Need Help Understanding DAC's

G

Guest

Guest
Need more information on dacs,like which to buy, what they do and what I would use it for
 

skit75

Distinguished
Oct 7, 2008
243
0
18,860
20
They allow you to transport a signal(audio or video) over a distance without, or at the very least, little interference.

Speakers however, are analog driven devices and require you to convert the digitally transported audio signals, back to analog. You can't run an analog signal very far before the cables themselves start acting like antenna, picking up distortion/noise along the way.

All the audio on your PC hard drive is digital. Even your onboard audio chip has a DAC right before the signal is passed to the 1/8" mini jack.

You can maintain signal quality by keeping the signal digital as far as you can(if your speaker amplifier for your PC is not near your PC) you might want to use the TOSlink or SPDIF output to transfer the signal to your external DAC (presumably closer to your speaker amplifier). Because these are both digital signals, they won't lose anything in the cable(or gain anything for that matter).
 

skit75

Distinguished
Oct 7, 2008
243
0
18,860
20
They allow you to transport a signal(audio or video) over a distance without, or at the very least, little interference.

Speakers however, are analog driven devices and require you to convert the digitally transported audio signals, back to analog. You can't run an analog signal very far before the cables themselves start acting like antenna, picking up distortion/noise along the way.

All the audio on your PC hard drive is digital. Even your onboard audio chip has a DAC right before the signal is passed to the 1/8" mini jack.

You can maintain signal quality by keeping the signal digital as far as you can(if your speaker amplifier for your PC is not near your PC) you might want to use the TOSlink or SPDIF output to transfer the signal to your external DAC (presumably closer to your speaker amplifier). Because these are both digital signals, they won't lose anything in the cable(or gain anything for that matter).
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
simply put: DAC = digital to analog converter. when your pc processes a signal it is digital in nature (1's and 0's). speakers however require an analog signal to function. in order to convert between the two, a DAC is needed. digital signals as above do not distort as easily which is great when you're exporting to other devices from pc such as a receiver however not needed if you have just pc speakers.

after the DAC the analog signal would then go through an amplifier (AMP) to boost the signal so that it can power speakers and headphones although typically the amp in many soundcards is not strong enough to handle more than 50ohm headphones and 2-5w unpowered speakers. most higher power speakers (pc speakers) have built in amplifiers inside them of stronger power.

what are you needing a dac for? if for headphones they can give you a cleaner sound than internal (*can* being the key word, its not guaranteed) but you may also lose out on things like virtual surround if you wanted that as an option (a soundcard would give you that as an option).

you need to be MUCH more specific if you want an answer to your exact questions.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
1 Audio 8
G Audio 1
H Audio 3
B Audio 1
K Audio 1
A Audio 1
C Audio 2
G Audio 5
S Audio 2
M Audio 1
T Audio 6
Michael_13 Audio 3
G Audio 5
X Audio 1
M Audio 1
B Audio 10
AngryGoldfish Audio 4
J Audio 2
L Audio 6
A Audio 1

ASK THE COMMUNITY