DAC for Edifier R1850DB

arunhc

Active Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
302
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
Wanted to know from you guys if a DAC will help audio on these speakers which i am using for my desktop system,
3.5mm to 2 RCA to the speakers is the connection as of now
and if a DAC will help which one do you guys recommend
 

dinesh1201

Active Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
342
Points
43
Location
Lucknow
DAC may help but not certainly :) you can get one but can't guarantee whether you may or may not hear the real difference. I'm using Fiio K3 because it has a small form factor. It has a gain and bass switch which really increase a soft bass either on HP or on speakers.
It has a line out through which my Marantz PM5005 is connected :) however, I've also added a TEAC EQ between them just because some lighting looks good while music plays :)
 

pogballistics

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
98
Points
18
Location
India
Wanted to know from you guys if a DAC will help audio on these speakers which i am using for my desktop system,
3.5mm to 2 RCA to the speakers is the connection as of now
and if a DAC will help which one do you guys recommend
Ifi audio zen dac
 

dinesh1201

Active Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
342
Points
43
Location
Lucknow
Check this out! a FM selling his Cambridge Audio DAC Magic

WhatsApp Image 2020-11-23 at 10.29.38 PM (2).jpeg
 

shoenil

Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2011
Messages
33
Points
8
Location
imphal
If it is compatible with the desktop can we try an internal creative soundcard AE5 +. How it would compare with the external dac?
 

dinesh1201

Active Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
342
Points
43
Location
Lucknow
If it is compatible with the desktop can we try an internal creative soundcard AE5 +. How it would compare with the external dac?
Creatives can be good for gaming/movies but can't give you stereo imaging well. However, the above DAC Magic is capable of nice stereo separation..it has both USB and Optical input. Can be connected to PC via its USB or Optical out.
 

bsvinay

New Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
13
Points
3
Location
Bangalore
Would Topping E30 be a good DAC for these speakers? I plan to play Hi-Res audio (mainly FLAC, maybe DSD) from synology NAS backup
 

dinesh1201

Active Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Messages
342
Points
43
Location
Lucknow
I
Would Topping E30 be a good DAC for these speakers? I plan to play Hi-Res audio (mainly FLAC, maybe DSD) from synology NAS backup
It might work for you! I'm selling my Fiio K3 and it's a very good DAC. Including lineout for speakers/amp, has separate bass and gain switch, has a preamp and headphone amp so it's a multi-tasker :) you can see its reviews on the internet.
 

venkatcr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
7,287
Points
113
Location
Chennai
There are several points you must keep in mind here.
  1. A DAC works best with an integrated amplifier or a preamplifier/amplifier combination, and, passive speakers.
  2. The 3.5mm output of a PC/Laptop is meant for headphones. What comes from this port is an analogue signal.
  3. In general, digital signals are carried through USB, Co-axial, Optical and HDMI ports. RCA ports are meant for and can only carry analogue signals.
  4. If you feed the analogue signal to a DAC, in the best-case scenario, the DAC will switch to being just a preamp. In the worst-case scenario, it will fiddle around with the signal and may make it worse.
  5. Most active speakers have internal DSP in which they fine-tune the audio signal to suit the speaker driver configuration. For example, Edifier boasts of enhanced bass irrespective of the driver size. What they do is to enhance the low frequencies and pump them to the 4” drivers on the 1850. This model also has a sub-out, which means low frequencies are expected to be amplified and played by an external sub-woofer. So there is active frequency separation inside the speakers.
If you insert a DAC between the non-digital source and the 1850, you will certainly hear a difference. Good or bad is doubtful and very subjective.

If you can get a digital out from your source feed that directly to the Edifier. That will be the best option.
Wanted to know from you guys if a DAC will help audio on these speakers which i am using for my desktop system,
3.5mm to 2 RCA to the speakers is the connection as of now
and if a DAC will help which one do you guys recommend
 

arunhc

Active Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
302
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
There are several points you must keep in mind here.
  1. A DAC works best with an integrated amplifier or a preamplifier/amplifier combination, and, passive speakers.
  2. The 3.5mm output of a PC/Laptop is meant for headphones. What comes from this port is an analogue signal.
  3. In general, digital signals are carried through USB, Co-axial, Optical and HDMI ports. RCA ports are meant for and can only carry analogue signals.
  4. If you feed the analogue signal to a DAC, in the best-case scenario, the DAC will switch to being just a preamp. In the worst-case scenario, it will fiddle around with the signal and may make it worse.
  5. Most active speakers have internal DSP in which they fine-tune the audio signal to suit the speaker driver configuration. For example, Edifier boasts of enhanced bass irrespective of the driver size. What they do is to enhance the low frequencies and pump them to the 4” drivers on the 1850. This model also has a sub-out, which means low frequencies are expected to be amplified and played by an external sub-woofer. So there is active frequency separation inside the speakers.
If you insert a DAC between the non-digital source and the 1850, you will certainly hear a difference. Good or bad is doubtful and very subjective.

If you can get a digital out from your source feed that directly to the Edifier. That will be the best option.
Thank you!
 

jarneevan

Active Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
176
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
1850db sound their absolute best when you feed them digital signal through either optical or coaxial input. There is no point in adding an external DAC as analog input signal is converted back to digital domain and DSP is applied. There is no pure direct mode. And they don't sound that good with analog input, they most likely use a cheap ADC that completely negates any benefits an external dac might bring.

These speakers are ridiculously good for the money if you feed them digital signal. I would suggest either s2000pro or s3000pro edifier models for step up in sound quality if you prefer near field active monitors. Otherwise go for passive bookshelf speakers and integrated Amp combo. Pairing 1850db with a DAC would be a step in the wrong direction.
 
Last edited:

bsvinay

New Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2020
Messages
13
Points
3
Location
Bangalore
As I explained earlier (sorry for mixing my requirements in this thread), I plan to use digital source like flac and dsd files from raspberry pi4 to Edifier R1850db, don't have much choice but to use some sort of Dac to convert usb to rca. Unless there is some other device to convert usb to optical.
 

arunhc

Active Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
302
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
1850db sound their absolute best when you feed them digital signal through either optical or coaxial input. There is no point in adding an external DAC as analog input signal is converted back to digital domain and DSP is applied. There is no pure direct mode. And they don't sound that good with analog input, they most likely use a cheap ADC that completely negates any benefits an external dac might bring.

These speakers are ridiculously good for the money if you feed them digital signal. I would suggest either s2000pro or s3000pro edifier models for step up in sound quality if you prefer near field active monitors. Otherwise go for passive bookshelf speakers and integrated Amp combo. Pairing 1850db with a DAC would be a step in the wrong direction.
Did this, changed from 3.5 mm jack to a optical cable, the difference is huge, sound is a lot cleaner and there is clear separation, earlier it was muddy didn't realise that at all ( for over a year now)

@venkatcr and @jarneevan
Thank you!
 

Yogesh

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
1,524
Points
113
Location
No Where Near to where I want to be yet...
Why don't you explore USB dongle DACs like Sonata HD Pro, iBasso DC03? You would get both <5K. You can also check AudioQuest DragonFly Black. Excellent DAC.

All will attach to USB of your Desktop and give 3.5 mm out.
 

premoddev

Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
443
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
As I explained earlier (sorry for mixing my requirements in this thread), I plan to use digital source like flac and dsd files from raspberry pi4 to Edifier R1850db, don't have much choice but to use some sort of Dac to convert usb to rca. Unless there is some other device to convert usb to optical.
As you already have pi4 with you, why don't you buy a DAC like Allo BOSS and add it in to the Pi. Then you can use Volumio or MoodeAudio as per your taste and fyi, this is what I have been using from quite sometime.
 

venkatcr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
7,287
Points
113
Location
Chennai
As I explained earlier (sorry for mixing my requirements in this thread), I plan to use digital source like flac and dsd files from raspberry pi4 to Edifier R1850db, don't have much choice but to use some sort of Dac to convert usb to rca. Unless there is some other device to convert usb to optical.
Again, you need to be aware of a couple of things.

1. The RPi was not designed to process audio and it does not do even a half decent job of it.

2. By itself, the RPi does not output audio signals through USB. The only audio output is a 3.5mm jack and sound from that is best avoided.

3. If you need any decent audio signal from a RPi, you need an onboard DAC and some sort of specialized OS and application such as Volumio, Moode etc. None of these will give you digital out.

4. Though something like RPi + Allo Boss will give you excellent sound, they are best mated to an external amp and passive speakers. Not sure how the sound will be when sent to active speakers. It will certainly not be as good as a amp plus passive speakers. I have explained the reasons in my previous post.

5. The whole RPi stuff has limitations in terms of HDD usage. Though theoretically you can use HDD of any size, the OS and application will take enormous time to tag anything over 500GB. If you files are elsewhere, you have to spend a lot of time moving files up and down as well as manually forcing the application to retag the files.

Cheers
 

jarneevan

Active Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
176
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
As I stated earlier, 1850db sound thier best when they are fed through optical or coaxial input. They have one of the sweetest midrange performances, specifically vocals, and quite an enveloping soundstage for their price point and may be even few notches up over their price point.

The biggest casualty when they are fed through RCA is soundstage. Even bluetooth sounds better than RCA analog inputs, it won't matter what external DAC one uses. BTW, streaming over BT sounds damn good on them.
 

jarneevan

Active Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
176
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
As I explained earlier (sorry for mixing my requirements in this thread), I plan to use digital source like flac and dsd files from raspberry pi4 to Edifier R1850db, don't have much choice but to use some sort of Dac to convert usb to rca. Unless there is some other device to convert usb to optical.
I think there are some USB to Coaxial converters. I don't know about pricing though. Edifiers work well with either of the digital inputs.

But edifiers are meant to be used as one box solution. It won't make much sense to spend significant money on a chain that has edifiers. They have thier limitations. They can't compete with some decent passive bookshelves and an integrated amp.

Edit:
Something like this should do for simple conversion from USB to Coaxial/Optical https://www.amazon.in/dp/B00FEDHHKE/ref=cm_sw_r_u_apa_fabc_J9Q0T776ZT67FWB05RKX
This particular device seem to be compatible with RPi.
 
Last edited:
Join group to get HiFiMART.com Offers & Deals on WhatsApp
Top