Hi, I currently get by with an old Apple Airport Extreme to get 3.5 jack to RCA input. It clearly has a DAC inbuilt but I’m wanting to leave that behind to just look after network printing. Is there a wifi DAC out there for about £200-£300 that would fit the bill? I’m not against eBay for used but not sure what I should be looking for. Also a simple search seems to suggest big boxes at big money or the little iFi units that don’t please my eye at all. Sorry if this has been asked before but searching the forum seems to lead to nDAC which is way out of my league.
You don’t get a wifi DAC - that would be a streamer (comprises a “renderer”, aka “transport” that runs library/playing software, gets the streamed digital file from the online provider via your internet collection or gets the file from your own storage, then converts it into a real time digital music data stream that is passed to the (in this case internal) DAC. So it seems you are seeking a streamer (unless I’ve misunderstood?) Alternatively a cable connection to feed the rendered digital music data stream from whatever is currently producing it to an external DAC, which could typically be by S/PDIF, optical or USB.
Ah, I see, yes you’re right with what I’m trying to achieve, and wirelessly, hence the idea that it could go via the wifi network, as it does currently via the Airport Express (my mistake above the Extreme doesn’t have the 3.5 Jack out) It must just be an Apple thing that the AirPort had a DAC in it. Thank you for the clarification.
There are a lot of products out there at any price you can think of. If you’re happy to use the AirPort Express but want better sound quality you can use its optical output to connect to a DAC.
Yes, but no optical in on the amp. I’ve opted for a cheap secondhand Arcam Airdac as, apparently, it will work ‘natively’ with AirPlay. We’ll see. The AirPort Express certainly has more presence than the turntable as things stand. Not sure why such a discrepancy between levels though.
So the AirPort Express is redundant with the Airdac, which has some streaming capabilities. The ‘discrepancy between levels’ might just be down to the fact that digital sources generally have a higher output that turntables. It’s a bit annoying, but that’s the way it’s always been since the advent of CD.