Will I benefit from a new DAC that can upscale to 192

New to streaming and I enjoy it.

Will I improve my listening enjoyment by up grading to a DAC that can upscale to 192?

budget is under 1500 and I have no issue with used as my entire system has been purchased that way.

If so I am lost at sea with the options. 
I also am not sure the laptop is the best way to go for my source.
Not really close to any dealers that can direct me in person.

Rouge 99 pre
Odyssey Stratos mono amps
Rega Dac...1st gen
Vanersteen 2CE with 2 Vandersteen subs
4VS Kimber wire
Heros for interconnects
using  entry level Kimber USB cord
Dell laptop as source 
Stream Tidal
Music ripped to a portable hard drive as WAV lossless


With your Rega DAC, I would stick with 24/96 upsampling.  This should improve SQ.  Many DACs actually sound better with 24/96 because their digital filters for 192 are not as good and the difference is very small if audible at all.  Your Rega DAC is an older design. Here is what I read on Stereophile review:

"When you connect to your computer USB-to-USB, the signal goes to the Rega DAC's Burr-Brown PCM2707 USB receiver—the same chip found in Musical Fidelity's M1 DAC. This receiver chip is why you're limited to data rates of 48kHz and below and 16 bits via USB; but not so via the four S/PDIF inputs."

So I believe you need to use S/PDIF, not USB.  You can improve things even more by using an upsampling reclocker like the Synchro-Mesh in the S/PDIF cable. This will get you lower jitter as well as upsampled data.  The upsampling chip is critically important as is the master clock used.  The $599 Synchro-Mesh delivers signal with ~20psec of jitter.  It is equally important to use a really good S/PDIF coax cable, like the $499 Reference BNC (with RCA adapters) or the $275 Standard BNC cable.

Here are some jitter plots with different cables using the Synchro-Mesh:


So, how to get a S/PDIF signal from your laptop?  The best way is to get an inexpensive USB to S/PDIF converter like a used Off-Ramp 3.  You only need to support 16/44.1 for streaming an the Synchro-Mesh will upsample to 24/96 and give you low-jitter.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

Upsampling has benefits in the way it distributes ghost images from the data above the Nyquist. The higher in frequency these ghosts are pushed the more like random noise they appear to the DAC. Random noise at high frequency is good because it helps make the DAC more linear.

Several top DACs have elected to upsample even higher which pushes the final output filters corner frequency even higher - this makes for greater linearity in band and helps eliminate audible brick wall filter artifacts.

In general upsampling is beneficial and will improve Redbook audio significantly.
@audioengr great stuff...thanks for the direction

Here is another good option for USB to S/PDIF:


There are probably lots of similar things on ebay as well.  Just Google USB to S/PDIF converter

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

I'd focus less on upsampling (at this point in your journey) and more on getting the most you can out of your system for Redbook level files. Nail that and then move forward.

You are correct, reducing jitter is more important than upsampling.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio


I seemed to have convinced myself that I can hear the improvement of going from 96 to 192 kHz when comparing the same material.

Take a look at the Schiit Bifrost or Modi MultiBit DACs.  They are in the price range of the other options being mentioned here.

Lots of folks using Roon find that upsampling sounds better. Ultimately it depends on your DAC quality. Many DACs benefit from upsampling. It makes no difference for my DAC so I just set Roon to stick to native sample rates of the original file.

Jitter is a whole other problem. Either go for a DAC that reliably rejects all incoming jitter or use reclockers and try various fancy cables until you think you have a half reasonable working solution.

I would restate that as "reliably minimizes incoming jitter".  There will still be jitter and the input will still be sensitive to jitter.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio