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bigalxyz's picture
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Beginner - DAC Advice Needed
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Hello forum,

I'm in the middle of putting a hi-fi/home cinema system together, v similar to stuff I sold a few years ago.  Arcam 8R/8P amps, Mission 752F speakers, Yamaha DSP-E800 home cinema processor.

I'd like to use it for playing my iTunes library.  The laptop that the library sits on doesn't have a digital optical output.  Am I right in thinking that there are USB gizmos which will provide this?  If so, will the digital optical output go into the Yamaha ok (Yamaha contains a DAC of course) or should I try some other route?  I know there are lots of "hi-fi" DACs around but they tend to be a little expensive for the sort of budget I'm working with.

Grateful for any advice,

Thanks,

Alan.

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For example, would something

For example, would something like this ( + an optical cable) do the job?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Turtle-Beach-Advantage-Laptop-Windows/dp/B0036VO4X4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409502248&sr=8-1&keywords=Audio+Advantage+Micro+USB+Sound

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You can buy a blutooth

You can buy a bluetooth receiver and connect it into the yamaha through a optical cable. 

 

Rega RP6/Goldring Elite>Clearaudio Basic Plus

Synology NAS>Rega DAC>Pathos Classic One MKIII>Dynaudio Excite X12

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bigalxyz wrote:

bigalxyz wrote:

For example, would something like this ( + an optical cable) do the job?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Turtle-Beach-Advantage-Laptop-Windows/dp/B0036VO...

That can work. 

Rega RP6/Goldring Elite>Clearaudio Basic Plus

Synology NAS>Rega DAC>Pathos Classic One MKIII>Dynaudio Excite X12

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Yes it would, but you'd be as

Yes it would, but you'd be as well to get something like a Behringer UCA202 DAC.

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Thank you all.

Thank you all.

Re: Bluetooth receiver: laptop doesn't have bluetooth though (it's quite an old one).

The advantage presumably (?) of using the Behringer unit is that I don't need to involve my Yamaha processor - I can go straight into the back of my amp - is that correct?  Could be an attractive option.  £23 on Amazon and very good reviews.  How do you think the sound quality from this would compare to using the DAC in the Yamaha?

Alan.

 

 

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bigalxyz wrote:

bigalxyz wrote:

Thank you all.

Re: Bluetooth receiver: laptop doesn't have bluetooth though (it's quite an old one).

The advantage presumably (?) of using the Behringer unit is that I don't need to involve my Yamaha processor - I can go straight into the back of my amp - is that correct?  Could be an attractive option.  £23 on Amazon and very good reviews.  How do you think the sound quality from this would compare to using the DAC in the Yamaha?

Alan.

According to his opinion about DACs, the same... Biggrin

Rega RP6/Goldring Elite>Clearaudio Basic Plus

Synology NAS>Rega DAC>Pathos Classic One MKIII>Dynaudio Excite X12

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Hi-FiOutlaw wrote:

Hi-FiOutlaw wrote:

bigalxyz wrote:

Thank you all.

Re: Bluetooth receiver: laptop doesn't have bluetooth though (it's quite an old one).

The advantage presumably (?) of using the Behringer unit is that I don't need to involve my Yamaha processor - I can go straight into the back of my amp - is that correct?  Could be an attractive option.  £23 on Amazon and very good reviews.  How do you think the sound quality from this would compare to using the DAC in the Yamaha?

Alan.

According to his opinion about DACs, the same...*biggrin*

For what it's worth, you really will not get much audible difference between competently designed DACs, regardless of price.

Don't take my word for it though, that review I linked to gives the reasons and they are well explained in laymans terms by an electronics engineer.

The main differences between DACs is in the output levels. Even small output voltage discrepancies will appear as an audible difference, the louder being percieved as better.

It is not necessary to get sucked into spending lots of money for a DAC, though plenty do.

For the purposes of the original poster, a simple USB DAC is all that is required and the Behringer fits the role perfectly. If you want to get something that is about as good as things get in terms of sound quality, then the ODAC would be the one to go for at around £90. It is to all intents and purposes, transparent and audio gets no better than that, no matter how much you want to spend. In addition it has been tested and the results openly discussed in the blog and compared to other DACs. In this case, it was tested and compared favourably with a DAC costing ten times the price.

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Thanks for the advice

Thanks for the advice everyone.  Behringer UCA-202 now ordered!

Alan.

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