Does this connection make sense?

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by ggotnomoney, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. ggotnomoney

    ggotnomoney New Member

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    I was just wondering if this made any sense or it's pointless. I picked up a stereo receiver specifically for some speakers I also picked up. I'm using a chromebook as my source and put a portable USB dac between receiver and chromebook. Does that make sense? Is it doing anything for sound quality? This stuff is all new to me so I may be doing it all wrong. Thanks in advance!
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  2. johnebravo

    johnebravo I should be practicing

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    I'm sure a more knowledgable person will chime in shortly, but my understanding is that if you use a USB jack for output, you will bypass the internal DAC, which only affects the "audio out" output. So, assuming your external DAC is better than the internal one, it should be an improvement, although whether it will be enough to be actually audible is another question. ;)
     
  3. ggotnomoney

    ggotnomoney New Member

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    OK I kinda follow but am I bypassing the internal dac of the computer or the receiver?
     
  4. johnebravo

    johnebravo I should be practicing

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    If you run a connecting wire from the USB output on the computer into the external DAC, and then into the receiver, you should be OK. Using the USB output completely bypasses the computer's internal DAC. Does your receiver have an internal DAC? What model is it?
     
  5. ggotnomoney

    ggotnomoney New Member

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    15
    I do know that when I connect the dac to the computer I select the USB dac as the audio output. As far as whether or not the receiver has a dac I'm not sure. The model is Sony STRDH130. Thanks for your help.
     
  6. johnebravo

    johnebravo I should be practicing

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    I looked it up: there's no USB input and no internal DAC in the STRDH130, only RCA type audio inputs, which is typical for stereo receivers. Only very modern AV receivers are likely to have internal DACs.
     

     

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  7. ggotnomoney

    ggotnomoney New Member

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    Oh OK well I guess then there will be a difference in sound quality and the connection does make sense, thanks for your help!
     
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  8. wyceeric

    wyceeric Listener sponsored, volunteer powered radio. Subscriber

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    What you have there is correct for the best sound. The remaining question is around bit rate or streaming quality. Having it set up properly only gets you so far. It can still sound like crap if using low bit rate files/streaming. Also, poke around here on AK for tips on how to best set up your stereo in your space for maximum benefit to sound quality.
     
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  9. elcoholic

    elcoholic AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The connection is correct. The gain in SQ depends on the quality of the external DAC. Even if your dongle DAC has a better chip it’s still using the computer’s power bus. So if the power is noisy or in short supply your results may not be all that much better. All else equals, moving up to a DAC with a separate power supply further isolates the conversion to analog from the computer and has a greater potential for improving SQ.
     
  10. ggotnomoney

    ggotnomoney New Member

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    OK that all makes sense, so if I picked up let's say a Schiit Modi 2 and did the same set up I would get much better Sq that way over this? I've been thinking about a schiit stack but would I also need the Magni headphone amp?
     
  11. Drugolf

    Drugolf AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You may get better sound quality. You should, but it will still only be as good as what ever may be the weak link in the chain.
    Be sure to check all settings on the output from the computer and that they are set at the highest quality possible for that DAC.
    As far as headphones, you can always then use the headphone jack on the receiver.

    My feel on DAC upgrades is that you get noticeable improvements when you go from a cheap/entry level DAC up to a good DAC, but then the noticeable improvements start to diminish as you move up unless your upstream components are of a caliber that those details can be realized.
     
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  12. Tube Radio

    Tube Radio Super Member

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    Concerning a DAC I've been real happy with the AKAI EIE USB sound card. recently upgraded it with the EIE pro for higher bit rate audio, but it has a driver issue with Windows 10 and AKAI seems to think there's no problem.

    The benefit there is the ability to record stuff from other sources to the computer.
     
  13. elcoholic

    elcoholic AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes the Modi in your system would have better SQ potentially. Whether this potential was realized would depend on the quality of your audio streaming and/or files. I wouldn't recommend spending even the $100 for the Modi for low resolution compressed music.
     
  14. ggotnomoney

    ggotnomoney New Member

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    Well I'm currently using Spotify premium for streaming, I know it's not the highest quality but it sounds good and then I also have a few flac files on my fiio x1 that I also connect to the receiver
     

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