PC to DAC help
Nov 6, 2008 at 11:25 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

Ricochet

New Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Posts
44
Likes
0
Hi all!
I’m in process of building my desktop headphone rig which will be connected to my PC. After some reading I understand this what I need PC>DAC>HeadAMP>Headphones, right?
I’m not sure on amp yet, it’s DV332 if I can find one or Little Dot MKIV SE.
Currently I have Creative Audigy X-Fi and I was planning to get ZERO DAC until I’ve seen new ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe True HDMI Sound Card. According to the specs on the box the HDAV is sporting TI Burr-Brown PCM1796 24-bit DAC and Swappable DIP-typed NS LM4562 output OPAs.
Can I use analog outs from ASUS card (using inbuilt DAC) instead ZERO and will be this as good as ZERO DAC?
Spending money on new sound card for me more beneficial, because also I got blue ray player in my PC (sound card comes with lots of needed cables and free Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre) and I'm keen computer gamer.
Many thanks, Russ.
 
Nov 6, 2008 at 11:38 AM Post #2 of 12
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Posts
17,319
Likes
10,839
Location
Fukuoka, Japan
In your situation, I'd get the sound card. I reckon you've answered your own question. I usually recommend the Zero for people who don't already have a HP amp, or aren't going to get one for some time.
 
Nov 6, 2008 at 1:27 PM Post #3 of 12

Ricochet

New Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Posts
44
Likes
0
Thank you for your reply.
Any assurance that I’m in right direction and not gonna waist my money is good hehe.
I may consider to get a proper DAC in future as first upgrade.
happy_face1.gif
 
Nov 11, 2008 at 1:35 PM Post #4 of 12

Ricochet

New Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Posts
44
Likes
0
Just to update, apparently there is no Vista drivers for this card atm and when they will be out is unknown. (I'm on vista64)
So still looking for DAC around £200, any suggestions welcome
 
Nov 11, 2008 at 4:41 PM Post #5 of 12

taz

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 15, 2004
Posts
37
Likes
0
The Beresford TC-7510 MK6/4 DAC sounds quite useful: two coax and two optical inputs so you'd be able to plug other stuff into it too. And if you don't have a headphone amp just yet, it's got a headphone out too, plus a pre-amp out (fixed and variable).

I haven't heard one though but i'd reckon it'd be an improvement on a PC soundcard by some way.

Just remember to factor in costs for a cable to link your PC to the DAC (eg. a Toslink optical cable) and RCA-RCA interconnects from the DAC to your headphone amp. Costs for good cables can be substantial.
 
Nov 11, 2008 at 4:59 PM Post #6 of 12

Gollie

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 30, 2007
Posts
355
Likes
10
The Beresford is a good unit. I owned one for almost a year and it was great via Coax out of a Creative X-fi.

I have been using Creative cards for years and so it is the only company that I true to provide a good product with timely driver support.

FYI...Creative Drivers work very well in Vista 64.
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 7:15 AM Post #8 of 12

x_lk

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Posts
122
Likes
22
Quote:

Originally Posted by taz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Just remember to factor in costs for a cable to link your PC to the DAC (eg. a Toslink optical cable) and RCA-RCA interconnects from the DAC to your headphone amp. Costs for good cables can be substantial.


This is indeed very true - cables are expensive. I was shopping for a coaxial cable for connection between my PC and the Zero DAC. An entry level 6ft Monster Datalink 100 costs more than $60CAD before tax. I told myself, this is crazy... So I dropped the fancy cable plan, DIYed something else to use. I have a tiny USB sound card, about the size of a flash drive. It uses a CMedia chip and costed me about $20 a while ago. Best of all, I know the chip does bit perfect spdif. Only one drawback though, the sound card has no digital output at all - probably that's why it's so cheap
smily_headphones1.gif
What I did was, opening up the dongle, soldering a male RCA plug to the chip's spdif output pin (I had to cut a wire on PCB and ground another pin to ensure the bit-perfectness). Then I plugged it directly into Zero's coaxial input - no cable required anymore
smily_headphones1.gif
Sorry, I'm not telling the full story ... I did have to spend another $10 on a USB extension cable ... well, who cares about the USB cable quality, as long as it connects ...
The result, very satisfactory
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 7:36 AM Post #9 of 12

hottyson

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 8, 2003
Posts
1,160
Likes
133
The Beresford is a Chinese DAC that can be found under various names. Beresford is just one name that gets stamped on the front. It is a pretty good DAC. It is relatively inexpensive and performs well for the little money that it costs.

As for the headphone output, avoid it. It sucks. No really. Don't use it at all. With this DAC, stick with using the fixed or variable RCA outputs found on the back of the unit. They sound pretty darned good.

$60 for a toslink cable is a waste of money. If you are going to buy a cheap DAC like this one, just use a cheap cable. Mine came with one for free and it works just fine for this DAC. As taz said, just don't skimp on the RCA interconnect from the DAC to your headphone amp.
280smile.gif
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 1:49 PM Post #10 of 12

scaz

Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Posts
84
Likes
11
Yea, I am thinking about using USB DAC because it is simple and easy. then no need for a sound card. is there a reason why you would buy a sound card just to output by coaxial or toslink
 
Nov 13, 2008 at 6:13 PM Post #11 of 12

x_lk

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Posts
122
Likes
22
Quote:

Originally Posted by scaz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yea, I am thinking about using USB DAC because it is simple and easy. then no need for a sound card. is there a reason why you would buy a sound card just to output by coaxial or toslink


There is no way for a USB receiver to recover the clock signal from its input, so it has to generate its own clock. I guess most USB DAC can not offer a clock signal as good as your 1212m offers.
 
Nov 14, 2008 at 1:12 AM Post #12 of 12

Ricochet

New Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Posts
44
Likes
0
Was looking at Cambridge audio dacmagic, but not solid reviews atm.
Guess I’ll wait a bit more longer. And year was planning DIY at least RCA cables myself, not sure about coaxial, still a lot reading to do hehe.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top