Just to clarify, I'm considering spending up to $3k for a used (not new) DAC.
12 responses Add your response
So here's an option.....
Apple computer, Macbook or Mac Mini around $600-1,000
Pro Audio firewire interface like an RME 400 $1,000 - $2,000 (many options)
Playback software like Pure Music or Amarra $129 - $700
If you go that route and get Pure Vinyl software you can feed your turntable directly into microphone inputs of the interface and (GASP!) digitize your vinyl doing the RIAA correction in software and eliminate your phono stage. I know, blasphemy to the analog crowd, but they are condemning something they've never heard. Even if you don't do that it still makes an excellent source for your digital files.
Eh, some of the suggestions you got so far are strange cause you said you want 24/192 out your PC, which would only do it if using S/PDIF out your Juli@.
The PC/transport side of things is quite problematic for good sound cause of noise from all kinds of software subsystems, hardware peripherals and general nastiness. Conflate that with S/PDIF's problems, and you have a problem!
If you wanted to keep your PC, I would look at an Ayre QB9 (async USB up to 24/192) and a SotM tx-USB PCI card that helps reduce noise on the USB output. Total is well under your budget.
Another alternative - look at an Auraliti PK90 USB headless player and forget about most the problems introduced by using a normal desktop.
I don't follow, first you say
24/192 out your PC, which would only do it if using S/PDIF out your Juli@.
and then recommend a 24/192 USB DAC
USB and Firewire are both easily capable of 24/192
IMHO the whole issue of noise and "nastiness" from a PC is overblown hype, there are too many people using a computer and a DAC with wonderful results to dismiss them for that reason. A good designer can easily build a DAC that can deal with any noise coming down the wire from the PC.
Um, I'll try to clarify - it's my assertion that a PC is a bad base on which to have a high-end transport based on S/PDIF.
If keeping the PC, I'd contend that an async USB DAC capable of 24/192, which the latest revision Ayre is, will outperform any of the other DACs listed + the Juli@ + the normal PC.