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Upsamplers, DACs, jitter, shakes and analogue withdrawals, this is it.

RE: Dac questions

PAR suggested a good link to help you get started. I'll make a few brief comments about digital music.

Although the playback device is important, it is even more important that the music files be of high quality to begin with. If you rip your music from CD, it should NOT be ripped to MP3, AAC, or other lossy compressed formats. WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC are a few examples of uncompressed or lossless formats which will better retain the original sonic quality from your CD.

If you downloaded (paid for) music from iTunes, it is most likely 256kbps AAC which uses a lossy compression scheme. It may sound OK with earbuds or maybe in the car, but it is less than CD quality.

If playing higher quality music files from an iDevice, you can get better sound by using an outboard DAC via the Lightning connector, rather than the 3.5mm analog output.

A even better approach would be to set up a music server with outboard DAC and use the iDevice as a remote control only.

Taking it a step further, you can use a music server or Network Attached Storage (NAS) to house your music files then 'stream' the music over your home network to a dedicated music streamer.

But the first rule (IMHO) is to start with high quality music files because no level of costly high-end equipment will 'fix' poor audio quality from files produced using lossy compression.

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