SB Touch through coax or USB to DAC?

I own a Touch and need to decide about a DAC: select one where the budget has been spent on optimizing the coax input (using the Touch coax out), or select an asynch USB DAC and perform the John Swenson mods to get the Touch to output thru the USB? It seems to be an either/or question in terms of DACs. Some have very good reviews about S/PDIF inputs (eg, Bryston, Rega), while other focus on asynch USB (Wyred DAC2, Calyx, Young, Wavelength, Ayre).

I'm confused.

Anybody has been able to try both options with the Touch?
Yes but, apparently, there is no guarantee that the Touch's USB mod will work with all DACs. For that reason, I would not put all my e$$s in the USB basket.

OK, that's good to know. So I should probably avoid the USB only units, like Ayre and Wavelength.

Do you know of any DACs with which the USB mod does work, or does not work? That will help me to narrow things down further.

I cannot help you here as the only USB connection I tried (successfully) was that of the Ayre DX-5 player.

I would imagine John Swenson could give you some tips on what type of USB DAC would work best so you could inquire of each company if their USB DAC fit the correct parameters. Just a guess though.

On a different note, am I the only one who thinks Ayre missed the boat by having a USB only DAC? I would have thought the QB-9 would've sold many more units if it had a coax/toslink in as well. Of course, I'm no DAC designer so I'm speaking purely from my @$$ on the subject.
FYI, if the Touch USB hack doesn't work you can get a used Mac Mini for essentially the same price that you can sell the Touch for and turn it into a Squeezebox with software like Squeezeplay. Of course there's lots of other Mac software that people use, but I would never give up the excellent Squeezebox interface.
"DAC designers need to add HDMI (I2S) to their products"


Steve N.
Empirical Audio