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On board sounds better than new DAC?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Setup:

 

PC (S/PDIF)-> MUSE 4X TDA1543 DAC -> Little Dot MKIII -> HD650's 

 

Over the past few months I've been building up my system and the last component was the MUSE DAC. I received the DAC today after about a week of running the system with just on board from the PC and as expected I had some inference and what not but I that's fine as I was expecting this. After a full day of trying all different types of songs with the DAC I have to say I've come to the conclusion it sounds worse than the on board. I know this is illogical, by all accounts the on board sounds is awful but I've had 3 different people in a blind listening test confirm what I thought. The bass when using the DAC seems less refined and not as crisp, also the sound stage seems much smaller with the highs sometimes becoming very sharp as if they're making a shhhh noise but with on board I don't get this effect. I'm panting a very negative picture of the output here but It's not unacceptably bad. I don't think the unit is defective but maybe you can shed some light on this front.

 

I do understand the MUSE DAC is not the best DAC in the world but it's all I could afford on my budget. Is this just a case of you pay for what you get or is it more than that. Thanks

 

Edit: Just as a side note the Motherboard is a Gigabite P67 UD3 which back in the day was a high end board could this have a better DAC than the muse?


Edited by cammac88 - 1/14/14 at 3:28pm
post #2 of 13
Yes, your onboard audio is probably just better.
Sometimes you get what you pay for.. other times you may stumble across something that punches well above its weight and has great synergy with certain kit. There are many versions of Muse DAC's and some are bit better than others. This is a NOS DAC isn't it? Some like the distortions produced by non oversampling DAC's and even reckon they sound more 'analogue'! :\

Your UD3 uses the Realtek ALC889 iirc which is generally considered by most to have unspectacular but satisfactory SQ providing
there are no noise issues from dirty onboard power.... < which is normally the main reason why you'd opt for a budget external DAC.
Edited by Ari33 - 1/14/14 at 4:02pm
post #3 of 13
Some people think that external is automatically better when usually they are overpriced and often do not have that good DACs in it. If I'm not mistaken that Muse has Philips TDA1543 DAC unless I googled the specs wrong (according to spec sheet that is 23 years old chip with subpar SNR and other specs). On paper Realtek ALC889 beats it hands down. New motherboards are getting better when it comes to shielding the audio part and some new mobos seem to be quite decent finally.
Edited by Anarion - 1/14/14 at 4:57pm
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. You confirmed what I feared, the DAC's just junk, shame I spent £50 on the thing! Do you have any suggestions for the best price DAC that would be step up from onboard as I want to get rid of the nasty interference but I want something that sounds as good/ better.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari33 View Post

Yes, your onboard audio is probably just better.
Sometimes you get what you pay for.. other times you may stumble across something that punches well above its weight and has great synergy with certain kit. There are many versions of Muse DAC's and some are bit better than others. This is a NOS DAC isn't it? Some like the distortions produced by non oversampling DAC's and even reckon they sound more 'analogue'! :\

Your UD3 uses the Realtek ALC889 iirc which is generally considered by most to have unspectacular but satisfactory SQ providing
there are no noise issues from dirty onboard power.... < which is normally the main reason why you'd opt for a budget external DAC.

 

Thanks for the reply.DAC's full title is MUSE Mini HiFi DIR9001 4X TDA1543 Parallel Connection Philip IC DAC NOS So yes its NOS. 

post #6 of 13

Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card, used is fine.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Will they have decent shielding? As I don't want any noise from the PSU to be passed to amplifier.

post #8 of 13
I'd ditch those ASUS (crap drivers) and get Sound Blaster Z OEM if you want good card cheap. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-PCI-E-Sound-Blaster-Soundcard/dp/B009S1NTUU
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post

I'd ditch those ASUS (crap drivers) and get Sound Blaster Z OEM if you want good card cheap. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-PCI-E-Sound-Blaster-Soundcard/dp/B009S1NTUU

Now I want to just get this straight. If I get any of the above sound cards will I still get the buzzing from the PSU or are the sound cards better shielded in some way. I would be willing to put up with a bit but not the same level as the current on board. Also how much better is the DAC on the sound card than the on board. Thanks.  


Edited by cammac88 - 1/15/14 at 11:58am
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cammac88 View Post
 

Will they have decent shielding? As I don't want any noise from the PSU to be passed to amplifier.

The Xonar DX/D1 sound card is about the cheapest way to add a good DAC chip for use with you PC, that also lets you still have headphone surround sound features.

The DX/D1 might have less of a noise issue, compared to the motherboard's on-board audio.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The Xonar DX/D1 sound card is about the cheapest way to add a good DAC chip for use with you PC, that also lets you still have headphone surround sound features.

The DX/D1 might have less of a noise issue, compared to the motherboard's on-board audio.

Thanks for the reply. I don't real mind about surround sound features I just want the best DAC I can get on a sound card for around £60.

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cammac88 View Post
 

Thanks for the reply. I don't real mind about surround sound features I just want the best DAC I can get on a sound card for around £60.

Hifimediy Sabre U2, USB DAC, 36 GBP+shipping

http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=123

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Hifimediy Sabre U2, USB DAC, 36 GBP+shipping
http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=123

This! ^ +1
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