J Larsen

DAC Recommendations

18 posts in this topic

I am considering ripping a thousand or so cds in uncompressed format to a very large harddrive (or a couple of very large harddrives). I would then like to set up the following configuration:

External Harddrives -> MacBook -> DAC -> Stereo Amp.

Obviously the sonic success of this project is entirely dependant on the quality of the DAC. Any recommendations? I can go as high as a couple grand, but only if the marginal benefit warrants it.

Thanks!

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One of the best around for a clean, accurate sound is the Benchmark DAC1.

Thanks. I've noticed that one tends to be in all the online audiophile shops.

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I am considering ripping a thousand or so cds in uncompressed format to a very large harddrive (or a couple of very large harddrives). I would then like to set up the following configuration:

External Harddrives -> MacBook -> DAC -> Stereo Amp.

Obviously the sonic success of this project is entirely dependant on the quality of the DAC. Any recommendations? I can go as high as a couple grand, but only if the marginal benefit warrants it.

Thanks!

By "uncompressed" I'll assume you mean .wav files, but I'd seriously recommend you rip to Flac. Not just for the space-saving benefits but for Flac's ability to save metadata such as album and track info.

You might also look into a Squeezebox, though I'm not sure if it supports Mac (I think it does).

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Thanks. I need to research the formats a bit. I just want to make sure that all the data from my cds make it to my speakers.

The impetus for this is that I have around 3,000 cds and a 600 sq ft apartment. This results numerous piles of discs, which means I can never find the one I am looking for.

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Thanks. I need to research the formats a bit. I just want to make sure that all the data from my cds make it to my speakers.

The impetus for this is that I have around 3,000 cds and a 600 sq ft apartment. This results numerous piles of discs, which means I can never find the one I am looking for.

FLAC is lossless, there is no degradation of any of the original data from the .wav file, plus it only takes seconds to unzip it back to .wav if you want to burn it, etc. FLAC will cut the storage space needed in half.

in addition, you can download the AutoFlac plug-in for EAC (exact audio copy) and it makes ripping a breeze.

Edited by Shawn

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How does it manage to be both lossless and smaller? Does it drop some of the rendundant data used for error correction? That would make sense.

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Another shout out here for FLAC. I am eventuallygoing to get a Drobo with 4 x 750 GB drives. I should end up with about 2.2 TB of useable protected space.

If you haven't tried it, Cog is a great FLAC player for the Mac. www.cogx.org

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How does it manage to be both lossless and smaller?

It works on the same principal as zip files, it looks for repeated patterns to reduce space.

My configuration is

Hard drives (2 terabytes) --> iMac --> Squeezebox --> Benchmark DAC1 --> pre-amp

and I am very happy with it.

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One of the best around for a clean, accurate sound is the Benchmark DAC1.

Nice...but where are the vacuum tubes?

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I am considering ripping a thousand or so cds in uncompressed format to a very large harddrive (or a couple of very large harddrives). I would then like to set up the following configuration:

External Harddrives -> MacBook -> DAC -> Stereo Amp.

Obviously the sonic success of this project is entirely dependant on the quality of the DAC. Any recommendations? I can go as high as a couple grand, but only if the marginal benefit warrants it.

Thanks!

These guys have some nice DACs:

Obad Imports

I'm not affiliated and have never ordered anything from them.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that you will probably need a DAC with USB input capability. Most DACs do not but your choices are expanding rapidly.

Edited by riverrat

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I am considering ripping a thousand or so cds in uncompressed format to a very large harddrive (or a couple of very large harddrives). I would then like to set up the following configuration:

External Harddrives -> MacBook -> DAC -> Stereo Amp.

Obviously the sonic success of this project is entirely dependant on the quality of the DAC. Any recommendations? I can go as high as a couple grand, but only if the marginal benefit warrants it.

Thanks!

These guys have some nice DACs:

Obad Imports

I'm not affiliated and have never ordered anything from them.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that you will probably need a DAC with USB input capability. Most DACs do not but your choices are expanding rapidly.

I just bought a Musiland MD10 DAC 2 weeks ago. I am using it via a coax cable connected to my Squeezebox. It has USB capability. I ordered it from www.pacificvalve.us. So far I am very pleased with the sound. It looks cool too!!!!

There is a review on it in the latest issue of Affordable Audio at www.affordableaudio.org, For $300 it can't be beat.

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I don't know much about this stuff. Are you saying that these DACs do more for the music than the Burr-Brown in the Squeezebox.

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I don't know much about this stuff. Are you saying that these DACs do more for the music than the Burr-Brown in the Squeezebox.

Yes. It does sound better than than the internal DAC. The sound is more natural and not as sharp with the Musiland. It seems to almost sound analog. However, it still does not sound as good as my Classe CDP 1.5 player.

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So what does the Squeezebox do then that you couldn't do with Jan's potential set-up?

External Harddrives -> MacBook (or any old computer for that matter) -> DAC -> Stereo Amp

I've had a Squeezebox for a couple of years now. My setup looks like this:

External HD -> iMac -> Squeezebox -> Stereo Amp

In my situation, the Squeezebox acts as a DAC that displays song info. Are you using yours solely as a display?

Thanks.

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So what does the Squeezebox do then that you couldn't do with Jan's potential set-up?

External Harddrives -> MacBook (or any old computer for that matter) -> DAC -> Stereo Amp

I've had a Squeezebox for a couple of years now. My setup looks like this:

External HD -> iMac -> Squeezebox -> Stereo Amp

In my situation, the Squeezebox acts as a DAC that displays song info. Are you using yours solely as a display?

Thanks.

It enables me to have my computer in another location away from my stereo.

I'm using my squeezeboxes wirelessly in 2 rooms. Only 1 of them has the external DAC. The Squeezebox is acting as a transport. It is receiving the digital music from my network, then this music is being sent to my DAC using a Coax cable. The DAC is converting the digital signal to music I send the music to my amp and speakers via analog interconnects. The analog output of the Squeezebox is turned off. This is analogous to those that use their CD player as a transport and send the digital info to an external DAC to be processed,

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I did some reading on this earlier. I understand. My hard drives and computer are away from the stereo also.

Larsen, do you have any experience with the Squeezebox Transporter? This would allow for wireless connectivity and provide you with the level of audio that you are interested in. There are threads on this, and the various DACs that have been discussed here, as well as studio-level soundcards, at the Slim Devices website.

Transporter

Search this forum.

Edited by .:.impossible

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I am considering ripping a thousand or so cds in uncompressed format to a very large harddrive (or a couple of very large harddrives). I would then like to set up the following configuration:

External Harddrives -> MacBook -> DAC -> Stereo Amp.

Obviously the sonic success of this project is entirely dependant on the quality of the DAC. Any recommendations? I can go as high as a couple grand, but only if the marginal benefit warrants it.

Thanks!

One of the best DAC you can buy is the Lessloss battery powered DAC

The company is in Lithuania and their men Luidas is most helpful.

Check them out at http://www.lessloss.com/

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