View Full Version : digital out vs. RCA

Phillip Kerman
2004-08-12, 12:00
> > Have you considered buying a separate DAC? That would be the
> > way to get best audio quality.
> Is this really the best? What brands are worth considering?
> How much do you want to spend?
> Most mass market DACs cost $20 or so. This includes
> the ones inside AV receivers that sell for several hundred dollars.
> I don't know the specifics on the one inside the SqueezeBox,
> but Slim has said that the display is a huge part of the price,
> and you can buy a wireless Graphics Sqbx for $200,
> so do the math.
> There are lots of units at all sorts of price points from
> $100 to $10,000

They all seem to be 1K. I guess I was thinking more like $200 if the
quality improvement was noticable. That is, if it's better than going RCA
to a good integrated amp.

> Apogee, Benchmark, CraneSong, Lavry Engineering, Lucid, and others.
> I stay out of the high end wacko audiophile world, they think nothing
> of spending $10K on a DAC, or one K on wires. I'd rather have
> 500 more CDs.
> I have a Benchmark DAC-1, which costs about a grand, and it sounds
> fabulous. Others here have others that they like as well.

I'm not calling you a wacko audiophile because I would suspect you can
hear/appreciate the difference. Yeah, 10K for a DAC... I'd rather send my
kid to college for a couple months or whatever it costs when she grows up.
(I saw some wires in the stereo shop that I didn't even want to ask the
price. )

Anyway, my general direction is one of the following (probably in increasing
--SB RCA out to moderate/good quality integrated amp.
--SB optical out to moderate/good quality surround amp with (probably
crappy) DAC built in.
--SB optical out to cheap DAC to a moderate/good quality integrated amp.

All of this depends on how it all sounds.

Naturally, this direction also makes me think I'm in for re-ripping
everything in FLAC.