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DAC | iFi Zen DAC v2 vs. Audio Interface ??? (upgrade)

carmico

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Feb 11, 2022
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hi there guys

currently i have a Mac Mini M1 with iFi Zen DAC v2 as DAC/preamp for my iLoud MTMs running on Balanced Pentacon to XLR cable

i don't use that much the headphone amp , when i need headphones i simply use the Airpods Pro via bluetooth

as a DAC , problem with Zen dac is that i can't control the volume within macOS volume control ( i tried Soundsource with Supervolume keys, no luck, with Loopback , creating a virtual audio device monitoring the Zen dac , works, but often there are bugs with virtual audio device (no sound, need to restart, and things like that) , and to be honestly i don't like that much the the thing is not pure direct mode because is a virtual pass trough...

why i am thinking to upgrade to an Audio Interface? what i am looking for?

well:

1) macOS volume control compatibility (afaik, Motu interfaces does the job)
2) Better connectivity
3) Better DAC sound quality
4) i can use the Audio Interface for ARC 3 System that i can grab it for a good deal because the iLoud MTMs are from IK Multimedia

budget around 200-250 euros

for now seems that the Motu M2 / M4 is a winner here because the high end DAC chipset, other interfaces Audient ID14 MkII , Arturia Minifuse ???

i will usually as pure DAC/preamp , i don't record music, i just use it for multimedia , mainly for playing music , but of course the possibility to have Lines-in comes handy for Room Correction software as for example , as i said, ARC 3

gonna be an upgrade? or doesn't worth the change at all, stay as it is now, with the iFi Zen DAC v2 ?

thanks
 

tonycollinet

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If the main reason for changing is volume control, then I'd contact Rogue Amoeba to find out why it is not working. I use soundsource for digital out volume control, and it works perfectly - and I can't imagine why it would not with the Zen.

Rogue Amoeba support typically reply within just a few hours, and worst case they will just confirm that it doesn't work with the Zen. However, they'll also be able to tell you which DAC's they know it does work with.
 
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carmico

carmico

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If the main reason for changing is volume control, then I'd contact Rogue Amoeba to find out why it is not working. I use soundsource for digital out volume control, and it works perfectly - and I can't imagine why it would not with the Zen.

Rogue Amoeba support typically reply within just a few hours, and worst case they will just confirm that it doesn't work with the Zen. However, they'll also be able to tell you which DAC's they know it does work with.
probably SoundSource with Digital outputs the Supervolume works, afaik the Zen DAC v2 has an analog volume knob and probably that's because doesn't work

btw, is not just for the volume control, that's one of the main reason ofc, but for Better connectivity and Better DAC sound quality too, and i like the possibility that i could use the Audio Interface for ARC 3 System with the same MIC i got with iLoud MTM, this way i can use the ARC3 plugin AU within Soundsource and tune it with the Subwoofer , because ARC3 if the Subwoofer has HighPass filter can do correction treating the system as 2.0
 
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