Jump to content

Inexpensive DAC / digital source for dad's stereo


Recommended Posts

I was talking to my dad this weekend and he wanted me to investigate a DAC/front end for his stereo system. His current source is a Technics 5-disc CD changer from the 90s, amplification is a Technics surround sound receiver of the same vintage (early-mid 90s), and no-name cables.

I was thinking a Schiit Modi 3 might be a good start, but the system would need more smarts, so maybe something with streaming/network capability and DAC would be better. He does have music files stored on a bunch of hard drives, so maybe one large 6-8TB hard drive to consolidate them along with a wifi + interface head? He has an Android tablet, so maybe he could use that to control the stereo stuff.

He wants to keep the amplification, so definitely something with RCA outputs...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe a cheap DAC streamer is the go, something like a iEAST Sound Streamer. You’d need a 3.5mm stereo to RCA cable, the Android tablet should work fine with an existing wifi network. I agree consolidate the music files onto a single (wireless) hard drive, then a media player of sorts installed onto the tablet.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First rule of providing recommendations for audio gear for family - keep it SIMPLE. 

That said, I've been searching for a non-amplified, nice, user-friendly music server for what feels like years. Still haven't found anything that I like that doesn't cost north of $2k which just isn't within reach. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I noticed the new Cyrus One Cast in today's Hi-Fi+ email – seems to do the job, but obviously it won't be inexpensive at all.

The What Hi-Fi review damns it with faint praise: https://www.whathifi.com/us/reviews/cyrus-one-cast

The NAD M10 also gets a mediocre grade from What Hi-Fi (do they hate digital amplifiers?): https://www.whathifi.com/us/reviews/nad-masters-m10

There seem to be a lot of new products for a "smart stereo" – few of them do the job as well as a traditional set up, for less money.

I might go with a used Arcam Solo Music (3rd gen – 2017) 80W digital amp if I can find one – the local going rate is still around $2,000 for a gently used box, though, and the 2nd-gen Arcam Solo (Neo) is about $750, with an analog amplifier of about 50W at 8 ohms.

Edited by HiWire
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.