USB DAC/Sound Card

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USB DAC/Sound Card

Postposted on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:27 am

A little back-story first I suppose.

The computer in my sig is what I use currently. I have an ASUS Xonard D1 in there somewhere. I have been running that to Klipsch 2.1's for the last five odd years or whatever. I'll be building a new computer this year, albeit kind of an ongoing process - just picking things up when I see good sales and such, but I plan on changing a few things in my next build.

1. It will likely be an mATX board with no PCI slots (D1 I have is PCI)
2. I already have some new speakers/headphones and would like to at least attempt to feed them well.

My equipment and sources: ATH-M50, Senn 485, Audioengine A5+, probably half FLAC, half MP3 320

So my question(s) really come down to this. What should I get, an internal PCI-e soundcard with a headphone amp, or get an external AMP/DAC that I can use for other things too? It'd be nice to take the DAC around the city/train/bus if I wanted to, but definitely not a requirement. Don't have too many requirements, really. I'd rather not spend a whole ton either (100-200USD?). I'm willing to consider either option at this point as well.

I was hoping for specific suggestions too, rather than general ideas. All are welcome! Even if it's not some set up I have listed.
i7 860 - GA-P55-USB3 - 8GiB - HD7850 - SSD - 3.64TB HDD - Xonar D1 - U2410 - Win7 Pro x64.
DancinJack
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Re: USB DAC/Sound Card

Postposted on Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:56 am

This is amazing:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0093KZWRE/ref ... 1_ST1_dp_1

And real cheap. I have it connected to my main system and it is a fine DAC apart from everything else.

I am running a factory tweaked Sonic Frontiers Signature Pre Amp, I knew the founders, into SFM 75 Monoblocks feeding original B&W Matrix 1 speakers with rebuilt crossovers, amazingly the originals were crap. Biwired with Tara Time and Space speaker wire. I have not rolled that out in a long time.

Others too have praised this little gem, the consensus appearing to be that it's about equal to stuff 10 times it's price. Seems reasonable to me and I have not yet hooked up the SPDIF which is supposed to be audibly better.

Good stuff in it too:
/dev/input/by-id/usb-Burr-Brown_from_TI_USB_Audio_DAC-event-if02

The headphones I have, cheap AKGs, are nowhere near my system so it's hard for me to judge the headphone amp.
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