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Looking for a DAC with a turn-on delay (no POP)

KxDx

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Joined
Nov 1, 2019
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Location
Tidewater Virginia
#1
Greetings, guys! You won't see me post much, but I have been lurking for several months. This site is quite the topic; I read other forums and frequently ASR gets mentioned (usually in an... entertaining... way).

Anyway, I've just recently ditched internal sound cards, moving on from a wonderful ASUS Xonar STX after moving into a new home and fighting a losing battle with ground loops (or some other sort of power issue I can't resolve). The output from the sound card became unbearably noisy. I spent a lot of time and a lot of money before finally gave up and decided to move the sound outside of the box. Been building PC's with sound cards since the 1990's, so I'm very late to this extrenal DAC game... and I see there are an infinite number of choices out there to experiment with! My setup was PC > 2-channel amplifier (not integrated) > speakers. Now obviously it's PC > DAC > amp > speakers. Volume is controlled within Windows.

I began with a Cambridge DacMagic 100 and a JDS EL DAC. I didn't get to compare them much because the JDS has a horrific turn-on pop which came through my speakers fully amplified. Everything was off when I made connections but I turned the amp on before the DAC. This scared the Schitt out of me and thankfully my speakers were not damaged. The Cambridge, conversely, has a turn-on delay of about 2 seconds (you can hear an internal click), so I never worry about whether the amp is on/off/in standby when I power the DAC on or off. I'd like to test other DAC's against the Cambridge but a soft-On or delayed-On is a feature which is near and dear to me, but I never find mention in reviews of whether a particular model has this feature.

So, there's my question... can some recommend some models which you have owned and know to have a soft or delayed turn-on? Thanks in advance!
 
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KxDx

KxDx

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2019
Messages
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152
Location
Tidewater Virginia
Thread Starter #2
Should mention budget... Around $500 USD range new, or $350-ish used.
 

Cosmik

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#3
Yes, it's incredible how this could ever be an issue - it's such an obvious refinement that any designer should include in their products. I can only think that many are not really product designers at all, but mere data sheet implementers and/or ideological zealots who think that such protection would affect the transparency of their dubious creation.

I, too, have experienced the full-amplitude, speaker-destroying turn-on thump and been so horrified I immediately discarded the 'DAC'. FYI the Asus Xonar U7 seems well-behaved, with appropriate relay clicks at power-on.
 
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