IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
Need Advice on a USB DAC
Konigsberg
post Sep 3 2012, 15:29
Post #1





Group: Members
Posts: 4
Joined: 11-July 12
Member No.: 101337



I'm making a new computer and need a new USB DAC. Before, I didn't really care too much about audio and just use this Creative SoundBlaster Xi-Fi 60 dollar USB DAC. Any of you guys know a good USB DAC for a PC? I've looked at a lot of "top rated" lists supplied by several sites and they all seem to vary quite a bit (some of these lists dont even show the same company). My headphones are the HD650's and I use like 60-80 dollar Logitech speakers..

I don't really have a budget which is what also makes it harder to find a good one. since a lot of these "top 10/rated" lists also factor in cheapness. However, If it has insane bang for buck, I wouldn't mind. Right now, from what I've seen, I'm thinking of the Fiio e17.

This post has been edited by Konigsberg: Sep 3 2012, 15:30
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
skamp
post Sep 3 2012, 16:17
Post #2





Group: Developer
Posts: 1444
Joined: 4-May 04
From: France
Member No.: 13875



I had build quality issues with my FiiO E7 (bad contact with both headphone jacks). Sounded fine though. Now I'm very happy with my O2/ODAC: great build quality, great sound (in absolute terms, I won't debate the audibility of its superiority to other products), and I have the peace of mind that probably nothing can sound better (though cheaper products might sound just as good). But it's expensive and it's for headphones only.

This post has been edited by skamp: Sep 3 2012, 16:25


--------------------
See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Konigsberg
post Sep 3 2012, 16:58
Post #3





Group: Members
Posts: 4
Joined: 11-July 12
Member No.: 101337



That looks really good, but I want to switch between headphones and speakers. But yeah, that is really nice.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
probedb
post Sep 3 2012, 19:57
Post #4





Group: Members
Posts: 1233
Joined: 6-September 04
Member No.: 16817



Had a FiiO E7 for a long while, very good and no build quality issues for me.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
A_Man_Eating_Duc...
post Sep 3 2012, 20:47
Post #5





Group: Members
Posts: 933
Joined: 21-December 01
From: New Zealand
Member No.: 705



I have a Audioengine D1 and it sounds fantastic.


--------------------
Who are you and how did you get in here ?
I'm a locksmith, I'm a locksmith.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
danbee
post Sep 4 2012, 08:54
Post #6





Group: Members
Posts: 225
Joined: 19-February 02
From: plymouth, uk
Member No.: 1355



QUOTE (Konigsberg @ Sep 3 2012, 15:58) *
That looks really good, but I want to switch between headphones and speakers. But yeah, that is really nice.


The ODAC is available as a standalone unit.


--------------------
:: danbee :: pixelhum.com ::
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
skamp
post Sep 4 2012, 08:58
Post #7





Group: Developer
Posts: 1444
Joined: 4-May 04
From: France
Member No.: 13875



QUOTE (danbee @ Sep 4 2012, 09:54) *
The ODAC is available as a standalone unit.

But then you need extra gear to plug in both headphones and speakers.


--------------------
See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
RonaldDumsfeld
post Sep 4 2012, 11:28
Post #8





Group: Members
Posts: 333
Joined: 12-June 09
Member No.: 70617



If you did a search I think you would find the most common recommendations were either the E-Mu 0202/0404 or M-Audio Fast Track/Fast Track Pro.

However this new range from Focusrite has caught my eye.

Scarlet 2i2 Scarlet 8i6

I highly recommend going for the multi channel versions. They cost very little more than the simple 2 in 2 out versions and it's amazing how useful they prove to be in practice.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
xnor
post Sep 4 2012, 11:59
Post #9





Group: Developer
Posts: 683
Joined: 29-April 11
From: Austria
Member No.: 90198



At least the Scarlet 2i2 has received some not so positive reviews. The instrument input is too sensitive, the headphone is too silent, measurement results are just average.

This post has been edited by xnor: Sep 4 2012, 11:59
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
RonaldDumsfeld
post Sep 4 2012, 16:41
Post #10





Group: Members
Posts: 333
Joined: 12-June 09
Member No.: 70617



Depends who writes the reviews I guess.

I've read something about the headphone out being relatively quiet but that was from a hi-fi guy with wierd impedance headphones who wanted to recommend something much more expensive. Another review (which I cannot find again atm sorry) said the output was more than good enough for practical use. On std headphones at least. He used it for a drummers foldback iirc.

Instrument input too sensitive? That's always a tricky one for manufacturers. If they have a lot of gain then some people will set it too high. If they restrict it others will want more. More gain and give the user the choice to set it appropriately seems better to me. ymmv.

Measurements just 'average'? Well how good is good enough? Everyone (see below) seems to think it sounds ok. If you want to pay 10x as much you might get better stats, can you hear the difference? Doubt it. I'm also impressed that Focusrite publishes detailed real world figures not just chipset manufacturers max.

2i2 only costs ~$150 on the street. 8i6 ~$250. You get an awful lot for your money.


Focusrite Scarlet Range review


2i2 review

Another 2i2 review.



Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
xnor
post Sep 4 2012, 19:03
Post #11





Group: Developer
Posts: 683
Joined: 29-April 11
From: Austria
Member No.: 90198



Yes it really depends on who writes the reviews. For example, they didn't mention the pops/clicks when you start or shutdown the computer. Or the audible noise floor at higher volumes.
The input is too sensitive cause it will clip above -3 dBu, other interface in a similar price range have headroom over +10 or even +15 dBu. (edit: The line in handles up to +20 dBu, so why's the instrument in so sensitive?)
Sure it's not bad for the price, but I've read in the comments of a review that even a tascam us-122l (released 2006) produces better measurements. Sadly I could not find measurements for that old unit.

To me measurements of a 24 bit interface are just average if its performance doesn't reach effectively 16 bits, regardless of how it 'sounds'.

It's a shame the saffire pro 14 only has firewire cause it's a great little interface.

This post has been edited by xnor: Sep 4 2012, 19:09
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Konigsberg
post Sep 6 2012, 03:08
Post #12





Group: Members
Posts: 4
Joined: 11-July 12
Member No.: 101337



The HD650 is very quiet. I plugged it into my on-board EVGA soundcard and with foobar all the way blasted, it was unusually quiet. Which one of these amps supply a very loud sound?
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
skamp
post Sep 6 2012, 08:45
Post #13





Group: Developer
Posts: 1444
Joined: 4-May 04
From: France
Member No.: 13875



QUOTE (Konigsberg @ Sep 6 2012, 04:08) *
Which one of these amps supply a very loud sound?


The O2(/ODAC). The HD650 are 300 ohms, with a sensitivity of 98 dB/mW, which means they require 15.8 mW of power to reach a peak SPL of 110 dB (very loud). Many amps can't output that amount of power into 300 ohms. The O2 can.

Example: the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 can output 15 mW into 150 ohms, while the O2 can output 355 mW into the same load.

This post has been edited by skamp: Sep 6 2012, 08:48


--------------------
See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 22nd September 2014 - 02:44