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Need Some Computer to DAC advice

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

 Hi Guys

 I'm new to the forum so please excuse any newbie mistakes.

 I need some help getting quality music from my computer to my speakers. I just did a big changeover on my components, getting rid of my old system and starting to put together a new one. I now have an REGA RP-3 Turntable, Rogue Sphinx Amplifier and I kept my old RSL Nevada floor monitors. In the meantime, when I am not playing vinyl, I had plugged in my iPod for music that I did not have on vinyl, and the sound is obviously pretty bad.

 I have an older Mac Powerbook G4 that I plan on using for my digital music, all my CD's are on an external hard disk in lossless format connected to my mac. I have been researching DAC's and I am looking for some advice. I want to keep everything within a $750 budget. The DAC's i have been exposed to are The Cambridge DacMagic 100The Schiit BifrostArcam irDACSimaudio Moon 100D and the Micromega MyDac!

 My question is not necessarily about "which" deck to get (although any input is appreciated... I'm leaning toward the Schiit)... but more of a question about what else I will need to make the connection from computer to DAC to Amplifier. the computer only has firewire, usb and ethernet ports to connect and I've been reading some bad things about USB connections.

 Now the question!

 What s the best (and best sounding) way to get music from my computer to my amplifier within $750 budget? The budget must include any recommended accessories cables etc.

Thanks for the help

post #2 of 5
You aren't going to like my answer. IMHO, getting a digital bitstream from one place to another would, at best, have only very, very subtle effect on the sound quality of the decoded signal. The ONLY effect would be in the timing, and I'm having a very hard time believing the timing in a USB 2.0/3.0 transport would be different enough from Firewire & s/pdif to have an audible difference. I'm not saying it's impossible or immeasurable - I'm just thinking it is not of significance.

But, I also freely admit that I'm not a digital communications engineer or even an EE, so feel free to dismiss my comments. If you trust firewire more than USB, and you have a firewire port on your PC, then I guess you will need to look for a DAC with a firewire input.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks billybob

 I have not formulated an opinion one way or another yet. I am a technical clod, but I do love good music. I'm basically just wanting to get the best sound I can from my cd's through an interface so I don't have to have hundreds/thousands of cd cases lying around. My vinyl takes up enough room Lol. Is going strait from my computer to the DAC to the Amplifier via USB adequate?

post #4 of 5
In my humble opinion, yes.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by skizziks View Post
 

Thanks billybob

 I have not formulated an opinion one way or another yet. I am a technical clod, but I do love good music. I'm basically just wanting to get the best sound I can from my CD's through an interface so I don't have to have hundreds/thousands of CD cases lying around. My vinyl takes up enough room Lol. Is going strait from my computer to the DAC to the Amplifier via USB adequate?

Using USB appears to be your only choice, for connecting an external DAC to your G4.

A lot of people use USB for a digital audio output and are happy with it.

Some Mac's use the same 3.5mm jack for both analog headphones and digital optical output.

Might want to check detailed reviews on your G4, just in case.

 

 

Check out the Audio-GD NFB-15.32 external DAC/amp.

Comes with a 32-bit-/384 USB input, have no idea if your G4's USB output can take advantage of it.

The 15.32 also comes with dual WM8741 DAC chips.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

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