Best $300 dollar DAC for living room stereo set up?

I see lots of threads about this vs that, an best 100 dollar/ 1000 dollar options. I see plenty of Questions about DACS for headphone amps an small desk setups. But I am looking for an upgrade to my living room stereo setup, ATM I am using my Yamaha 7.2 network receiver. It sounds fine for casual listen but I want to expand into a stand alone stereo amp an a good usb dac for my media pc. The question I am asking is for around $300 what is a good option for a nice wide, open an warm sound stage for a living room stereo setup?

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This is for a dac and amp setup correct? Or just a dac?

If you are just looking for a dac, the topping e30 is pretty dang sweet imo, really nice for the price. Warmer toned with a slight w shape, and the filters and volume control are nice to have. I think in the 300 ish range, there is the aune x8 which is a warmer sounding dac as well, but imo it’s not really a large jump in performance over the e30 imo

what speaker’s do you use for your fronts/stereo listening? that can factor into decision making

And welcome to the forums! Lot’s of helpful people around here. :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:

Yes for a stand alone Dac an amp setup. I am looking into both atm, but want to get the dac first. I guess I am interested in how much better a stand alone dac might sound over the internal 24bit burr brown dacs in my Yamaha 7.2 first an then get a separate amp for my main speakers fallowed by upgrading my towers to something better, I am using pioneer floor standing towers atm the Andrew Jones ones, paired with a hsu vtf 3 HO 12 inch sub. The sub was a lucky find on local crag-list if you wondering why I have a sub like that with basic speakers.

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Thank you very much, an I put my set up in a reply to the first response. working on a total upgrade of the fronts for stereo listening off a stand alone dac from a media pc. While using my xbox( doubles as my blue-ray player) hooked via hdmi into my 7.2. the Surround receiver has full pre-outs so I can link the stereo set up into the 7.2 once finished with the upgrade.

A bit off-topic but, DACs are what makes the least of a difference for headphones, and to get as much detail as headphones in speakers you need to spend thousands. So… I don’t think a 100$ vs a 500$+ DAC will make any difference with speakers. So yeah, I second the Topping E30 suggestion (100$-ish?).

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thank you for the advise, I will keep that in mind.

So I would say that’s not exactly true, mainly because you included 500+, which means over 500. I think in the 200-400 range you won’t experience most for an upgrade, it will be an upgrade but it will be marginal. But once you get into the range of the bifrost 2 or the ares ii or dac1421 you can get a significant upgrade imo

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Looking into keff speakers like the q550, atm for the upgrade if that helps.

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It gives many Dac oder Dac/amps with a simple Analogue output.
Schiit Modi,Project debut Headbox digitalS2,Cambridge Audio Dac magic 100,Fostex Hp A3,O2 Dac,Topping D10,D30,D50,E30.
Smsl Skankrit or one of the M Edition.

What work well is the Cambridge Audio Dac,it is a later model and the Topping D series too.
For sure the E30 can be it nice.

My Stereo setup is the Harman Kardon 880 vxi paired with the MAtrix Audio mini ipro 2S ,Elac Edition one Boxes and works very well.
But the Dac is not cheap.
But the other Dac are not Bad too they find a way in many Stereo setups,just looking Youtube for same listening test.
But they Setup is not a shit from they guy but for a impression is suffisant enough.

Why did I put this “plus” sign there lol.

i was looking at the Cambridge audio dac magic 100, an the dacmagic plus. an there amps as well. When it comes to surround receivers I have a yamaha tsr-7810
Would a $130 E30 or $200 dollar dac magic 100, make a big difference over the internal burr browns?

It would most likely make a difference, but not a massive one imo

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that was my gut feeling to, that why i was looking at 300 maybe even more, looking for an upgrade where I can really tell it was an upgrade> I probably need better amps an speakers to really even tell the difference, but i am on the path.

I would focus the most on the speakers here, and then the amp. The dac would be the last thing to upgrade imo


I’d even go as far as upgrading to good quality interconects and speaker cables before you upgrade your DAC.

It’s not like a DAC isn’t an important upgrade, but more like a good DAC will only be trully noticeable on a solid foundational good system.

I bought like 100$CAD of Monoprice 12AWG CL2 oxygen-free copper wiring for my 200$CAD Fluance SX6s. No signal loss guaranteed. :stuck_out_tongue:

Cable is cheap so I thought, let’s do some “future-proofing”.

that is nice, I do have some good quality cl2 pure copper wire 12awg, idk the brand but it was from when I redid my car subs an it was expensive feels much nicer then the stuff i am using for my rears. also its not touching the ground its elevated for the whole run, I have seen oscilloscope tests showing interference in pure copper just from touching the ground lol. I think I am just going to get a nice dac amp combo like The XS1, so I can listen with my 4xx’s an focus more on upgrading my speakers an the amps to kefs an a clean amp not sure what atm i was looking at the EDGE A2-300.

tragic just went to buy an E30 an they wont ship till July 10th