I haven't been using my stereo much for several years, I don't understand components but I do appreciate well reproduced music. I recently read about connecting a usb dac and running my music from my portable computer which would be a great setup for me. I presently have a NAD T 760 receiver, Mission 773 speakers and a G4 ibook. I need to buy a DAC and whatever else makes sense to make this work. Any suggestions?
There was a thread here a few months ago that discussed the jitter issue of USB DACs. I'm sure the Wavelength Audio and Benchmark USB DACs are very well-designed and have excellent performance, but they are upwards of $1000. I've used the E-MU 0202 Audio Interface that includes a USB DAC with excellent specs. I've only listened to it through headphones, but it was noticeably better than the PC soundcard. The suggested retail price of this box is only $130 and may be had for a few dollars less.
This is an extermely versatile little unit and while the quality of the DAC may be somewhat limited by the price (I haven't heard it myself) it does offer the upgrade path of enabling you to connect an external DAC later on and using the transit as a USB (computer world) to S/PDIF (audio world) converter.
Good luck, please let us know how you get on!