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In search of a good DAC for my monitors

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

What DAC would you recommend fot driving monitor speakers? I'm using KRK Rokit 8's.

Not sure if I need balanced outputs on the sound card or not, though I would prefer 6.3 TRS or XLR since I already own these cables.

 

200-300USD with shipping is my budget for the project, second hand is also good for me. 

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by toivi View Post
 

What DAC would you recommend fot driving monitor speakers? I'm using KRK Rokit 8's.

Not sure if I need balanced outputs on the sound card or not, though I would prefer 6.3 TRS or XLR since I already own these cables.

 

200-300USD with shipping is my budget for the project, second hand is also good for me. 

I'm assuming your using the KRK Rokit 8s with a Win PC.

 

Hifiman Sabre U2 USB DAC, $57+shipping.

Schiit Modi USB DAC, $99+tax/shipping.

ODAC USB DAC, $150

 

A used Asus Xonar D2 or D2X sound card ($100?) would give you some nice sound.

Even the lower cost Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used $60) would be a good value.

 

Any of the above would connect using a 3.5mm or RCA to a pair of 6.35mm (1/4") TS mono jacks cable.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Yes, Windows PC+Monitors setup.

Acutally it's a laptop, so I can only utilize external solutions,

 

Balanced outputs shouldn't meant to provide better quality? Maybe not in the price range my equipment is in, because I didn't noticed much improvement when I switched from RCA link.

 

Forgot to mention in my startpost that I mostly listen to electronic music, with lot of bass. I'm looking for some DAC which can make popping mids, punchy lows and crisp highs, an overall balanced sound with the bass being a bit overpowered.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by toivi View Post
 

Yes, Windows PC+Monitors setup.

Actually it's a laptop, so I can only utilize external solutions,

Balanced outputs shouldn't meant to provide better quality? Maybe not in the price range my equipment is in, because I didn't noticed much improvement when I switched from RCA link.

Forgot to mention in my startpost that I mostly listen to electronic music, with lot of bass. I'm looking for some DAC which can make popping mids, punchy lows and crisp highs, an overall balanced sound with the bass being a bit overpowered.

Usually the better the DAC, the more original the audio should sound, which I would guess the ODAC does the best.

Do not think any of them make the bass, more overpowering.

post #5 of 6

I would get a basic audio interface within your budget, plenty to choose from, ability to have independent headphone out and you can make use of your cables.  I own and work with a focusrite 2i4 and a roland quad capture and have no issues with either, you are unlikely to get a huge improvement without spending $500+


Edited by Tablix - 2/9/14 at 11:23am
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by toivi View Post

Balanced outputs shouldn't meant to provide better quality? Maybe not in the price range my equipment is in, because I didn't noticed much improvement when I switched from RCA link.

 

Balanced outputs are better there signal to noise is 110db vs unbalanced 75db, there not audiably better in that way though since most music has a dynamic range of <60db, balanced cables are the better option if you have grounding promblems or high rf. The emu 0404 is in your budget and has balanced outputs or the odac is a good option if you want unbalanced outputs.

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