Dr. DAC2 DX Unboxing
Jul 31, 2010 at 8:26 AM Post #16 of 32

imyself

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Quote:
I'm in the same boat as you mate, I also live in Europe.
Fingers crossed that nothing will happen to it. So far everything has been going very well.

Scrivs, thanks for your answer! I guess your answer implies that the thing is built sturdily with no worries about repeated plugging/unplugging of any cables?
 
I'm planning to use it via USB for both headphones (K701, got them already) and active monitor speakers (yet to be decided and bought). Can anyone comment on using the switch between headphone out and pre out? In particular, does it produce any noises? (The question had been asked by bearmann in another thread but seems to have remained unanswered.)
 
Jul 31, 2010 at 5:09 PM Post #17 of 32

Scrivs

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Quote:
Scrivs, thanks for your answer! I guess your answer implies that the thing is built sturdily with no worries about repeated plugging/unplugging of any cables?


Correct :wink:
 
Quote:
I'm planning to use it via USB for both headphones (K701, got them already) and active monitor speakers (yet to be decided and bought). Can anyone comment on using the switch between headphone out and pre out? In particular, does it produce any noises? (The question had been asked by bearmann in another thread but seems to have remained unanswered.)

 
Nope, this doesnt produce any noise or unwanted sounds whatsoever. I also use my headphone alot and therefore I use that switch quite often.
Even while playing music you dont hear anything unusual while switching from speakers to headphone or vice versa, it just immediately cancels any sound coming through the speakers and plays it through the headphone without any problems.
 
Oh and keep in mind that you got the appropriate cables for USB usage, you can read more about this at the very end of my original post. Only output option via USB is optical out so make sure you got the right cables for that.
You dont want to finally get the device in your mail and then not being able to set it up due to a misunderstanding :wink:
 
Jul 31, 2010 at 8:37 PM Post #18 of 32

imyself

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     Quote:
Correct :wink:  
Nope, this doesnt produce any noise or unwanted sounds whatsoever. I also use my headphone alot and therefore I use that switch quite often.
Even while playing music you dont hear anything unusual while switching from speakers to headphone or vice versa, it just immediately cancels any sound coming through the speakers and plays it through the headphone without any problems.

Thanks, that's what I wanted to hear :wink:
 
Quote:
Scrivs said:


Oh and keep in mind that you got the appropriate cables for USB usage, you can read more about this at the very end of my original post. Only output option via USB is optical out so make sure you got the right cables for that.
You dont want to finally get the device in your mail and then not being able to set it up due to a misunderstanding :wink:

Thanks for bringing that up again. I honestly do not understand what that means (neither your posting nor the user manual). What I would like to do is use the Dr.Dac2 DX as a standard external USB audio device, i.e.,
 
Laptop USB port -> USB cable -> Dr.Dac2 DX USB port
and
Dr. Dac2 DX line out/headphone out -> appropriate cables -> K701 and speakers
 
How do optical cables come into play here? Do I need an additional optical cable from optical out to optical in for the Dr.Dac2 DX?
 
Sorry, but I really can't follow your posts at this particular point (otherwise, thanks again for your great posts, both original and answers to my questions).
 
Aug 1, 2010 at 11:45 AM Post #19 of 32

Scrivs

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Yes, alright.
 
Well the idea is that when you have plugged the device into your media player (your pc in this case) via USB, no other output besides the optical out on the device will produce sound. For instance if you have plugged your speakers into the analog out of the DAC and the DAC itself is linked to your pc via USB, you wont hear anything. So you must use the optical out in order to play music through your speakers.
So somehow, you need to plug your speakers into the optical out of the device. And to be honest, I'm not entirely sure how to do this either... if you can find a cable that has an optical plugin on one side and an RCA (you know, the black and white ones) on the other side, that should work because this way you can can plug the speakers straight into the optical out. But I'm not sure if there even is such a cable... I atleast cant find one.
 
I'm guessing that the optical out is meant for a seperate amplifier. For instance: you got your pc -> to which you have connected the DAC via USB -> then you got an optical to optical cable (optical plugins on both sides of the cable) into the optical out of the DAC and straight into an optical input of the seperate amplifier -> and then you got your sound system plugged into that amp.
But still, I'm not sure about this. Its just my guess.
 
So maybe you have to find another way to connect the DAC to your pc? Don't you have a soundcard in your pc that supports S/PDIF output or something? Because thats what I did...
 
I know that on first sight it looks like the DAC offers alot of different in/output options, and ofcourse it does, but in fact you are still pretty much limited in choices because most of the time there is only one option that works for your current setup.
The DAC has all these different options because it has to be a versatile product, it has to be able to do it's job in various different setups. You just have to pick the right choise for your setup, if you understand what I mean.
 
I had the same problem, initialy i was planning on connecting the DAC to my soundcard via analog in and my speakers to the DAC via analog out, but then I discovered that the DAC doesnt work via analog in, you do get sound but it wont upsample the audiosignal, which is ofcourse what you buy the DAC for in the first place. So I had to come up with a different solution, luckily I remembered that my soundcard also offeres S/PDIF out so thats what I use now.
 
I'll see if I can find anything on the web or in the instruction manual about connecting speakers directly to the optical out though, I'll let you know if I've found anything helpfull. Though in the meantime I would suggest you to do some research about other options alright?
Its a very satisfying product once you've finally set it up lol.
 
Good luck with it. :wink:
 
 
PS. About the headphone, fortunately this is a whole lot easier. just connect the DAC to your pc and plug the headphone into the headphone out, set the output switch to headphone and enjoy your music.
 
Aug 1, 2010 at 7:24 PM Post #20 of 32

SaiSai

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My temporary CAS system

 
Aug 1, 2010 at 8:55 PM Post #21 of 32

Pricklely Peete

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After having looked over the I/O panel on the back and the switching on the front panel the following uses for the various options can be explained
 
A) Ananlog line out  is a line level output that requires a preamp and a mp stage to function properly. This is consistent with the majority of DAC's made.
 
B) Analog line in is simply a line level input pathway (where you can take the output from a tape deck , phono preamp or any other analog line level output device.
 
C) The Optical out is likely meant to be used as a pass through when watching Movies with DD or DTS encoded material which will be pass through the optical out and onto your HT processor....A possible use for the line in (analog) here if you do not want to use the HT processors head amp outs is to see if the HT Processor has a tape out monitor function. If it has a such a capability the tape out from the (analog of course) can used to feed the line in inputs of the DAC/headamp. You will need to setup the HT processor speaker options to down mix everything to the L/R channels which will then be forwarded to the tape outs ( which is already processed by the HT unit's particular hardware).
 
D) The digital input section (which should include the USB port) is pretty much straight forward.
 
You cannot use a TOSlink to RCA cable ...there is no cable made to convert the light pulses to analog signal Voltage...the other end of the optical cable needs that converter contained in the optical jack itself (along with a separate low V pathway that supplies juice for the LED).
 
The analog line outs should work as long as you have either powered monitors with a preamp built in (they all have this AFAIK) or if you have passive speakers you will need either an integrated amp, or receiver or separates (preamp and power amp) in order to take advantage of that analog out from the DAC2.
 
I hope this helps clear up and question marks.
 
Aug 2, 2010 at 10:54 AM Post #22 of 32

Violet

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[size=10pt]Scrivs,[/size]
[size=10pt]Pricklely Peete,[/size]
 
[size=10pt]Thank you for the interesting description of Dr. DAC DX. [/size]
[size=10pt]I interested in the topic because I plan to soon buy the DAC in the price of less than 300 USD :)[/size] 
 
 
 
 
 
Sep 20, 2010 at 3:02 PM Post #24 of 32

fishyee

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Many thanks to Scrivs and others for your insightful comments. 
 
Do you know if the analog line out sounds as good as the headphone out?  For the money the Dr Dac2 DX makes a great unit for nearfield listening with powered speakers when you don't feel like wearing headphones.  I wonder how it competes against the other expensive onebox solutions - Benchmark, etc.
 
 
Oct 10, 2010 at 6:53 PM Post #25 of 32

imyself

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I am happy with the Audiotrak DR.DAC2 DX. My headphones are AKG K701s.

Hardware and Software

I am using the DR.DAC2 DX in Linux Ubuntu 10.04 64 bit on an HP Elitebook 8540w via USB. I have trouble with kernel versions v2.6.32-22,23,24,25 (the system freezes when plugging in the DR.DAC2 DX) but downgrading to 2.6.32-21 solved that. I also tried it briefly in Windows 7 on the same machine and in Debian Lenny, kernel 2.6.26-22lenny1, on an old Thinkpad T43p, which both worked fine.

So far I had no success with the USB3 ports in Ubuntu - I haven't really tried for long and in Windows 7 the DR.DAC2 DX works also on the USB3 ports.

The following combinations of input and output all work:
  1. USB in -> headphone out
  2. USB in -> line out (confirming what Pricklely Peete and SaiSai said)
  3. line in -> headphone out
  4. line in -> line out
I do not have an S/PDIF source available. Note that I only checked that the line out works in principle by connecting it to my headphones - I don't have active speakers yet.

I was able to send 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, and 96 kHz files via USB and the corresponding LED lighted up as expected. Via USB 88.2 kHz, 176.4 kHz, and 192 kHz do not work. (That's all as stated in the user manual.)

Listening

A main reason for buying a USB dac/amp was that the headphone out of the HP Elitebook 8540w did not deliver enough power for the K701 on low volume passages of some classical recordings. (The 92HD75B in my laptop is rated between 31 and 40 mW at 32 Ohm.) Specifically, when I wanted to listen in closely to the first part of Bolero on MFSL UDSACD 4002 I could not turn up the volume up as loud as I wanted on the laptop headphone out. The DR.DAC2 DX solved that problem. I use the low gain output.

When connecting the DR.DAC2 DX via a USB hub rather than directly to the laptop then I hear some crackling noises. I checked 2 USB hubs, 2 cables, all 3 USB2 ports, operation with and without power to the USB hub and the laptop, and Ubuntu and Windows: same result. Moreover, the amount of noise seems to depend on the laptop USB port to which the USB hub is connected: via one port its somewhat listenable, while via the worst port is completely unlistenable. On the other hand the crackling did not occur when connecting the DR.DAC2 DX via USB hub to the Thinkpad T43p. Can anyone shed some light on whether this is solely a property of the computer side or are there some USB implementations on the DAC side that are less susceptible to these problems that others?

Seller and Shipping

Buying from gyrocom was almost perfect.

I had to ask for a tracking number by email rather than being it sent automatically; that is the only thing I would improve.

Communication was always very quick.

I ordered the item on a Sunday afternoon, it was shipped via EMS Monday morning, and I picked it up at the courier's depot Wednesday one week later. EMS turned out to be TNT in my case. Somewhat contrary to the information on the seller's ebay webpage I did not have to pay any additional fee for shipping to Italy. I had clarified that via email in advance. 2 or 3 days of the overall shipping time are probably owed to importing this to Italy. I guess the following are pretty standard for Italy: the courier service contacted me via phone/email to provide them (via fax) with my Italian tax code, a copy of the ebay offer, and a copy of the paypal receipt. Once I had sent that to them the item was forwarded from the "entry point" in Italy (Milano) to the courier's depot close to my place. In addition to the ebay price of about 300 EUR I had to pay about 90 EUR import taxes, tariffs, and handling fee. (I've seen a reduced price by gyrocom on ebay recently.)
 
 
Those are my impressions after about 3 weeks. Thanks to everyone who answered my questions before, in particular Scrivs, SaiSai, and Pricklely Peete.

HTH
 
Oct 28, 2010 at 12:04 AM Post #26 of 32

SgtFarva

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Question...
 
In regards to the usb->dac->active monitors, I understand you'll need optical cables inorder for this to work. In my case, I'll be using KRK rp6 which don't have optical in but rca,trs, and xrs.
 
Heres the kicker, what if I were to use a dolby digital to analog converter box? So, Computer/usb->dac->converter box->active monitors? 
 
So using coaxial and optical from dac to converter box, then R and L rca to the active monitors. What do you think guys?
 
Heres the converter:
http://www.buypricelist.com/Gefen_Digital_to_Analog_Decoder_Gefen_5_1_Dolby_Digital_Surround_to_Analog_Audio_Converter_Adapter/view-71951.htm
 
I'd really like to get this dac not for its performance but because its probably the nicest looking one out there for the price 
biggrin.gif

 
Oct 29, 2010 at 6:56 PM Post #27 of 32

imyself

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Quote:
Question...
 
In regards to the usb->dac->active monitors, I understand you'll need optical cables inorder for this to work. In my case, I'll be using KRK rp6 which don't have optical in but rca,trs, and xrs.

You do not need optical cables. You can use a standard USB cable between your computer and the dac and standard RCA cables from the dac to your active monitors. (Disclaimer: I didn't use active monitors when trying that setup but my headphones connected via a RCA-to-headphone adapter. But it seems unlikely that that would not be sufficient evidence.)
 
 
Oct 31, 2010 at 4:30 AM Post #28 of 32

SgtFarva

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Quote:
Well the idea is that when you have plugged the device into your media player (your pc in this case) via USB, no other output besides the optical out on the device will produce sound. For instance if you have plugged your speakers into the analog out of the DAC and the DAC itself is linked to your pc via USB, you wont hear anything. So you must use the optical out in order to play music through your speakers.
 


So this information is inaccurate? 
 
So in actuality, I can connect the dr.dac 2 dx via usb and connect active speakers to the rca analog out with no problems, with everything working, up tp 96KHz? Can you control the volume via dac? If so...I'm soo getting this thing. 
 
Nov 2, 2010 at 4:31 PM Post #29 of 32

imyself

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So this information is inaccurate? 
 
So in actuality, I can connect the dr.dac 2 dx via usb and connect active speakers to the rca analog out with no problems, with everything working, up tp 96KHz? Can you control the volume via dac? If so...I'm soo getting this thing. 

According to my experience the information is indeed incorrect. I just double checked by connecting my pair of headphones via RCA-to-headphone adapter cable to the RCA analogue out of the DR.DAC2 DX and connecting the DR.DAC2 DX to my laptop via USB. Works just fine including volume control from the DR.DAC2 DX. Remember that the DR.DAC2 DX does not do 88.2 kHz via USB - 44.1, 48, and 96 kHz work fine also from USB in to RCA out.
 

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