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Beginner DAC questions - Page 3

post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapientiam View Post
 

Obviously you're not been following along particularly carefully:evil: The Grace doesn't have a multibit DAC does it?

Which would be irrelevant because the point was no high end unit is going to sound good through crappy headphones (or speakers)

 

I think we beat this to death. Each school of thought is valid to the person paying for the stuff. The person who thinks cables do not make a difference is no more correct or incorrect than the one who says they do. It's their perception and God Bless America, they are entitled to it...even when they are wrong...LOL

 

PEACE

post #32 of 36

Yeah, no worries. Happy New Year.:beerchug:

post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 

I am not intending to be a judge of comments, but maybe my absence from high end audio for 25 years gives some useful insight.  Maybe not :-)

 

The need for a good DAC in the old days is inarguable.  My old Sony D-555 (last higher end item purchased) demonstrated that to me really well.  There is a ligitimate debate about their usefulness for more mainstreamers (kind of advanced amateurs like myself).  My 52 year old ears could not detect any difference between a commonly sold and fairly respected USB DAC unit, and a typical MB-based HD audio chip.  My wife (her hearing also pretty good) and I sampled a variety of CDs for over an hour using two identical Grado SR80s.

 

Regarding headphones, the purchase of the Grados - upgraded from a cheap ($75) pair of Klipsch ear plug phones and midline infinity speakers - provided a drastic improvement in quality over both.

 

So I interpret all as this.  For budget limited or conscious consumers, MB based HD audio (by now on nearly all desktop boards) will eliminate the need for a USB DAC.  Assuming a decent analog signal is available, for anyone who cannot afford high end speakers and is for some reason relying on crappy headphones, upgrading to good headphones will provide an enormous and worthwhile difference.

 

Oh well, maybe writing that was just a therapeutic thing for me...  :normal_smile : 

post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickMDal View Post
 

I am not intending to be a judge of comments, but maybe my absence from high end audio for 25 years gives some useful insight.  Maybe not :-)

 

The need for a good DAC in the old days is inarguable.  My old Sony D-555 (last higher end item purchased) demonstrated that to me really well.  There is a ligitimate debate about their usefulness for more mainstreamers (kind of advanced amateurs like myself).  My 52 year old ears could not detect any difference between a commonly sold and fairly respected USB DAC unit, and a typical MB-based HD audio chip.  My wife (her hearing also pretty good) and I sampled a variety of CDs for over an hour using two identical Grado SR80s.

 

Regarding headphones, the purchase of the Grados - upgraded from a cheap ($75) pair of Klipsch ear plug phones and midline infinity speakers - provided a drastic improvement in quality over both.

 

So I interpret all as this.  For budget limited or conscious consumers, MB based HD audio (by now on nearly all desktop boards) will eliminate the need for a USB DAC.  Assuming a decent analog signal is available, for anyone who cannot afford high end speakers and is for some reason relying on crappy headphones, upgrading to good headphones will provide an enormous and worthwhile difference.

 

Oh well, maybe writing that was just a therapeutic thing for me...  :normal_smile : 


Hello,

 

I hope it was therapeutic


Edited by arcorob - 1/2/14 at 5:17pm
post #35 of 36
Thread Starter 

Hi Arcorob,

 

Corrections needed.  I compared the Kipsch ear plugs to the Grado SR80s and could easily hear a drastic difference in quality.  That happened.

 

Regarding desktop (not laptop) MB chipset (commonly available Realtek ALC889) being "cheapo," here is something objective about it.

 

~High performance DACs with 108dB signal-to-noise ratio (A-weighting)

~Ten DAC channels support 16/20/24-bit PCM format for 7.1 sound playback, plus 2 channels of concurrent independent stereo sound output (multiple streaming) through the front panel output
~Three stereo ADCs support 16/20/24-bit PCM format, multiple stereo recording

~All DACs supports 44.1k/48k/88.2k/96k/176.4k/192kHz sample rate
~All ADCs supports 44.1k/48k/88.2k/96k/176.4k/192kHz sample rate

~Primary 16/20/24-bit SPDIF-OUT supports 32k/44.1k/48k/88.2k/96k/192kHz sample rate

~Secondary 16/20/24-bit SPDIF-OUT supports 32k/44.1k/48k/88.2k/96k/192kHz sample rate

16/20/24-bit SPDIF-IN supports 32k/44.1k/48k/96k/192kHz sample rate

~All analog jacks (port-A to port-G) are stereo input and output re-tasking
Port-A/B/C/D/E/F built in headphone amplifiers

 

We already did the hearing comparison.  The result was my main point above.  We listened to many well recorded classical CDs and used two Grado SR80s for instant comparison.  There was no audible difference - to our ears.

post #36 of 36

Nick...

 

Glad it works for you.

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