What's the cool low-budget soundcard/DAC these days? - diyAudio
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Old 20th October 2013, 12:29 AM   #1
rongon is offline rongon  United States
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Default What's the cool low-budget soundcard/DAC these days?

I've been completely out of it for a number of years. But all this talk of music servers has me interested.

I used to have an RME DIGI96/8 PAD sound card that was the best of its type that I knew of at the time (about 10 years ago). I stopped doing music production stuff, and gave that away to a friend who's been doing archival transfers of 78's for a museum (a worthy cause).

So now all I have is a lowly $30 USB sound card for playing the odd CD rip from Foobar 2000.

If I can get my hands on a reasonable 2005-vintage PC with PCI slots and USB ports, what would be the best $100 DAC or sound card for playback of up to 24bit/192kHz files? Or would I be limited to 24bit/96kHz at that budget? I suppose that would be OK.

Where to start? M-Audio Audiophile 2496? Or is that too old?

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Old 23rd October 2013, 10:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rongon View Post
what would be the best $100 DAC or sound card for playback of up to 24bit/192kHz files?
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I like the FiiO D03K Taishan (29.99)
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Old 26th October 2013, 10:59 PM   #3
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m2tech hiface usb dac..
approx 190EURO 32bit and 384kHz sampling rate.

dont look very advanced at first until you opend it!
Absolutely brilliant.
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Old 27th October 2013, 03:36 PM   #4
djn is offline djn  United States
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I was at an audio meet yesterday and was asking about DACs. One guy said he Behringer $30 USB DAC was the best he ever heard, then the guy next to him said his $3000.00 Bel Conto DAC was the best he ever heard.....go figure.
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Old 1st June 2014, 03:56 PM   #5
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The Behringer DAC's are great, in their price range. A lot better will cost a lot more. Look at Yamaha/Steinberg (MR816 f.i.), Lynx, Apogee...
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Old 1st June 2014, 04:25 PM   #6
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You can see the Behringer measured at nwavguy's blog
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Old 2nd June 2014, 01:45 AM   #7
rongon is offline rongon  United States
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I have that Behringer USB sound card, the UCA202. It's not bad. Really, not bad at all. NwAvGuy's review revealed that the headphone amp part of it is not very good, but the line outs sound very good to me -- especially for $30 USD.

I guess NwAvGuy's ODAC would be the obvious next step up.

M2Tech HiFace 2 at $229 USD is in a whole other league, price wise.
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-92497-m...interface.aspx

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Old 2nd June 2014, 02:19 AM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I've recommended the Leaf Audio Dac (about $70 on eBay) to a lot of friends. XMOS based with a PCM5102 D/A supports 44K - 384K at 16 to 32 bits, and sounds quite decent.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 08:09 AM   #9
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The gold standard, if you have a PCIe slot, is the Juli@ ESI card. Everybody swears it's the best.
I got one new a few months ago for about $125.
Can't beat that.

Jan
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Old 2nd June 2014, 09:33 AM   #10
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Even better if you upgrade its clocks and avoid the breakout cable.
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