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  1. #1
    Ph.D. Level Member Paul R's Avatar
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    Peachtree Audio X1 vs NuForce 192S USB 2 S/PDIF Convertors

    Wow - two pretty new USB to S/PDIF converters on the market, one at an astonishing price, the other at a very good price.

    The NuForce U192S USB S/PDIF convertor is Async, buss powered, supports all the common sample rates(44.1, 48,, 882. 96, 176.4, 192) and - costs $100.

    The Peachtree X1 is the same, and costs $199.

    Anyone heard these side by side or have any thoughts on them? The NuForce, despite the incorrect documentation, does support 88.2K, has Async input, and has two clocks for the two frequency families. I do not know if the U192S is galvanically isolated on the 75ohm connection or not, but the Peachtree is.

    -Paul
    Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.
    Robert A. Heinlein

  2. #2
    Ph.D. Level Member Paul R's Avatar
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    Bump bump? Anyone?
    Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.
    Robert A. Heinlein

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.Raulerson View Post
    Bump bump? Anyone?
    Haven't heard either. I'd be surprised if they brought anything earth shaking to the proceedings. There is only so much you are going to accomplish with a low cost device such as these. To be honest I'm a bit puzzled as to the customer these are all targeted at. Must be the mobile (but not too mobile) crowd? I mean, I hear how they (not these particular ones) can help a MacBook but what is a customer then outputting these into? Are they for headphone users? Certainly not a high end system with a seperate pre amp / power amp and with lower cost integrateds coming with digital inputs that sound good I just don't quite see the market. Maybe it's just advertising for some of these companies to get their name back out in front of people or something so folks will then look at the rest of their line.

    At any rate, color me puzzled and quite honestly curious as to need that is (?) out there.
    David

  4. #4
    Tone Junkie AudioDoctor's Avatar
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    Paul, I had a conversation with Jon Derda of Peachtree when he was out here a month ago or so and he said that the X-1 USB to SPDIF is the same unit as the new X1 USB input in the Grand Series.
    Enjoying the music...

  5. #5
    Ph.D. Level Member Paul R's Avatar
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    The Peachtree is marketed as a way to bring 24/192K to Peachtree Dacs issued before mid 2012, which only had 96k USB ports. The NuForce, I am not so sure, but I think it is targeted for headphone amp users.

    The few folks I know who have them are raving about them, but kinda like you, I can't see what all the excitement is about. I have a Peachtree DAC*IT with a blown USB port on it, which is why I noticed these units. Peachtree is going to fix the DAC for me (in fact, they are replacing it - talk about great customer service!!!) so it is not really an issue for me, but I am quite curious.

    The USB inputs on the DAC*IT and PeachTree DAC are definitely inferior to the S/PDIF inputs. Might be worth spending a few bucks to experiment.

    -Paul


    Quote Originally Posted by realhifi View Post
    Haven't heard either. I'd be surprised if they brought anything earth shaking to the proceedings. There is only so much you are going to accomplish with a low cost device such as these. To be honest I'm a bit puzzled as to the customer these are all targeted at. Must be the mobile (but not too mobile) crowd? I mean, I hear how they (not these particular ones) can help a MacBook but what is a customer then outputting these into? Are they for headphone users? Certainly not a high end system with a seperate pre amp / power amp and with lower cost integrateds coming with digital inputs that sound good I just don't quite see the market. Maybe it's just advertising for some of these companies to get their name back out in front of people or something so folks will then look at the rest of their line.

    At any rate, color me puzzled and quite honestly curious as to need that is (?) out there.
    Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.
    Robert A. Heinlein

  6. #6
    Ph.D. Level Member Paul R's Avatar
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    Seriously? That's a really good converter then - at what looks like a bargain basement price...

    Quote Originally Posted by AudioDoctor View Post
    Paul, I had a conversation with Jon Derda of Peachtree when he was out here a month ago or so and he said that the X-1 USB to SPDIF is the same unit as the new X1 USB input in the Grand Series.
    Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.
    Robert A. Heinlein

  7. #7
    Bitter jaded dream-crusher wgscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by realhifi View Post
    Haven't heard either. I'd be surprised if they brought anything earth shaking to the proceedings. There is only so much you are going to accomplish with a low cost device such as these. To be honest I'm a bit puzzled as to the customer these are all targeted at. Must be the mobile (but not too mobile) crowd? I mean, I hear how they (not these particular ones) can help a MacBook but what is a customer then outputting these into? Are they for headphone users? Certainly not a high end system with a seperate pre amp / power amp and with lower cost integrateds coming with digital inputs that sound good I just don't quite see the market. Maybe it's just advertising for some of these companies to get their name back out in front of people or something so folks will then look at the rest of their line.

    At any rate, color me puzzled and quite honestly curious as to need that is (?) out there.
    For people like me, the $200 to upgrade my Peachtree Nova would be worth it. I in fact shelled out $500 for a Halide Bridge a couple of years ago to do this, so this is a bargain. Given Nuforce's reputation, I imagine theirs is as good a deal.

    Many of these devices have very high markup, in part because of the niche market. So lower price does not necessarily mean lower quality parts.

  8. #8
    Tone Junkie AudioDoctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.Raulerson View Post
    Seriously? That's a really good converter then - at what looks like a bargain basement price...
    Yep, seriously. We were talking about the changes in the Grand Pre brought on by the switch to XMOS and he offered to send me an X-1 USB-SPDIF converter so I could hear the difference for myself. He stated it was the same as the new unit inside the Grand Pre X1.
    Enjoying the music...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    For people like me, the $200 to upgrade my Peachtree Nova would be worth it. I in fact shelled out $500 for a Halide Bridge a couple of years ago to do this, so this is a bargain. Given Nuforce's reputation, I imagine theirs is as good a deal.

    Many of these devices have very high markup, in part because of the niche market. So lower price does not necessarily mean lower quality parts.
    There you go. Now I see the market a little better. Is the Halide not sounding good anymore?
    David

  10. #10
    Disruptive Audio_ELF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by realhifi View Post
    There you go. Now I see the market a little better. Is the Halide not sounding good any more?
    I would say Bill isn't saying the Halide Bridge no longer sounds good, but there are other options at a lower cost now. Also I assume the X1 will do 24/192 which the Halide Bridge doesn't.
    Eloise
    ---
    ...in my opinion / experience...
    While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.
    And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.
    keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

  11. #11
    Ph.D. Level Member Paul R's Avatar
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    I could not resist, I ordered the Peachtree Audio X1 to use with the replacement Peachtree DAC*IT. Jason's information about it being the same input as in the Grand (a device I would love to own but refuse to pay for... I am cheap!) tweaked my curiosity enough to push me over the edge and make me want to hear them.

    I plan to use the Peachtree DAC*IT with a Mac with 24/192K material. I am also curious about the Asynch firmware they are using - is it Streamlength, dCS, or yet another variety?

    In any event, I shall have my paws on one tomorrow and can play around a bit this weekend. That's going to be a lot of fun!

    I'm posting the marketing blah blah and link below just in case anyone else is interested in it.
    TINAR.

    -Paul
    ----------------
    Name:  x1-2.jpg
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Size:  6.3 KB $199 PeachTree Audio X1

    X1 Specifications


    • Resolution: 16/44.1,16/48,
      24/88, 24/96, 24/176, 24/192
    • USB 2.0 Type B Input: Asynchronous up to 24/192
    • Optical Output: Up to 24/96
    • Coax Output: Up to 24/192
    • Output Impedance: 75 Ω
    • Compatible Operating Systems: Mac OS X 10.6.4 and newer, Windows XP and newer
    • Dimensions: 3.35 x 2.17 x 0.79 inches; 85 x 55 x 20 mm
    • Weight: 4.06 oz; 115 grams
    • Warranty: 2 Years Parts and Labor




    High Resolution

    The Peachtree Audio X1 lets you fully enjoy the highest-resolution digital music available – all the way to 24/192 – and includes native support for the popular 88.2 and 176.4 sampling rates. USB inputs on many DACs don’t support resolution beyond 16-bit/48kHz. The X1 USB to SPDIF converter interfaces your computer’s USB port with your DAC’s coax or optical SPDIF input and provides an easy upgrade for your USB DAC.
    Asynchronous USB

    Asynchronous communication keeps digital distortion – timing errors known as jitter – at bay by not relying on the audio clock in the computer. This internal clock can get thrown off time by the thousands of processes running in your operating system’s background. With asynchronous USB, the precision audio clock in the X1 takes control of the flow of data coming from the computer, resulting in significantly lower incoming jitter and superior sound quality. Asynchronous benefits all of your digital music files – from MP3 to 24/192 high-res. If you don’t have an ESS Sabre based DAC, we highly recommend using asynchronous USB.
    Bit-perfect feed into your DAC up to 24/192

    The X1 uses two crystals for accurate playback of the various sampling rates of your digital files with native support for 16-bit and 24-bit: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192 kHz. Many USB inputs on DACs rely on a single crystal with native support for one sampling rate multiple. Using one crystal per sampling rate “family” results in superior timing and clearer sound than single crystal solutions.
    Transformer coupled digital output

    Computers are prime sources of electrical noise. Electrical noise can be an audio intrusion that you can’t hear directly which can mask fine details and distort the tone of music. A pulse transformer on the coax output isolates electrical noise so only the pure digital bitstream is fed to your DAC for noticeably quieter backgrounds. The optical connection is inherently isolated from electrical noise. Whenever possible, we recommend using the coaxial digital output for the best sound and for its superior bandwidth when dealing with sampling rates above 96kHz.
    USB Class 2.0 Compliant

    The X1 is USB Class 2.0 compliant making it plug-and-play on the Mac OS X operating system.For Windows (Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8) a small easy-to-install driver is needed to unlock 24/192. Download WIndows Driver Now.
    USB Bus-Powered

    The X1 is powered by your computer’s USB port. No awkward wall wart power supply needed.
    Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.
    Robert A. Heinlein

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Audio_ELF View Post
    I would say Bill isn't saying the Halide Bridge no longer sounds good, but there are other options at a lower cost now. Also I assume the X1 will do 24/192 which the Halide Bridge doesn't.
    *s* well thanks for the clarification on Bill's post to me.
    David

  13. #13
    Bitter jaded dream-crusher wgscott's Avatar
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    Resolution: 16/44.1,16/48,
    24/88, 24/96, 24/176, 24/192
    Can it really not do 24/44.1 and 24/48? If so, that would suck.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
    ― Isaac Asimov

  14. #14
    Ph.D. Level Member Paul R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
    Can it really not do 24/44.1 and 24/48? If so, that would suck.
    It does 24/44.1 and 24/48 just fine.
    -Paul
    Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.
    Robert A. Heinlein

  15. #15
    Ph.D. Level Member Paul R's Avatar
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    This little bugger is small! The case is enclosed in some sort of soft touch material, with a small rubberized rectangle of material on the bottom that keeps it from slipping around.

    Worked out of the box under MacOS. Under Windows - well - that took a bit of effort. Peachtree ships their branded Thesycon USB Audio 2.0 drivers on a tiny little 3" or so CD. No way that would work in a Mac optical drive! In fact, it doesn't work in the PC optical drives I have around here either.

    I got wise and slipped over to the Peachtree website and downloaded the drivers. Unipped the drivers, ran Setup and 28 seconds later.... I was looking at screen that told me the installation failed. Didn't tell me *why* the installation failed, just that it *did* fail. It politely asked me to try again.

    After trying the normal stuff, as in rebooting the Windows machine, rebooting after deleting the device, and other similar normal Windows activities, I decided to install the drivers from the device manager, which politely told me I had no access to the drivers. Huh?

    Went back and looked a little closer - darned if the silly drivers were not showing up in GREEN text on the screen. I knew what that meant and how to handle it, but for those of you who have not yet ran into this- the files were encrypted on disk. The simple fix is to right click on the top folder, click on the "General" tab, then the "Advanced" button on that page. Under there, you ca;; Windows to not encrypt the files, and the filenames will turn black on the screen.

    Clicked on the Setup application icon, and yes, 28 seconds later, I had a properly installed device. (*sigh*)

    Have only been listening a couple hours, but it definitely sounds different - better staging perhaps? Will have to listen quite a bit before coming to any real decisions on how it really sounds.

    It's currently plugged into a new PeachTree DAC*IT replacing my old one that developed a sick USB port. Plays everything I have through at so far, from 44.1L to 192K and all the intermediate sample rates in between.

    Pictures below...

    photo-4.jpg
    Comes in a classy box. Once you take the Apple like outer part of the box off, it reminds me of a jewelry box. Inside the box, things are well packed and well thought out...

    photo-3.jpg

    A very small manual and a teeny weeny CD with the drivers is included. What's up with that tiny CD thing, huh?
    photo-2.jpg

    The Peachtree X1 is *small*. That's my big old paw in the photo, and you can see that it is barely as long as my fingers!

    photo-1.jpg

    Coax and Optical outputs...

    photo.jpg

    And a single USB input with two small unobtrusive LEDs.

    That's it! Out of the box it sounds at least as good as a V-Link 192, and it may be significantly better to be honest.

    -Paul
    Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.
    Robert A. Heinlein

  16. #16

    Peachtree Audio X1 vs NuForce 192S USB 2 S/PDIF Convertors

    I have an m2tech hiface2 connected to my MacBook to an older becnchmark dac1 and it sounds great. Another great deal under 200.

  17. #17
    Tone Junkie AudioDoctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.Raulerson View Post
    This little bugger is small! The case is enclosed in some sort of soft touch material, with a small rubberized rectangle of material on the bottom that keeps it from slipping around.

    Worked out of the box under MacOS. Under Windows - well - that took a bit of effort. Peachtree ships their branded Thesycon USB Audio 2.0 drivers on a tiny little 3" or so CD. No way that would work in a Mac optical drive! In fact, it doesn't work in the PC optical drives I have around here either.

    I got wise and slipped over to the Peachtree website and downloaded the drivers. Unipped the drivers, ran Setup and 28 seconds later.... I was looking at screen that told me the installation failed. Didn't tell me *why* the installation failed, just that it *did* fail. It politely asked me to try again.

    After trying the normal stuff, as in rebooting the Windows machine, rebooting after deleting the device, and other similar normal Windows activities, I decided to install the drivers from the device manager, which politely told me I had no access to the drivers. Huh?

    Went back and looked a little closer - darned if the silly drivers were not showing up in GREEN text on the screen. I knew what that meant and how to handle it, but for those of you who have not yet ran into this- the files were encrypted on disk. The simple fix is to right click on the top folder, click on the "General" tab, then the "Advanced" button on that page. Under there, you ca;; Windows to not encrypt the files, and the filenames will turn black on the screen.

    Clicked on the Setup application icon, and yes, 28 seconds later, I had a properly installed device. (*sigh*)

    Have only been listening a couple hours, but it definitely sounds different - better staging perhaps? Will have to listen quite a bit before coming to any real decisions on how it really sounds.

    It's currently plugged into a new PeachTree DAC*IT replacing my old one that developed a sick USB port. Plays everything I have through at so far, from 44.1L to 192K and all the intermediate sample rates in between.

    Pictures below...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Comes in a classy box. Once you take the Apple like outer part of the box off, it reminds me of a jewelry box. Inside the box, things are well packed and well thought out...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    A very small manual and a teeny weeny CD with the drivers is included. What's up with that tiny CD thing, huh?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Peachtree X1 is *small*. That's my big old paw in the photo, and you can see that it is barely as long as my fingers!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Coax and Optical outputs...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And a single USB input with two small unobtrusive LEDs.

    That's it! Out of the box it sounds at least as good as a V-Link 192, and it may be significantly better to be honest.

    -Paul
    Looks great Paul!
    Enjoying the music...

  18. #18
    Any further impressions of the X1 or the VLink 192 around here?

  19. #19
    This Peachtree X1 looks and sounds from the specs a lot like the Matrix X-SPDIF. Could it be the same device rebadged? I have been considering the Yulong U18 as well as the Matrix and NuForce. According to one retailer who sells both the Yulong and Matrix, the U18 is the better, even though it's cheaper. Btw, the NuForce is more expensive in the UK than the US by the sounds of it.

  20. #20
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    For me the X1 was a great solution at a great price, just over $100. I have what most people here would probably call a low end system, but on a cops budget it sounds pretty good. I have a MacMini and a total of 4 TB of storage so all my music is saved as AIFF in its original format. The Mac Mini as everyone knows is only capable of 96/24 via its HDMI or Toslink, and now that I have an X1 to compare it too, a very noisy 96/24. Anyway, the Mac Mini is connected to a Denon AVR-X1100W with Bowers-Wilkins 685 S2 and a Def Tech super cube. The Denon from what I've found has a TI PCM1690 (Burr Brown?) Dac so I figured if I could just improve the quality of what was getting to it I would probably be at the limits of my system. I also looked at the reviews and specs of as many Dacs in my budget range and didn't think I could really improve on what was within the Denon without spending more then it cost to begin with. So the little X1 is connected to the Mac Mini via USB and Coaxial (audioquest cables) to the Denon. I use Audirvana Plus and could immediately hear the difference. I'm not sure if it's timing or just a clarity thing but the X1 certainly brings out the small nuances. I think I'm getting the best out of my equipment now and am very happy with the little X1.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.jpg  

  21. #21
    I realize this is an old thread, but I thought I'd post in case there are still people out there looking into an low cost USB to SPIDF converter.

    I've been using a Nuforce U192S for about 2 years to play music back from my Mac Mini to my main system, which utilizes a Denon 3808ci AVR as a pre/pro (I believe the Denon uses Burr Briwn PCM1691 DAC chipsets). It was a serious step up compared to running audio out over TOSLINK from the Mac into the Denon, noticeably better imaging and soundstage. (I use JRiver MC21 for playback, and with the U192S I have integer mode turned on.) Also, with the latest driver (as of June 2016), the U192S is compatible with El Capitan (something that I've read cannot be taken for granted). Finally, I really like the fact that the U192S displays the sample rate coming in. This is an excellent feature, one which few DACs have, yet alone converters!

    So far, however, I don't have a point of comparison against other USB to SPIDF converters. That will all change soon as yesterday I ordered a Peachtree X1 for use in a 2nd headfi system. With both of these two concerters, I plan to do some A/B testing in both systems, which should allow me not only to see if there are audible differences between the two but also whether they have different synergies with DACs. (My 2nd system uses a NuForce Icon HDP for headphone listening.) If there is interest, I'll post a follow up.

  22. #22
    I just did similar thing - were using m2tech HiFace for quite some years to drive my DAC, m2tech offers no El Capitan driver and finally dump it and replaced it by Peachtree X1.

    So far the sound quality is more or less the same between HiFace and X1, or maybe I got old ears...

  23. #23
    I got my Peachtree X1 and am using it in a different rig from the NuForce U192S. Haven't had the time yet to do a critical comparison between the two, so for the moment I'll keep my comments limited to features and useability.

    For a while I was having problems with the U192S getting dropped as a USB device by my Mac Mini running El Capitan. The only thing that would fix this was unplugging the U192S (to power it down) and then plugging it back in. However, NuForce put out an updated driver a few months ago, and since I installed it, I haven't had this problem. I may be the exception rather than the norm (just based in the number of comments out there bashing the U192S for not working cleanly), or it may just be that no one has commented on the U192S since the driver update. Either way, I'm perfectly happy with the device running the new driver. One thing I particularly like about it is that it displays the sample rate of the signal it is passing.

    The Peachtree perfectly great out of the box. Unlike the NuForce it does not display the sample rate, but it does have an LED that changes color depending on whether or not it sees a signal. (The NuForce continues to show the sample rate of whatever was the last signal it saw, so there is no way to know if it sees a signal other than to infer based on whether or not there is sound coming out of the speakers).

    Both devices have SPIDF and TOSLINK outputs, one of each. The NuForce is a bit smaller. I consider both of them to be very useable (I wouldn't have said this about the NuForce before the driver update.)

    Finally, I haven't had reason to contact either company's tech support, but others have said that NuForce is hard to reach in regards to problems they have experienced with the U192S. I own another NuForce device (an Icon HDP headphone DAC/amp combo), and I had no trouble reaching NuForce customer service via email when this device experienced a problem. The device was out of warranty, but they offered me a reasonable price to have the device fixed, issued me an RMA, and sent me back a device in perfect working condition. It's unfortunate that others haven't had the same experience dealing with NuForce as I have.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  24. #24
    Nice to know both your U192S and X1 work fine. I use X1 to connect to CA 840C which happens to have sampling rate display so it does not bother me about the X1 without display.

    I seriously avoid any async USB sound gadgets that require OS X driver - just too hard for small vendors to write a decent driver update every year to match new Apple OS X requirement. The tragedy of M2tech is simply too unbearable.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by slowmotion View Post
    I seriously avoid any async USB sound gadgets that require OS X driver - just too hard for small vendors to write a decent driver update every year to match new Apple OS X requirement. The tragedy of M2tech is simply too unbearable.
    Yeah, I agree. We'll have to see what happens with the next OS update. If the NuForce gets buggy again, I may have to ditch it. It would be a shame, though. I do like it (now that it's got a working driver), and for 49 it's a great deal. Heck, I'd pay that just to have a sample rate display!