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Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Stereo.

Castle Knight 2 Speakers

bobbyfriend2008

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I have read lot of posts but cant reach to a solution/conclusion as either the thread goes from laptop to PC (i know PC is a far more better performer) or geeks get into debate.

In my case i cant accommodate a PC in my room have speakers already and have a Laptop now i am not sure whether to upgrade laptop or to buy a DAC (USB like Audioquest D'fly or cambridge audio dacmagic 100 or some other )

Requirement is 70% music and 30 % movies

Laptop thinkpad L412 -- Onboard audio Sucks
Speakers : Swans M50w 2.1 awesome but seems like input isnt clear enough for them to perform well , 3.5 mm output on laptop via onboard audio makes the sounds go unclear and bassy .

Please tell me which DAC should i buy and how much of a difference will it make on a scale of 1 to 10

If a DAC is something like Cambridge audio Dacmagic 100 (which is multi input) i can use it with my TV and soundbar combo and that would be great and worth it (which cant be achieved by a dedicated USB DAC)

All i am looking for a worth it solution
 

Naturelover

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

1. USB connection from laptop to a DAC will bypass laptop audio.
2. You can accommodate a PC though not a tower cabinet. Look at small form factor cabinets like an Antec ISK series or Intel NUC.
 

saikatbiswas82

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

I have read lot of posts but cant reach to a solution/conclusion as either the thread goes from laptop to PC (i know PC is a far more better performer) or geeks get into debate.

In my case i cant accommodate a PC in my room have speakers already and have a Laptop now i am not sure whether to upgrade laptop or to buy a DAC (USB like Audioquest D'fly or cambridge audio dacmagic 100 or some other )

Requirement is 70% music and 30 % movies

Laptop thinkpad L412 -- Onboard audio Sucks
Speakers : Swans M50w 2.1 awesome but seems like input isnt clear enough for them to perform well , 3.5 mm output on laptop via onboard audio makes the sounds go unclear and bassy .

Please tell me which DAC should i buy and how much of a difference will it make on a scale of 1 to 10

If a DAC is something like Cambridge audio Dacmagic 100 (which is multi input) i can use it with my TV and soundbar combo and that would be great and worth it (which cant be achieved by a dedicated USB DAC)

All i am looking for a worth it solution
You mentioned movies as well. Are you looking for 5.1 channels for the same?
 

manniraj

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Exceptional value. i am using Modi 2 Uber. Only USB version is under 100$. II get it carried by someone from US as custom/ shipping is costly (almost 50)%.

Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.

Hi Vinay

You can look at my all-in-one media PC which I have put up for sale in the forum. Its a Intel based barebones PC which I was earlier using for exclusively for music with Windows 7 and Foobar. Works perfectly and you just require an internal HDD to load the Windows OS or just a simple usb pendrive if going with Linux OS/distros. PM me if you are interested.
 

bobbyfriend2008

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Saikat i forgot to mention movies are second priority and that too i don't own a 5.1 its a goos sounding soundbar i have for movies and it is stereo as well
 

bobbyfriend2008

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Hello Vinay2013

Is Schiit Modi 2 Uber better then Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 100 ??
Please rate the sound quality of Schiit Modi 2 Uber on scale of 1 to 10
 

saikatbiswas82

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Saikat i forgot to mention movies are second priority and that too i don't own a 5.1 its a goos sounding soundbar i have for movies and it is stereo as well
If you are happy with stereo for movies and as this is second priority, I think going for a proper stereo setup would be beneficial.

You might need these:
A decent source - bdp/cdp/pc/sbc
A DAC
A good stereo amplifier
A pair of nice speakers
 

manniraj

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Hi Vinay

You can look at my all-in-one media PC which I have put up for sale in the forum. Its a Intel based barebones PC which I was earlier using for exclusively for music with Windows 7 and Foobar. Works perfectly and you just require an internal HDD to load the Windows OS or just a simple usb pendrive if going with Linux OS/distros. PM me if you are interested.

Sorry I meant the above listing for @ bobbyfriend2008
 

manniraj

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

I have read lot of posts but cant reach to a solution/conclusion as either the thread goes from laptop to PC (i know PC is a far more better performer) or geeks get into debate.

In my case i cant accommodate a PC in my room have speakers already and have a Laptop now i am not sure whether to upgrade laptop or to buy a DAC (USB like Audioquest D'fly or cambridge audio dacmagic 100 or some other )

Requirement is 70% music and 30 % movies

Laptop thinkpad L412 -- Onboard audio Sucks
Speakers : Swans M50w 2.1 awesome but seems like input isnt clear enough for them to perform well , 3.5 mm output on laptop via onboard audio makes the sounds go unclear and bassy .

Please tell me which DAC should i buy and how much of a difference will it make on a scale of 1 to 10

If a DAC is something like Cambridge audio Dacmagic 100 (which is multi input) i can use it with my TV and soundbar combo and that would be great and worth it (which cant be achieved by a dedicated USB DAC)

All i am looking for a worth it solution

You can look at my all-in-one media PC which I have put up for sale in the forum. Its a Intel based barebones PC which I was earlier using for exclusively for music with Windows 7 and Foobar. Works perfectly and you just require an internal HDD to load the Windows OS or just a simple usb pendrive if going with Linux OS/distros. PM me if you are interested.
 

Vinay2013

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Hello Vinay2013

Is Schiit Modi 2 Uber better then Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 100 ??
Please rate the sound quality of Schiit Modi 2 Uber on scale of 1 to 10

I have not heard CA dacmagic so can't comment on that but i find it better than Meridian Explorer and HRT Microstreamer.
 

bobbyfriend2008

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Guys I still am seeking a solution ... Is Schiit Modi 2 Uber a good DAC as per price and performance ?
 

nuvo

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

I have recently got Schiit Modi 2 (not the Uber). I have not heard Dacmagic so can't tell about that. I have previously used following set up:

1. PS3-Fiio D3-Marantz PM5004+Wharfe diamond 10
2. PS3-Onboard DAC-Marantz PM5004+Wharfe diamond 10

In these set up, slightly high volume was required to hear all the sound. Now same can be heard at much low volume along with many new sound previously unheard.

I also considered Fiio E17k, but to avoid double amping, Modi 2 was choosen.

Overall worth the money.
 

MaSh

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

I have recently got Schiit Modi 2 (not the Uber).

How did you get it? Carried it from abroad?

MaSh
 

bobbyfriend2008

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Bought Myself a Schiit Modi Uber 2 ..that has improved sound quality not a lot but considerably .
 

sound_cycle

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Bought Myself a Schiit Modi Uber 2 ..that has improved sound quality not a lot but considerably .

1. up from what (my apologies if it were somewhere obvious and i missed it)

2. What are you expecting to gain and what did you not get ?

ciao
gr
 

Vinay2013

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Bought Myself a Schiit Modi Uber 2 ..that has improved sound quality not a lot but considerably .

Source file has very important role. Use Flac or wav files. low bitrate mp3 files will not show much improvement. you should also check and set the various options 16/44.1 to 24/192. Set and choose that sounds best to your ears. what player you are using?
 

shibashis

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Bought Myself a Schiit Modi Uber 2 ..that has improved sound quality not a lot but considerably .

The DAC/Source grows on you, give the Schiit two weeks and then come back here and share your experience. You will find that you can not go back to your onboard sound anymore and the improvements noticed will be many folds than what it is at the moment.
 

keith_correa

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Bought Myself a Schiit Modi Uber 2 ..that has improved sound quality not a lot but considerably .
And maybe that too is all in your mind :D Your first listening impression usually should be the one that should wow you. After that, as you keep consciously listening for differences you WILL hear differences like oh, I didn't hear this before and oh, the soundstage has moved 10 feet higher and wider and it now it seems that the singer is located like a fly [or spider man] on the back wall. You know what - revert back to what it was before and you will find that you probably could hear the same things before too. :D:D:D
 
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raghupb

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Re: Please suggest a firm solution to Bypass Laptop onboard Audio & achieve crisp Ste

Bought Myself a Schiit Modi Uber 2 ..that has improved sound quality not a lot but considerably .

Don't expect magic from an entry level DAC. All it can possibly do is isolate the MB noise and maybe sound different. Also look at other elements in your chain such as:
1. Speakers (yours are active ones if I am correct)
2. Speaker placement (separation, toe-in, tilt, etc)
3. Listening position
The room also plays an important part.

I have Schiit M2U. It really did not make a huge difference when playing through BW303s, but there is marked difference when playing through KEF R300s.
Comparison was against a 15 year old Onkyo CD player's "Burr Brown" DAC (rest of the chain being the same)
All of observations below are my biased opinions; bias in listening, bias in equipment, bias in being a cheap ass.
Pros (as compared to CD player):
Tighter Bass, better highs - possibly because of different filter design, I guess
Can perceive some depth to instrumentation in certain tracks; CD player is flat from speaker plane.
Cons (as compared to CD player)
Vocals are slightly better on CD player; but not by much
Sound stage width is a bit compressed (my brain tells me it is about 10 feet as compared to about 12 feet; speakers are 8 feet apart)

Since I have moved away from physical media, it is an acceptable compromise.
I belong to the 80-20 mindset,
"If I can get more than 80% of my expectation at less than 20% of the cost, then my ear-brain mapping will magically resolve the difference towards better sound quality"
FM Keith will agree with a bottom feeder like me :D

Cheers,
Raghu
 
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