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Old 6th August 2005, 07:49 PM   #1
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Default DIY DAC or Soundcard?

I need a DAC for use with my headphones and speaker systems, and am looking for this to be my first step into higher end sources.

My source/transport will be a computer's digital out, or possibly an airport express.

For a budget of 150-250, would I be better off with a DIY DAC or a good soundcard like an EMU or an upperline M-Audio?
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Old 6th August 2005, 08:08 PM   #2
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DAC, been there done that. DAC is better.
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Old 6th August 2005, 08:16 PM   #3
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Then what options are there out there for me, I have only found things that are more expensive than my budget, and a couple that are below.
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Old 6th August 2005, 09:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by curva
DAC, been there done that. DAC is better.

The upper end M-Audio cards have a break out box containing the DAC in it. Mine is dead silent at full blast with no signal feed. Thats pretty good i would say. M-Audio delta 66
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Old 6th August 2005, 10:24 PM   #5
guzzler is offline guzzler  Scotland
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Definately consider an EMU. The 0404 is very well spoken of, and the 1212M I've heard personally and is exceptionally good. No messing about with breakout boxes etc, just good sound.
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Old 7th August 2005, 12:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Madmike2
Mine is dead silent at full blast with no signal feed. Thats pretty good i would say.
Well, if the thing you are looking for is sound, that's fine, but if it is music, that will be not, at least not without lots of tuning & co.
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Old 7th August 2005, 01:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by curva

Well, if the thing you are looking for is sound, that's fine, but if it is music, that will be not, at least not without lots of tuning & co.

Admittedly i am not an EE and really dont know what exactly makes a good DAC but i would think that zero noise and high usage in the industry would pretty much guarantee a good DAC. The chip and what not in this unit is the same in about 5 other PRO DAW units out there. The break out box from my understanding was to go a step further away from the electrical mess in the Computer case. 0404 1212 delta 66 Tascam et.al ..... the DAC is off the board. Please correct me if i am wrong.
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Old 7th August 2005, 03:13 AM   #8
jleaman is offline jleaman  Belgium
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Try a usb Dac. I'm Working on 3 versions of the one im about to release.
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Old 7th August 2005, 03:22 AM   #9
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I'd love a USB DAC but all I have seen that seem relatively easy to build (i.e. has PCB), is like 60 some dollars, and I was hoping for something like twice-three times that price, assuming of course that more money would yield more benefits, which I think it would.
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Old 7th August 2005, 03:29 AM   #10
jleaman is offline jleaman  Belgium
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well the dac im working on is going to range from 100$ to 600$ for this dac were working on. For people like yuo and other and me to play with..

It's going to have..

-Usb In
-Spdif In
-Digital In.

Optical Out
Spdif Out
Rca left right out
Balanced Out Left Right.
Volume pot on front for head phone's
head phone amplifier
Regulted Psu

I got inspired from a friend that saw this and wanted one.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/b...rk/dac1_3.html
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