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DAC with USB + screen, does it exist?

Discussion in 'DACs' started by onanysunday, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    481
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Hello, I have a 128GB thumb drive with over 18,000 songs on it. Is there any way I can hook this up to an old receiver through a DAC that has a screen, so I can actually see which mp3 I'm playing?

    I know I can buy a digital audio player, like an iPod or something to listen to mp3s on a receiver with the right audio cable, but was just wondering whether stand-alone DAC technology has evolved to a point where it has a full-size USB input with a screen. It seems like a basic problem to have nowadays that would spur demand (and innovation) I am wondering if such a product even exists? If not, it needs to. Let me know if there is anything in the marketplace today that would work for my situation. Thank you.
     

     

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  2. John James

    John James "Bob's your uncle" (Stolen) Subscriber

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    Can't help with the DAC question but I like your choice in movies. :)
     
  3. gvl

    gvl Super Member

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    1,012
    Budget?
     
  4. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    481
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Budget is wide open, just checking to see if something like this even exists.
     
  5. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Minneapolis
    My favorite movie of all-time!
     
  6. gguillot

    gguillot AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Hifiberry Dac+ bundle plus Raspberry pi LCD and Ropieee software (has display capability.) This is all DIY , but has great capability and the features you are asking for.

    hifiberry.com
    ropieee.org
     
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  7. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Okay. One of the sites is in another language. Is there anything 'off the shelf' so to speak? Not completely opposed to diy as long as it's not unreasonably hard to compile the necessary information, instructions and materials.
     
  8. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    Well, there are shrink-wrapped options. Most network streamers have a built-in DAC and a USB port which you can plug a USB flash drive to. Teac NT-503, Auralic Altair, Cambridge Audio CXN/851N. There are others too. Some lack the display, e.g. Yamaha WXC-50 but you can use a mobile device to see what's playing and use a more convenient interface to navigate your music collection.
     
  9. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Nice. I don't need the wireless network feature which is just something I would be paying extra for, but it looks like I can pick up the Cambridge Audio CXN refurbed for around $450..not bad. I've had good experiences with Cambridge Audio. They sound great, are engineered and designed very well using cheap chinese passive components that fail after a few years. Fortunately, I love soldering and upgrading electronics so it shouldn't be much of a dealbreaker.. I would actually look forward to making this product better and more reliable (if I could).
     
  10. gvl

    gvl Super Member

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    1,012
    For $450 you can pick a laptop and a USB DAC, matter of preference.
     
  11. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    481
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    You're right. I forgot to mention earlier, I am also looking for the small form factor of a strictly audio-dedicated device that is engineered for this specific application and purpose. When it comes to audio I always hate spending money on equipment that has additional features that I don't need or want that absorbs money away from using better quality materials for the audio section(s).

    I know this is old news to some, but I just recently came to the conclusion that most home A/V receivers sound inferior to dedicated integrated amplifiers (at the same price point) for sound reproduction because they spend so much of the unit's cost on unnecessary features I don't need or want, like terrible sounding sound fields, network support, multi-channel support, video jacks, etc. Take it a step further and you can get separates that will probably sound even better. I am just a basic stereo guy who loves good sound.
     

     

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  12. gvl

    gvl Super Member

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    I agree about receivers, that said you can get a more or less recent used TOTL receiver for cheap these days, many have USB ports and will do what you need if you can live with a 2 line text display and cumbersome search and navigation.
     
  13. gguillot

    gguillot AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    All of the necessary parts can be purchased from Amazon (that's where I got mine.) It's just a simple snap together, with a few screws and you are done. No soldering. As far as loading the software, you need a 4GB microSD card and the ability to download the free Ropieee software.
    I'm only mentioning this because the Raspberry Pi streamer/DAC solutions out there have become well reviewed and highly regarded. I don't have the touch screen, but I do have the Hifiberry DAC+ and the Allo DigiOne cards on two different Raspberry Pi's. You can put one of these together for less than $200 and have a very decent sounding 192kHz/24bit capable DAC.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  14. lbcgav

    lbcgav AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Maybe I'm missing something something, but isn't ropieee just a Roon bridge for Raspberry Pi? How would you play music off of a USB drive with just Ropieee? You'd need a Roon core on top of the ropieee and LCD, which doesn't allow you to browse anything, just view what's playing (and pause, forward to next in queue, etc.).
     
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  15. lbcgav

    lbcgav AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    825
    Location:
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    Here's a cool DIY project that sounds like it could be exactly what you're looking for:
     
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  16. gguillot

    gguillot AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    You are right. I am so used to relying on Roon that I forget Ropieee is just a bridge for Roon. However, RuneAudio is a stand-alone app that would work will all of the same hardware, and there are others.
    Thanks for posting that video link. I think I may just add a screen to one of the streamers that I have - just for the fun of it. There is a really nice metal case from Rasptouch (sold by audiophonics.fr) that would add some nice class to it, but it ain't cheap.
     

     

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  17. smiling

    smiling New Member

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    I use a media player running on Android that has optical/ 2xUSB and HDMI. The optical goes to the DAC, USB, 1 to a 2tb hard drive and 2 for a wireless mouse and the HDMI to a monitor. It works great using Neutron music player software. Only thing that would make it simpler is a touch screen.
     
  18. Beatnik

    Beatnik What's this ?

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    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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  19. smiling

    smiling New Member

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    Bill Ferris and Beatnik like this.
  20. smiling

    smiling New Member

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    Location:
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    I think the answer to the original question is no.
     

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