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Help, advice and/or discussion regarding amp/DAC vs. AVR

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Let's start this off by saying that I am not entirely educated in the whole audio scene. Keep this in mind in case I make any mistakes or basic misunderstandings.

Anyway, I am hoping to rework my PC, mostly internal components to my build as well as speakers, (most likely going to keep my 2.1 setup for the sake of real estate on my desk as I plan to have a surround monitor setup going once I have the chance) and add in a amp and DAC into it. While doing some research, I hadn't found any particular amp or DAC for me, I came across some discussion regarding the whole amp and DAC combo vs. receivers. During all of this, some rather heated debates, I, as well as many others in those threads it would seem, never really figured out if one was better than the other in only so many regards, one was outright better or if people were just arguing for the sake of arguing. It seemed like people arguing to me.

People were saying that AVR devices have both an amp and a DAC built in most of the time; thus, nullifying the need for anything but that one central device. Others said that it won't really compare to well against each device being separated and many of the features of the AVR become pointless because they only serve particular needs that most wouldn't bother with when they have it set up at their desk. For me I was planning on just having the amp and the DAC sit above my PC, on my desk, where I could manage it easily. I was hoping to have both my to-be-decided speakers connected to it and to have my headphones connected at the same time. Changing that out with a soundcard for my desktop setup is a pain to do as I have to get below and behind my desk with a light to find the cables and change them out.

Essentially what I'm asking is what would the benefits of an AVR be over a amp/DAC combo or vice versa? Is one better suited for desktop needs? I have a larger desk than most I figure so space isn't too bad for me once I get rid of some junk on my desk. I was hoping that I could easily switch out headphones while keeping my speakers plugged in. I plan to have a dedicated soundcard for my PC for audio but would like to have an alternative option connected through my motherboard that I can hopefully apply to a later setup if need be.

Any help is appreciated and welcome. If this is a super stupid question then I apologize. I plan to keep looking into this so if I figure this out for myself before this thread gets any replies then I will post my findings in here and close it.

post #2 of 3

As you only seem to need audio for your desktop computer and only need a 2-channel analog audio signal for your 2.1 speakers.

You do not really have a need for a A/V receiver.

I would say to get a Audio-GD NFB-15.32 external DAC/amp ($255+shipping),

It comes with dual DAC chips.

It can connect to your computer using optical, coaxial and USB.

Also comes with an amplified headphone output and a separate line-output for your speakers.

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

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

As you only seem to need audio for your desktop computer and only need a 2-channel analog audio signal for your 2.1 speakers.

You do not really have a need for a A/V receiver.

I would say to get a Audio-GD NFB-15.32 external DAC/amp ($255+shipping),

It comes with dual DAC chips.

It can connect to your computer using optical, coaxial and USB.

Also comes with an amplified headphone output and a separate line-output for your speakers.

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


An interesting item. It seems from what I have now found, the people who were talking about having receivers at their desks were also using their PC's for home theater and media center setups. Since I won't be doing that it looks like that a receiver won't be doing me any good as my plans won't be taking my PC close enough to my TV for any of that to happen.

I guess the point of this thread should shift from here on out for any future visitors. I guess I'm looking for an amp and DAC for PC that would be, hopefully, in the ~$300 CAD. If the price is higher than that, and you feel that it is a fair increase over the limit, then list it anyway. I would love to hear what you guys are saying is the best for you and why. Always interested in learning what other people have running their rigs.

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