DAC sampling rates

What is the benefit of a soundcard or DAC that supports 24 bit/ 96 or 192 kHz? Is it future-proofing? Will my computer (or my next computer) be able to read SACD or DVD-A? I believe that there are some formats ( FLAC, APE) that support these higher rates but I haven't yet seen a Mac compatible player for these formats. Also, am I correct that computer based DAC is a more generic/ less specific type of device than an audio based device? I ask this because I understand that audio DAC's are for the most part only 'redbook.' THANK YOU.
Current Audio Note DACs all support 24/96khz processing.
Most DACs in the last 10 years support multiply frequency and higher bit rate. It depends on the receiver/implementation whether it works or not.

A PC computer will be able to read DVD-A but not SACD with correct sound card/SW. I think you need a SB Augidy 2 sound card. Nothing read SACd yet unless you decide to write the SW yourself.

Some sound card supports up-sampling or higher bit processing, whether or not this helps is up to debate. IMHO, a good sounding DAC combine with low noise floor environement and decent output stage is much more important than a 24/96 DAC.
One application that does work, and quite well, is recording live concerts directly to a laptop. The mics, preferably something like a vintage Neumann KM54 or AKG c61, go into a quality microphone preamp/Analogue>Digital Converter into the laptop. Grace makes a lovely portable unit with coaxial and AES/EBU outputs. These recordings can be played back from the computer directly into a home DAC with 24/96khz capability.

You should really hear something like this recorded with a band that support quality audience taping. For those interested the best place to start is:


for a list of artists/bands that support internet trading/downloads of quality NON compressed digital recordings try:


You can use up all those old CDRs laying about now.
I take it back. MacAmpLite X does support FLAC ( free lossless audio codec) playback.I also found out that FLAC "files handle 16, 24 and 32 bit resolution and can sample all the way up to 192Khz." and yes, I have discovered www.easytree.org which is the place to get those FLAC files ( some of which were recorded at those higher bit/sample rates). Now I need a basic USB DAC that supports 32/192 for under $200.
The main advantage is for upsampling on the computer. Some of the PC player software upsamples and the DAC will pass this if it is supported. Also, there may well be 24/96 digital downloads available in the future.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Most DACs convert PCM data to analog waveform with a very few recent designs being able to handle DSD.

Format conversion from CD Audio, FLAC, WAV, APE, etc to PCM is a function of the CD transport or the codecs in the software player.

In theory 24/96 DAC's will provide better dynamic range and more closely approximate the analog waveform.

It may just be me but I think that performing sample-rate conversion/dithering/noise-shaping in software sounds better than having the DAC do it.

There is no such thing as future proof in digital audio. Anyone who has that as a goal should stick to vinyl.