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Recommend me a DAC

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for something that can take a TOS optical out of my motherboard and output with the standard RCA's so nothing to fancy. I would prefer a desktop style DAC as it doesn't need to be portable. I will be using it to feed my Marantz stereo receiver and just want to eliminate the crappy onboard audio without buying a sound card. I'd like to stay under $200 if possible but if there is a much better option for a bit more I'm open to that as well. Quality is my number one concern. Cheers
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post #2 of 10
Focusrite Saffire 6 may be the exact DAC for you, search up some reviews.

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-Saffire-USB-Interface-Pre-Amplifiers/dp/B002R9ILOY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312937745&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB[/ame]


Hope that suggestion helps some.
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
that think is sweet but I dont see toslink optical input on it, thanks for pointing me to the focusright stuff though. I guess I should include that I have a Lexicon Alpha USB audio interface already, but its rather budget and probably isn't much better sound quality wise then the on-board audio

edit: I had a brain fart.... I guess toslink and digital SPDIF may or may not be the same thing. At any rate my mobo has digital SPDIF out which is what I would like to use to feed the DAC
Edited by rocklobsta1109 - 8/9/11 at 6:04pm
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post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocklobsta1109;14525580 
that think is sweet but I dont see toslink optical input on it, thanks for pointing me to the focusright stuff though. I guess I should include that I have a Lexicon Alpha USB audio interface already, but its rather budget and probably isn't much better sound quality wise then the on-board audio

I think there's an optical version of it. Not 100%, have a hunt around.
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post #5 of 10
I think you're confused OP. Isn't toslink digital? Using digital from your motherboard is fine... Buying something else just for digital out is not how it works.
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
DAC will be required because I have a vintage Marantz receiver with only analog outputs. My signal chain would be motherboard digital out -->DAC-->Old Marantz. So to utilize the digital out I need some sort of DAC to use the old receiver. Sorry I seemed confused, I was just spitballing my thoughts as they came to my head headscratch.gif
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post #7 of 10
Options: Analog from PC to receiver.

Digital to analog converter jack (think there is one not sure)

Easiest is to use the 3.5 headphone jack to RCA and be done with it.


Want the utmost pure quality? No easy way. Mobo analog or digital to another converter that is digital or analog. Other words, use the mobos DAC or use a separate DAC then your receiver. Either way the cost is not going to be cheap if you don't want to lose your quality. Why I use digital STREIGHT to my receiver so that I don't have that issue.
Edited by Nick911 - 8/9/11 at 7:14pm
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Níðhöggr
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post #8 of 10
I would save up and go for a Cambridge Audio DACMagic used from Audiogon for around $300-350. They are phenomenal sounding DACs and an incredible value.

If that doesn't work for you, cruise around the for sale forum of Head-Fi and try to find something that will fit inside your $200 budget. You'll find a lot of stuff does just that. I personally own an Audio-GD NFB-12 and I use it as a DAC for my Swan speakers and Anthem PVA-7 amplifier. It works wonders as a DAC. With the right amplifier it is a really enjoyable DAC.
post #9 of 10
EMU 0404, apparently still has the best convertors for the price, has your optical in (and outs I think). I didn't get it because I heard problems with it working with Win7.

What restricts you from not using a USB port to connect your interface to the PC? That will handle in and out/all channels. I have a Focusrite Saffire 6 and have only good things to say, however haven't tested the recording/preamp quality (however reviews say it's great (focusrite are renowned for great preamps)).

TOSLink and RCA are connectors, S/PDIF, AES and ADAT are protocols. TOSLink is the square one, RCA, round one.
Edited by SamTheJarvis - 8/15/11 at 2:28pm
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Nothing really restricts me from using USB I just thought a dedicated optical line would be better
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