DAC / pre < $100 with optical input?
May 5, 2015 at 7:13 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

taiz

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Can anyone recommend a fairly compact (but doesn't have to be travel-sized) DAC + preamp or headphone amp with an optical input and a volume control for under $100? Most of the ones I've seen are USB-only (Fiio E10, Schiit Fulla, Topping TP30)
 
Not looking for super high-end audio quality as this is intended for a bedroom TV setup. My PS3 is wired via HDMI to my TV for the video signal, but the volume control on the TV doesn't control the level of the RCA outputs so I actually have the audio coming from my PS3 via optical to a Nuforce Icon HDP connected to my speakers. The HDP is definitely overkill for this application so I'm looking for something cheaper to replace it so I can use the HDP for music.
 
Basically, my requirements are:
 
- optical input
- volume controller
- RCA output controlled by volume controller (i.e. pre out)
- <$100
 
The Topping D2 and the Audioengine D1 both seem to fit the bill, but both are a little more than I'm willing to pay for this setup...
 
May 5, 2015 at 10:24 PM Post #2 of 5

PurpleAngel

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You could get a FiiO D3 (optical input) DAC, $28
and a FiiO E11K headphone amplifier, $60
 
May 6, 2015 at 5:36 AM Post #3 of 5

GearMe

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Can anyone recommend a fairly compact (but doesn't have to be travel-sized) DAC + preamp or headphone amp with an optical input and a volume control for under $100? Most of the ones I've seen are USB-only (Fiio E10, Schiit Fulla, Topping TP30)

Not looking for super high-end audio quality as this is intended for a bedroom TV setup. My PS3 is wired via HDMI to my TV for the video signal, but the volume control on the TV doesn't control the level of the RCA outputs so I actually have the audio coming from my PS3 via optical to a Nuforce Icon HDP connected to my speakers. The HDP is definitely overkill for this application so I'm looking for something cheaper to replace it so I can use the HDP for music.

Basically, my requirements are:

- optical input
- volume controller
- RCA output controlled by volume controller (i.e. pre out)
- <$100

The Topping D2 and the Audioengine D1 both seem to fit the bill, but both are a little more than I'm willing to pay for this setup...


Maybe the SMSL SD793...no experience with it -- just saw it on Amazon

Also, not sure if RCA out is variable

http://www.amazon.com/SMSL-SD793-II-PCM1793-DIR9001-amplifier/dp/B00A2QLQTQ
 
May 6, 2015 at 1:05 PM Post #4 of 5

taiz

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  You could get a FiiO D3 (optical input) DAC, $28
and a FiiO E11K headphone amplifier, $60

 
Good suggestion...I actually hadn't considered separates. My only concern is that the noise-floor of the D3 seems really high but I'm not sure if that's the D3 or if it's something else in my system. I'm currently using one in my PC setup some Audioengine A5's / Steelseries gaming headphones.
Maybe the SMSL SD793...no experience with it -- just saw it on Amazon

Also, not sure if RCA out is variable

http://www.amazon.com/SMSL-SD793-II-PCM1793-DIR9001-amplifier/dp/B00A2QLQTQ

 
I actually bought this recently to test it out but the RCA is a fixed output and not controlled by the volume pot. :frowning2:
 
May 6, 2015 at 2:41 PM Post #5 of 5

PurpleAngel

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Good suggestion...I actually hadn't considered separates. My only concern is that the noise-floor of the D3 seems really high but I'm not sure if that's the D3 or if it's something else in my system. I'm currently using one in my PC setup some Audioengine A5's / Steelseries gaming headphones.
 
I actually bought this recently to test it out but the RCA is a fixed output and not controlled by the volume pot. :frowning2:

 
You want a DAC that has optical input and your budget is $100, not a lot of choices there.
There is also the FiiO D7 S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) input, $50.
There are several low costing DACs sold on eBay, not sure which is the better quality.
 

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