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USB DAC recommendation

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by codeninja, Aug 9, 2011.
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  1. lee730

    I'd say the DACport is a combination of revealing and musical. I find low volume listening very engaging and satisfying.
  2. T.F.O.A
    Since we're talking about usb dac, any of you heard the fostex hp-a3? i'm torn between that or the matrix cube, any suggestions?
  3. shrimants
    I also need a DAC. i recently dropped about 350 total (probably 400 including the panels) on parts and tools to build the AMB Y1 and Y2. I bought all the parts and everything and was in the process of testing and repair when a chip blew out. I sent it to the dedicated repair person (MisterX) to help out but he informed me I used acid flux and that the whole thing was basically ruined, so I need a new plan of attack.

    I am using laptop headphone output right now, I'd like to be going laptop ->USB -> line out to my audioengine A5's. My price point is 150 dollars or lower. I dont need any spdif or other fancy inputs, just a single usb input and a single line output. It needs to last me for 2-3 years (at that point i will build a computer with a respectable sound card). I am looking for great extension and balanced output because my laptop has horrible roll off starting at 80hz and anything below 30 gets high pitched chirping artifacts in it instead of bass. Asynchronous would be nice but im not expecting miracles for 150. DIY is an acceptable solution as long as parts alone dont cost me more than 50 bucks. I have to buy a new soldering iron because im not sitting there on another diy project with a crappy sp40 pencil iron.

    EDIT: how is the FIIO E9i? I've seen plenty of people rave about fiio products on here and like I said, if it can give me a better freq. response than my computer's integrated SIGMATEL C-Major Audio chip (oh yes, its THAT bad) AND give me an ipod dock to boot, then thats cooler than the hair on a witches tit.
  4. funkmeister
    Do you want the easiest possible solution ever? Get the Ray Samuels Emmeline Predator. You've got a USB DAC that's better than the iPad with a clean and lively headphone amp, AND it's portable for when you don't want to lug around your AC adapter.
  5. shrimants

    at least read the previous posts before commenting. That is out of both of our budgets.
  6. lee730

    The E9 is a very good amp for it's pricerange and competes with more expensive amps. The amp is very neutral and powerful. Highly recommended in my opinion. The E7 DAC was bottlenecking this amp, my DACport is a much better partner.
  7. T.F.O.A
    isn't the e9 an amp? i thought we're looking for dac.
  8. lee730


    I think hes looking for a good amp to pair with his current amp.
  9. shrimants
    No, I'm looking for a DAC to pair with my crappy laptop's chipset. I thought the E9 was a combo amp/dac. The only thing i'm driving is a pair of Audioengine A5's, which have an amp built in and no unamped input, and some basic IEM's (monster turbine, meelec m11+).

    I'm looking for a DAC because my attempt at building a Y1 and Y2 failed miserably and buying a combo amp/dac such as the E9i would mean i dont need to buy/build a headphone amp for any future full size cans i buy, nor would i need to buy an ipod dock
  10. T.F.O.A
    then it's probably the e7 for you,that's the dac one.
  11. shrimants
    i thoguht the e7 was a portable amp/dac and the e9 was a desktop dac/amp. the e9 has usb input and a dock for the e7 while the e9i has usb input and a dock for an ipod.....

    what am i missing? how is something with usb input not a dac?
  12. Brooko Contributor


    E9 is amp only.  It only uses USB if the E7 is docked, otherwise you use the rear connectors for input.
  13. melomaniac Contributor


    well, short of the small portable USB headphone amps, there is still the HeadRoom Total Bithead at exactly your price point.
    I used to have this one, gave it away when I went higher on the price/sound curve, but I'd recommend it for laptop use
  14. T.F.O.A
    oh yeah totally forget the total bit head lol. that one should be pretty good too, seeing how you're gonna get a better soundcard anyway.
  15. shrimants
    wait but no one answered the question, isnt the E9i a dac and amp combo? or is it just an amp? If its just an amp, how does it accept USB input?
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