New to all of this > Should I get a different external DAC, in your opinion?


Feb 14, 2023

I've just put together a stereo system to stream music in our living room. I bought a used PS Audio Sprout (the older 50-watt model) and I refurbed an old pair of JBL L100T speakers.

Today, I'm going to order a Wiim Pro and a coax cable.

My question is whether or not I should order a new DAC. Here's the info on the DAC in the 1st edition of the PS Audio Sprout: "For DAC duties, the Sprout’s USB, coaxial and BT inputs are fed into a Wolfson WM8524 asynchronous chip, selected for its smooth analogue character and how well it works with the high-quality clocking mechanisms."

When I bluetooth into the Sprout, the music sounds good to me right now.

But I notice that the new Sprout 100 uses a different chip for the DAC. Would you recommend that I also order a separate, economical DAC like the Schiit Modi+ for example? Or would you stick with the DAC that I have that's built into the Sprout?
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You will definitely get a boost with an external DAC. I have a Schiit Modi 3E. It was like changing the cartridge on a turntable in sound difference. Huge improvement over the built in Burr Brown chip.

I’ve also tried a Topping D90SE with a noticeable change as well. But, the Burr Brown is no slouch. It is very good, so give it a try. But if an external DAC is the next step, get comfortable with the WiiM and start researching DAC’s that fit what you want to do.

Another point, quality optical cables also do matter when using an external DAC!
I always work on the principle of changing one part of the system at a time. The biggest upgrade is moving from bluetooth to coaxial in to the Sprout via the WIIM pro. The dac in the Sprout is rated from what I see to be able to decode to 24/192 via its coaxial connection. From what I understand the Sprout routes its bluetooth signal via its internal dac for sound quality purposes, and you have said you liked this sound. Using the WIIM pro as a source through the same dac/amp/speaker path would seem a good bet to improve things. You can always add in another dac if you wish later on, for whatever reason.