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Will a DAC make a difference with my cheap speakers?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Mister Mike, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Mister Mike

    Mister Mike Member

    Messages:
    99
    I've been thinking about the AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2 DAC. I never knew the sound from my PC was lacking, but now I'm convinced that I need one of these! Here's the question: Since the system in my basement consists of nothing more than a PC, two JBL ARC30s and a Lepai LP-2020A+, will a DAC make an audible difference, or is it like putting a spoiler on an '89 Escort?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014

     

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  2. a.sloan

    a.sloan Active Member

    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    I can't say if it will make a large difference with your equipment but I can say that using a decent DAC has made a big difference on the equipment I use. The dragonfly DAC packs a lot of good into a tiny reasonably priced DAC.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  3. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,253
    Location:
    NC
    I can say it will, bought a Aune T-1 tube DAC and the difference was amazing. Inexpensive yet effective, huge difference. No affiliation..
     
  4. audiomagnate

    audiomagnate Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,593
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I don't believe so. Properly designed modern DACs are hard to tell apart on good equipment, let alone low end stuff. The DAC that comes in a new $99 Blue-ray player performs as well and sounds as good or better than many "audiophile" dacs of just a few years ago. That's why you can get them so cheap. If your speakers suck, why not spend the money on better speakers?
     
  5. RickeyM

    RickeyM AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,951
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I did a little searching here on Audio Karma and those JBL ARC30s seem to be pretty good for small JBL speakers. Certainly no one described them as "sucky". Go for the DAC. It'll most certainly improve the SQ from your PC.
    Cheap speakers don't necessarily mean bad speakers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  6. Wigwam Jones

    Wigwam Jones Caesar non supra grammati

    Messages:
    14,057
    Location:
    North of Eden
    Since I happen to have JBL ARC30 speakers in my computer room, and I own an Lepai 2020A+, and I use a DAC, I feel qualified to answer this question.

    It depends.

    In my office, where I do my work, my computers make enough noise that a DAC is not a particular advantage. If my PC was quieter and my office was designed for critical listening, then yes, I feel a DAC would make a difference.

    So consider how you intend to use it, and that may guide you.
     

     

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  7. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,253
    Location:
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    Audio your right, I mis read the OP's post. best to concentrate on speakers first. In my situation I was referring to streaming online thru a DAC instead of 3.5 to rca plugs. I need to pay more attention.. :D
     

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