Got a new DAC - connection advice please!


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Aug 10, 2019
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Im currently changing my setup one piece at a time and have started with purchasing a Bel Canto DAC 2.5. Im going to use this primarily for my Mac running lossless files, in addition to Bluray, Set top box, PS3.

Now my question is - will I notice much difference between using the USB input (wired direct from iMac) or the Optical (via airport express). I notice the DAC can accept 24/192 via some connections, but believe USB is capable upto 24/92 only. How exactly will this affect me?!?



Just standard CDs ripped into Apple Lossless. I will most likely explore some hiher res material over the coming months. I guess the USB link would be fine then?

Also, do I just buy a standard printer USB cable?!?

the record spot

Bog standard USB 2.0 cable will be fine. I've used one for our printer on our DAC and it's fine as well as a 5m Belkin cable. If you're using standard WAV files (i.e. CD quality), then you'll be fine. If you're looking at higher resolution stuff, try optical as USB can't achieve a higher resolution yet. Likewise, if you're planning to play SACDs through your DAC, forget it as there aren't any on the market that'll handle those files either. Try the coax connection too if it has one - Fisula do a great little coaxial cable for about £4 off Amazon in the UK. Terrific performance/VFM and far better than you're probably thinking it is for the money!


If it isn't a major problem I would use optical. Or ask the manufacturer which connection is best (DACs are often optimised for one particular output). Optical is the only connection that will not be connected electrically to your computer...and all the "potential" noise. Get a cheap amazon/ebay optical cable and Bob is your proverbial uncle.