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Another newbie -- needing some advice

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This is a fantastic site! So much great information!


I've loved high resolution audio for years: especially SACD (& have it in my car too). Now, I'm addicted to making higher resolution audio from my computer in my home system.


My question: I have various files (most from Reference Recordings) that are anywhere from CD (44.1/16 bit), FLAC (96 kHz/24 bit), to HRx (176.4 kHz/24 bit) that I'm playing with Media Monkey and the waveOut (out_wave.dll) plug-in. On the PC, how do I know that the DAC is converting the file properly--so that I'm actually hearing the full HIGH resolution?


My equipment:

- Dell XPS 410 (Windows Vista Home Premium)

- Native Instrument Audio Kontrol 1 (24 bit/ 192 kHz) USB DAC

- Outlaw 990 Preamp/processor

- Classe CA-4100 amp

- Magenpan 20.1 speakers


Hope this question is not too basic.


Thanks, in advance.





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Hi Michael - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. I'm happy you're enjoying the site, that's what this wonderful hobby is all about!


I too am a fan of high resolution audio. I play everything from 16/44.1 to 24/192. I use the Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC to play back all my music from my computers. This DAC can verify bit perfect audio streams by illuminating the HDCD indicator when an HDCD encoded track is played. I know some other readers connect their computer to a receiver that has lights for things like DTS etc... When playing back a DTS track the light should illuminate if it's bit perfect.


Media Monkey is my choice on the PC, so You're down the right path in my opinion. Let me know what you need help with I'll be glad to help.


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I'm not quite ready to spend $5,000 on the Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC--although I'd love to! I've read your comments and the reviews of many others who think it's an incredible piece of hardware.


I'll probably have to contact Native Instruments, maker of the Audio Kontrol 1 that I'm using, to find out if there's a software solution to monitoring the bit rate/kHz that's input into the unit and what it's doing with the information.


Are there any less expensive DACs (under $500) that you know of that work/display well for the price range?


Thanks, again.




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