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karotto
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What is the best external sound interface?

Hi there,
I have much music stored in uncompressed format on my computer. I woudl like to buy an interface that takes this digital data and converts it the best way to analog and then hooks up to my (state of the art) amp. I only need it for playback and not recording and obviously I only need 2 channels. I want the best, most pristine sounding device that gives me the best D/A conversion that technology currently has to offer. What device should I get? I was looking at the Edirol UA-1EX but they don't even list the signal to noise ratio or dynamic range. I have spent much time and I find it very hard to find reviews of audio interfaces of such sort. I have a laptop so only Firewire or USB2 are an option. Any suggestions are very, very much appreciated. Thank you.
PS: my computer has optical out. Maybe I don't need an interface at all if the large amp I am going to buy has optical in? (i am trying to get a really good sound system for a large hall together)

lemonizer
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Re: What is the best external sound interface?

I have a UA-1EX plugged into my benchmark DAC1.

The UA-1EX is a ok sounding but in reality I only used it as a way of getting a digital signal into my DAC1.

Since you say 'best' I personally think that setup is best as the UA-1EX provides a stable digital out, while the DAC1 provices a jitter free output. However the ~$1100 price tag might put you off.

Editor
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Re: What is the best external sound interface?


Quote:
I have much music stored in uncompressed format on my computer. I woudl like to buy an interface that takes this digital data and converts it the best way to analog and then hooks up to my (state of the art) amp.

Cheapest way is the M-Audio Transit USB, costing around $80. Analog output is okay, but you can feed the S/PDIF optical output to an outboard DAC like the Benchmark DAC-1 or Musical Fidelity X-DAV v3.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

mikeymad
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Re: What is the best external sound interface?

Wavelength Brick

and there are higher end versions.

USB DACs

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