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Audio interface vs DAC

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Kintigh, May 18, 2017.

  1. Kintigh

    Kintigh n00bie

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    What are the pros and cons between the two.

    Audio interfaces are competitively priced, have balanced outputs.

    Frugality and bang for the buck is always taken into consideration.

    Outputting to studio monitors near-field.
     
  2. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Most likely little to nothing. Try them out yourself.
     
  3. Neapolitan6th

    Neapolitan6th Limp Gawd

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    If you care for going XLR out to some studio monitors cheapest I'm aware of with a DAC is Schiit's Jotunheim for 500$. Not cheap, but pretty cool from a tech standpoint.. Not exactly bang for your buck.
     
  4. Kintigh

    Kintigh n00bie

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  5. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    What people constantly seem to forget is that pro gear is used to produce the content you're listening. The difference between pro gear and consumer gear is that pro gear is competitively priced, no bullshit and high performance where consumer gear is totally flakey no guarantees bargain-bin to insane priced guess work.

    99% of the quality is achieved with the speakers. The electronics play a very minor role in the end result. Yet people spend insane amounts of money to polish that 1% of quality - DACs are a good example. Amplifiers come second best.

    If anyone wants to contest this view I have an easy argument: DACs and amps are extremely hard to tell apart in a controlled ABX test. Sometimes to the order of impossible. Speakers then again are easily identifiable due to large qualitative differences.
     
    |Tch0rT| likes this.
  6. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yep DACs are pretty much done and dusted technology. Have been for 20 years or so. If you crack open a $4000 CD player all you'll find is a $15 dollar DVD drive hooked up to $5 worth of DAC surrounded by $200 worth of power supplies and power regulation of dubious or superfluous merit filling up the other 80% of the milled aluminium case.

    Its the speakers and the analogue bits that really count.
     
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  7. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Exactly. The magic happens in the analog domain. First and most important step is the source (NOT the electronics) i.e. the sound wave that hits the microphone. Micing is the most important part of a recording. Then second largest impact comes when the speaker plays the sound in the room. Speaker-room interaction is a huge part of the end result.

    If anyone is interested, look up Acoustic Fields on youtube. Dennis uses a lot of pseudo-truths in the videos but generally they give an idea.
     
  8. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    People often ask what speaker wire they should use. Apparently a lot of recording studios use standard Van Damme microphone, speaker and patch cables so that's what I moved over to. I had all sorts of exotic cables from AudioQuest, Furukawa etc. etc. but £3 a meter Van Damme works just fine.