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Cheapest "transparent" DAC with balanced output and volume control

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daftcombo

daftcombo

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And 4 outs allows you to connect subs with a different signal going to them if you have suitable software. And the effects loop connections allows you to add an EQ device if you want.

Amir recommended the UMC204HD a model in the same line with less IO.
Now my only complains would be that it is not very pretty and the volume knob is small. The Focusrite one is cuter!
 
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daftcombo

daftcombo

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Be aware that some of the cheaper audio interfaces do "only" come with impedance balanced XLR outs and thus do not work fully differential. That applies for the Behringer UMC units for example.
Not necessarily a pratical disadvantage though, as the common mode rejection is still maintained.
Do you think it would be the case for the Focusrite solo?
 
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daftcombo

daftcombo

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According to them:
https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/115005178585-Balanced-vs-Unbalanced-Cables
Applies to: All units

All Focusrite 1/4 inch jack inputs and outputs are mono balanced. Balanced cables have two rings on the end of the connector and are often referred to as TRS (Tip, Ring, Sleeve) cables. Balanced cables are far better at rejecting interference noise than unbalanced cables. This is made possible by the addition of an extra conductor (more information can be found here).
 

Xulonn

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I am not aware of any company that currently offers a simple, basic DAC with a decent volume control, and no headphone, and for my own use, did not want to use an outboard "volume pot in a case." Perhaps the SMSL S9 will fill that void. Apparently, audio component manufacturers do not currently think that such a component (without a headphone out included) is a big enough market to bother with. It will be interesting to see if the SMSL S9 - especially if it tests well here at ASR - can sell enough units to justify its existence.

Although I do not currently use headphones, I purchased a Topping DX7s from Drop for $370 earlier this year. I wanted a volume control plus balanced output to eliminate the need for a preamplifier. I find the DX7s is an excellent component, but the "not-yet released" SMSL S9 looks like it might be an even better solution for such a basic, simple audio component niche. (I couldn't find any listing of the S9 for sale via a Google search, but I think it is likely that the SMSL S9 will be released soon.)
 

Berwhale

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...but the "not-yet released" SMSL S9 looks like it might be an even better solution for such a basic, simple audio component niche. (I couldn't find any listing of the S9 for sale via a Google search, but I think it is likely that the SMSL S9 will be released soon.)

I think they showed it for the first time in the last few days...

https://hifi-express.com/blogs/news/26th-gzhe-guangzhou-high-end-show-exhibition-review

The dude in the in the last photo looks impressed by the D1/P1 combo!
 

Jinjuku

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On the lower cost interfaces you aren't getting a differential output. You are getting op-amp based 'balanced' outputs. They still feature the CMNR most would be looking for.

Beggars can't be choosers. You either live with the cut corner products or you spend more $$.
 

Berwhale

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Dreyfus

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Afaik the "impedance balance" model ensures the desired noise rejection, as well:
Let's say we have an output with pin 2 carrying the full "hot" signal and pin 3 simply being shorted to ground but matched in impedance internally. Then assuming that both the "hot" and "ground" conductor face the same noise, a receiving differential input would invert the ground + noise signal at pin 3 and add it to the main signal on pin 2. The noise would still be canceled out although the signal line is not truly balanced.

Still fine for driving a balanced amp or a pair of active speakers, if you ask me.
Looking at cheaper interfaces, the distortion of the outputs is probably more of an issue than the signal balance.
 
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HammerSandwich

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Afaik the "impedance balance" model ensures the desired noise rejection, as well...
I believe it's exactly this. When both sides have the same impedance, any interference creates the same current in each line. (But I wish cheap interfaces drove the cold leg for lazy, DIY bridging.)

From The G Word by @Bruno Putzeys, who potentially deserves credit for that final pun:

symmetry2.PNG
 

mmicko

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RickSanchez

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daftcombo

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Bump!

What is, at the moment, the cheapest DAC with:
- digital volume control
- XLR out
- coaxial in?
 

RickSanchez

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