say wharfdales?  is it the extra components that go into making them powered?  

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmano View Post
 

i can't seem to be able to find the chinese cheap DAC off ebay that has USB input, coaxial input and RCA outs.  if anyone has a link it would be appreciated.  

Muse USB/optical/coaxial input and analog (RCA output), $48.99.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MUSE-Mini-DAC-24Bit-192Khz-Coaxial-Optical-USB-Input-Headphone-Out-/200963209732?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item2eca573a04

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

thank you purpleangel.....paypal account is now itching to be used lol

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmano View Post

ive read similar recommendations on other forums saying that a used/budget AVR and passive speaker combo is better than the AE 2/5's.  why is it that the AE's are so expensive compared to say wharfdales?  is it the extra components that go into making them powered?  

Well, the Audioengines and Swans are generally considered some of the best computer desktop speakers. But there are tons of passive speaker brands. So if you find a good deal, you can get something better. Then the A2s are tiny driver speakers. A speaker with a 5" or 6" driver is at least going to do better with midbass.
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