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  1. #1

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    Default Looking for a USB DAC

    Pretty much as the title suggests. I need a fairly inexpensive unit that still sounds good for the office rig. I am currently using an AMC DAC8 and I like the sound of it, but want to utilize a USB input so I don't have to mess around bypassing the Windows mixer and driver's etc.

    I'm looking to spend around $200 or less and would like the same type of performance I'm getting from the DAC8. That shouldn't be that hard as when I opened it up, it's pretty bare in there. Not much to it at all.

    Lost and lots of Chinese based units that look very nice on paper and in photos but I hope someone has some actual impressions based on real world use.

    I have yet to hit headfi or Audio Karma sites but if you have links let me know.

    These look interesting and the parts quality seems really high........higher than in the AMC DAC8

    http://cgi.ebay.com/HLLY-Mini-USB-DA...item5d275012a7

    http://cgi.ebay.com/24BIT-96KHz-DMK-...item230450ba30

    This one espcially even though it's more than I want to spend.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    Ideas, comments, discussion, etc.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  2. #2

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    Default

    Brock, What sound card are you using?

  3. #3

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    Don't bother checking at AK.

    http://www.computeraudiophile.com/forum
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  4. #4

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    Default

    Also check out the HRT Streamer DAC's.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by LessisNevermore View Post
    Brock, What sound card are you using?
    Chaintech AV710

    http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82e16829120103

    I tried to download the most up to date Kernal streaming dll for Winamp which is supposed to work in Media Monkey. But it didn;t work. I will probably need Blake to come over and take a look.

    I used to have the settings for Kernal streaming but my computer has been acting up and the other day it reset all my Windows settings to factory defaults and I'm not sure it's Kernal streaming anymore.

    Plus, I want to try something new so I thought I might give a new generation USB dac a shot if it wasn't too expensive.

    Duell, any insight you can offer about MM. I'd be happy to listen.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  6. #6

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    I was waiting to see if AudioAdvisor would have a sale on the HRT Music Streamer DAC's. They get good reviews and the $149 one is in your price range.

    My only question that I haven't researched yet is if USB DAC's such as the HRT that use the computers USB power source are better/the same/or worse than a USB DAC that uses an external power source (such as the Music Hall). I ran across a thread on that topic and didn't bookmark it so I could find it again.
    DKG999
    -----------------------------------------
    HT System: LSi9, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LSi7, SVS 20-39 PC+, B&K 507.s2 AVR, B&K Ref 125.2, Tripplite LCR-2400, Cambridge 650BD, Signal Cable PC/SC, BJC IC, Samsung 55" LED

    Music System: Magnepan 1.6QR, SVS SB12+, ARC pre, Parasound HCA1500 vertically bi-amped, Jolida CDP, Pro-Ject RM5.1SE TT, Pro-Ject TubeBox SE phono pre, SBT, PS Audio DLIII DAC

  7. #7

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    Here's a DIY option if you are handy with a soldering iron. I haven't heard one of these yet but am considering because of the raves on various forums to great sound quality at a minimal price point.

    http://www.twistedpearaudio.com
    Parasound C1, T3, HCA-3500, HCA-2205A, P/DD1550, Pioneer DV-79avi, Oppo BDP-83, WD Media Server W/HDD,
    Dynaudio Contour 3.3, Dynaudio Contour T2.1, Polk OWM3, Polk DSW micropro 1000 (x2),
    Pioneer Kuro 50" Plasma, Phillips Pronto Control w/Niles HT-MSU.

  8. #8

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    I'll have to do a little research on HRT but I prefer to have a dac with a full fledged power supply section vs. a wall wart or powered by the USB port. That's why I like the Vlab with external PS or the Hlly or Yulong.

    The Hlly uses Nichicon and Panasonic caps and seperate power supplies for digital and analog and seems well built but they are closer to $300 than $200. I am actually just starting my research but with all the op-amps and dac chips around my head is spinning a little bit.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  9. #9

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    Why not just convert your AMC DAC to handle USB input. Looking at the site Amherst referenced and eBay auctions it looks like there's a number of modules to add a USB input to your DAC.
    DKG999
    -----------------------------------------
    HT System: LSi9, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LSi7, SVS 20-39 PC+, B&K 507.s2 AVR, B&K Ref 125.2, Tripplite LCR-2400, Cambridge 650BD, Signal Cable PC/SC, BJC IC, Samsung 55" LED

    Music System: Magnepan 1.6QR, SVS SB12+, ARC pre, Parasound HCA1500 vertically bi-amped, Jolida CDP, Pro-Ject RM5.1SE TT, Pro-Ject TubeBox SE phono pre, SBT, PS Audio DLIII DAC

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkg999 View Post
    Why not just convert your AMC DAC to handle USB input. Looking at the site Amherst referenced and eBay auctions it looks like there's a number of modules to add a USB input to your DAC.

    Way too logical Doug, way too logical :D:p.


    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by heiney9 View Post
    Way too logical Doug, way too logical :D:p.


    H9
    I knew that! Logic does not apply! You must be assimilated.
    DKG999
    -----------------------------------------
    HT System: LSi9, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LSi7, SVS 20-39 PC+, B&K 507.s2 AVR, B&K Ref 125.2, Tripplite LCR-2400, Cambridge 650BD, Signal Cable PC/SC, BJC IC, Samsung 55" LED

    Music System: Magnepan 1.6QR, SVS SB12+, ARC pre, Parasound HCA1500 vertically bi-amped, Jolida CDP, Pro-Ject RM5.1SE TT, Pro-Ject TubeBox SE phono pre, SBT, PS Audio DLIII DAC

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