Does it deserve to have a DAC between you Hi Fi and you Headphone ?
Feb 21, 2007 at 8:03 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 32

lerio

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Hi, i wonder if the fact that Total BitHead don't have a optical or a coaxial input deserve to upgrade now or no

Does using optical or coaxial output from a Hi Fi or from a DVD player (mine have both a optical & coaxial output) to a DAC like HeadRoom Micro DAC really improve the sound like a DAC w/ USB connected to a PC ?

If yes i prefer buy first a DAC w/ optical & coaxial input rather then buy first Total BitHead and buy again later another DAC

Thank's

(I never thought i'll be a audiophile addict, i just bought a Grado sr60 because i wanted a supraaural headphone vs my circumaural MDR-V700, !!
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Feb 21, 2007 at 5:27 PM Post #2 of 32

lerio

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Nobody ?
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Feb 21, 2007 at 6:05 PM Post #3 of 32

Lord Chaos

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I don't know how good the DAC is in the Headroom amp. My only experience is with a Benchmark Media DAC1 connected with co-ax to a Squeezebox, and using Shure E500 in-ear monitors. The DAC1 sounds better than the Squeezebox by itself, and also sounds better than the DAC built into my elderly Sony pre-amp.

I think this depends on the quality of the DAC in your equipment. Basic question would be whether the Headroom DAC is better than what you already have. And then on how much money you want to spend...
 
Feb 21, 2007 at 6:16 PM Post #4 of 32

lerio

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My budget If necessary can go max to around 450 $

Yes the DAC will add quality but how much ? for example, what make me decide to buy a DAC with USB is difference i ear with my Grado between my DVD player and my PC = BIG

But for decide to buy a DAC w/ USB and w/ optical/coaxial input who cost more i want to know if the difference i'll have between what i can ear now with my Hi Fi or DVD player can be Lot better if i listen them using coaxial of my DVD to my DAC (i hope it's clear, english is not my primary language)

I'am not limited with Headroom, if a DAC USB & optical/coaxial input is good for my price i can go for that, i choosen Headroom BitHead because he sem to me the best for that price

Thank's
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Feb 21, 2007 at 6:22 PM Post #5 of 32

kramer5150

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It all depends on the sound coming from your DVD deck. If your deck already has an internal DAC that is sonically pleasing to you, adding a DAC could provide no benefit, or even worse, degrade the sound.
 
Feb 21, 2007 at 6:28 PM Post #6 of 32

lerio

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It all depends on the sound coming from your DVD deck. If your deck already has an internal DAC that is sonically pleasing to you, adding a DAC could provide no benefit, or even worse, degrade the sound.


One thing i should precise is that my DVD don't have a headphone output, i use the TV headphone to listen from him ( Pioneer DVR-220)
 
Feb 21, 2007 at 6:34 PM Post #7 of 32

cooperpwc

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It's a lttle difficult to undertand all the possible uses that you have in mind. If you buy the MicroDAC, what will you use as an amplifier?

The Total Bithead is a great little unit for use with a computer. As an amplifier with your DVD player, it just is going to work off the line-out signal. An issue for you may be power. How will you drive the Bithead when using it with your DVD player? It has no AC in. You can run it at 5 volts off USB and still amplify the line-in signal if such a layout is convenient at your home. Otherwise you are stuck with batterties and that makes no sense for watching DVDs from a home unit.

A unit like the MicroDAC will run off AC power at much higher voltage. If you are using the MicroDAC with its sister MicroAmp, you are also looking at double the amp wattage again delivered at much higher voltage. Potentailly an even bigger quality improvement than you are getting from the coaxial input. (Then again the Grados are probably low impedance...)

There is no obvious answer as to what is right for you. More money here will give you better quality and more flexibility. It will also triple the price (Bithead versus MicroDac + MicroAmp).
 
Feb 21, 2007 at 6:45 PM Post #8 of 32

kramer5150

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If it helps you at all, I noticed a significant improvement in adding an entech 205 DAC to my Panasonic DVD source. But thats relative to MY source. The entech is considered pretty entry level around here, but still I found it to be worth the $100. It improved the soundstage and sub-bass extension enough to be worth the investment.
 
Feb 21, 2007 at 6:50 PM Post #9 of 32

lerio

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cooperpwc /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It's a lttle difficult to undertand all the possible uses that you have in mind. If you buy the MicroDAC, what will you use as an amplifier?

The Total Bithead is a great little unit for use with a computer. As an amplifier with your DVD player, it just is going to work off the line-out signal. An issue for you may be power. How will you drive the Bithead when using it with your DVD player? It has no AC in. You can run it at 5 volts off USB and still amplify the line-in signal if such a layout is convenient at your home. Otherwise you are stuck with batterties and that makes no sense for watching DVDs from a home unit.

A unit like the MicroDAC will run off AC power at much higher voltage. If you are using the MicroDAC with its sister MicroAmp, you are also looking at double the amp wattage again delivered at much higher voltage. Potentailly an even bigger quality improvement than you are getting from the coaxial input. (Then again the Grados are probably low impedance...)

There is no obvious answer as to what is right for you. More money here will give you better quality and more flexibility. It will also triple the price (Bithead versus MicroDac + MicroAmp).



I don't need a Amp for listen to my DVD as the sound go through TV and have enough power for my Grado sr60

But if i buy a DAC with optical/coaxial input for listen to my DVD you're right i should buy one with external AC power-supply

About using MicroDAC & MicroAmp i prefer buy 1 combo who can do both rather then buy 2 units

The question is the optical/coaxial input for listen directly from my DVD coaxial output will give a real better difference conpare to what i can ear now when i listen it on the headphone of my TV ? ,same as i one i found between my Hi Fi or DVD compare to my PC (Asus A8N-SLI) ?
 
Feb 21, 2007 at 6:52 PM Post #10 of 32

lerio

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Interesting, you listened before with the headphone output of you DVD player ??
 
Feb 21, 2007 at 6:56 PM Post #11 of 32

MaloS

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One of the questions is how much the difference is worth to you and how much can you pick up yourself (even that varies), as stated before.
Micro DAC is better than the bithead, significantly. Meaning the bass responce is lower and the detail is better, but what always comes up thats important that will not appear as significant, as the biggest differences high-end gear makes is with music that has high dynamic range, producing high quality response without any regard for frequency/volume, and if your music benefits from that, AND you can hear it (we stop picking up differences waaaay before electronics start approaching 100% precision), then it will be a positive upgrade to you.

I would definitely recommend against bothering with the bithead if you are using some kind of a transport rather than a computer (you can't use bithead to do anything useful there), and on top of that, if you transport has a line-out, you might be better off getting an amp alone and not worrying about the DAC, but if the line-out from your transport (its internal DAC) is not a decent one, then a DAC could work out to be excellent improvement.

To make things even more interesting for you, I can throw in that I owned a Bithead an now own the Micro DAC. The differences are rather subtle between the 2, even though one is a dedicated DAC while the other is a DAC-Amp combo for less. To me the cost differences are worth it as what Micro DAC brings to the table is what I ask for (better texture, more controlled an extened bass, more 'air', but all of those things can be encompossed in about 5% max of the total difference when listening, and the Micro DAC requires that you have an amp to go with it). Are those 5% worth it to you is up to you, and the best way to test is to hear. You do not have to hear the Micro DAC per say, just try to find a higher end cd-player than what you use (I am pretty sure a ~$300 Sony will beat the TV's heaphone out no-problem), an then think about the difference it makes, worth it or not worth it.

This is not head-phile approach obviously, to all of us here any improvement is worth it, time is the only delimiter :wink:.
 
Feb 21, 2007 at 7:00 PM Post #12 of 32

kramer5150

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lerio /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Interesting, you listened before with the headphone output of you DVD player ??


No, I use a dedicated amp... like this:
Panasonic DVD=>Larocco PPA=>RS1
rs1smile.gif


Adding the dac went like this:
Panasonic DVD=>Entech 205=>Larocco PPA=>RS1
rs1smile.gif
rs1smile.gif
rs1smile.gif


Unfortunately I cooked the entech (my own stupidity
mad.gif
), so now I am back to this
frown.gif
:
Panasonic DVD=>Larocco PPA=>RS1
rs1smile.gif
 
Feb 21, 2007 at 7:02 PM Post #13 of 32

MaloS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lerio /img/forum/go_quote.gif
About using MicroDAC & MicroAmp i prefer buy 1 combo who can do both rather then buy 2 units


Consider Meier-Audio Corda Aria. Dedicated amp that is made to work with a power supply and can also use USB as input from a computer (basically big bad bithead). Unfortunately it does not accept any other digital inputs, or it would be a complete marvel. $460 if you order straight from Meier.
 
Feb 21, 2007 at 7:03 PM Post #14 of 32

MaloS

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No, I use a dedicated amp... like this:
Panasonic DVD=>Larocco PPA=>RS1

Adding the dac went like this:
Panasonic DVD=>Entech 205=>Larocco PPA=>RS1

Unfortunately I cooked the entech (my own stupidity
mad.gif
), so now I am back to this
frown.gif
:
Panasonic DVD=>Larocco PPA=>RS1



that progression of events was quite funny...although i know how breaking things is, leveled my porta corda AND echo indigio
mad.gif
 
Feb 21, 2007 at 7:08 PM Post #15 of 32

lerio

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