I want a balanced DAC with USB input, suggestions please
Oct 24, 2009 at 7:20 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

Zombie_X

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Hi all,

I'm in need of a balanced DAC in the $700 range some time in the future. I need USB input though as my PC's PCI-E port is already occupied by video card and I don't have any other available ports. Also I don't want to use any USB converters as this has problems.

I was looking at the PS-Audio Digital Link III as a DAC after Music-Direct lowered their price down a few hundred. A;so it has balanced out puts that really caught my eye. Any word on this one?

The other one I was looking at was the Audio-GD Reference 3. Thing is is that the DAC doesn't have XLR output, but Kingwa said he could fit XLR in there for me.

It's mainly my choice between these two, but I want your opinion first.
 
Oct 24, 2009 at 8:49 PM Post #3 of 23

Zombie_X

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I know scootermafia really want me to get a Reference 1, but that's a lot of money for a DAC.

I'll think I go with the Reference 3 since Kingwa said he could make it balanced for a bit extra.
 
Oct 24, 2009 at 11:16 PM Post #6 of 23

skyline889

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Quote:

Originally Posted by momomo6789 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
looks like a dac with a upsampler


It's not. It's a digital converter and upsampler. Look at the specs and the outputs. The DAC-3SE is a DAC.
 
Oct 24, 2009 at 11:21 PM Post #7 of 23

Zombie_X

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If it's not a DAC, why does it have USB input? It says it can be hooked up to the PC.
 
Oct 24, 2009 at 11:23 PM Post #8 of 23

skyline889

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Because you can input USB, RCA, or BNC and it will upsample the digital signal and output that digital signal to an external DAC, that's why there is one RCA output for each RCA input and one BNC output for each BNC input. Notice, there are no stereo RCA outputs. It's because it doesn't output analog signal.
 
Oct 24, 2009 at 11:29 PM Post #10 of 23

skyline889

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I like the Monarchy M24 and the Musical Fidelity Tri-vista but they're both single ended. There's a nice Sonic Frontiers SFD1 on A'gon for really cheap, and Sonic Frontiers makes amazing equipment so that's what I'd buy, but obviously none of these have USB input so I can't really suggest anything in your price range as I don't have much experience with USB dacs.
 
Oct 24, 2009 at 11:35 PM Post #11 of 23

Zombie_X

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but I don't need CD players, just a dedicated USB DAC for the PC. I appreciate you telling me the ones you like though.

Anybody know much about DAC Magic? It has balanced output but I have heard that it is not a true balanced DAC.

I may end up going with the PS-Audio DLIII.
 
Oct 24, 2009 at 11:40 PM Post #12 of 23

skyline889

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Zombie_X /img/forum/go_quote.gif
but I don't need CD players, just a dedicated USB DAC for the PC. I appreciate you telling me the ones you like though.

Anybody know much about DAC Magic? It has balanced output but I have heard that it is not a true balanced DAC.

I may end up going with the PS-Audio DLIII.



All three I mentioned are DACs, not cd players. But I have heard good things about the PS-Audio DLIII. The Matrix dac off eBay I believe is a cheap way to go balanced as well. The Bel Canto DAC3 is really as well nice but I think even used it's really pricey.
 
Oct 25, 2009 at 8:08 PM Post #15 of 23

gevorg

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I don't think there are any DACs at ~$700 that have good USB inputs. You'll have to step up to $1000+ territory. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely great DACs for ~$700, its just their USB input is nothing special. Almost all of them use crappy PCM270x implementations, which is subpar to a decent Coax or Optical input. Instead, just pick any DAC at that price range you like, and use some USB-to-SPDIF converter, which can give excellent low jitter performance on the cheap. This way, you have better selection of DACs, since you don't restrict yourself to just the ones with USB input, and you also have much better USB performance by avoiding using DACs with PCM270x USB inputs.
 

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