Which DAC for PC Music Server ?

I friend has given me a cheap Behringer USB -> RCA DAC to connect my PC to my traditional HIFI set up. The result has been pretty good and as you'd expect far betters my PC's weedy soundcard and Creative Sub/Sat affair

So I'm thinking of buying a new DAC suitable for HiFi reproduction. Mainly for use with music on my PC but also as a separate DAC for my existing CD player

What would the Forum recommend ? I have a budget of around £250 and have so far looked at the Cambridge Audio DacMagic and the Beresford TC7520

It will be slotting in with my Philips CD-960, Pioneer A-676 and JR149's


It may be hard to answer your question as many people on here have built their own DAC's or bought off the shelf models and modified them. As you have posted on a DIY forum, are you up for a bit DIY yourself?

Speaking personally, the Cambridge and Beresford are both good but I have built a Chinese DAC from ebay that stomps on both of them and a Buffalo DAC that stomps on everything I've heard!

Both the models you mentioned can be modified for great improvements, especially power supplies etc. In their standard form they are ok. There are many kits out there that are quite easy to build and you get a massive sense of satisfaction building your own DAC.

As you are in the UK you could post on the 'Audio' forum of PFM as they often discuss this subject and the models you mentioned.
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You make a good point of course - this is a DIY forum !

I'm not averse to DIY but my experience has been of a more "mechanical" nature, mainly with turntables

What level of electronics understanding would you think I would need to assemble a DIY DAC ?

Do you have any linkies to the eBay Chinese DAC and the Buffalo you mention ?

It would be interesting to look them over