• RMAF 2008 News: Bel Canto DAC 3 24/96 via USB

    The show hasn't even started and I have some very good news. I just listened to the Bel Canto DAC3 play 24/96 tracks via USB in their native high resolution. Read more for a shot of Audio Midi Setup with the DAC connected to my MacBook Air.


     

     


    Bel Canto 2496
    click to enlarge


     
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Hi Darren - This is definitely new!
    1. DanRubin's Avatar
      DanRubin -
      Definitely have to check this out tomorrow. The thing is, if I may be so bold, the USB input on the DAC3 just isn't as good as it should be (my opinion). So I wonder if this change is just to enable the higher rez files or if they have also reworked the USB section.
    1. audioengr's Avatar
      audioengr -
      It's not just 24/96 support, its audio quality. BelCanto has licensed the CEntrance USB firmware, just like Empirical Audio, Benchmark and PSAudio. I expect this USB interface to sound much better than the first one which was based on the PCM270X part. USB has gotten a bad name due to this part being used on so much high-end gear. Bad choice IMO. There are still quite a few devices with this chip in them, including I believe a Bryston and an Audio Research. They will all probably eventually change to some thing else, just like BelCanto did. Smart move IMO. The new version of iRoc at GR-research room 2015 also has CEntrance firmware running on a USB interface module designed by Empirical Audio.<br />
      <br />
      Steve N.
    1. DanRubin's Avatar
      DanRubin -
      Thanks Steve. I hope they'll offer this as an upgrade on current DAC3's.
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      If I remember I will ask John Stronczer the founder & Chief of Design at Bel Canto. We're going out to dinner tomorrow with a few other people as well.<br />
      <br />
      Last year at CES I was told there would be an upgrade / add-on type thing, but I haven't heard if this is the case now.
    1. DanRubin's Avatar
      DanRubin -
      So the deal is this: they are going to offer an external box that converts USB to S/PDIF, similar to the Hagerman (or Steve's Offramps) but I assume much better (than the Hagerman). So you will just forget about the USB input on the DAC3 and go with one of the two SP inputs. Not ideal (and not async) but a step in the right direction. Expect the box to come in around $500.
    1. audioengr's Avatar
      audioengr -
      Dan - I thought that maybe John had changed his mind and integrated it into a new version of his DAC3. He did previously tell me that he would have an outboard device powered from the USB cable and using the TAS1020. I'm quite certain the even with USB power, it will crush the other cheap USB converters. A nice upgrade.<br />
      <br />
      Steve N.<br />
      Empirical Audio
    1. mpmct's Avatar
      mpmct -
      Mark at Bel Canto said today ...<br />
      <br />
      There will be no 'new' DAC3 in foreseeable future.<br />
      The USB 24/96 box upgrade is $495 msrp, shipping in a matter of days.<br />
      The box is approximately 3x2x1 inches, cable: USB to box to SPDIF, with<br />
      optional BNC connector on the SPDIF end. I think I have all that straight,<br />
      but no guarantees.<br />
      <br />
      <br />
    1. usblues's Avatar
      usblues -
      Hey Chris,just going over this article and having this unit would like to score the upgrade.I thought I mailed BC about a month ago and got no new news.Have you heard anything?Thanks,Bob
    1. The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
      The Computer Audiophile -
      Not sure if you read my article that touched on the USB Link but here is a link to the post http://www.computeraudiophile.com/Sonic-Studio-Amarra-Model-304-Bel-Canto-USB-Link<br />
      <br />
      I have one of the units here right now, but I'm not sure about the availability etc... I'll see what I can find out.