External DAC
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slimer

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I am sure this is a dumb question, but I couldn't find the answer anywhere.

What exactly is the use of an external DAC. I am using a Terratec EWX 24/96 (which has an optical out) hooked straight to my amp with the analog outs. Is there any reason to need to go from my sound card > exernal dac? > amp > headphones? If it does make a difference I would be interested in getting one.
 
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dip16dac

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Most amps or soundcards with internal DACs may not be the best for your situation so adding an external DAC is a way to change it.
 
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tiberian

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a good external dac like the benchmark dac-1 will dramatically improve the sound of your system. its like an external sound card...
 
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cosmopragma

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tiberian
a good external dac like the benchmark dac-1 will dramatically improve the sound of your system. its like an external sound card...


...with much cleaner power than your build-in soundcard.
Plus it's transportable.
Plus it can easily be connected to any digital audio signal, coaxial or toslink or XLR(studio gear).Any CDP or portable or DVDP with digital output or laptop or office computer(with the help of a tiny and cheap USB soundcard with digital out) is good enough since it's resampling and jitterproof.No need for a low jitter transport or expensive cables.
Everywhere on the planet where you can find electricity.100V,110V, 220V,240V,50 Hz,60 Hz, whatever, the power supply is autoadjusting respective switchable(done in 20 seconds).
Plus it contains a decent headamp with two jacks, not the best I've listened through but definitely anything but crap.
Did I forget something?The most important?
Regarding sound quality please read tiberian's post again.Especially "dramatically" and "improve".
Best investment I've ever made in the audio realm.

BTW, investment, arrrrgh, 975 $ new.
Sorry for your wallet.

Sorry for the rant.I'm in honeymoon.
 
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tiberian

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hahaha nice post cosmopragma...the benchmark dac-1 surely kicks serious ass, i do highly recommend it to those who like a somewhat bright sound.
 
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tiberian

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bangraman
Does the DAC1 upsample by itself?


yes
 
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Zoide

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cosmopragma
...with much cleaner power than your build-in soundcard.


Afaic the power thing is a dead argument. Just have a look at the RMAA specs for the Emu 1212M, which I think beats many external DACs. All you need is good power filtering/regulation on the card, and the "bad power" argument is moot.
 
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Iron_Dreamer

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Just check out the insano power caps I put on my modded EMU in the link in my sig
 
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cosmopragma

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch
Afaic the power thing is a dead argument. Just have a look at the RMAA specs for the Emu 1212M, which I think beats many external DACs. All you need is good power filtering/regulation on the card, and the "bad power" argument is moot.


Fewtch, I'll purchase such an flavour of the month Emu soon on your advice for a direct comparison, you'll be fully responsible for my state of mind in case I'm not satisfied.

I need a better source for my second rig anyway, I'm now using an unmodded RME, nice regarding resolution and detail, but harsh in the treble, no keeper.I'm risking nothing since I'm living in Germany.I always have to laugh when I read something like :"And be sure to buy from a seller with a good return policy".We here have a market with a build in total return policy.You can test any item costing more than 40 Euro and purchased via internet or mail order for 2 weeks.In case you don't like it you just have to send it back, 100 % refund if undamaged.The seller even has to cover the shipment costs.Sounds like consumer's heaven?It is.No satisfaction, no money, only losses for the seller.
 
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cosmopragma

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Just check out the insano power caps I put on my modded EMU in the link in my sig



Nice monster mod.
It's always entertaining reading your posts about your RME and Emu modding attempts, but personally I like plug and play gear.I'm working about 14 hours a day ( household included ) and I'm sleeping 6 hours.I need all the remaining time for my girlfriend, my listening hours and a few friends and relatives.
 
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lan

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My emu 1820m sounds better with external power than using my computer's power.
 
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I replaced the stock power supply of my external audigy 2 NX USB soundcard with a high quality linear lab power supply from delta electronica. The sound (especially vocals) became slightly clearer and less distorted, the difference was not dramatic, but definitely noticable. I compared both power supplies A/B for many hours with different CDs and Headphones (Sennheiser HD-600, HD-595, AKG K340) and I definitely prefer the replaced linear lab power supply.

Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch
Afaic the power thing is a dead argument. Just have a look at the RMAA specs for the Emu 1212M, which I think beats many external DACs. All you need is good power filtering/regulation on the card, and the "bad power" argument is moot.


 
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Scrith

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Ian brings up an interesting point, the 1820M. To sum up, this is a 1212M with the DAC (and various other nice features) contained in an external enclosure with its own power source. Right?

I wonder how this 1820M compares to the best external DACs? I ask because I will almost certainly get one or the other (well, I'd add the Audiodock to my 1212M, which effectively gives me an 1820M...I think) at some point...
 
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