Audio Emotion  Epiphany Acoustics 
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  1. #1
    loving this site Millennium's Avatar
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    Cheap DAC PC to Valve Amp (output stage) - thoughts? D3?

    Hi There

    I am thinking of pulling the trigger on this dac, the FiiO D3. My current setup is Asus DX/XD > (Optical) > Yamaha DSP A5 > (RCA from Main level output) > Harmon Kardon A500 Integrated valve amp (Tape Mon inputs, or some other line level inputs).

    I used to use a soundcard headphone level output to my A500's phono input stage (sacriledge I know) which did work fine and sound good but having just taken the A500 out of storage the preamp stage sounds crummy, and replacement valves aren't cheap.

    What I am trying to avoid is having to have the Yamaha on just to listen to stereo music via the PC and the valve amp, as the Yamaha is currently my DAC. The D3 looks like it would take care of this problem handily, and all for around 25.

    Now I am not expecting the same kind of performance you would see from a proper 300>1000 standalone DAC, I'm just looking for something acceptably good that would compare to a high(ish) end home cinema DAC or a top end sound card DAC. My valve amp is pretty old and even the output stage would colour the sound no doubt so perfect replication is not really the issue. Just something nice and "listenable".

    Couple of questions
    1) Is this DAC a complete waste of money? Something better second hand? Keep using my amp?
    2) There are some reports that the level output of this dac is quite high. Would this potentially pose a problem for my valve amp? Any way around this?
    3) Alternatives are welcome.

    Many thanks you nice folks....

  2. #2
    loving this site Millennium's Avatar
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    No thoughts on the FiiO D3 folks? I have been reading around a bit more and reviews are mixed but generally positive. I'm just wondering if I have missed a trick here on a good second hand Dac to look out for or similar... hmm

  3. #3
    Cock with Aspergers ncdrawl's Avatar
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    Id definitely go for the Fiio. Things have come a long way since your yammy's day..and even at a low price, id expect that it sounds good. even the cheapest of the cheap units has plenty of capability these days because tech is so advanced.

    go for it. id expect that it would be a good improvement!
    Be just and if you can't be just, be arbitrary- William S. Burroughs

  4. #4
    loving this site Millennium's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    Thanks for the reply

    I am thinking of upping my budget a bit and maybe going for a dacmagic or dacmagic 2 from Cambridge Audio. They seem to sometimes go for under 100 on fleabay.. sometimes quite a bit less!

    Would this be worthwhile do you reckon? I know there is one here for sale with a PSU upgrade but the price is a little high for me perhaps...

  5. #5
    Cock with Aspergers ncdrawl's Avatar
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    the DAC Magic is certainly a fantastic piece of kit. So yeah, if you have the budget for it...and you know then that the DAC wont be a limiting factor at all.
    Be just and if you can't be just, be arbitrary- William S. Burroughs

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