DAC for Use w/ AudioEngine A5

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

  1. macrumors 6502a

    cubbie5150

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #1
    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. macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #2
    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. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    #3
  4. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cubbie5150

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #4
    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. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    #5
    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. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cubbie5150

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #6
    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. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    #7
    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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