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Old 28th April 2013, 09:05 AM   #1
Henley is offline Henley
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Apr 2013
Default Budget DAC

Hello all I've done some reading and searched this board but would like some assurance. The headphone jack on my laptop is buggered, i had previously used it to feed my audioengine a2's and ear buds. The sound wasn't great but i never had the impetus to remedy it, now i do. My question is what budget DAC to buy. I've read good things about the HiFimeDIY sabre DAC and at 35 delivered it seems like a bargain. Would i be better off with this of the FiiO E10 Olympus (65)? Any advice would be appreciated, cheers.
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Old 28th April 2013, 03:36 PM   #2
Nanoloop is offline Nanoloop  Hong Kong
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Beyond Infinity
ES9023 is the best cheap DAC. It is much better than the laptop parts.
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Old 28th April 2013, 04:13 PM   #3
overtheairbroadcast is offline overtheairbroadcast  Canada
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Canada
I chose a Berinhger UCA222 based on a review linked through diyaudio (you did mention bargain -- well, you can't get cheaper than this with this much performance). The UCA222 is just slightly updated software versus the UCA202 and was all the computer store I went to had.

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Old 28th April 2013, 05:36 PM   #4
twest820 is offline twest820
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Focusrite's VRM Box is difficult to beat for the price; CS4398+MAX4477. The VRM models are bassy and Focusrite's ASIO driver has longstanding problems with Intel Core chipsets. So your mileage may vary with the fancy features, but it works quite well as a straightforward DAC operating as a USB audio device under the OS's default USB drivers.
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Old 28th April 2013, 09:06 PM   #5
Cornelis Spronk is online now Cornelis Spronk  United Kingdom
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK
I have a UCA 202, which was better than my Turtle Beach Santa Cruz Card. I also have the Hifimediy ES9023+TE7022 24/96 USB Dac. The ES9023 is significantly better than the UCA 202, and the price is almost the same. I understand the UCA 222 is not any better than the UCA 202, as the hardware is the same. My Behringer has been sold.

To my knowledge, the Hifimediy is the best inexpensive DAC out there.
Just the facts! State your evidence.
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Old 29th April 2013, 11:30 AM   #6
Henley is offline Henley
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Thanks for all the replies, I just placed my order for the sabre DAC. Seems to be universally praised and it's the cheapest option. I look forward to it's arrival.
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