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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI all,

I currently have one X-fi PCI Card (XtremeMusic).

I wanted to update this to something much better in order to play music using two KRK RP6 G2 Studio monitors.

I was considering "M-AUDIO Fast track Pro".
This will be a really good update to the XtremeMusic or i need something better?


Consider that i just want to maximize "PLAYBACK Quality" with the KRK monitors
i don't care too much about the recording features.

I prefer USB instead of PCI.

Best Regards,
Sebastian.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesebastian View Post

HI all,

I currently have one X-fi PCI Card (XtremeMusic).

I wanted to update this to something much better in order to play music using two KRK RP6 G2 Studio monitors.

I was considering "M-AUDIO Fast track Pro".
This will be a really good update to the XtremeMusic or i need something better?


Consider that i just want to maximize "PLAYBACK Quality" with the KRK monitors
i don't care too much about the recording features.

I prefer USB instead of PCI.

Best Regards,
Sebastian.
The FastTrack Pro is an excellent Audio Interface. However, if you aren't recording, this is little use to you as this is designed for people who want to record. If all you want to do is listen to music/playback, there are devices that will suit you better. Is there any specific reason you prefer USB to PCI or PCI-E? What is your budget?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by asuperpower View Post

The FastTrack Pro is an excellent Audio Interface. However, if you aren't recording, this is little use to you as this is designed for people who want to record. If all you want to do is listen to music/playback, there are devices that will suit you better. Is there any specific reason you prefer USB to PCI or PCI-E? What is your budget?
I prefer USB because i also have a Macbook and i wanted to be able to use this interface in my laptop too. (Without needing external power, etc etc).

My budget is arround $200 Dollars.

Thanks for the answer!
 

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I actually own some RP6 gen 1 monitors as well as a KRK10s sub. I have had them for a while and in that period have owned an mbox (original), a Native Instruments AK1, an apogee duet 2, and an mbox mini 3. Let me give you my impressions of each:
original mbox: overall sound quality just not that great
NI AK1: pretty good sound quality, pretty terrible driver support
Apogee Duet 2: excellent sound quality, had to sell it only because I eventually needed to use it on both Windows and OSX and it only has drivers for OSX
MBox 3 mini: good sound quality, but in Windows when you do certain tasks such as watch a video you get a lot of background hiss and whine coming through the monitors. In fact the only interface that this didn't happen with was the duet 2. I find it somewhat annoying but not a dealbreaker considering how cheap it is.

HOWEVER, as you mentioned, if you don't need the audio inputs then you are MUCH better off getting a usb dac. There is always a certain amount of money that goes into any given product and if you buy a usb audio interface with 2 inputs you are paying a good chunk towards the ADC chips instead of the DAC chip. I own a MHDT Havana USB DAC and am very pleased with it, but it's much more expensive and isn't used for my KRK monitors. Since you're going to be plugging the DAC into balanced, powered monitors, I'd get a USB DAC with balanced outputs. If I were you I'd poke around audiogon for a good deal. There are a lot of audiophiles on there that are never satisfied and are constantly buying and selling very high end gear. The Benchmark DAC1 series (balanced outs + headphone amp built in) is very popular and comes highly recommended but I've never heard one in person so I can't personally vouch for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesebastian View Post

That benchmark DAC1 series is awesome but it cost more than the 2 Studio montiros...
I was looking for something for about 200 bucks max..
What about nForce udac-2 ? It cheap...but i think it's very very small...and maybe it's not a hi-fidelity dac...
Or what about this?
"Musiland 02 DAC"
http://www.overclock.net/t/594406/musiland-02-monitor-us-asus-essence-stx-ya-really
You can definitely still find a quality dac under $200.

But first I should clarify something:
Most usb audio interfaces designed with sound inputs and outputs are geared towards home audio recording so they are set up with powered monitors in mind. This means that they all have a volume control for their monitor output (rca line level) as well as their headphone output. With USB DACs, the assumption is generally that they will output their signal to a reciever/amplifier which will handle volume control and power the speakers. You will have to consider this carefully when choosing a DAC if you do decide to go this route. You could always adjust the volume by turning the gain knob on the back of each of your RP6's but that would be pretty annoying. You also might think that you could control the volume through the opearting system but that isn't always a sure bet and depends on which audio driver you use and which programs you use. For example with my MHDT usb dac, the windows volume controls don't affect the sound level at all, but if I adjust the volume while in VLC while watching a video I can in fact change the volume. In my opinion it will be less of a headache if you seek out a dac that has build in volume control for its line level rca output.

With this in mind combined with the price range you've given, I've heard good things about the AUDINST HUD-MX1 DAC, which is in your budget and has dedicated volume control. The manufacturer sells them direct via ebay for $180 shipped, and currently there is one being sold used that only has one bid on it at $120. I haven't heard any of these sub 200 dacs in person so I can't comment on their sound quality, but I'm pretty confident that they are all going to be better for music playback than an extremefi music (which I've also owned by the way).
 

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I just looked it up and the udac-2 also has volume control on the rca line level output so it's also a viable candidate. The musiland 02 dac apparently controls the volume through a musiland application (windows only), which might work but I'd be wary of this since there's no guarantee that musiland will support future operating systems and if they don't then you might eventually end up with a piece of equipment that can't be volume controlled...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks you very much.

I just asked a question to AUDINST about the AUDINST HUD-MX1 DAC.

Since i live in Argentina, i'm asking about shipping options.

For instance, if i can choose a non-free but faster shipping. And whether can choose a change in the price for the custom tax, since is not an "international" known product with a known Price
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by decapitor View Post

I just looked it up and the udac-2 also has volume control on the rca line level output so it's also a viable candidate. The musiland 02 dac apparently controls the volume through a musiland application (windows only), which might work but I'd be wary of this since there's no guarantee that musiland will support future operating systems and if they don't then you might eventually end up with a piece of equipment that can't be volume controlled...
But what about the Nuforce udac-2 quality? Maybe it has the same quality of my X-Fi XtremeMusic...

The nuforce is cheaper than the AUDINST Dac, so if it's much better than my xtrememusic i will be pleased to get that product.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesebastian View Post

But what about the Nuforce udac-2 quality? Maybe it has the same quality of my X-Fi XtremeMusic...
The nuforce is cheaper than the AUDINST Dac, so if it's much better than my xtrememusic i will be pleased to get that product.
I haven't heard either the nuforce or the audinst first hand so I can't really tell you. They are both highly regarded for their price range and I would have to assume that both would be better than an xtremefi music. You might want to look at local audio shops in your area if you have any and see what types of usb dacs they offer. It might be worth purchasing local if it means that the return process would be easier if you decide that the quality isn't as good as you'd hoped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think i will hardly go for that...nuforce toy.. of 130 bucks

I read a lot of awesome review (at Amazon) of a lot of audio fanatics, comparing that toy in each song, each minute, etc etc.

Also it's very portable, so i can use it with my Macbook Air anywhere..and started loving it.

---

Of course that the ebay product from Asia was AWESOME, but it will cost a lot to me..for instance...( Price + Shipping cost ) * 1.5 "CUSTOM's TAX" = more than 270 bucks. And maybe 60 days of free international shipping
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesebastian View Post

I think i will hardly go for that...nuforce toy.. of 130 bucks
I read a lot of awesome review (at Amazon) of a lot of audio fanatics, comparing that toy in each song, each minute, etc etc.
Also it's very portable, so i can use it with my Macbook Air anywhere..and started loving it.
---
Of course that the ebay product from Asia was AWESOME, but it will cost a lot to me..for instance...( Price + Shipping cost ) * 1.5 "CUSTOM's TAX" = more than 270 bucks. And maybe 60 days of free international shipping
Yes if the prices end up being 130 vs 260 then I would definitely recommend the nuforce. In the US the price difference would be 130 vs 180 in which case the decision is more difficult. I hope you enjoy the nuforce!
 
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