DAC (with multiple inputs) to improve PC sound

chrisrodgers

Novice Member
will be interested in your thoughts

will be interested in your thoughts
Ok, tried it with an optical cable I had lying around - I couldn't tell any difference between the two. Don't know whether a coaxial would be any better. I do also need to upgrade my cables in general.

On the PC side, I was getting a lot of noise from the PC. When scrolling a window for example, you could hear a lot of noise. I've fixed that by using a separate power supply (old phone charger).
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Upgrade cables, from what? General consensus on this forum is that cables, so long as they are thick enough, made from OFC and have half decent connector or for speakers clean bare wire then you should be good to go. Amazon basics or fisual for inter connectors and Kabeldirekt or van damme blue 2.5sqmm cross section will see you fine for years and many upgrades. Keep the cash for cd’s, live band tickets (eventually, fingers crossed), a good meal out or decent bottle of whatever you fancy.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
van damme blue 2.5sqmm cross section
+1
This is the speaker cable I’ve used for quite some time. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen it recommended on this, and other, forums.
It’s perfectly good enough for me and I have never felt the need to change - certainly not to something costing 5/10 times more.
 

Baron Mole

Active Member
Ok, tried it with an optical cable I had lying around - I couldn't tell any difference between the two. Don't know whether a coaxial would be any better.
Without getting into technicalities the simple answer is unlikely. You'd also need a coax cable (75 ohm) which isn't the same as an analogue RCA interconnect. But is the same as a component video cable - see below.

I do also need to upgrade my cables in general.

When you talk about upgrade cables I'm assuming you are talking about the analogue cables connecting the equipment and feeding your active speakers. Don't get sucked into the expensive cable nonsense. As Ugg10 says a properly specified cable is more than good enough and a lot cheaper (although since your speakers are active you shouldn't be using speaker cable to feed them:)).

One trick to get cheap decent quality interconnects is to use Component video cables. As this is old technology eBay is awash with good quality stuff in lots of lengths for under a fiver, for example

Fisual 3.5m component video
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Without getting into technicalities the simple answer is unlikely. You'd also need a coax cable (75 ohm) which isn't the same as an analogue RCA interconnect. But is the same as a component video cable - see below.



When you talk about upgrade cables I'm assuming you are talking about the analogue cables connecting the equipment and feeding your active speakers. Don't get sucked into the expensive cable nonsense. As Ugg10 says a properly specified cable is more than good enough and a lot cheaper (although since your speakers are active you shouldn't be using speaker cable to feed them:)).

One trick to get cheap decent quality interconnects is to use Component video cables. As this is old technology eBay is awash with good quality stuff in lots of lengths for under a fiver, for example

Fisual 3.5m component video

This indeed.

I’m using component cables from QED.

A couple of 3 metre varieties for my active speakers from the preamp and a 1 metre version for a coax input.

I’ve half a dozen hanging around from analogue interconnect days too.

Component cables are great idea. Usually well made and now dirt cheap.
 

chrisrodgers

Novice Member
Upgrade cables, from what? General consensus on this forum is that cables, so long as they are thick enough, made from OFC and have half decent connector or for speakers clean bare wire then you should be good to go. Amazon basics or fisual for inter connectors and Kabeldirekt or van damme blue 2.5sqmm cross section will see you fine for years and many upgrades. Keep the cash for cd’s, live band tickets (eventually, fingers crossed), a good meal out or decent bottle of whatever you fancy.
Half of what I have are just cheap things that came with equipment so it would just be getting some thicker ones to replace those. Was looking at some of those you mentioned so that's great. Good to have that back up from you 👍
 

chrisrodgers

Novice Member
Been looking at Fisual cables, this was a new name to me. They look incredible value. Also, using components cables - brilliant suggestion. Kudos.

Thank you all 👍
 

Baron Mole

Active Member
Thank you all
Glad to have helped.

You may want to consider investing in a connection cleaner like Caig Deoxit D5. More knowledgable members than me may have better suggestions but I started using it more years ago than I remember and the can is still half full.

Modern kit tends to have gold plated sockets so oxidisation isn't so much of a problem but even high end kit a number of years ago just had white metal sockets. These discolour over time due to oxidisation and general muck in the air which degrades the electrical contacts.

I do a 'spring clean' of system sockets and plugs by spraying them and twisting and working them in and out of old loose sockets or plugs as appropriate. Doesn't happen that often - only really when I need to pull something out to access connections or the thickness of dust becomes a health hazard :rotfl:

Caig website
 

chrisrodgers

Novice Member
Glad to have helped.

You may want to consider investing in a connection cleaner like Caig Deoxit D5. More knowledgable members than me may have better suggestions but I started using it more years ago than I remember and the can is still half full.

Modern kit tends to have gold plated sockets so oxidisation isn't so much of a problem but even high end kit a number of years ago just had white metal sockets. These discolour over time due to oxidisation and general muck in the air which degrades the electrical contacts.

I do a 'spring clean' of system sockets and plugs by spraying them and twisting and working them in and out of old loose sockets or plugs as appropriate. Doesn't happen that often - only really when I need to pull something out to access connections or the thickness of dust becomes a health hazard :rotfl:

Caig website
Yeah I've just had the dust issue 😁
I'll take a look into the cleaner.. some of my equipment is getting on a bit! 👍
 

old45s

Standard Member
Hi, I'm looking to add a budget DAC to get better sound from my desktop pc and reduce backgroud hum but I'm also wondering if I can remove a cheap AV switch box at the same time (using a multi input DAC) and just have one unit. I need to explain my setup - it's a mishmash of things making the most of what I already had with everything running to a pair of active monitors used for my existing Dj setup.

Audio from:
1. Digital Dj Mixer (Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk2)
2. Desktop PC
3. CD Player (Pioneer DV-525 DVD Player)
4. Philps tape deck Hi-Fi separate c.1990

All go into a AV switch box, the output of which goes into a Fostx Pc-1e volume control unit and then onto the Wharfdale Diamond 8.1 Active Monitors.

The CD player actually sounds great as it is. I was researching into getting a CD player and found a thread stating that early, reletively expensive DVD players had really good DACs. I remembered I had one in the loft (couldn't get rid of it, proabably because it cost me a lot as a young lad) and sure enough it sounds great.

The main aim is to get Spotify from the PC sounding better, like the CD Player. I was looking at getting a DAC just for the PC but then came across the DacMagic 100 or the Topping E30 which have multple inputs and a source selection. They could potenially handle (hopefully I have this right) the PC (USB input), mixer (RCA to Coax cable) and CD Player (Optical input) but of course would leave the tape deck off the setup.

Would be grateful for your thoughts? Are there better options? Am I missing anything? I have max £200 for the DAC.

Thanks!
I added an inexpensive Behringer USB DAC (the small red unit) to between my laptop (USB out) & my Mixer (RCA/TRS in) to powered PA speakers. I only ever got background *HUM when I experimented by using the headphone OUT socket on my laptop. (*Earthing issue, however no hum when running off battery)
Tracks from TIDAL sound as good as CD's.
Alternatively... a Mixer with a USB interface port and the 2 x RCA/TRS in's would accommodate your PC, CD and Tape Deck but IMO the Behringer USB DAC has the best sound for the price, between AUD$50 and 70.

Just a bit off topic... I have recently added my Yamaha (HS 50M)Studio monitor speakers to my set-up via the THRU XLR sockets on the back of the Yamaha PA Speakers (DXR 12).
It's now giving me the rich , full bass sound from the PA's as well as the more detailed highs from the monitors. All this great sound is coming via the aforementioned Behringer DAC.
Behringer stuff is made in China these days, people will tell you their stuff is cheap.. IT IS! but they get the job done. I've owned 2 Behringer Mixers and a Compressor and they've never failed.
 

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