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I need advise on best possible setup

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Hi all,

I am new in the forum, and also new in the world of computer audiophile systems.

Here's is my current setup: I am using my Dell Latitude 620 connected to a Edirol UA-1EX external interface via USB. The interface is connected to my Pioneer VSX-1017TXV-K receiver through an optical cable (Toslink).

My speakers are:

Fronts: Paradigm Mini Monitors

Sub: Paradigm PDR-10


So, my question is regarding an update. I am thinking in buying an external DAC (Paradisea+ USB DAC). So, I have two options:


1)- to connect laptop to Paradisea+ (via USB) and Paradisea to receiver (via RCA), and toss the Edirol.


2)- to connect laptop to Edirol (via USB), Edirol to Paradisea+ (via Toslink), and Paradisea to receiver. The only pros I can see in this setup is that the Edirol is able to upsample to 24/96, so the digital input signal to the external DAC would be better than the signal coming directly from the laptop (16/44). Plus, the integrated sound card of the laptop is a piece of crap.


I play only FLAC files


I am right on this?? Which setup would be better, or best? Any way to improve it? Suggestions?

Thanks a lot in advance




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Hey Lucho - I suggest option 1. Your internal soundcard does not matter because the new USB DAC will be your soundcard. I really don't think the Edirol's upsampling will increase sound quality. I think it would be quite opposite. There are tons of ways to improve your system, but I suggest trying option 1 and listening to it for a while. Does this help? Let us know what you are thinking.


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So, the best option I have is to toss the Edirol and connect my laptop directly to the Paradisea+ via USB... Now that you say that, it makes sense.


Do you have an idea how much the Paradisea is going to improve the SQ of my original setup (laptop-Edirol-receiver)? Is it worth the $600?

Does anybody own this DAC? or another similar DAC in a similar setup?







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It's tough to say how much of an improvement you would hear. To me the Edirol just doesn't make sense if all it does is convert USB to TOSlink for your receiver to do the DAC work. The Paradisea+ is very unfamiliar to me, so I'll hold off on any sort of judgment about its quality.


You may want to consider the Cayin iDAC-1 just reviewed by CA member SGBaird http://www.computeraudiophile.com/node/381


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If I connect my laptop to the USB DAC and the DAC to my receiver, how can I bypass the receiver's DAC and use it just as a preamplifier/amplifier? My guess is using the option "Direct" in the receiver?

Another question: if the signal coming to the receiver from the DAC is analog, does the receiver still alters the signal by using its DAC or it just amplifies it?

How does this work? Sorry...I have no clue!


So, coming back to my first post.....The only reason I am currently using the Edirol is because it plays the role of an external sound card, since the soundcard of my laptop is a piece of crap. I did a test last night and I played a few albums comparing two different connections:

1. Laptop to the Edirol (via USB), then Edirol to receiver via Toslink.

2. Laptop to receiver via miniplug/RCA.


Connection number 1 sounded soooo much better. The difference in sound was dramatic. I could hear things that I did not hear with connection number 2. Much more clear, and warm, and the detail was incredible.

So, it's this dramatic difference due to just a better connection, since the receiver is doing all the D/A conversions?, or it is because the Edirol does a better job than the internal soundcard of my laptop, so the input signal going to the receiver is better? Or both?

Unfortunately, I can't connect my computer directly to the receiver via Toslink.








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The Direct option should allow you to bypass your receiver's DAC. There is a thread around here somewhere that describes how receiver's often covert analog back to digital for processing etc...


So, direct "should" allow an unaltered signal.


I think option one is substantially better for both reasons you put forth. Option two using the internal DAC of any computer is never the way to go in my book, as you've discovered for yourself.




Sent from my iPod Touch


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems AudiophileStyleStickerWhite2.0.png AudiophileStyleStickerWhite7.1.4.png

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