• Musical Fidelity X-CANv8 USB DAC Information

    I was recently tipped off that there is some USB information in the latest Musical Fidelity X-Canv8 manual. Some of our readers have already mentioned information similar to this, but it is solid info and not readily apparent to many audiophiles. The new X-Canv8 is a headphone amp with USB input as well as analog in/output. I find it rather weird that the "word" DAC is only mentioned once in the manual, only under the software configuration paragraph for OS X. It really seems like Musical Fidelity is keeping the DAC part of this unit under wraps and not advertising the capability. MF doesn't even say what DAC is inside or if it does or doesn't do 24/96 (doubtful). If you're looking for a new headphone amp with a built-in USB DAC this might be an option for you, but I can't recommend it with such limited information. Read more for some good USB suggestions and information.





    From Musical Fidelity X-Canv8 Manual

    Computer setup for input USB input

    A good quality USB A to B cable is required to connect the unit to the computer (not supplied). Plug the B (square) end into the socket in the back of the X-CAN V8 Plug the A (rectangle) end into a free USB socket on the computer. The computer should detect the new hardware and install a generic driver automatically (No setup or driver disk required). CD, MP3, WAV files played on any software should now play through the X-CAN V8. This device has been designed to work with PC Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP as well as Apple Macintosh OS X.

    Please note:
    This device is a high speed serial data processor, and by its nature, requires a very high volume of USB bandwidth. It will benefit greatly from being the only device connected on its USB ‘bus’. Sharing the same bus with other devices may cause unwanted artifacts such as dropouts or temporary loss of signal. This especially includes the use of the X-CAN V8 on a USB hub/splitter alongside other USB components.


    Problem:
    Dropouts in sound (USB input) Shared USB port with another device

    Possible Cause:
    Computer busy with another application or Computer low on resources

    Solution:
    Avoid sharing the USB port with other devices, if possible. At times an application (program) may intervene, sometimes invisibly e.g. a virus scanner. When this happens, computer resources are temporarily used up, and playback may suffer. This is not a fault. Try running fewer applications if possible.
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      I've looked at the X-DACv8 before, but I'm a little skeptical on the 24/192 upsampling. This may make the unit sound spectacular, but I'd need more details.<br />
      <br />
      Thanks for posting the info.<br />
      <br />
      <br />
      <a href="http://www.musicalfidelity.com">Musical Fidelity</a>
    1. carlseibert's Avatar
      carlseibert -
      I don't see any SPDIF or optical inputs. There are several products out now that are USB-input-only. Somehow that strikes me as rather odd.<br />
      <br />
      I like that it has two headphone jacks.<br />
      <br />
      Any idea what the price is/will be?<br />
      <br />
      I have an xDACv8. It performs exceptionally well for its price. It sounds very nice indeed. It does SPDIF to 96/24, but its USB input only goes to 48 KHz. No optical input.<br />
      <br />
      -Carl<br />
      <br />
      <br />
      <br />
      <br />
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hey Carl - I've actually talked to a few manufacturers who would exclude all inputs except USB if they could. I think this is a trend that will continue.<br />
      <br />
      The UK price for the X-CANv8 is £349 GBP, but I don't think the US price can be determined by just a simple exchange rate conversion. <br />
      <br />
      There are very few USB DACs that will do 24/96 on the USB input. Benchmark, Wavelength and Empirical are the ones that come to mind.