I have a Stereo-link that is pretty good.
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The Fubar III comes with a wall-wart power supply. It does not come with the Supplier power supply. If you look at the bottom right corner of the page, you'll say a box to check to add the Supplier power supply for an addition $100. The Fubar III is a Fubar II with the addition of a headphone amplifier.
UHF Magazine just published a review of Blue Circle's The "Thingee", USB converter/DAC. It can be used to convert the USB output to another type of interface such as coax, optical, or balanced (SPDIF?) for output to an external DAC. However, in the article they said their "jaws dropped" and "How could it be this good?"when they heard the analog output from the onboard DAC of The Thingee. For $170 to $190 it might be worth looking into.
Thanks for the replies. I saw the review on Stereo Link in the NY Times. I think they are backlogged because of that article.
Fubar II needs an external power supply? Guess I thought it was usb powered. I'll check out their web site again.
The Thingee sounds interesting for the price. I have surfed their web site before. Looks like you can config it the way you would like as far as connections.
I'll keep looking. Wish one of these would show up here on A'gon from someone that upgraded to a higher priced unit.
The Hagerman DAC USB DAC, the Chime is pretty expensive, so I think Kbuzz is refering to the HagUSB, which is similar to the "Thingy" mentioned by Jwmazur and converts a USB signal into a digital signal that can be input to a DAC. In the case of the HagUSB, RCA Coax and AES/EBU outputs are available. Both devices still require a DAC.
I have a few systems and one uses a HagUSB into a Slimdevices Transporter's RCA Coax digital input.
Riffer ... this is from the Blue Circle web site:
The USB Thingee
No, it doesn't have a tube in it. The tube is just for a visual reference.
The "USB Thingee" allows you to plug into your computer to access music files, internet radio and even DVD.
It can be used with the internal 24 bit DAC and output via headphone or line level to your stereo. For maximum sound quality you can use an external DAC via SPDTF or AES/EBU output.
It does have analog L/R RCA output jacks, and a headphone jack. Am I missing "maximum sound quality"?
I'm getting a Blue Circle USB Thingee. This is the info I got from the Blue Circle dealer:
The DAC in the Blue Circle USB Thingee can most certainly be used in lieu of an external DAC. In the UHF review they seemed to focus primarily on using the USB Thingee as an alternative to a dedicated CD transport or CD player. The reason why many folks have used this approach is they can take advantage of the added convenience that the computer-based system provides (large library of music online).
From an audible perspective the integrated 24-bit DAC in the USB Thingee is quite good. In terms of noise floor & overall sound quality it is a noteworthy improvement over the typical soundcard in the PC.
I'll do an update next week after I've had a few nights with the USB Thingee doing some comparissons. I'm sure it's going to be much better than the Soundcard to pre-amp connection I'm using now. I'll be sure to use the ASIO driver also. (I have a PC not a Mac.)
I have the Blue Circle USB Thingee up and running. I am running off the headphone jack into my preamp.
Initial impression is awesome for the money I spent. A lot of dynamaic range, really clean bass. I have not begun the A/B/C testing yet.
I can understand why UHF mag ran it into another DAC, to get more gain out of the unit. It runs fine in stand-alone mode though.
I got a gold palted 3ft USB cable (from the Shack) to go from the puter to the Thingee. I'll replace the headphone cable later on, or switch to the RCA jacks.
Make sure you set all your volumes in the system settings on your PC to the max.
It truly is ALL in the music!