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how many sources into a DAC?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by gavp, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. gavp

    gavp
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    Having read through the thread on DAC's I have some queries, I currently own a sony DVD player which I use for both music and dvd usage, I am interested in using a modded xbox to store a lot of my music and slim down my cd collection.
    So, could I connect both my dvd player and the xbox to a DAC, if so which one(s), has anyone done this? My budget would be around £250 and music is listened to through a Rotel RC1070 pre and RB1070 power amp.

    Any wisdom would be generously used :D
     
  2. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Gav all you need to do is to get a DAC with enough inputs to cope with all your sources, for example in the scenario above you can easily pick up DACs with 2 inputs (usually 1 RCA SPDIF & 1 Toslink) for £250, there are plenty of threads info on the net just now to read about DACs. Back to your situation though and inputs into a DAC. You would simply connect up your kit as follows :

    DVD player : RCA SPDIF out to DACs RCA SPDIF Input
    Xbox : Toslink out to DACs Toslink Input

    FYI I use a DAC with 7 Digital inputs and would always suggest to propsective DAC users to go for a DAC with more than 2 digital inputs – 3 at a minimum for example I have used on my DAC the following digital devices (at the same time) :

    DVD-V player (CD & DVD) RCA SPDIF
    Freeview Box – RCA SPDIF
    Minidisc – Toslink
    PC USB SC – Toslink
    PS2 – Toslink

    Its all about the digital inputs of the DAC your using TBH. For example look at the kit above all through the one convertor and I still have 2 digital inputs to use.
     
  3. gavp

    gavp
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    Nice one CJ I thought you might help out here :smashin:
    I then assume the outputs will either be XLR or RCA and I simply plug these into the relevent inputs on my Rotel, so do all DAC's have a switch on the front or do they automatically decode whatever device is feeding it?

    Any preference over Audiolab DAX or Musical Fidelity X-24 other than MF will be cheaper, or am I best getting an MF A324 and paying the extra ie will I get more for my money :cool:
     
  4. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Most DACs outputs are RCA Gav, but a few are XLR at varying prices, if you have balanced inputs on your pre-amp I would say go for a DAC with these. A few are available at every price mark ie :

    £100-150 M-Audio SuperDAC
    £400 Graham Patten DAC 20
    £600 Benchmark DAC1
    £1100 Chord 64

    And yes most come with an input toggle that lets you switch between inputs. Some autodetect and some have Remote controls for inputs changing. In fact Rotel have an old DAC – the RB980 which is remote controllable :

    http://imageevent.com/sidandcoke/sidshifi;jsessionid=0m0vq0bpm1.buffalo_s

    This can be picked up for buttons dude, Ive seen them for £120-150, the dude above who uses (Sid&Coke) it knows his onions as you can tell from his kit. Thought it may interest you being a Rotel man.

    Well I would advise spending just a wee shade over £250 TBH with your current kit, £400 is a good place to pick up a bargain, the MF A324 is a good DAC, or keep your eye open for a DAC 20 (would be my choice as it has loads of inputs and 2 anlg outputs as well as HDCD), these sell these days mostly for £400-500 (although Ive seen one go on Epay recently for £600). FWIW dude may I suggest another option, consider the Toshiba SD-9500 its an ubeer £2000 player with XLRs outs, also has 2 digital inputs and can be used as a DAC. £399 on Ebay DVD-V players. Simply run your Xbox into its digital input section and listen to that. Then at a later date you can add a estoric DAC if you wish, but I would bet that its good enough to fire straight into your system.

    HTHs
     
  5. gavp

    gavp
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    Some good points again fella, think I'm a little wiser but am interested to know why the Tag over the MF, my thinking is 20bit v's 24/96 is the latter not the best option?, theres so much written these days about this, I am simply assuming the sound would be better due to technology advancing, or am I missing things like the input options, build quality, greater power supply etc etc also MF being newer? :rolleyes:

    What about this from China, can be bought on ebay for about £300 new http://www.xindak.com/en/products/productinfo.asp?id=3
     
  6. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Gav, emperors new clothes affect all aspects of hifi, especially the source department, Ive used a DAC 20 long before the A3.24 was marketed, then along came that DAC it blew away the DAC 20 etc etc, happens every couple of years in DAC circles, a DAC is hyped as a market leader of some sort and "older" versions are instantly derided. All dependant on the user at the end of the day (if I had the choice between the 2 I would always pick the TAG - thats just me), Im sure if you read the net just now you will spot more DACs knocking about just now that blow others out of the water, these maybe worth a try to you. Not heard much of the Zindak TBH over here. But there are loads of DACs available from £150-400. I also dont subscribe to CD technology changing as much as suggested by reviewers in the press.

    Anyway some random thoughts. Get googling.
     
  7. jimmy_b

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    Hi gavp

    Just a couple of small notes for you on the MF which I currently own. Firstly, it only has 2 inputs (1 optical, 1 coax), this can be awkward if you have more than 2 input sources (as you have to keep swapping cables about). What I find more frustrating is that it auto-detects which one to use and automatically switches between inputs - you cannot swap it manually. This means that you need to either unplug cables or turn source components on/off to get it switch to the input you want.
    Also, it continually looks for an active input so that if there are none, it will continually flicker between the two inputs, trying to find one which to use - this constant flickering of the front panel lights annoys the :mad: out of me!

    Just in case you were wondering, I am not wholly happy with the unit and am hoping to upgrade sometime soon.

    Cheers
    Jimmy
     
  8. totem

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    I have the MF trivista DAC, and have the same problem- lack of inputs. It only has 2 inputs, 1 coaxial, 1 optical. Does anyone know if there is a junction box or adapter, that will allow me to increase the inputs without loss in quality ?


    My gear :AE500,Av11sr,Arcam cd72, Pioneer 757 dvd, MF trivista dac21, Monitor Audio GR20/10/GRFX,freeview box.
     

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