Dac noob looking for advice

Hello everyone, I use a htpc connected to my pioneer elite receiver. I’m looking for a decent dac I can use for around the $150can price.

D10 or e30 ? I don’t really need anything with a amp just mostly dac only

If you are just looking for a dac, an earmen donald is pretty great if you only need usb (neutral cleaner but still engaging), and a topping e30 is pretty solid if you need optical or a remote (neutral smoother). The liquid spark dac is also good for a bit warmer more fun dac


I would go for E30.
The D10 is not wrong either if you are still trying to exchange an op amp.
If you’re looking for something old school without all the frills, the Cambridge Audio Dac magic 100 would be a good choice if you want something warm and lively in sound.


Is it worth buying one of these or is the one in my avr better ?

I think so yes, it would be an upgrade but it won’t transform a system or anything imo

Most likely, yes. But in order for it to be an upgrade you should run the receiver in direct stereo mode. If you don’t then the receiver will convert everything to digital, do signal processing, then send it through its own DAC again, negating any advantage you gain.

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I totally forgot to even put my receiver in direct mode, I just switch it to stereo :man_facepalming:t2: I’m still learning.