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What DAC would for me & will it suit my long term needs - Newbie Help

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Hi guys. I was wondering if I could ask some entry level questions, hope you don't mind!


I have a normal audio system which I am happy with however I need to be able to link music from my Mac Laptop from time to time. Historically I have been using external audio interfaces however I believe I am not getting the best out of them for what I am using it for this is why I thought about going down the stand alone DAC route.


1. Does the chip define the quality of sound

2. Are the bit/sampling rates the same across the board ie: 24bit/192khz

3. If the DAC is run on USB is there enough power or do they come with external power supplies.

4. Is the sampling and bit rate automatically set at the highest setting or is it played back at the recorded file setting, like 16bit/44100khz

5. Can I run my turntable into and record into my laptop

6. I have seen some DACs on Fleebay (via China) which are not flash but seem to have good specs are they decent for entry level items





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1. No, it is only one variable.

2. No, bit width/sampling rates vary from DAC to DAC.

3. There a few USB-only DAC's than run on USB power, but most have their own power supplies.

4. Depends mostly on the music player used.

5. A few DACs will provide the kind of A/D interface you'll need for this.

6. There have been some positive reviews of the Valab DAC from China, which sells on E-bay.




A: Mac Mini => Peachtree Nova => LFD Integrated Zero Mk.III => Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 | Musical Fidelity X-CAN V-8 => AKG K 701

B: Airport Express = > Benchmark DAC1 => Rega Brio-R => B&W DM 601 S2

C: Airport Express => AudioEngine A2

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