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I just setting up my first real stereo. I ordered a Rotel digital class d amp along with a Rotel pre-amp. I have most of my music on a 250g external hard drive. I am looking for a DAC that would be under $1,000. I have looked into the stello da100 and the devilsound DAC and the firstone fubar II. It seems to me the stello ius the best bet under $1000. But is there another DAC that is lower in price then the stello that can compare in performance? Please help me out?


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Hi Roskavich - There are many DACs cheaper than the Stello DA100, but I don't have experience with a lot of them. In fact there are probably more DACs in this price range than any other, but many of the brands are new to me so I can't even recommend a product based on build quality or past performance history etc...


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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What kind of connection would you run if not USB. I have a Mac Book Pro laptop? Can this type of laptop accept sound cards? If so is it necessary or benevolent to have in combination with a DAC? Do you have any suggestions for a DAC and/ or sound-card combination at a reasonable price? It sounded to me, from reading your reviews, that the a Benchmark set up is the way to go for best bang for your buck. Please give me some guidance...


Thanks again




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Hi Rick - USB DACs have really good sound and I highly recommend them if you can place the DAC less than 5 meters from the computer. If you have to go beyond this limitation your options get much smaller. The MacBook does have built0in optical output from the headphone port which also works very well. The Benchmark is a fabulous DAC and has many inputs for great flexibility. If you only need a DAC without the headphone amp and preamp function you can always look at the PS Audio DLIII.


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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