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Old 29th April 2012, 04:31 PM   #1
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Default AC Ryan with external DAC

Hi all,

I am currently looking to improve the sound quality of my AC Ryan Mini HD II by using an external DAC. Would appreciate anyone who has used media players and noticed improvements after using an external DAC.

Can anyone recommend a budget DAC (<$100) that will accept Toslink input and output analogue L+R? Does not need to playback 24bit 192Khz files. My media player outputs LPCM audio.

The Fiio DAC has crossed my mind, though I am unsure if it will bring about any improvements.

Regards,
Dinesh
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Old 29th April 2012, 10:53 PM   #2
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Anything will be better. Those media players are using the DAC integrated in the main cip, that is just sufficient for movies, not for music. Fiio DAC is not that much better.
I would take a peek on eBay for some DAC's that are described on the posts here.
Burr Brown/Texas Instruments, Analog Devices, Cirrus Logic, Wolfson Micro... choose your poison
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Old 29th April 2012, 11:31 PM   #3
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Sorry, don't ave a solution for you, but you are addressing something I'm clueless about... What comes out of the optical output of modern equipment.

I have a Mini HD2 also and I have a 1990 JVC amp with build in DAC (AX-Z1010).
Can I hook the amp up to the HD2 (optically)? What do I need to change in the settings? Where can I read up on this to understand what will work and what not? (I googled it and asked elsewhere last week about finding some more info on the subject).

Last edited by ric-paul; 29th April 2012 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 30th April 2012, 04:50 AM   #4
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Thanks Sonic, I will look into those DAC's.

@ ric - Does your amp have a digital input like optical(Toslink)/coaxial? Otherwise you can still connect the amp to the AC Ryan via the analogue RCA (L+R) connections.

I have found a Yulong DAC, however it will be outside my reach for a long time...
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Old 30th April 2012, 03:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chlorofille View Post
@ ric - Does your amp have a digital input like optical(Toslink)/coaxial? Otherwise you can still connect the amp to the AC Ryan via the analogue RCA (L+R) connections.
I'm a noob, but not that much of a noob that I want to put an optical signal into an amp with only analog inputs So yes, my amp has a digital input, but it only does the (in 1990) standard 32, 44.1 and 48kHz.
But my problem is that I don't have a clue what comes out of my TV or HD2. Is this 5.1? Will my amp simply not understand this? Or is the stereo somehow embedded within the 5.1 signal and will my amp understand this part of the total signal?
I don't even know what questions I should ask, that's how little I know about it

Last edited by ric-paul; 30th April 2012 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 30th April 2012, 10:54 PM   #6
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The surround via SPDIF (digital) will come only in form of DolbyDigital or DTS - lossy compression was needed because the SPDIF bandwidth doesn't allow more that stereo PCM.
You would need to setup your source to output stereo PCM signal. Not all sources can do that since it would require decoding of DD/DTS signals. Some cheap TV will just pass-trough without decoding.
Your HD2 should have the option in menu to down-mix surround to stereo.
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Old 8th May 2012, 01:33 PM   #7
wheijke is offline wheijke  Netherlands
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I have a Playon!HD 2 that i connect to a Denon DA-500 dac and use the coaxial output of the player, but optical is also possibe.
The players setup menu as an audio section and a spdif submenu that lets you set the output to PCM which works fine for the DA-500.

Wouter
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Old 8th May 2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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I've hooked my AC ryan media player up to a Behringer ultramatch 24/96. Works like a charm. If you play audio files you can select passtrough in the audio setup of the AC ryan. If you select PCM it will resample everything to 48KHz.
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Old 9th May 2012, 03:17 PM   #9
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Wouter and Mark,

Can you comment on any audible differences you noted with the DACs?
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Old 9th May 2012, 09:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheijke View Post
I have a Playon!HD 2 that i connect to a Denon DA-500 dac and use the coaxial output of the player, but optical is also possibe.
The players setup menu as an audio section and a spdif submenu that lets you set the output to PCM which works fine for the DA-500.
My Mini only has an optical out I think.

In the audio menu I can select SPDIF and the only options I have are LPCM or passthrough. Wiki says LPCM is roughly the same as PCM so that should work, right?

Will try it asap (just hauled the 18kg/40lb sub and same weight amp up two floors...now they have to come down again for testing this)
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