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Topic: Planning to replace USB DAC with new, advice and opinions needed. (Read 2051 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • Wompatti
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Planning to replace USB DAC with new, advice and opinions needed.
Hi folks. I am a current owner of an Arcam rDAC and have been very pleased with it. I have been planning to replace it with a DAC which would have volume control so it could function as a Pre-Amp as well. My receiver is Harman Kardon HK3490 and it has inputs for that. I tried it with rDAC and as it missed volume control, the sound was a little bit too loud for my taste (and for my neighbours).

The only candidate at the moment that I have been looking, is Cambridge Audio Dacmagic Plus, that has volume control and two digital inputs (both with coaxial and optical) instead of one each in rDAC.
It it worth the money if I would use it as Pre-Amp and just use the HK as amplifier or do I even need a DAC because I could use HK's connections to do that when listening from computer?
Any other suggestions in the same price range are welcome, even changing the receiver if it makes a difference.

Planning to replace USB DAC with new, advice and opinions needed.
Reply #1
Hi folks. I am a current owner of an Arcam rDAC and have been very pleased with it. I have been planning to replace it with a DAC which would have volume control so it could function as a Pre-Amp as well. My receiver is Harman Kardon HK3490 and it has inputs for that. I tried it with rDAC and as it missed volume control, the sound was a little bit too loud for my taste (and for my neighbours).

The only candidate at the moment that I have been looking, is Cambridge Audio Dacmagic Plus, that has volume control and two digital inputs (both with coaxial and optical) instead of one each in rDAC.
It it worth the money if I would use it as Pre-Amp and just use the HK as amplifier or do I even need a DAC because I could use HK's connections to do that when listening from computer?
Any other suggestions in the same price range are welcome, even changing the receiver if it makes a difference.


I seriously doubt that you could any difference between the digital audio inputs of your HK3490 (lacks only USB) and the Arcam rDAC you already have, in a proper listening test using the same speakers.

Now if you said that you were  a headphones-only listener, and want to get rid of the bulky HK3490, then the answer would be different.


  • Apesbrain
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Planning to replace USB DAC with new, advice and opinions needed.
Reply #2
...the sound was a little bit too loud for my taste (and for my neighbours).

Why not just lower the volume setting on the receiver?  Where do you have the rDAC plugged into your receiver?  It should be in one of the line-level Audio inputs (CD, Tape In, Vid In); not in the "Main In".  Granted, going through the Main In will bypass the pre-amp circuitry of the receiver (including the volume control), but any dubious advantage that may offer is now offset by your need to purchase a new DAC to control volume.