Digital-to-analog converter

Posted by: Philippe

Digital-to-analog converter - 10/11/10 07:21 PM

Hello everyone. So today i would like to enter to the world of DAC. I am not that familiar with and since i only go thrut cd's, i would like to add a DAC to my system. The main reason.. i listening/discover a lot of music via my computer (itunes and youtube) So of course id like to be able to link my laptop to my system.
So how a good dac should work into my system. As good as a good cd player. Does music from itune and youtube will sound good ?
Any recommendation of a good dac ?

Thank in advance.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/11/10 09:42 PM

Philippe, you'll need a device which takes the digital output from the USB port on your laptop and converts it to a form which an input on your 5003 can accept and process. One reasonably priced item is available here which works by converting the USB output to optical digital data which you then use an optical cable to feed into the optical input on your 5003.

The quality of the sound sources available through your computer varies, and doesn't match the excellence of the CD format, but can be quite acceptable. I listen to a great deal of classical music from stations when I'm on my computer (KUSC at the moment), and the great variety available makes it enjoyable, even when the sound quality isn't the ultimate.
Posted by: wbedford

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/12/10 10:57 AM

Philippe,

Looking at the level of your components and gear, you should try a Blue Circle Audio USB Thingee Digital Converter. It comes in several configurations:

Here is a writeup about it here: http://www.goodsound.com/equipment/blue_circle_usb_thingee.htm

I have several Blue Circle products and they are extremely high quality.
Posted by: Joebob

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/12/10 11:02 AM

Philippe, I have the Musical Fidelity V-DAC and like it very much. It is a pretty good value for what it does. There is a review here: Stereophile V-DAC Review
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/12/10 12:25 PM

Emotiva just announced the impending release of their XDA-1 for $299.

Personally, I just use the SPDIF output from my computer and let the receiver do the conversion.
Posted by: Philippe

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/12/10 02:07 PM

Emotiva seem quite nice. I have for now my look at Grant Fidelity http://grantfidelity.com/site/Grant_Fidelity_Tube_DAC-09
Since i own a tub processor, i am really satisfied.
Posted by: bdpf

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/12/10 03:36 PM

I use WD TVlive to stream Audio and Video form the PC to the receiver (since I don't have a PS3). Input: ethernet or usb, outpout: HDMI. Does the job. I would only use an expensive DAC if my intent was to play uncompressed music.
Posted by: Ya_basta

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/12/10 04:15 PM

I have (and I believe JohnK does also) the older version of this Xitel DAC. I don't know how this newer unit performs, but I can't imagine it being any different, and I've been extremely happy with mine.

For what you get-cable's, unit etc., you can't beat the price.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/12/10 09:41 PM

Yes, as Cam comments, I've used that Xitel item for years now with complete satisfaction. The Turtle Beach converter works by optical conversion instead, but the results should be equally good and it's a bit less expensive. The Xitel comes with cables, but the Turtle beach requires an optical cable(maybe $5). Philippe, DACs or optical converters have been mature technology for many years and there's no good reason to spend hundreds of dollars for such a simple item. This is yet another audio area where you often don't "get what you pay for".

At the moment I'm using the Xitel DAC unit to listen to BBC Radio 3, which broadcast an excellent NY Philharmonic program yesterday afternoon, available on demand for six more days.
Posted by: Philippe

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/13/10 09:33 AM

well like i said i am completly newbie about Dac. That's why i take any recommencdation. I didn't had in mind to spend that much, i just want a decent sound when i link my notebook to my a/v reciever.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/13/10 10:55 AM

I wouldn't bother with a DAC at all, since you're going into a receiver, which has it's own DAC. The optical converter which John linked to is the way to go.
Posted by: Ya_basta

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/13/10 01:01 PM

Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
I wouldn't bother with a DAC at all, since you're going into a receiver, which has it's own DAC. The optical converter which John linked to is the way to go.


Walkie
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/13/10 01:26 PM

So get a Wi-Fi enabled Squeezebox, or any other wireless player with an optical/coax connection. But analog outs into a high-end receiver is just silly, and redundant.
Posted by: Philippe

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/13/10 01:31 PM

I will probablement try John's idea. Seem really cheap and result will be just fine i guess. I dont need more anyway.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/13/10 01:34 PM

I'm saying the result will probably be better than or at lest equal to any other exotic DAC you may find. The DACs in the receiver are really good. Additionally if you go into the stereo inputs of a receiver more than likely the analog signal will pass through an ADC, be processed by the receiver and then output through its own DAC anyway.
Posted by: Ya_basta

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/13/10 02:17 PM

Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
So get a Wi-Fi enabled Squeezebox, or any other wireless player with an optical/coax connection. But analog outs into a high-end receiver is just silly, and redundant.


I was just making a funny, Chris smile . You're right, it is redundant; but then again, so is having two functional legs. Either hop on one, or go with none grin .
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/13/10 02:45 PM

That's funny, and I needed that laugh today.

Thanks, Cam!
Posted by: donlboy

Re: Digital-to-analog converter - 10/13/10 06:16 PM

I use a Nuforce Icon Mobile USB DAC/Amp for listening to music on my computer with my Grado headphones. (I also the amplifier portion for headphone listening with my iPod with high bit rate music.) I think the quality is excellent in those applications, and it only costs $99. If you have a receiver with a 'straight through' analog audio mode (one that doesn't run through a ADC/DAC) I think it would give good results in that use also.