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DAC with Toslink Optical in and RCA out to match the Magni

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I bought the Schiit Magni to drive several sets of headphones, the most demanding being the Q701s. My plan is to use my FiiO E17 as a DAC until I find a suitable replacement. The problem is that I can't find a suitable replacement! I use the setup with my MacBook Pro when I'm home - most of my music collection is lossless - but I really prefer using the optical out over the USB. The E17 is great for that, but it  does not have an external power source. So, I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a DAC somewhere in the range of the Modi, but with the optical in. The only thing I've been able to find that comes close is the Audioengine D1 - if I can find it on sale somewhere! There are also a few Chinese made brandless DACs on ebay, but the conditions of sale are generally unacceptable (no real warranty, buyer pays return shipping to China). Recommendations are most welcome!

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowshoe View Post
 

I bought the Schiit Magni to drive several sets of headphones, the most demanding being the Q701s. My plan is to use my FiiO E17 as a DAC until I find a suitable replacement. The problem is that I can't find a suitable replacement! I use the setup with my MacBook Pro when I'm home - most of my music collection is lossless - but I really prefer using the optical out over the USB. The E17 is great for that, but it  does not have an external power source. So, I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a DAC somewhere in the range of the Modi, but with the optical in. The only thing I've been able to find that comes close is the Audioengine D1 - if I can find it on sale somewhere! There are also a few Chinese made brandless DACs on ebay, but the conditions of sale are generally unacceptable (no real warranty, buyer pays return shipping to China). Recommendations are most welcome!

Have you tried plugging the Magni directly into the MacBook Pro's headphone output jack? 

with the Q701 plugged into the Magni.

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Have you tried plugging the Magni directly into the MacBook Pro's headphone output jack? 

with the Q701 plugged into the Magni.

+1

 

While it is not the best dac in the world, some of those mac pros actually have pretty decent dacs built in. I know that apple likes to use some pretty decent wolfson dac chips, so you could get lucky and not have to buy anything else. 

 

If you are forced to buy something else, then get the modi and use USB. I am an optical fan myself, but when it comes down to it, USB sounds exactly the same. Sometimes you have have to fiddle with things to get USB to work, but once you have it working, it is smooth sailing. 

 

It is better to buy a quality dac that has USB vs a poor quality dac that has toslink. 

post #4 of 7
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses. One of the reasons I first stepped into the hi-fi world was because I felt that the audio out on my macbook pro was too noisy. I seem to be quite a bit more sensitive than most people. Where I hear noise -- electrical interference usually -- my friends and family hear black. Using a DAC has helped immensely. Still, I have since upgraded my computer, so I should give it a try again. True. I prefer the optical port for sound and because I often need the extra USB port.

 

Thanks for the recommendation hifihead. What are some of the pros and cons of this dac/amp? The actual chip, the PCM-1716, doesn't get much love!

 

UPDATE: So I did a quick test of the plain out port of my mbp into the Magni and then compared that to the optical out through my E17. Night and day difference as far as I'm concerned. I think a major problem with that setup is that you can't utilize the dac and bypass the internal amp.


Edited by snowshoe - 1/2/14 at 7:03pm
post #6 of 7

I can only compare the tc-7510 to my other dac, the Cambridge Audio Dacmagic. The tc-7510 sounds a little bright, not as warm sounding as the dacmagic. The tc-7510 is not as smooth sounding. The built-in headphone amp on the tc-7510 is not very powerful or great sounding. But, that's what I got the magni for the headphone amp.

post #7 of 7

I should add that I think the tc-7510 sounds pretty good for the price. One should keep in mind that the dacmagic is 4 times the cost of the tc-7510.

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