Greetings all! I have a 2 channel system setup in my office that I have connected to my PC using the onboard coaxial connection. I understand that this method uses the DAC inside my receiver (current being used as a pre/pro)...recently however, I decided to dump the AV receiver for a dedicated 2-channel pre-amp. The problem I am having is that the majority of pre-amps in my price range don't have digital inputs...meaning I would be forced to use the analog outputs. this brought me to the idea of buying an exterenal DAC, but upon looking into to these I am seeing some ridiculously high priced units. I know you pay for quality, but I don't want to spend $1500 on a external DAC when my entire setup only costs $2000 - $2500.

I mainly playback lossless classical and rock music, if that helps at all.

Essentially I am just looking for an external DAC the most affordable external DAC that won't be a bottleneck in my system...I just don't want to buy something that is way more than I need.


Axiom m80ti (2)
Harman Kardon AVR-630 used as pre/pro
Rotel RB-1080 amplifier

A few external DAC's I have stumbled across are these:

It seems like the squeezebox @ $250 gets decent reviews, but I don't need all the features it provides...just a nice, clean, wired pc to pre-amp connection. I figure there must be a wired external DAC of similar sound quality out there for less than $250...maybe not though. Help!