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  1. #1

    How to use IRiver's AK120(or AK100) as an external DAC in Windows 7 and other SPDIF devices

    Hi all,

    I recently bought an AK120 and am currently trying to figure out how to use it as an external DAC for my PC running windows 7 64 bit (Mac Book Pro running bootcamp).

    i) I can't get windows to recognise it as an available external DAC, When I connect the USB cable, the options I see on the AK120 is either to charge the battery or connect USB, so I choose the latter and wait for it to connect. It connects ok and can view the file system as normal. However, when I go into the sound settings in windows, the AK120 is not registered as a USB device as expected. The screen on the AK120 just says 'USB connected'.

    ii) I tried to test the digital optical input port and again this didn't seem to work. I was testing it using my Sony TV which has digital optical output. I connected them together and then expected to hear the audio through the connected headphones, but I couldn't hear anything.

    The following are the use cases that I would like to work:

    a) To enable to me to convert my vinyl to hi res digial audio:
    * connect AK120 to USB port on computer,
    * connect analog phono output from mixer to line-in on computer (I am not sure if this correct, would I need to connect it to the line-in on the AK120 instead?)

    b) Use AK120 as a second sound card for my computer so that I can perform digital DJ mixing with my computer
    * connect AK120 to USB port on computer
    * connect headphone socket to amplifier
    * use the headphone socket on the computer as the monitor

    c) Use the AK120 as an external DAC for other digital devices
    * connect the AK120 to device (e.g. TV) via the digital optical socket via SPDIF cable
    This should be able to work with my PS3 and my SKY+ box, both of which have digital optical links.

    I have tried to contact IRiver about the issues I'm having but they are next to useless, I have had no response from them at all, which means I have to resort to public bulletin boards instead.

    Thanks for any advice you may have,

    regards,

    Y.

    PS, I have also tried getting the AK120 recognised in Mac OSX Snow Leopard, but this also does not work.

  2. #2
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    12
    What firmware revision is your AK120 running? USB DAC capability was newly added in FW 1.21. Since AK120 does not support ADC, it cannot be used to digitize vinyl albums. In USB DAC mode, the AK120 shows in my Win7 PCs as a USB DAC playback device. When plugged into my PC, my AK120 offers 3 options: "CHARGE BATTERY", "CONNECT TO USB DAC" and "CONNECT REMOVABLE DISK".

  3. #3
    Thanks for that. I upgraded the firmware and now this works ok. And as for the ADC functionality, that's a bit of a drag. I am now on the hunt for another device that can support 24bit 96KHz A to D conversion, there are a few devices out there that only support 16bit/44.1, but I can tell the difference between that and MQS standard so those are no good for me.

  4. #4
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    12
    For A-to-D I have used an RME Babyface and an RME Fireface UFX. Both can digitize analog at up to 24/192 stereo.

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