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Which DAC? I am really confused

Discussion in 'Home Cinema & Hi-Fi' started by Deep, 20 Oct 2009.

  1. Deep


    Joined: 29 Jul 2004

    Posts: 6,347

    Location: West London

    Hi everybody,

    I have an Arcam 75+ amp paired with a set of Diamond 9.1 speakers

    All my music is on my laptop (Dell XPS) and I am currently ripping it all into FLAC format onto my external hard drive.

    I have been reading that a DAC will benefit me immensely, but I don't know which one to get. It's really really confusing.

    How would I connect it to my laptop? Beresford or DAC Magic?


    Help needed please!


  2. Axil


    Joined: 22 Apr 2006

    Posts: 567

    Location: Port Talbot

    first thing is - does your lap top have a digital out - and in what is it
    i.e. Toslink (optical) , Coax (electrical)

    The Dac -magic can take both.
  3. markop2003


    Joined: 21 May 2009

    Posts: 245

    Beresford is the better of the two. The DAC magic is very over priced. Also take a look at the Zero, Aune and Valab NOS (all about 100) and the V-DAC (150)
  4. markop2003


    Joined: 21 May 2009

    Posts: 245

    Beresford and the others i mentioned can take both too as well as USB
  5. jbloggs


    Joined: 4 Sep 2005

    Posts: 6,961

    Location: NI

    Have a look at the Musical Fidelity V-DAC, Beresford or ZeroDAC (ebay) which have optical/coaxial/USB connection...

    I would give the DACMagic a miss as you can get better, cheaper, you might also want to have a look the Audio-GD Compass (also has optical/coaxial/USB connection) which is as well as being a DAC is also headphone amp+Preamp...
  6. Deep


    Joined: 29 Jul 2004

    Posts: 6,347

    Location: West London

    It appears I would need a USB connection if I want a DAC, I don't have any optical or coax ports
  7. Guest2


    Joined: 6 May 2009

    Posts: 16,193

    Me neither. How do you connect a DAC to something like a standard amp with phono ports? Surely you can do phono on DAC to phono on amp?
  8. Ste


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,780

    PC -> DAC = optical, coaxial (i.e. a single phono lead) or USB

    DAC -> Amp = Phono, i.e. standard interconnects.

    This is pretty much true of any DAC, apart from the USB connection which isn't available on all of them.
  9. marscay


    Joined: 15 Aug 2006

    Posts: 3,431



    The Beresford Caiman (which has a very good USB transport) would sound great with your A75 it's very detailed but also quite neutral, drop the DM it's overated and overpriced.
  10. dmsims

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jan 2003

    Posts: 1,044

    For the PC -> DAC via optical or coaxial the Musiland 01USD (ebay) is excellent
  11. Nanoman


    Joined: 4 Mar 2003

    Posts: 5,235

    Location: Herefordshire

    If you're on a budget I'd recommend the ZeroDAC. I got one off the bay for about £95 with OP627 op-amps (which are quite highly rated). USB version is about £105 so they're pretty cheap and do sound good.