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First dac. Help me to choose.

antcollinet

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I'd really reconsider the vinyl thing unless you have a fairly large existing vinyl collection that might not be able to be found digitally.....
Seconded.

I have a vinyl set up but only because I have an emotionally relevant collection of vinyl from my life history. If you don't have similar, then buying turntables, preamps and in particular the music itself is just an expensive way to enjoy lower quality audio.

Regarding your DAC - this does not need to be expensive. You can get an audibly perfect DAC for around $100 - though I'd suggest spending a little more to get one with balanced outputs (since your speakers have balanced in) which should eliminate risk of ground loop noise.

Cheapest of these I know is the Topping D10 balanced at $140. However this only has USB Input, no optical or coax digital.

Going up to around £200 will get you a balanced output dac with 3 digital inputs (USB, Toslink, Coax) which you can use to select different sources.
 

JeremyFife

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Well, my fiancees' uncle is willing to give a pretty big collection of vinyls that he has. He can't listen to them anymore for various reasons.
Some of them are from the '60s and the collection expands to the present day, but most of them are '70s and '80s vinyls. I know that it wouldn't be worth to just starting to collect now. The vinyl market is too expensive and the used market is kinda dry for years. I am 20 years late to the party.
Nice, there is something very pleasing about handling vinyl and especially when there is a nostalgic or family connection :)

Don't spend much on a Turntable or phono stage though, it's very easy to get lost down the rabbit hole and the sound quality can never match digital. My modest (approx. £600 GBP) setup is easily matched by my £90 GBP WiiM Mini!! If I knew then what I know now I would not have spent what I did.
Don't get me wrong, I do not regret staying with vinyl and I still enjoy it. Every now and again (but quite rare now) I play something on vinyl that just sounds amazing - possibly because of better mastering, probably more to do with nostalgia.

My opinion: prioritise digital. Set a budget for vinyl and do not get tempted to spend more ... it's just not worth it.

Enjoy the music :)
 
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tzavardin

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There's still the failsafe option of running your onboard output through a Behringer HD400. Cables e.g. Cordial CFY 1,5 WPP + 2x CFM 1,5 MV (choose lengths as required but avoid >1.5 m for the latter if you can help it).

Don't forget speaker stands of some kind. I've basically never had speakers sound good sitting directly on a desk. Thomann carries some inexpensive desk stands, but make sure they're not too high.

The market sub-90€ or so is the Wild West of audio interfaces. It is full of all kinds of surprises, rarely the good kind. I thought the output side was the strongest part of the 65€ Swissonic UA-2x2 (the line-out actually uses a balanced line driver, not just impedance balancing), but being UAC1 it's limited to 24/96 playback and either 24/48 or 16/96 recording. On the flipside it works just about anywhere out of the box. I would generally advise going for something from the 100-150€ price bracket, used if need be (maybe something from the M-Audio AIR 192 line or a 2nd/3rd gen Focusrite Scarlett).
Well, I ordered speaker stands. I have some backup plans in case the speakers amd stands combo are higher than me, which i doubt if i measure correct.

I found an offer from french amazon for scarlett solo gen3 new at 85 euros including shipping, and I ordered it last night. The idea is that even the instrument in can be useful for me, I can send the recordings of excercises, plus of course I can do my job with balanced outs to my speakers.
 

Basic Channel

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I found an offer from french amazon for scarlett solo gen3 new at 85 euros including shipping, and I ordered it last night. The idea is that even the instrument in can be useful for me, I can send the recordings of excercises, plus of course I can do my job with balanced outs to my speakers.

Great news, I came to page 2 to tell you they were often on sale in Amazon.de - and to be wary of spending too much on a DAC when you aren't spending much on speakers (and even then).

Nice big balanced out as the swissonics can be buzzy on RCA which would obviously eclipse any better performance in the similar priced "pure" DACs.
 

Chrispy

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Well, my fiancees' uncle is willing to give a pretty big collection of vinyls that he has. He can't listen to them anymore for various reasons.
Some of them are from the '60s and the collection expands to the present day, but most of them are '70s and '80s vinyls. I know that it wouldn't be worth to just starting to collect now. The vinyl market is too expensive and the used market is kinda dry for years. I am 20 years late to the party.

Does he have a player that will come along with the vinyl? Is the vinyl what you like to play particularly? Most of my vinyl is from the 60s-80s as that's when there was really no other choice and when I first started getting into it with gear and establishing my collection. Haven't bought vinyl in the last 30 years or so. though. I do still have my vinyl collection, and the same turntable since '85. Don't use it much now, there's not much in the collection I can't find streaming, using it these days is more for nostalgia.

Something like an AudioTechnica LP120 player with cartridge can be a decent way to go if uncle doesn't have a player to go with the collection.
 
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