A question about external DACs meant to better a cheap PC's sound

Discussion in 'Home Audio (Stereo Systems)' started by Viabcroce, Jan 3, 2018.


  1. Viabcroce

    Viabcroce Member

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    Hello all, and HNY to everyone :)
    While tinkering with the idea of improving the sound of my holiday-home PC (gifted with its motherboard-, cheap sound card), I was considering some entry-level DAC (around 100 €), which I am sure would make its job (using a pair of decent Luna Eclipse by Edifier). But I had a doubt I hope someone here could help clarify.

    I see that DACs' specs include the maximum frequency/bit depth they can manage. Is this a datum that has got a meaning only when you use them with say an external CD\SACD\DVD\BD player, or is it true for a computer as well?
    I am in doubt since, IIRIR, (I can't check this right now) my main PC in the other house plays files that have greater specs than my external audio card would allow. So I thought that maybe the player (in my case Foobar2000) might be doing some part of the job through the combination of ASIO drivers and maybe a Kernel Streaming dll.

    Does anyone know whether this is the case? Would Foobar take care of extra-specs files, for example by automatically converting them to a proper density?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. McStrats

    McStrats Member

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    i won't even try to get technical but I will say that the Dragonfly USB DAC added depth and sound stage similar to my LP's that was a big improvment over running the computer direct. I run a Lenovo Yoga 900 with itunes lossless files and it sounds really good.
     
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  3. bukowski

    bukowski Member

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    This ^ I just got a dragonfly red and I use foobar with good results
     
  4. jaded_musician

    jaded_musician Supporting Member

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    I have one as well along with anti jitter usb thingy, sounds great and I use it with tidal on my mobile devices.
     
  5. Houseboundhound

    Houseboundhound Supporting Member

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    I have a red dragonfly I use with my laptop and Galaxy phone. Works great with laptop and limited phone apps, however the phone jack has gotten a little touchy and can't figure out how to open it for repair short of a blowtorch and chisel. You might consider the Schiit Fulla 2 for $99. They make well respected products and they can be opened for repairs.
     
  6. Viabcroce

    Viabcroce Member

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    Thanks all for chiming in :)
    I ended up buying a Sabaj D3 (also bought a JitterBug by AudioQuest but have not thrown it in yet (want to test the DAC by itself first).
    That's an improvement over my PC's original sound no question, but the original doubt remains.
    This is not only a nerd's issue, it also relates to how big the ripped\purchased files can\have to be in order to take full advantage over the DAC's ability and save money\HD real estate at the same time.

    :)
     
  7. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Buy something at HDtracks.com and listen. Be sure your sound prefs are set for 24/192 or 24/96.
    Try Yes Fragile.
     
  8. Viabcroce

    Viabcroce Member

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    I a afraid listening, with no reference point, won't answer the question.
    When you change the DAC's sound quality parameters you always hear a difference (a different sampling rate or bit depth makes things sound different), but you can't be sure what's closest to the original sound.
    Heck, even a CD sounds different with the Sabaj when I go over the Red Book specs.
    Now, while I am able to ell what I like best, I'd also like to know what's most faithful.
     

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