While some might scoff at such a thought, for many of us, digital source is a way of life. I use my stereo for television and computing, truth be told I only have a handful of records and a SL-1200 with no phono amp at the moment.
I am not that sophisticated, basically my whole collection is FLAC sourced from the www.
Sometimes I look at buying a "better" DAC, but it's such a crap shoot when you can't hear them first. It wouldn't be so bad to gamble for a couple hunder bucks, but the "good" DACs are much much more. I'm sure some of them are shit for the money.
Currently I'm using a little external Audioengine D1 Dac. It's OK, maybe sounds a little brown.
Before that I was using an Asus card. I might have preferred it slightly better, as it had a little more sizzle on the top end, if a little unnatural. (The Audio engine sounds a little more organic.)
The Asus card had too many problems with drivers etc. Basically that fucker would let out a loud BANG sound about every three weeks. I forget the details of the exact explanation, but my nerves were shot, I couldn't handle that anymore. (Something about a relay coming unlatched too early when "waking" the DAC up after a period of inactivity.)
Which brings me to my point, that I would like to have a DAC that doesn't have a "sound", for all intents and purposes. These ladder DACs seem to be well received.
I am not necessarily unhappy with the Audioengine, actually for the money it makes my system sounds really good. It's the best I have heard anywhere, but then again I don't get out much.
So I will have to do a little more research on the subject. If I feel I can design or build a nice DAC kit for a fraction of the price of a really good multi thousand dollar DAC, I might just go for it.
Not that I want to divert my attention from my horn project, I'll admit I am curious. The horns are going to take some time, so I might be able to squeeze this in if it proves feasible.