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Analysis and Critique of my gear... Input needed


Drewskie
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Granted This is probably asked a lot I am curious because many here know far more than I could ever know in this topic. I will list my gear and ask if you see anything wrong with what i have and what improvements i should get. keep in mind i have a strict budget and as it is i am only looking for a dac either internal for my pc or external.

 

Running my P.C. out via audio out on main board

crappy wires

Harman Kardon PM640Vxi

Kef Q60 speakers

 

Simple yet plays pretty ok considering I payed 90 bucks for the amp and the speakers were free.

 

My weakness is obviously my dac. whether i get an internal or an external but i am leaning towards an external. let me know people, cheers

 

PC Windows XP Pro, Harman/Kardon PM640 Vxi, KEF Q60 (circa 1995)

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"keep in mind i have a strict budget and as it is i am only looking for a dac either internal for my pc or external."

 

What is your budget?

If it was $400 I'd go CA DAC Magic or GF DAC-09

$300 I'd go Devilsound

$200 Valab

$100 that USB Streamer thing that stereophile reviewed.

 

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All of Mr C.'s comments / suggestions are good but I'll post another, slightly off the wall suggestion - an internal sound card.

 

There's some good options available for a couple of hundred dollars or less and two recommendations would be the ESI [email protected] or M-Audio Audiophile 192 cards. If you're happier with external, har a look at EMu 0202 USB device.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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The [email protected] is one I have looked into however I am becoming more and more aware of the noise factor when buying a internal sound card. The external seems to be the ticket. I did also look at the M-Audio cards as well. I have not heard of the EMu0202 and I am going to look into it. I also saw this on ebay the pop pulse http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110424180784&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT the specs look good but someone tell me if you agree.

 

PC Windows XP Pro, Harman/Kardon PM640 Vxi, KEF Q60 (circa 1995)

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Also guys let me know if my amp and speakers are decent or not. If all my gear is average at best then I will only buy a dac that is average. At a later time I will simply buy and build from scratch.

 

PC Windows XP Pro, Harman/Kardon PM640 Vxi, KEF Q60 (circa 1995)

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The KEF Q60 were decent speakers at the time but have been through several revisions since but if they work no reason to replace them.

 

I don't know anything about the HK amp.

 

Certainly worth buying a DAC but don't spend too much - I think any of the original would each improve in steps.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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It's Official I am getting a Valab NOS DAC. I've read all of the reviews both here and on Hi Fi and I am convinced it's the best bang for buck DAC. Prolly won't get to ordering until after christmas though... Meh it happens

 

PC Windows XP Pro, Harman/Kardon PM640 Vxi, KEF Q60 (circa 1995)

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