DAC for Use w/ AudioEngine A5

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by cubbie5150, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. cubbie5150 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2007
    I'm gonna retire my 2.1 computer speaker set-up & just ordered the AudioEngine A5 powered speaker set. I'm now looking into whether getting a Digital to Analog Converter to put between my MBP & speakers will make an appreciable difference for me.

    I am NOT a musician, and will not be making recordings; this is simply for listening to music through iTunes (& occasional movies w/ VLC). About the only genere of music I won't listen to is Country (but mostly I lsten to blues, jazz & alt rock). Someone suggested an Apogee Duet, & even though I can afford it, it seems a bit pricy given that it seems to be targeted towards musicians rather than a wannabe audiophile like me.

    Any opinions out there whether I even "need" a DAC, and if so, any specific suggestions?
  2. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Well actually, audiophile stuff tends to be more expensive than the stuff the pro musicians use due to added stuff.

    The Duet is looks-matched to the MBP for sure, and it's a decent pro audio interface. If it's purely playback you're looking at, you could consider something like the Headroom MicroDAC, which is a hundred dollars cheaper than the Duet and is a small DAC done right.
  3. amik macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
  4. cubbie5150 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2007
    Thanks for the explanation & suggestions... Obviously I thought the Duet would be way too much for me given the single application I would use it for (playback via iTunes). I simply misunderstood... I have a help thread going over at Head-Fi as well, and am getting similar suggestions (incl. the Chinese DAC). I'm gonna try the A5's w/out a DAC (direct to the optical/headphone out of my MBP) for a while to hear what it sounds like. More than likely I'll pony-up for a DAC (& probably a sub & amp) later on...
  5. ejack24 macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2008
    I am planning to pick up a pair of A5s for my iMac too, and I'm interested to hear more about how your setup turned out. Would any of the DACs mentioned here work in such a setup?
  6. cubbie5150 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2007
    I ended up getting an Apogee Duet, and it worked very well. I ended up upgrading, however, & sold my A5's a couple months ago. The Duet (which I still use--running it to an integrated amp & passive bookshelf speakers) really improved the sound--to me, it was a "significant" improvement, YMMV.... There are a ton of DACs out there.....
  7. ejack24 macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2008
    I looked at the Duet, but it appears to be oriented toward recording. Since I'm only interested in iTunes playback, I thought I might be able to save some money. I'm now looking at the HeadRoom Micro DAC.

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