Just trying to avoid a weak link

Discussion in 'DACs' started by ScienceGun, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. ScienceGun

    ScienceGun New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Texas
    Right now I'm trying to find a good DAC for my setup. I've got a TCL 49S305 Roku Smart TV with Digital Optical Audio Output that I want to pipe into my Technics SA-202 receiver, which in turn will be connected to a pair of Boston Acoustics T830s. Since the Technics does not have Digital Optical Input, then obviously I need a DAC.

    What's not so obvious to me is how much I should pay for one.

    Do I need a cheap, $5.99 Portta N3CDTAP? Do I need a pricey $1,850 BorderPatrol DAC? Somehow, I suspect the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

    Basically, I just don't want my DAC to be the weakest link in my audio chain. I'll be using my TV to watch Blu-ray movies and to stream FLAC music files via the Plex app. And I want the audio to sound as good as possible, given the other equipment I'm using.

    What would you recommend?
     

     

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  2. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    2,464
    Topping makes some great DACs at very reasonable prices. :)
     
  3. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

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    Location:
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    Not wishing to be funny but a DAC is not likely to be a weak link with the receiver you are using. I think even a very modest DAC would sound great for you, given the receiver isnt super high end or anything. I definitely would not go the multi hundred bucks route.

    Personally I use an Apple Airport Express that I acquired very cheaply. The DAC is really good and sounds awesome.

    What about the DAC in your TV - it's already there, what does it sound like ?
     
  4. ScienceGun

    ScienceGun New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks, I'll look into them. Is there a particular model you'd recommend?

    No, I totally get you. I'm aware that the receiver is likely my current weak link. I just want to make sure I'm not making things worse.

    As far as the Airport Express goes, I'm not sure how that would work. Yes I could stream music through it, but I'd still need a separate DAC to watch TV, right?

    As far as the TV's DAC, the only other output it provides is a headphone jack. I suppose I could use an aux to RCA adapter cord to plug it directly into the receiver. Is that what you're recommending?
     
  5. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The D10, D30, and D50 all get good marks in their respective price ranges. I know less about their upper end model (Forget the model number now) that's in the $450 range as that's out of my price bracket at the moment.
     
  6. ScienceGun

    ScienceGun New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Texas
    Cool, thank you.
     

     

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  7. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

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    Yes try the headphone output using a suitable adapter cable to the amp. It's already in the TV and costs nothing to try it :)
     
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  8. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Your other option, of course, is to investigate a replacement receiver which supports digital input. Older AV receivers are plentiful and can be real cheap too.

    Perhaps if you went this route you could move the Technics to a bedroom system. I know from experience that AV receivers can sound excellent for 2 channel stereo - I have an older Philips FR980 which is 60 watts per channel and a Kenwood rated at 80. Both support digital input optical and coax and also give the option of adding a sub. Plus the convenience of remote control :)
     
  9. ScienceGun

    ScienceGun New Member

    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Texas
    Maybe further on down the line. But I start my journey into the world of audio with my father's Technics.
     
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