Would a good DAC improve this setup significantly?
You've not mentioned the setup... Speakers? Source? Amp? Cables?
Synology DS212J-> AppleTV-> rDAC->Naim Nait5i. Dynaudio Audience 52SE
Sony BDPS370 / YouView ->Yamaha RXV1065-> Pana TH42PX80B plasma.
Spotify premium on a win7 PC; mezzo 2 speakers; CA 540a; pretty decent CA cable. Currently going through an M-Audio USB Fasttrack (bought for quick guitar recording but used as soundcard because its better than PC soundcard).
I'm here ...
Pretty ... and pretty proud of it
M-Audio Fasttrack is a decent interface but as you say, as much as anything it's aimed at recordists. Because I've never heard it, it's difficult for me to say how well its 'playback' sound compares to DACs that are popular in HiFi circles and how much you'd have to spend to better it. But, a better DAC will improve the SQ of Spotify just like it will improve the SQ of any other source.
Main system: Mac Mini 2011 • HRT II+ DAC • Marantz CD 63 mkII KI & PM66 KI • MS 10i speakers [borrowed]
In storage: Thorens TD160 (no cart) • Cyrus 2 & PSX • Cyrus tuner • Technics SL-P777 • Nakamichi DR-1
Not sure if this is of any help but I've just bought an MF M1DAC to go with my EPOZ powered speakers and music all via my Apple TV2 via iTunes/AirPlay and it's made hell of a difference to the soundstage
Sounds are much fuller with more detail at the top end; midrange is more smoother & well timed and the bass is deeper & punchier and with less roll off as there was before!
I think a good DAC between your system and speakers will make improvements but I'd say try before you buy; see if you can get some on a home demo and see how it goes from there
From my personal expereinces; the Arcam rDAC is very good but the Emotiva XDA1 DAC is much better indeed and similar priced (even cheaper 2nd hand)!
ITEM Audio would be worth speaking to re DAC's: http://www.itemaudio.com/index.php/digital-converters/transmenu-mainmenu...
Living room: iTunes to ATV 2 (via AirPlay) to Cyrus 8 DAC with KEF LS50 speakers - Tellurium Q Blue cables
Spare room: Marantz CR603, AirPlay, Monitor Audio RX2's - Chord Odyssey 2 cables
Comp > Emotiva XDA1 DAC > 540A > Mezzo 2. No way I can audition the Emotiva XDA1 DAC, but it look intertesting. What kind of sound?
Yes you can demo!
speak to item audio; they'll be more than happy to help
Its a great DAC & very good at opening up the soundstage!
Hey thanks for all your advise. I ended up buying the arcam today for a very modest price.
Let us all know how you get on. Love to see a review on the rDAC and the differences it made to your system.
Observe the signature in its natural habitat.
I might do a recording experiment with and without dac - I have a good mic to do this. I love the sound. It opens up the intruments. Before everything was flat - the instruments blended into one. The dac helps to give each instrument life.
It's nearly a week since you bought the Dac so time to start thinking about an upgrade!
Assuming it was the rDac you bought could I suggest one of these
I've got one (and an rDac), it makes quite a worthwhile improvement. All for the tidy sum of £20.
But if you hurry it's on sale at £10. That's stocking filler pricing, and perhaps the most cost effective upgrade ever. And you can hide the ugly brute behind the equipment rack. Just remember to set it to 6V OR YOU WILL FRY THE DAC
The new generation 3 one? Using optical connection i assume? Interested to hear how you set it up for use solely for music (bypassing a television).
PM me if necessary
thanks in advance.
Macbook Pro/rWAVE --> Arcam rDAC wireless --> Atlas Equator Mkiii --> Naim NAC152/NAP155 XS --> NAC A5 speaker cable --> Rega RS5
Good choice of DAC but a decent braided, shielded USB cable will also reap benefits for a wired connection
Music: Stream Magic 6, Apple Airport Express, CA 840a, B&W CM1
Movies: Pana 37" plasma, Denon DBP-1161ud, Humax YouView HDR, Sony DA-2400ES, MS surrounds, REL Sub
Mobile: iPhone 5 64GB, Audio Technica ES7, Sony XBA3, Monster iBeats
Thanks for the advise, but you'll have to explain to me how this improves sound.
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