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Old 01-14-09, 09:24 AM   #1
paleocons FTFW
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Default DACs

What is the best receiver out there to buy if I just want one with a great DAC and only use 2channels through optical? Any speaker recommendations? Not including shipping and speaker wire, I'd like to keep the combined speaker cost no more than 150, but preferrably around $100-125. I'd like to keep the receiver at no more than $225 not including shipping.

I'm such a noob about audio equipment, so I apologize if I'm asking the wrong question.
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Old 01-14-09, 09:26 AM   #2
paleocons FTFW
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Default Re: DACs

Also, will onboard be as good as a dedicated soundcard? I'm no audiophile.
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Old 01-14-09, 10:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: DACs

Quote:
Originally Posted by paleocons FTFW View Post
Also, will onboard be as good as a dedicated soundcard? I'm no audiophile.
For stereo, modern onboard audio is just as good as discrete audio for a non audiophile, such as you or me.
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Old 01-14-09, 10:44 AM   #4
paleocons FTFW
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Thanks, medion! By modern audio, did you mean onboard? Would upgrading my $100 speakers to a good receiver and better speakers help?
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Old 01-14-09, 11:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: DACs

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Originally Posted by paleocons FTFW View Post
Thanks, medion! By modern audio, did you mean onboard? Would upgrading my $100 speakers to a good receiver and better speakers help?
Yea, left out a word. I fixed the typo. As for a good receiver and speakers, this is a tad out of my element, so here goes.

Your output is largely based on your input. If you have crap input, then you will have crap output. There's just no way around it. Now, if all you're doing is listening to CDs or MP3, even an AC97 based motherboard will sound about the same as an X-Fi, with one exception, signal to noise ratio (SNR). AC97 is crap in this regard. Modern HD Audio is pretty damn good, but not quite as good as an X-Fi (and there's certainly better out there than an X-Fi). The better your speakers, the more easily you'll notice this difference.

But, there's a lot more involved here. I'm honestly not a home audio buff, so hopefully our resident experts will help you here. You should also consider registering at www.avsforum.com as they have a LOT of useful feedback on these kinds of topics.
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