Help with my first DAC under 2K.

Hi there, i am trying to use my 30k songs on my ipod, or straight from my PC,
when it comes to DAC i get really confused, thats why i am here to clear my concerns and get the perfect guidance to walk to this fascinating upgrade in the way i listen to music.
Your inputs as helpful as ever.
I bought the Onkyo Japanese version Ipod Dock, i havent been able to use it because i need an adapter digital to analog, no analogs outputs in the onkyo, great reviews.

happy Holidays.
guessing with 30K tunes on your ipod it's low resolution so just get any Ipod doc. you didn't say what you wanted to spend. generally inserting a dac to your stereo from your pc means you want higher fidelity....there are many under 2K dac choices right now.
The Cambridge Dacmagic is popular DAC.

I agree with Larry that if you want better sound you should probably rip your files at a higher rate.
Towards the top of the 2K limit I would check out the Simaudio Moon 300D. At a lower price I would try its little brother, the Moon 100D, or a used Apogee Mini-DAC. An Apogee Duet is an interesting option if you have a Mac, especially if you want to record as well.

However I have to agree with Larryken and Daverz: if better fidelity is what you want, you need to rip at the highest resolution you have room for. Any of the outboard DACs mentioned above will make you music sound *better*--even squished mp3s--but if you want *more* music you need higher resolution.

One last thing. Specialty playback software can make your music much clearer-sounding. On a Mac, these are the free (for now) AyreWave from, PureMusic ($129) or Amarra (price varies depending on version).

Another last thing: don't forget a good USB cable. My stock cables sound lifeless compared to the silver one I bought from Audiogoner Acreyes, and there are many other good ones available too.
Get the Wyred DAC 2 and use the USB port from your PC. I heard it recently and thought it was stellar.
I play 256 kbps AAC files that I have downloaded through a Wadia 170iTransport and a Wadia 151PowerDAC mini and while I agree that at higher resolution more music info is available to both listener and equipment at my age (54) the result is more than satisfying - the newer AACs in particular especially from the jazz labels are very good- in fact to my ears the sonic results from those newer recordings eclipse lossless files ripped from many of my older CDs - just my 2 cents
Tranquility USB DAC... reconditioned units from dbAudiolabs under $1k... a complete no-brainer, new under $2k.

But you might want to seriously consider getting a Mac mini to feed it... will make a big difference. Doesn't have to be a 2010 Mac mini but something like a 2007 forward would be work better (IMHO) than a Windoz PC of some kind.

Give Eric Hider a call (see the dbaudiolabs website for a phone number).

Just my experience...

:) listening,

Agree with all the above posts. Re-rip to higher res, throw it on a NAS or MAC. Also, I just posted a new thred under Digital about Signal Path's iDAC. It will have an all-digital iPod dock with it. It comes out in January. No idea on pricing yet.

But there are literally tons of dacs under $2k. W4S DAC1 is a $1k. Bel Canto 1.5 is $1,500. You can get a Cary Xciter DAC for around a grand used. Retails at $1,500. Then you have the DacMagic and PS Audio DLIII for around $700 or less. Good luck.
W4S DAC2. May be your first and last DAC for many years.

Tranquility DAC