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Self-Powered USD DAC (McIntosh D150): Does USB PC Source Matter


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I have a McIntosh D150 and am in the process of connecting a music server. I am extremely interested in one of the new Intel NUCs. I had an extremely inexpensive PC connected to ensure it was properly receiving DSD from JRiver - no issues. In my process to determine if an SOtM USB card would improve the USB audio into the D150, I removed the +5V power from the USB cable and the D150 continued to process the DSD stream.

 

Is this an indicator all USB streams will sound the same since the D150 does not require the external USB power? I am trying to determine if the Intel NUC will deliver acceptable sound or if I need to assemble a better PC. My HAP-Z1ES will not recognize the McIntosh D150, but even if it did, it would defeat the purpose of the Z1ES; however, I was considering a Sony HAP-S1 for the D150 if the Z1ES worked properly. I will more than likely hook the Z1ES to a McIntosh C47 with its balanced analog outputs or pair it with its matching integrated amplifier.

 

Thank you!

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