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Found 9 results

  1. Newbie Dave here. I just finished building my own rig. ASRock FM2A88m Extreme 4+ MB, 16 GB Ram, 128 SSD, W10. Works fine! No audiocard. There is an external SPDIF port on back! I want to buy a pair of Behringer MS20 speakers. (I currently have no speakers at all and use earplugs). The Behringer MS20 speakers have their own 24/192 DAC built in and they have a SPDIF input on back. If I use an SPDIF cable from output on computer to input on speakers will this bypass my computer DAC entirely! I've heard that computer DACs are very cheap 16/44 specs I think! I hope I explained this OK. DACs confuse the heck out of me! Tks for any help - David
  2. They seem to have disappeared from the market and discussion lately, eg V-Link discontinued. Are the newer DAC's so sophisticated that they are unneeded?
  3. In the past 12 months, I had a chance to do some extensive comparisions between various, traditional CD transports and the USB/SPDIF converter. (For those who, for the past three years have been sitting in a cave and do not know what an USB/SPDIF converter is - this ia a device, a bridge that connects between the DAC and a computer, and allows to play music from the hard drive.) All the transports I tried, from my dCS Scarlatti to the McIntosh MCD-1000, could easily aspire to the State-of-the-Art status and are top of the range models from the respective manufacturers. So is the USB/SPDIF converter I used to evaluate the transports - the BADA Alpha USB I've been using, is, to the best of my knowledge, the best USB/SPDIF converter available on the market today. (I base my statement on the extensive tests of some 15+ different USB converters I also conducted in the past 12 months - I can describe the results in a separate thread if anyone is interested). Anyway, the transports I have tried were: $33k dCS Scarlatti Transport: $20k Accuphase DP-800: $9k McIntosh MCD-1000: And here is the $1800 BADA Alpha USB (on top of the Metrum Hex DAC): I have also tried some other transports as well, starting with a $700 Stello CDT100, but those were much cheaper, so are not really revelent to this thread. All the transports, including the BADA Alpha USB, were connected to my dCS Scarlatti DAC using the generic BNC cable. I'm a firm believer in BNC cables, as in my experience, even a cheap, $10 generic BNC cable can outperform fancy RCA and AES cables costing hundreds of dollars. The only exception was the McIntosh MCD-1000, which was used with the Stealth Varidig Sextet AES/EBU digital cable, as it lacks the BNC output. During the tests, I have also tried the matching Accuphase DC-801 and McIntosh MDA-1000 DACs. In the case of dCS and Accuphase DACs, I did not use the available clock link feature (which greatly improves the sonics in all-dCS and all-Accuphase systems) as I was interested in comparing the pure SPDIF performance of all transports, not learning that SPDIF as a standard is flawed, which I have ackowledged a long time ago. The test was as fascinating, as it was ... short. The BADA Alpha USB turned out to be much better than all of those transports mentioned. There was even no need to switch back and forth as we often do to hear the differencies. The difference was so obvious, that you could hear it in the first 10s of a familiar recording (I recommend a recordings with lots of HF energy, like lots of percussive instruments - triangles, hi-hats etc and a lively acustics; pesonally, when comparing different digital cables, digital transports, USB converters or computers, I always use 'La Spagna' by Atrium Musicæ de Madrid and Gregorio Paniagua published by BIS records - a fabulous recording of XV century music; there is also one by Harmonia Mundi, but I like the BIS one better). The BADA Alpha USB made the sound smoother, with ZERO artificial edge, grain or digital glare. There was also much better layering of instruments, and air around the outlines. The instruments sounded not only better separated in space, but also much more 3-dimensional. The resolution also improved quite a bit. You could hear the sounds that you were not aware are on the recording, the HF decays had much longer trails and hung in space much longer. The most fascinating thing was that sound had better resolution, but at the same time, was so much smoother and fluid. Usually, it is another way round. Very often we try a new component or a cable and at first are fascinated by improved resolution, only to find out a few days later (after we had X-rayed all our recordings), that the increased resolution brings listener fatigue and makes the listening far less enjoyable. Not this time. BADA pulls this incredible trick of sounding both more resolute, more transparent, and much smoother at the same time. The traditional transports sounded grainy and congested at the same time. The whole rendition of space just shrunk, as if someone sucked out all air. Once I have heard the BADA, there was no going back. One may ask - how it is possible that a $1800 device can outperform a $33k transport ? For starters, the USB converter much cheaper to manufacture, as it doesn't have an expensive (in case of Scarlatti - EXTREMELY expensive @ $5000) CD drive, fancy box, big PSU with separate legs for the drive, display, servo, control logic and SPDIF out, etc. Since it is so small and has no controls, it can get away whit what looks like a $100 box that can be hidden away. On performance side, I think it all goes down to the quality of the onboard clocks used (and their respective power supplies). The clock stability has a direct influence on the quality of the SPDIF signal, as the whole SPDIF signal is generated using clock as a reference. So more stable clock = more stable (less jittery) SPDIF signal. All the transports I mentioned use clocks that were available 7-8 years ago, when those transports were designed. They were probably one of the best avalable at the time, but are rather avg by today's standards - there was a great advancement in clock art (with respect to their phase noise) in the past 3 years. The latest Ultra Low Phase Noise clocks that are used in BADA Alpha USB (made by Crystek), have the levels of phase noise that rival the ultra expensive Rubidium Clocks. Sure they do not have the long time accuracy of the Rubidium Clocks (the PPM figure), but that doesn't really matter, as what is important in digital audio is the short term clock stability (the level of Phase Noise). Were does this leaves us ? Well, the dCS owners do not really have to worry, as enabling the clock link feature between the transport and a DAC (during the course of this test I kept the clock link feature disconented to level the playing field) will improve its performance. The Scarlatti clock may not be enough to get past the performance offered by the BADA (the U-Clock shurely wasn't), but the Antelope 10M Rubidium Clock is. Scarlatti transport driven by Antelope 10M clock (and needed Antelope OCX clock divider) still gave me the best sound I have ever heard from my Scarlatti system. Not to mention the fact, that it does SACD as well. But for the rest of you, who DO mind spending $50k for the transport, clocks and cables, this is a great news. Nowaydays for ~$5000 (BADA Alpha USB + CAPS v3 Lagoon computer + NAS) you can have a State-of-the-Art digital transport, that will rival most super expensive CD spinners.
  4. Hello everyone, I just joined the forum and appreciate all the information on this website. I am researching a problem that I was hoping you could help with. I have a laptop driving a 4k display using displayport 1.2 (3840x2160@60Hz). I'd like to get the audio stream (intel display audio) into my receiver but cannot find any displayport audio extractors. I could use HDMI but then my display could only run at 30Hz (looks horrible). I've looked into USB-to-SPDIF devices, but I don't believe those won't provide 5.1 sound from Netflix/PowerDVD/MPC. Anyone have thoughts how I can get bit-perfect stereo audio into my receiver when playing music as well as 5.1 Dolby/DTS encoded sound when watching movies? Thanks, Nathan
  5. I am just in the process of purchasing my new 2 channel stereo. The room dimensions will be 12ft wide x 24 ft with an angled vaulted ceiling. I listen to rock and roll, pop, folk and some classical. When alone I do enjoy some loud music time for sure. I have all my CD's ripped in WAVE or Apple Lossless. I will get into some high rez stuff in the future. I wil be using a PC laptop or Mac Mini. I like JRiver but I may go with ITunes and Pure Music? I will be using Golden Ear Triton 2's or 3's (haven't decided yet) My amp/pream/dac options are as follows: 1. Rotel 1552mk11 (120 x 2 Class A/B) with Rotel RDD-1580 Dac and Rotel RC-1550 (Preamp)-This will cost around (2200-2400) I have a local store, I can demo product, I've had Rotel in the past 2. NAD C-390DD (tota different than Rotel, all digital, all in one solution (DAC, amp,PRE) (150 x 2) I can get a great discount. Normally 2600 and I can get it for 2150. I hear about USB to USB not being that great with the NAD and that the SPDIF s much better. Not sure. I don't want to feel compelled to spend hundreds more on a USB to SPDIF converter but if that will really make a difference. Any thoughts, insights would be greatly appreciated. I recognize these two stereo setups are quite different but similar price. Thanks in advance, Mark
  6. Hey guys, So I've got a bunch of questions, all relating to one point, and that is to improve my audio experience. There will be a lot of cringe-worthy things, so beware! First up, I'll explain my current setup. I have the majority of my audio (games/movies/music) being directed out the back of my PC via a 3.5mm jack from the onboard motherboard. I also have some programs (Teamspeak/Ventrilo) directing their audio to the front 3.5mm audio jacks. The reason for this is so when I record my gameplay, I can record the gameplays audio and avoid the audio from other programs being recorded. Now, to hear both, I use a splitter/merger for the 3.5mm jacks to a female-female adaptor and then again to another splitter/merger to split the audio to my headphones and to my speakers. This can all be seen in its ugly glory right here. *ouch* So, right off the bat, you guys should know that this produces a lot of excess noise from sitting amongst the cables at the back of my PC and has reduced audio quality due to the amount of cabling. Now, I've been doing a little research as to how I can significantly improve this. What I'm looking at is getting a DAC with duel digital input with duel analogue output - this should (?) provide the exact same results while providing a far better experience. My motherboard is a Rampage III gene, which has two SPDIF outputs. So, with all that covered, question time! 1. Will a duel input/output DAC merge the audio or will it remain separate? 2. How common is SPDIF used in quality motherboards (such as when I upgrade, how hard will it be to find this kind of setup again on a motherboard, or would it be better to just get a soundcard?)? 3. Suggestions as to what a good DAC would be that has the duel input/output (~$200 would be of decent quality?) if it even exists?. 4. I've seen USB is also an option, but unless it's superior, I'd like to keep the USB slot usage to a minimum if possible. 5. Is there much variation between cable quality? Anywho, thanks for reading all this, hopefully you can help me with my quest! Capt. Mytre
  7. Ok folks, my XP music server died after 10 years of service and I need to replace it with a newer Win 7 server. I have a Lynx AES16 (the PCI version not PCI-express). This really limits the motherboards that I can use since most newer ones only support PCI-e. So here's the question. If I'm only using it for playback (not recording) do I really need the AES16 at all to feed my Bryston BDA-1 with a perfect bitstream? Wouldn't any sound card with an SPDIF/Optical output sound the same? The rest of the audio system is fairly high res audiophile (Thiel speakers, Sim-Audio pre, Sunfire amp, MIT cables) so I'll be able to notice fairly subtle differences. I've read many people talking about the sound quality difference between various digital feeds but if my BDA-1 locks in on the signal seems to me I'm in good shape. No? If the answer is, hell yes the AES16's gonna blow the doors off another SPDIF card, how on earth do I get it into a PCI-e slot without a world of hurt? My days of hours of tinkering are behind me. Many thanks dbdog
  8. Hi everyone, I'm new both in this forum and in the audiophile world. I've a problem whit the optical output on my iMac. I bought a Dac (a Beresford Bushmaster Dac) and I connected it via toslink to my iMac with Mountain Lion Osx, now the problem: when i try to play files until 48kHz it's all ok, but when i try to play some file at 88kHz or 96 or higher the sound is distorted... or better it's not sound coming out but it seems like scratches ("scrrrr"). If i plug the toslink cable to my macbook pro with Lion all works correctly... Can someone help me i don't want to change the Dac (or the Osx...). Thanks all in advance and sorry for my bad bad english. Riccardo.
  9. First of all, I found this site a few weeks ago and have learned a ton. Thank you all! So, I'm upgrading from my 8 year old laptop running XP, a USB hard drive, and outputting via USB to a Musical Fidelity V-Dac (old model). I'd like to build a C.A.P.S 2.0 server minus the SOtM USB card (to be added in the future). This leaves me with two output choices. The first is USB to the DAC but the USB interface on the DAC is limited to 16/44.1k. The second is to make a cable to plug into the SPDIF header on the motherboard and have the ability to output 24/96k to the DAC, similar to what Chris did with his C.A.P.S. 1.0. My questions are: 1 - Has anyone made this cable and have advice on how to do it? 2 - Has anyone used the SPDIF header output and could comment on the sound quality? Thanks for the help.