DACs Everywhere!!! [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-04-2009, 11:47 AM
I can't sleep at nights... Every time I turn around there's a new HiFi DAC watching me... :eek6:

With the prominence of Music Server/Computer Based Music I expected DACs to make a major comeback and they have... But what I find intriguing is some of the places I find them.

The return of the external DAC was expected... Companies like Bencmark, Cambridge Audio, PS Audio, Naim, Bryston and Musical Fidelity are getting lots of attention with these.

The inclusion of digital coaxial/optical inputs on CD players was also intuitive (since the CD Players already have internal DACs)... Quad was probably one of the earliest brands to do this with their CDP (back before Computer Audio was even a serious consideration for most persons) and later Cambridge Audio (740C & 840C), Marantz PM15S2 and now Musical Fidelity (with the new $2.5K M6 CD Player).

Less intuitive was the inclusion of DACs in Integrated Amps such as Naim's Supernait, Musical Fidelity's A1008 (discontinued - a MF product being discontinued - How Shocking) , Bryston B100SST and Simaudio Moon i3.3... Not to mention the baby DACs (just USB Inputs on several Integrated Amps)... Though I suppose the Logic for including a DAC in an Integrated is pretty much the same as why they combined a pre and power amp in a single chassis in the first place...

Stranger alternatives are the inclusion of DAC inputs in:

Media Streamers - Logitech Transporter being the prime example

Radio Tuners - Rotels new RDG-1520 ($1K) is an FM/DAB/Internet Radio Tuner with USB DAC for accessing digital files directly from a USB Stick/Hard Drive/newer Ipod

While I'm talking about strange places to put a DAC, I should mention one DAC input I find truly intriguing... Coaxial, Optical and USB are all pretty standard now, but The Chordette Gem has both USB and Bluetooth inputs...

Yes, Bluetooth is now a DAC input... so I wonder whether in ten years or so, we'll move from connecting music servers/streamers/computers and hard drives to DACs and just have all our music on iPhone style devices, that once we walk in range of our bluetooth integrated amps are accessible in true HiFi quality...

Mr Peabody
10-04-2009, 04:24 PM
It does seem internet radio is popular some place or manufacturers expect it to grow. As you stated though the integration of that and portable media has added new inputs and features. Don't forget the NAD c565 has DAC inputs as well as USB but some one told me the USB input isn't standard and causing a bit of issue.

10-04-2009, 05:49 PM
Dude I love my DAC and would love to buy an amp with DAC capabilities, it's a great idea that just makes sense.

10-04-2009, 07:07 PM
And how about this lil cutie from Grant Fidelity...



10-05-2009, 02:11 AM
Sorry noob, but I prefer Manley Labs tube pre-amp/DAC




10-05-2009, 05:29 AM
Sorry noob, but I prefer Manley Labs tube pre-amp/DAC


A handsome unit from the womanly Ms. Manley. I don't see a USB input though.