Which DAC To Get For My System?

darthgary

Novice Member
Hi guys - finally got my system stetup and I love it.

Rega Planar 6 with MC Ania Pro Cartridge and external PSU, Rega MC Fono and Rega Elex-R connected to Klipsch RP500M speakers. It's a great sounding system to my ears, it's strange not being able to adjust certain features with the Elex-R amp such as bass control, but what it plays is extremely lively and well-balanced.

So this system sorts out my vinyl players needs. But I'd love to have my TV and Xbox connected to the system also so that I am fully connected and using my Klipsch.

I understand that I need a DAC or something to connect from my TV to the DAC and then the DAC to the Elex.

Is there any advice for one? I really don't want to spend a lot of money on one as I just spent a lot on this system. I really don't mind getting a much better one down the years. But I would like one that would make playing games and watching films make some good use of the amp and the speakers.

Am I correct in how this system would all connect? Also would I need to buy any additional wires and which? Really sorry if this has all been gone over before, I read the DAC thread stickied but couldn't find the info relating to what I'm looking for, unless I overlooked it.

Anyway, helpy greatly appreciated! (I'm assuming DACs are pretty pricey, or perhaps they're not? If you can get a good quality one for about £100 that's preferable, I have no idea when it comes to these, but anything that would work really nicely with my system would be extremely lovely!)
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
You’ll need a dac with two optical inputs for a tv and Xbox.

Most of the best, inexpensive, dacs only have one, with a usb and electrical input too.

So you might need to spend a bit more for one with a pair of opticals.

I’ll have a peek.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
This is a very good dac, but it’s hard to say how much it will sell for. Worth keeping an eye on it though.

 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Perhaps sell the amplifier and buy an amplifier with two digital inputs:D

No, which tv do you have? Some have both optical inputs and coaxial inputs.

So let’s say you buy some DAC’s from the brand FiiO. They usually have have one optical, one coaxial, two RCA outputs.

To connect the FiiO you do the following...

Two RCA cables from the FiiO to the Rega assuming the Rega has more RCA inputs...It should have.

Then you connect the FiiO to the power outlet, then connect both the optical, coaxial to both the Xbox, Tv.

Remember to adjust the tv settings/Xbox to PCM sound settings because neither can decode Dolby Digital. I may be mistaken though, you just have to try.

If not the old Rega Dac R has all the inputs you need, it probably could be sold for half the price now.

Good luck.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Since your XBox is connected to the TV for audio, you don't need to connect it to the DAC, and hence a normal DAC with analogue input is sufficient. Not that you have to spend silly money to get dual inputs, for example this Prostor comes in at £21, admittedly twice the price of a PROZOR.

DACs can be bought at a range of prices, the list above is entry level. To satisfy your requirements per post #1 with a good quality DAC for well under £100 I'd suggest this Lindy DAC.

BTW, if your TV has an analogue output over RCA (or 3.5mm), just run an interconnect to the amplifier. Check the back of your unnamed TV or its manual.
 

3rdignis

Active Member
Most stereo dacs won't work with 5.1 source.

Not all tv's convert 5.1 to 2ch pcm through optical.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Most stereo dacs won't work with 5.1 source.

Not all tv's convert 5.1 to 2ch pcm through optical.
Very few standalone DACs can handle 5.1. Since the OP is feeding a stereo system, purchasing a multichannel DAC with Dolby decoding is probably not important, and if it were, he'd probably have asked about an AV receiver.

I've never heard of a TV that can send 5.1 through optical or coax, but can't send 2.0 - if you know of one, please name it. It would of course be helpful if the OP were to identify his TV.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Correct, most tv if any can decode Dolby digital only PCM.
If OP can tell which tv has, it would be helpful.

Or he can perhaps just use RCA cables from the Xbox to he’s Rega. It is not something I would recommend though. RCA cables epically when connected to tv, decoder are prone to hum. Use optical.

Even with the FiiO DAC hum can appear. I don’t see any solution and to buy the Rega DAC R with four digital inputs.

Or used other brands...
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I don’t know if has been mentioned, but the new Cambridge Audio DacMacic 200M has two optical inputs.

As mentioned so does the Rega Dac R.

Still I can’t imagine there is not any cheap DAC’s out here with the features he needs.

The DacMacic 200M is expensive. Edit the DacMacic has balanced outputs.

Can’t he just buy the Node 2i and use Bluetooth? Or use Bluetooth from the tv to the Xbox now? Just adjust the Bluetooth settings on the tv, then depending on if he wants to use the tv, Xbox it should work fine.

So perhaps he doesn’t need to buy anything...
 

3rdignis

Active Member
Oh, I will stop worrying about it.

My LG ef950 oled internal tuner on hd movies would sometimes only output 5.1 through optical.
 

darthgary

Novice Member
Thanks a lot for all your help guys - I don't mind going over £100, in all honesty anything sitting between £100-200 is fine, as I'm not looking to get it in the next month but maybe in the next two or three.

I really appreciate the links to some, I'd be looking to purchase new however, OCD and all that jazz.

My TV is a Sony kdl-42w829b.

So I need a DAC with two digital inputs and two digital outputs? Or it's dependent on the DAC? So my Xbox is HDMI through to the TV and then TV through to the DAC and then DAC through to the Rega amp.

Ideally I would like a good DAC that makes good use of my amp and my speakers so anything sitting between that 100-200 is okay with me.

I didn't know that Rega had one. But in this case with my TV (or a potential upgrade down the line) is it just better to have two digital inputs?
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I mentioned 2 optical inputs because I forgot about the digital audio being fed through the tv via HDMI.

So as it is, you only need a single optical input on your dac.

(You don’t require any digital outputs on the dac).

Which means this one really, as you want new. Great price too.


You won’t get better for your up to £200 budget.

A quick scan of this review should be convincing.


Simply connect the optical output from your tv to the Topping and you’re sorted out.
 
Last edited:

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Ps, when it’s set up remember to select PCM, and you’re off.

695EBD8B-966B-44FA-83B5-E9FF80986560.png
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Pps, if you want a cheap one to start for a month or two this is certainly good enough.

And vastly superior to tv sound for films and games.

Amazon product
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Pps, even cheaper way to start,


Straight out of the stereo analogue output of the tv.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
I mentioned 2 optical inputs because I forgot about the digital audio being fed through the tv via HDMI.

So as it is, you only need a single optical input on your dac.

(You don’t require any digital outputs on the dac).

Which means this one really, as you want new. Great price too.


You won’t get better for your up to £200 budget.

A quick scan of this review should be convincing.


Simply connect the optical output from your tv to the Topping and you’re sorted out.
+1. I have an an Elex R, with astreamer, a tv and an xbox connected to it. The Topping D30 does a fine job.
As stated above, HDMI from xbox to tv. Optical from tv to D30. Coaxial from streamer to D30. USB slot spare for anything that I may add in future.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
My TV is a Sony kdl-42w829b.

So I need a DAC with two digital inputs and two digital outputs? Or it's dependent on the DAC? So my Xbox is HDMI through to the TV and then TV through to the DAC and then DAC through to the Rega amp.
With that TV, all you need is a cable from the 3.5mm Audio Out to a 2xRCA input on the amplifier. Then in the TV's Sound menu, choose Audio Output and select Fixed Level. Everything will now work just fine.

The XBox is connected to the TV, which is connected to the amplifier, so that to will work just fine. Same with any other device you connect to the TV.

Of course, if you have £100 - £200 burning a hole in pocket, that's something else. You could give it to your favourite charity. :)
 
Last edited:

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Hi guys - finally got my system stetup and I love it.

Rega Planar 6 with MC Ania Pro Cartridge and external PSU, Rega MC Fono and Rega Elex-R connected to Klipsch RP500M speakers. It's a great sounding system to my ears, it's strange not being able to adjust certain features with the Elex-R amp such as bass control, but what it plays is extremely lively and well-balanced.

So this system sorts out my vinyl players needs. But I'd love to have my TV and Xbox connected to the system also so that I am fully connected and using my Klipsch.

I understand that I need a DAC or something to connect from my TV to the DAC and then the DAC to the Elex.

Is there any advice for one? I really don't want to spend a lot of money on one as I just spent a lot on this system. I really don't mind getting a much better one down the years. But I would like one that would make playing games and watching films make some good use of the amp and the speakers.

Am I correct in how this system would all connect? Also would I need to buy any additional wires and which? Really sorry if this has all been gone over before, I read the DAC thread stickied but couldn't find the info relating to what I'm looking for, unless I overlooked it.

Anyway, helpy greatly appreciated! (I'm assuming DACs are pretty pricey, or perhaps they're not? If you can get a good quality one for about £100 that's preferable, I have no idea when it comes to these, but anything that would work really nicely with my system would be extremely lovely!)
Look at the back of your TV. it will have a number of outputs and then decide what you want to do. Most TVs have a headphone socket ... a standard lead with 3.5mm stereo to RCA Phono will bring the audio to amplifier... Use an AUX input on the Amplifier Other TVs have RED and White Phono outputs , they can be used instead . a cable for these wil coast about 6 euro
many TVs have an Optical output .. they will need an optical link ...also called a TOSLINK , and a DAC. An optical cable will cost about 10 euro, and a DAC will be starting from about 15 euro.
Very modern TVs have HDMI outputs , and they will need a HDMI input DAC. if you want to use your current amplifier. Amazon have lots of these for sale.
Now ... this is where everything starts to go downhill quickly. The Best audio from a TV or a TV station is not and never intended as audiophile . It will in quality terms be at best slightly sub CD quality, so spending a lot of money on a DAC is daft. But even the simple cable connection going into decent speakers will give a dramatic improvement over the TVs own speakers.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Now ... this is where everything starts to go downhill quickly. The Best audio from a TV or a TV station is not and never intended as audiophile .
But note that others have a decidedly different opinion on this matter,. Broadcast quality in most European countries is generally of DVD quality (5.1) or CD quality (2.0). Analogue output quality is dependent on the TV, it can be poor, but it can also be substantially better than many popular AVRs.
 

Daniel 70

Active Member
But note that others have a decidedly different opinion on this matter,. Broadcast quality in most European countries is generally of DVD quality (5.1) or CD quality (2.0). Analogue output quality is dependent on the TV, it can be poor, but it can also be substantially better than many popular AVRs.
Mark.. you don't really do irony do you?. Saying something was audiophile was not necessarily a compliment. Most Audiophiles, in the UK would sneer at any Dolby enhancement, HDMI etc. . Currently I am playing HDMI into an ancient AVR ..the Sony Z260 , which is doing what it can with the Dolby Atmos sounds coming from a modern LG TV playing the Apple + App and the " For all mankind" series, and the sound is astonishingly strong and clear and utterly engaging. Much better than the TV can manage on its own.
What I am suggesting initially to the OP is that the simple set of leads into the Aux input of his amplifier will immediately produce a huge improvement bang for buck . If and unfortunately it happens, there is a earth loop hum , then a cheap stereo DAC with optical fibre , sorts that out and is the best value for 20 euro. Then even the PROMs become worthwhile listening on the terrestrial TV BBC Radio 3
 

darthgary

Novice Member
Ahh, okay, so I really could be saving money here - with this specific Sony TV I can just use a cable from the TV to the amp and that is really that simple, I don't need a DAC at all?

So because the sound is from the TV a DAC won't actually make much difference to the sound the TV is outputting? If I had the TV connected to an AVR I'm assuming that would produce great sound quality, so I'm wondering why a TV to DAC to my amp wouldn't, or I'm misunderstood?

Thanks Paul for your DAC suggestions and help regarding it - I've bookmarked these for further reading and if I do need to buy one.

So all I really need as Mark said is a 3.5mm Audio Out to a 2xRCA such as this? Amazon product

So in this case do I need a DAC at all? If this really cheap lead will allow me to playfilms and games through my Elex and Kilpsch I'm all sorted as I can stream Spotify and Youtube through the Xbox also. Is it really this simple or I'm missing something? Because you guys have otherwise just saved me a tonne of money if this works and produces good sound 9I'm not expecting it to be the hi-fi quality from my Vinyl, but at least a considerable mark up to make use of my Elex and Klipsch.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Yes, buy the cheapest alternatives first. RCA cables with 3,5 mm. Connect the 3.5 mm to the tv audio output, then two RCA inputs on the Rega amplifier.

Adjust the tv settings and you can enjoy Xbox sound from the Klipsch speakers.
 

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