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  1. #1

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    Default Small DIY USB DAC kits

    OK, so here's the deal. I have a Audio GD NFB-5 DAC/headphone amp/pre that I am using with a tube amp right now for my 2 channel system.

    The NFB's intended use was to be used with the mini-itx computer I build at work so I had a portable hi-fi rig. But I stumbled across something I very much want, a Yarland tube headphone amp.

    But in order to use it I would need a DAC as its not a DAC/headphone amp combo like the NFB.

    So I am hoping to find a small USB DAC of decent quality that I can find a way to put into my mini-itx computer build. I have a PCI-Express x 16 slot meant for a GPU that I am not using or planning on using so in theory I could use a computer soundcard, but I just think there has to be a decent kit out there that will be better. That and I know soundcards can introduce more noise into the system.

    I am hoping to be able to keep the USB DAC all internal to the itx computer so I just have the two items on my desk rather than three. I planned to use a internal USB header so I can use a super short cord, but I am somewhat limited space wise in what I have to work with.

    Thoughts/suggestions?

    Here are some pics of how much space I have to work with:





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  2. #2

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    Default

    Here are pics from just about 5 mins ago lol





    I might not have enough room the more I look at it, so I might need to start looking at external DAC's lol...
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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  3. #3

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    Drag**fly might be right up your alley.

  4. #4

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    what's up with the asterics in the messages? or is it just ** my system where I'm seeing some characters change to asteric after posting

  5. #5

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    Have you considered the ODAC from JDS Labs?
    USB Interface: Stello U2, Nuforce uDAC2 ║ DAC: Stello DA100 Signature, Keces DA-151 MK2
    Headamp: Darkvoice 336SE, Bottlehead Crack ║ Headphones: Sennheiser HD650, Audio-Technica ATH-M50
    Amplifiers: PS Audio 200CX, DIY Class D Monoblocks ║ Speakers: Dayton RS621, Focal 807V, LSA1 Statement, Soliloquy 5.3
    Power: Yulong P18, Rotel RLC900, Cyberpower 1000VA PFC UPS

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by blairfrischx View Post
    Have you considered the ODAC from JDS Labs?
    Not really a fan. Had an O2 and it had issues and after having it looked at by a tech determined it would be my last product from him.
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNHNDYMAN View Post
    Drag**fly might be right up your alley.
    Thought about that, but still not huge fan of 3.5mm to RCA connections. Would prefer straight RCA connectors.
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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  8. #8

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    I'd recommend the Meridian Explorer. I don't share your concern about the 3.5m adapter though, and I'm a cable guy
    Main HT
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    I'd recommend the Meridian Explorer. I don't share your concern about the 3.5m adapter though, and I'm a cable guy
    Will have to look at it then, although the Dragonfly is a little bit smaller and more portable. I REALLY like the concept & simplicity of the Halide DAC but not the price lol....

    I might just have to get the Yarland and deal with a 3.5mm to RCA connection from my computers internal soundcard until I find something....

    My main goal was to find something I could put internal in the computer and not be super expensive. At the price of the dragonfly and explorer I could get a external DAC.

    I have the feeling that might not be possible .
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 03-10-2013 at 02:49 PM.
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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    Office Rig: Win 7 -> DacMagic w/ Pangea PSU | Pro-ject Debut III | Sunfire TGP-II | Parasound HCA-750ii | Polk RTA 11TL | Cables TBA

    Bedroom: Uverse DVR | Roku 2 | Samsung LCD | SurroundBar 2000

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