DAC vs Mac?

With some extra parts around the house I have assembled a nice little 2.0 system in my home office.

I’m running audio from a MacBook Pro to a Polk Omni A1 (and vinyl). Using Tidal with HiFi subscription which has Masters quality. Polk Tsi 220 bookshelves.

Question: Will a quality DAC be a noticeable improvement? Are the speakers good enough to use with masters quality recordings?

Thanks for the input!
AVR: Marantz SR 5011
L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
R: Def Tech
Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
DVD: Oppo UDP 203
TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D

Comments

  • audioluvraudioluvr Posts: 2,390
    Probably not but don't let that stop you from enjoying what you have.
    One foot on audio nirvana and the other in the poor house.
  • KingkwasKingkwas Posts: 81
    What if I switch out for a pair of TSC 550 towers?
    AVR: Marantz SR 5011
    L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
    C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
    R: Def Tech
    Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
    DVD: Oppo UDP 203
    TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 8,310
    Kingkwas wrote: »
    Question: Will a quality DAC be a noticeable improvement?!

    Yes. Try an Audioquest Dragonfly.
  • msgmsg Posts: 5,763
    To take that little system to the next level, maybe a Schiit Modi 3 DAC and a small sub.
    I disabled signatures.
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 6,597
    The short answer is yes, an external DAC will definitely help, but given the speakers I wouldn’t go too crazy. You can get a very respectable DAC from a few years ago for under $200. Either of the two mentioned are solid, but if you want to step it up a bit look for a peachtree DAC-itx or an arcam rdac or even an ifi nano idsd. All offer significant improvements in resolution and detail over the dragonfly. I haven’t had to opportunity to listen to any schiit...
    Living Room 2.1: Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkii; Martin Logan Grotto sub; Musical Fidelity A308; Cambridge Azur 851N
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Definitive Technology SM350; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology Procinema 800; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45; ACI Titan Subwoofer; Squeezebox Touch
  • KingkwasKingkwas Posts: 81
    Thanks for the input. I have a pair of Polk LSiMs 703s bookshelves that someday I'll replace with towers for my main HT setup. So they'll get put somewhere else in the house.

    So to future proof a DAC purchase.... Would the 703s benefit more than the TSx 220s? Are the 703s high quality enough to benefit?

    AVR: Marantz SR 5011
    L/ R: Polk Audio 703 LSiM (Bi Amp'd)
    C: Polk Audio 255c - LS
    R: Def Tech
    Sub: PSW 505 (12 inch)
    DVD: Oppo UDP 203
    TV: 2016 Sony XBR 75X850D
  • msgmsg Posts: 5,763
    edited June 16
    Kingkwas wrote: »
    What if I switch out for a pair of TSC 550 towers?
    Do you mean TSx 550 speakers?

    The 703s should be better resolving than the TSi speakers. I did a comparison a few years back with 703s, S20s, and Monitor 60s. Each was noticeably more revealing than the previous as we moved up the lines. It was not difficult to hear the differences.

    That's a good question, though - whether the TSi 200s will present the DAC's benefits.

    Try that Omni A1 with your 703s. Polk shows it paired with them in a product photo.

    You have a lot of options here. I'd say experiment a bit with what you've got in house, and then determine how far you want to go, what kind of placement options you have to work with, and how good you want the system to be.

    I think if you're sitting at a desk, you're potentially facing a great opportunity to build a sweet little near field setup, which can immerse you in the music better than larger room systems in many cases, and with better imaging, depending on the build, of course. The point is, you may be able to get more for less if you're going desktop and near field.

    One of my favorite systems is Audioengine HD3s (tiny), Sunfire SDS-8 sub, and Schiit Modi 3. Currently the Modi 3 is parked, as I'm using a piCorePlayer streamer with HiFiBerry DAC connected directly to the RCA ins on the HD3 powered monitors, with RCA out to the sub L/R in. That little system still impresses me greatly.
    Post edited by msg on
    I disabled signatures.
  • PSOVLSKPSOVLSK Posts: 4,277
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Kingkwas wrote: »
    Question: Will a quality DAC be a noticeable improvement?!

    Yes. Try an Audioquest Dragonfly.

    I have no shame: https://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/190346/audioquest-dragonfly#latest


    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.-John Wooden
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