Originally Posted by dlyz
Hoping Dac-19 will arrive before Chinese New Year so i can enjoy it during the holidays + i took annual leave from work. I have 2 questions for the seniors here.
1. If i turn on the dac and play nothing, does that count as run in? or should i play something but leave my amp turned off. (Im on speakers so i don't want run them 24hrs to run in)
2. Did you guys upgrade your usb cable or power cord?
I got a NOS 19 in August. It's similar to the DAC-19 (same chassis, same chips, but no oversampling capability). So I'll just tell you what I've done.
1. Power cable: I bought my NOS 19 from Magni Hifi in the Netherlands. The only problem was they shipped it with a European-only type power cable (though this unit is 120V and we don't use that type of cable in the U.S. But no problem...I just hooked it up with my favorite inexpensive power cable, a Signal Cable "Digital Reference" cable ($54 for 4 ft. length). It's 14 gauge, far more pliable and manageable than the other cables in his lineup. It works perfectly: http://signalcable.com/videopower.html
2. USB cable: I have a solid but inexpensive cable, Belden Gold (~$40) which I will be upgrading fairly soon to a well-reviewed USB cable recommended by another DAC-19 owner on this thread, the Supra USB 2.0. This link is for .7M, not quite long enough for me. I'll have to get a 1.0M version: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/152131344830?lpid=82&chn=ps&ul_noapp=true
But beyond just the cable, that DAC-19 owner and I use S/PDIF boxes between the USB cable and the DAC. He uses a Singxer SU-1, which costs ~400 and outputs digital signal to the DAC via multiple connection types (ie, coax BNC/RCA; balanced XLR; HDMI); others on the thread recommend the Singxer F-1, which outputs in RCA coax only. I will get an SU-1 fairly soon. For the time being, I use a Musical Fidelity 24/192 V-Link converter, which outputs RCA coax.
The goal is to supercede the USB input chip/receiver that's in the DAC-19 or NOS 19 with something a little better. I've been using V-Links for years; I prefer the sound of coax inputs on every DAC I've had, and the NOS 19 is no different (I compared its pretty good USB implementation w/coax input from the V-Link...coax always wins).
As if that werent' confusing enough, I have another device between the USB cable coming from my desktop computer and the USB input of the V-Link: a USB Regen, which cleans up the USB signal coming from the computer and supplements the power so your USB signal is not simply buss-powered, as it would be coming straight from the computer to the DAC.
All to say: there are multiple ways to upgrade the signal you feed to your new DAC-19. I can't say for sure you would perceive any of these upgrades as an improvement--but I have, so it's worth doing. After all, this is an endgame DAC.