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Presonus 1394 Inspire DAC


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Has anybody tried the Presonus 1394 Inspire pro audio unit as a DAC for a computer stereo system? Going by the specs, it could take advantage of 24/96 music files, and the price is very good. What interested me in a pro-audio interface was the good sound I got from an M-Audio Firewire 410 that I had in my system for awhile. I sure would like some opinions on the 1394 Inspire or any other low cost pro-audio DAC. The reason I am looking at pro-audio interfaces is; they seem to be considerably cheaper than DACs sold under the "audio" banner. Thanks for your help.




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I've compared the following pro-audio DACs side-by-side for a couple of weeks:

  • Weiss Minerva ($5000) - DAC2 is the Pro version ($3000), identical sound
  • RME FireFace 400 ($1300)
  • EMU 0404 USB ($180)


The EMU did not sound bad, but After listening to the RME for 2 seconds I knew I would never turn the EMU on again. However with the next step up, the Weiss, the differences to the RME were much more subtle. I could only hear them on some types of music (complex classical works - better instrument separation) or when I really listened 'hard' (more power in lows, less sharpness in the highs).


I stuck with the RME for reasons of functionality and price / perf. I still may upgrade to a Weiss DAC2 someday, the unit has been improved since my auditioning (output level down, digital volume control added).


Hth, Vincent


VincentH, Pro Audio and Headphone enthousiast. Currently using Vista + Foobar + WASAPI bitperfect --> FireWire --> RME FireFace 400 DAC --> Vovox unshielded balanced XLR interconnects --> Focal Twin 6Be active monitors + Focal Sub6 active sub; Grado RA 1 + Grado RS 1; Etymotic ER-4P.

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  • 5 years later...

Hi Rob,


Were you still using this Inspire 1394 as DAC now? Just curious, even though this thread is 5 years old. :) Sorry if I am too late to join the conversation before. I just cleaned out my garage and found my Inspire 1394 and wonder if I should use it for DAC purpose (it was used to record audio of XLR mic) Thanks.


ps.. I am not a serious music lover like most of users here. I don't know 99.99% terminologies either. No fancy audio system... I am just curious if I can still make use of whatever I have owned so far and become creative with them for a while. Thanks in advance.

A good song finds me even during my sleep.

Thank God for my aging ears. I now can filter out blah blah blah and tune in blue blue blue...

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