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A DAC in another DAC???


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Hi,

 

I recently baught a M-Audio Audiophile 192 sound card and a DacMagic from Cambridge. I decided to buy an entry level audiophile DAC to make experiments. (I'd like to acquire the Bryston DAC if my experiments are conclusives)

 

I'm now asking myself why should I buy a super sound card AND a super DAC? Is it possible to have a better sound than the weakest element of my music server? No!!!! I don't think so!!! It can't be!!!

 

Considering this, the weakest element might be the M-Audio sound Card so What if I connect it (the analog out) directly in the amplifier?

 

Unfortunatly, I couldn't make the test since I totally changed the setup and baught another computer to go just beside the sound system and no room for the sound card within (by the way, It's a Simaudio Moon I 3 SE + Paradigm Studio 100 V4)

 

With this new computer, I connected the USB of the DacMagic but the music now sounds 2D. (another detail, I ripped all my CDs in wave format). Will change the USB cables just in case. Cheap one are on now.

 

When I played the sound card in the spdif of the Dacmagic (past setup), I couldn't hear any difference with the Cambridge Audio Azur 640C (whose using the same DAC than the Dacmagic)

 

So lots of questions and here's a resume:

 

What's better: Great sound Card and Great DAC or Only great sound card?

 

Is this a good enough sound card: ASUS Xonar Essence STX ?

 

Thank you!!!

 

 

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"When I played the sound card in the spdif of the Dacmagic (past setup), I couldn't hear any difference with the Cambridge Audio Azur 640C (whose using the same DAC than the Dacmagic)"

 

Imo, that's exactly as it should be. So, go back to past setup.

 

For me the answer is a DAC that sounds exactly the same regardless of software or soundcard or quality (price) of the cable squirting the bits into it.

 

- John.

 

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If you are looking for a good, inexpensive digital interface (soundcard w/o dac), then try to find just that (ie. Hagman USB/m-audio transit/M2Tech hiface).

 

All other things equal, a dac with a built-in properly implemented computer interface will sound better; however, this is not the case most of the time.

 

Personally, I feel that my BDA-1 has benefitted from an external usb-spdif converter (hiface).

 

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Interesting Mr.C. The HagUSB is a waiste of time if I plan to go over than 48 kb/s. The M-Audio Transit haven't stimulates my interest but the M2tech Hiface looks very interesting. I read about all on the related website. A promising gadget. Unmodified sound (no down or up scaling) Only dedicated to transfer the original file to a DAC. Sounds really interesting. I will probably try that one!!!

 

Thank you!!

 

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