Author Topic: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback  (Read 989 times)

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Offline jam>

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Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« on: January 12, 2014, 01:42:59 PM »
I'm curious how you guys get the most out of your lossless files, and how you play them on your home system. My vinyl sounds great and my digital music doesn't.

I'm pretty sure I want to get a stand-alone DAC (no pre-amp / no wifi) to connect my MacBook Pro to my home stereo via RCA and USB cables. I'll use iTunes and Apple Lossless files, or maybe play iTunes through my iPad (which would be better, but that would involve getting AirPort or figuring out how to get Home Sharing to work with it).

I'm looking at these two models at the moment. They seem solid and in my price range (<$200):
JDS Labs, Stand Alone ODAC (http://www.jdslabs.com/products/46/standalone-odac/)
Audio Engine D1 (http://audioengineusa.com/Store/D1-24-Bit-DAC)

What do you guys have going?

Offline antelope19

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 02:01:11 PM »
If you're just trying to hook your computer up to your stereo receiver, Allow me to save you about $195

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00004Z5CP
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Offline mbw

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 02:16:02 PM »
 :roll:

I Dont have one yet,  but you hear nothing but good things about the D1.
Another to look at is schitt audio.  Terrible name.  Supposedly great, very affordable DAC's.

eta link:  http://schiit.com/products/modi
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 02:23:19 PM by mbw »

Offline antelope19

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 02:26:55 PM »
Obviously I misunderstood if you're rolling your eyes. Based on what he posted though, he just wants to "hook his MacBook up to his stereo via RCA and USB?
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Offline mbw

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 02:41:50 PM »
Obviously I misunderstood if you're rolling your eyes. Based on what he posted though, he just wants to "hook his MacBook up to his stereo via RCA and USB?

don't make me roll my eyes at you a second time.  he wants to "get the most out of" his lossless files.
a stand alone DAC will bypass your computers sound card and improve the sound.

he did not say, "can someone link me to the crappiest cables on amazon?"   :evil:

Offline VDB

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 02:55:42 PM »
My music goes: iMac > Airplay via wifi > Apple TV > optical audio out > receiver

A lot of my music is Apple Lossless. I don't bother with anything above 16 bit, which I've read is the max Airplay will handle. I certainly don't qualify as an audiophile, but when I pipe music to the main system it sounds good to me.

If you aren't concerned with going above 16 bits, the Airplay route could be a good solution. You wouldn't have to worry about having your MBP tethered to a system, either. If you have no use for the video functions of Apple TV, an Airport Express will also output audio over Airplay (you can use it as your wifi router or just in client mode for music). A new ATV actually costs less than AE, but you can buy a used AE on Amazon for $50.

Here's an interesting discussion.
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Offline antelope19

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 03:22:53 PM »
Obviously I misunderstood if you're rolling your eyes. Based on what he posted though, he just wants to "hook his MacBook up to his stereo via RCA and USB?

don't make me roll my eyes at you a second time.  he wants to "get the most out of" his lossless files.
a stand alone DAC will bypass your computers sound card and improve the sound.

he did not say, "can someone link me to the crappiest cables on amazon?"   :evil:

Lol. Ok, ok. I'm done here.
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Offline barnesy305

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 05:50:41 PM »
:roll:

I Dont have one yet,  but you hear nothing but good things about the D1.
Another to look at is schitt audio.  Terrible name.  Supposedly great, very affordable DAC's.

eta link:  http://schiit.com/products/modi

I always knew Modi was a piece of schiit.

Offline twatts

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 09:31:11 PM »
I've heard good things about the Dragonfly:

http://www.audioquest.com/usb_digital_analog_converter/dragonfly-dac

Terry
Oh! That! No, no, no, you're not ready to step into The Court of the Crimson King. At this stage in your training an album like that could turn you into an evil scientist.

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I want a million dollar bill
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Offline rowjimmy

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 09:52:31 PM »
:roll:

I Dont have one yet,  but you hear nothing but good things about the D1.
Another to look at is schitt audio.  Terrible name.  Supposedly great, very affordable DAC's.

eta link:  http://schiit.com/products/modi

I always knew Modi was a piece of schiit.

 :clap:

Offline Lifeboy

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2014, 10:10:24 PM »
:roll:

I Dont have one yet,  but you hear nothing but good things about the D1.
Another to look at is schitt audio.  Terrible name.  Supposedly great, very affordable DAC's.

eta link:  http://schiit.com/products/modi

I always knew Modi was a piece of schiit.


 :hereitisyousentimentalbastard :hereitisyousentimentalbastard :hereitisyousentimentalbastard :hereitisyousentimentalbastard :hereitisyousentimentalbastard

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Offline twatts

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2014, 11:04:43 PM »
Also, there are various ways to tweak Foobar to playback "better" - if you use it...  check it out...

My own experience is very limited - I did the cheap RCA cable route and killed my JVC...  I did the Squeezebox thing, but could never get it to work right...  I got a Denon and did some HDMI playback via my wife's lappy, but the Denon got hit by lightning...

Now, I'm slowly saving my penny's for something... 

Terry
Oh! That! No, no, no, you're not ready to step into The Court of the Crimson King. At this stage in your training an album like that could turn you into an evil scientist.

----------------------

I want super-human will
I want better than average skill
I want a million dollar bill
And I want it all in a Pill

Offline twatts

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2014, 11:06:40 PM »
:roll:

I Dont have one yet,  but you hear nothing but good things about the D1.
Another to look at is schitt audio.  Terrible name.  Supposedly great, very affordable DAC's.

eta link:  http://schiit.com/products/modi

Send me the loot and I'll pick this up for you...

http://raleigh.craigslist.org/msg/4235311301.html

Terry
Oh! That! No, no, no, you're not ready to step into The Court of the Crimson King. At this stage in your training an album like that could turn you into an evil scientist.

----------------------

I want super-human will
I want better than average skill
I want a million dollar bill
And I want it all in a Pill

Offline antelope19

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2014, 11:14:16 PM »
Also, there are various ways to tweak Foobar to playback "better" - if you use it...  check it out...

My own experience is very limited - I did the cheap RCA cable route and killed my JVC...  I did the Squeezebox thing, but could never get it to work right...  I got a Denon and did some HDMI playback via my wife's lappy, but the Denon got hit by lightning...

Now, I'm slowly saving my penny's for something... 

Terry

Damn, that's some bad luck!!!!
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Offline twatts

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Re: Digital Audio Converters (DAC) and Lossless playback
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2014, 11:18:57 PM »
Oh yeah...  this guy lives in my neighborhood:  http://www.kandkaudio.com/digitalaudio.html

I went to a yard sale at his house and bought a power supply from him:  http://www.oneac.com/

I didn't realize who he was until a couple of months later...

Terry

Oh! That! No, no, no, you're not ready to step into The Court of the Crimson King. At this stage in your training an album like that could turn you into an evil scientist.

----------------------

I want super-human will
I want better than average skill
I want a million dollar bill
And I want it all in a Pill