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firewire or USB DAC?

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I'm completely new to "computer to quality speakers" sound. I guess I've been loving CD's too deeply for too long ...


I'm wondering whether I should be considering FireWire or USB for a DAC. I plan to run music and radio from itunes running on an old iMac G4 first generation (it has FireWire 400 and USB 1.1) going to my Cambridge 740A and Triangle Quartet speakers.


My budget probably doesn't help. For a first time DAC purchase I am not willing to spend more then in the range of $500.


So, should I consider USB or FireWire given the computer I am planning to recycle for this project? And, do you have suggestions for my budget?


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Hi zinneken - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. The question about USB v. FireWire is one that can't be answered. Each DAC is different and it all depends on how each manufacturer implements USB or FireWire. Either one of them can be better than the other if implemented well.


There are a bunch of DACs under $500. Right now I am in the middle of reviewing the Headroom Ultra Micro DAC and the sound is pretty nice. This DAC is more than you want to spend, but Headroom also offers a Micro DAC for about $400. (http://www.headphone.com/products/headphone-amps/the-micro-line/headroom-micro-dac.php) I'm pretty sure they have a great return policy and would be very willing to work with you to get the right product in your system.


For about half of what you want to spend I would check out the Devilsound DAC. It's a really good product and made by some very smart and friendly people. (http://www.devilsound.com/DAC/)


As the Rocker said above, the Apogee DAC is a real popular choice and it has many hard core followers.


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