Newbie to soundcard & Dac
Mar 11, 2007 at 1:31 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

jeff668

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I am currently using cary CD 308 as my source...
I am just thinking it will be easier to use computer as source...

Totally new to the field... I guess in the next year..I am saving money to buy a singlepower mpx, sell the current G&W ATF-100, CD308

What are the price range for different combination of source?

Like:

Quite gd is 300-500
Very gd is 700-1100
Price at nobody's buying 2000-10000

I have no idea on the computer as source prices...please give me your advice
Thanks a lot
 
Mar 11, 2007 at 4:12 AM Post #2 of 5

rb67

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Are you asking about prices for computer + DAC etc or are you just asking for what it would take to convert an existing computer to a source?

Well if you are going to start fresh and you won't be using a computer for anything else, I reckon you can build or have built a nice computer with plenty of storage space for about $500-600. What I would do then is get a USB DAC which will feed into your singlepower. That should be 100-200 for a built one or DIY from $70+.

I'm not sure what a G&W ATF-100 is, but if it is a DAC, then you can get a decent sound card with SPDIF or TOSLINK out for $150 and run it through a standard audio DAC just like you would take the digital out from your Cary.
 
Mar 11, 2007 at 4:30 AM Post #3 of 5

jeff668

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It means I don't have to have a good sound card?

The singlepower headphone amp has only analog input.

I am looking for a premium output source and get a high quality sound


Just to make sure I got the idea right:
Computer -> output with either usb or sound card -> dac analog output -> pre-amp / headphone amp -> speaker / headphone
 
Mar 11, 2007 at 4:51 AM Post #4 of 5

rb67

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jeff668 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It means I don't have to have a good sound card?

The singlepower headphone amp has only analog input.

I am looking for a premium output source and get a high quality sound


Just to make sure I got the idea right:
Computer -> output with either usb or sound card -> dac analog output -> pre-amp / headphone amp -> speaker / headphone



if you do USB DAC you can do

1. Computer -> USB DAC -> pre-amp / headphone amp -> speaker / headphone

or

2. Computer -> Good Sound card analog out-> pre-amp / headphone amp -> speaker / headphone

or

3. Computer -> Good Sound card digital out -> any DAC you want (doesn't have to be USB) -> pre-amp / headphone amp -> speaker / headphone

If you want the best sound, I would stick to choices 1 or 3.

Personally I would go with choice 1 since it has the least amount of components in the signal path. Going this route bypasses your sound card and allows you to achieve perfect digital output to your USB DAC without too much fuss. (It is possible with choice 3, but why would you do that if you don't already have a sound card?) It's going to be the most cost effective also since you will only have to purchase a good USB DAC.

The only thing is, if you are picky about your DAC, there are many more options for standard DAC's. In this case, you will need to get a sound card with SPDIF or toslink output ie. choice 3. Personally, I'm not sure if there will be a noticeable improvement going route 3 over route 1. Some other members will have to chime in on that.

I have gone route 1 and find it extremely enjoyable.

I'm sure some members here have had experience with both.
 
Mar 11, 2007 at 5:36 AM Post #5 of 5

jeff668

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rb67 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
if you do USB DAC you can do

1. Computer -> USB DAC -> pre-amp / headphone amp -> speaker / headphone

or

2. Computer -> Good Sound card analog out-> pre-amp / headphone amp -> speaker / headphone

or

3. Computer -> Good Sound card digital out -> any DAC you want (doesn't have to be USB) -> pre-amp / headphone amp -> speaker / headphone

If you want the best sound, I would stick to choices 1 or 3.

Personally I would go with choice 1 since it has the least amount of components in the signal path. Going this route bypasses your sound card and allows you to achieve perfect digital output to your USB DAC without too much fuss. (It is possible with choice 3, but why would you do that if you don't already have a sound card?) It's going to be the most cost effective also since you will only have to purchase a good USB DAC.

The only thing is, if you are picky about your DAC, there are many more options for standard DAC's. In this case, you will need to get a sound card with SPDIF or toslink output ie. choice 3. Personally, I'm not sure if there will be a noticeable improvement going route 3 over route 1. Some other members will have to chime in on that.

I have gone route 1 and find it extremely enjoyable.

I'm sure some members here have had experience with both.



Thank you so much for your response. In the mean this to read yours, I am looking into USB dac as well! In this case I don't even have to sell my laptop and make another Desktop!

I am looking into Benchmark Media Dac1 but read about Lavry Black DA10 beat it...but it seems not having RCA output nor USB input....

Do you have any better choice for an USB dac compare to the DAC1?

Thanks a lot
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