Canuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio ForumCanuck Audio Mart Hifi and Audio Forum
It is currently Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:47 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 5:12 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Peachland, BC, CA
Hey guys,

I'm hooking up my first PC Audio system using a Mac Book Pro (2011) to a Chord 2Qute to my Prima Luna amp running Tidal Hi Fi.

I have done a lot of research and browsing the forums the past week or so but I'm still uncertain on a few things:

1) Will I experience degraded sound quality running a 12-15 foot USB cable from my computer to my DAC? Ideally I would like to place my computer away from my main stereo components due to space constraints. I have read that a 15 foot long USB cord is the max you should run, but is this due to sound quality degradation?

2) Is it worth it to run software that will auto detect each file's sample rate and adjust the computer's audio output? Can Tidal (without Roon) auto detect and change the computer audio output to the DAC?

Thank you!

_________________
Amp: Line Magnetic 508
Pre amp: LTA MZ2
DAC: Chord 2Qute
Turntable: Rega RP1 w/ Rega Fono Mini A2D
CD Player: NAD 517
Speakers: Coming soon...Audio Note Kit 03


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:11 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:43 am
Posts: 842
Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

Good questions. We need a CAM techie to weigh in. I have an additional question.

How come a computer's volume level control is still active when a file is being sent to an external DAC via USB?
Why isn't the file sent via USB as 'unity gain'?

Cheers,
David Neice

_________________
Chinese Proverb: 'Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth, waits very, very long time'.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:02 pm
Posts: 176
Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
I'll try and answer as best I can ...
(I am sure others will have different answers, and I will probably get flamed for my posts here but hey its the internet .. everyone has an opinion)

1) Will I experience degraded sound quality running a 12-15 foot USB cable from my computer to my DAC? Ideally I would like to place my computer away from my main stereo components due to space constraints. I have read that a 15 foot long USB cord is the max you should run, but is this due to sound quality degradation?

Nope. It's a digital connection, ether it will work or it won't work.

HOWEVER ... as you stated ... USB cables can have a max usable length of like 15-16 feet ... so depending on how good your USB cable is, and how shielded it is, it might not work at all. I'd put even money on the dac not showing up on your mac, or if it does, you will get audio drop outs.

I'd recommend looking at a usb booster / amp or heck just a powered usb hub to put in the middle in order to extend your length.
Something like this :
https://www.amazon.ca/UGREEN-Active-Rep ... oster&th=1

2) Is it worth it to run software that will auto detect each file's sample rate and adjust the computer's audio output? Can Tidal (without Roon) auto detect and change the computer audio output to the DAC?


As I understand it, no it wont be worth it. You would be just adding complexity to a very simple system. It should just re-sample everything to the rate your DAC is running. I just run my DAC at the max it can run ...

As for the Tidal question, honestly I don't know as I dont use Tidal. Sorry :(

3) How come a computer's volume level control is still active when a file is being sent to an external DAC via USB?
Why isn't the file sent via USB as 'unity gain'?


I am not 100% on this but take this with a grain of salt ....
Not sure about mac, but in windows everything goes through the windows mixer, which allows for digital volume adjustment. You can bypass the mixer so that it sends everything directly to your DAC through a driver option (if it exists) or using AISO.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 5:12 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Peachland, BC, CA
kolwrath wrote:
I'll try and answer as best I can ...
(I am sure others will have different answers, and I will probably get flamed for my posts here but hey its the internet .. everyone has an opinion)

1) Will I experience degraded sound quality running a 12-15 foot USB cable from my computer to my DAC? Ideally I would like to place my computer away from my main stereo components due to space constraints. I have read that a 15 foot long USB cord is the max you should run, but is this due to sound quality degradation?

Nope. It's a digital connection, ether it will work or it won't work.

HOWEVER ... as you stated ... USB cables can have a max usable length of like 15-16 feet ... so depending on how good your USB cable is, and how shielded it is, it might not work at all. I'd put even money on the dac not showing up on your mac, or if it does, you will get audio drop outs.

I'd recommend looking at a usb booster / amp or heck just a powered usb hub to put in the middle in order to extend your length.
Something like this :
https://www.amazon.ca/UGREEN-Active-Rep ... oster&th=1

2) Is it worth it to run software that will auto detect each file's sample rate and adjust the computer's audio output? Can Tidal (without Roon) auto detect and change the computer audio output to the DAC?


As I understand it, no it wont be worth it. You would be just adding complexity to a very simple system. It should just re-sample everything to the rate your DAC is running. I just run my DAC at the max it can run ...

As for the Tidal question, honestly I don't know as I dont use Tidal. Sorry :(

3) How come a computer's volume level control is still active when a file is being sent to an external DAC via USB?
Why isn't the file sent via USB as 'unity gain'?


I am not 100% on this but take this with a grain of salt ....
Not sure about mac, but in windows everything goes through the windows mixer, which allows for digital volume adjustment. You can bypass the mixer so that it sends everything directly to your DAC through a driver option (if it exists) or using AISO.


Excellent, appreciate the info and the link.

Jon

_________________
Amp: Line Magnetic 508
Pre amp: LTA MZ2
DAC: Chord 2Qute
Turntable: Rega RP1 w/ Rega Fono Mini A2D
CD Player: NAD 517
Speakers: Coming soon...Audio Note Kit 03


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:38 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:06 pm
Posts: 4903
Location: Montreal, QC, CA
Another option is keeping your DAC on a shorter USB cable, but getting longer interconnects for the run from DAC to preamp. For this you need a DAC that can handle a higher impedance load at the output. Audio Note Kits make such a DAC, and I'm sure there are others.

That said, a 15-foot length is within the limit specified for USB 2.0. If your connection is via USB 3 (unlikely at the DAC end), the length is shorter. Practically speaking though, in some cases folks have found that cables started to have problems at well under the maximum specified length. This is especially true of USB 3. The better a cable is made, the longer its usable length.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 5:12 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Peachland, BC, CA
Whoops, re post.

-- 27 Mar 2017 15:51 --

Toby wrote:
Another option is keeping your DAC on a shorter USB cable, but getting longer interconnects for the run from DAC to preamp. For this you need a DAC that can handle a higher impedance load at the output. Audio Note Kits make such a DAC, and I'm sure there are others.

That said, a 15-foot length is within the limit specified for USB 2.0. If your connection is via USB 3 (unlikely at the DAC end), the length is shorter. Practically speaking though, in some cases folks have found that cables started to have problems at well under the maximum specified length. This is especially true of USB 3. The better a cable is made, the longer its usable length.


Great info, thank you.

_________________
Amp: Line Magnetic 508
Pre amp: LTA MZ2
DAC: Chord 2Qute
Turntable: Rega RP1 w/ Rega Fono Mini A2D
CD Player: NAD 517
Speakers: Coming soon...Audio Note Kit 03


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:43 am
Posts: 842
Location: Stratford, ON, CA
Hi,

kolwrath wrote: YES - ANSWERS!

Thanks. For windows, bypass the mixer or stream via ASIO - got it. Still, I find a digital mixer on the laptop is handy to tweek the output and beats the use of two tone controls on my integrated amp. The graphics eq in WINAMP may be pretty crude but it works. When I set things up to stream FLAC I used a Merry Clayton compilation CD because the mastering buried her magnificent voice way down in the mix. Once I got her voice to surface, I found that other bitstream files were also sounding a lot better. It might not be a very purist approach, but hey, you do what you gotta do to enjoy the music. Play da record!

Cheers,
David Neice

_________________
Chinese Proverb: 'Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth, waits very, very long time'.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:27 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 7:43 pm
Posts: 1376
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
ASIO drivers are normally and usually supplied by the device manufacturers and is only as good as the manufacturer.

In Windows, ASIO driver will deliver the same bitperfect stream as a functioning WASAPI exclusive connection, but ASIO may do so at lower latency and with certain other advantages .

All things being equal, the quality of the long USB cable would determine whether you get quality sound or not.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:26 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 15, 2013 5:12 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Peachland, BC, CA
tardis26 wrote:
ASIO drivers are normally and usually supplied by the device manufacturers and is only as good as the manufacturer.

In Windows, ASIO driver will deliver the same bitperfect stream as a functioning WASAPI exclusive connection, but ASIO may do so at lower latency and with certain other advantages .

All things being equal, the quality of the long USB cable would determine whether you get quality sound or not.


Thank you. I think for now, I'm going to run the computer close to the amp and DAC, then try a longer cord down the road and see if I notice any sound difference.

_________________
Amp: Line Magnetic 508
Pre amp: LTA MZ2
DAC: Chord 2Qute
Turntable: Rega RP1 w/ Rega Fono Mini A2D
CD Player: NAD 517
Speakers: Coming soon...Audio Note Kit 03


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:43 pm
Posts: 222
Location: Toronto, ON, CA
347strokin wrote:
Hey guys,

I'm hooking up my first PC Audio system using a Mac Book Pro (2011) to a Chord 2Qute to my Prima Luna amp running Tidal Hi Fi.

I have done a lot of research and browsing the forums the past week or so but I'm still uncertain on a few things:

1) Will I experience degraded sound quality running a 12-15 foot USB cable from my computer to my DAC? Ideally I would like to place my computer away from my main stereo components due to space constraints. I have read that a 15 foot long USB cord is the max you should run, but is this due to sound quality degradation?

2) Can Tidal (without Roon) auto detect and change the computer audio output to the DAC?

Thank you!


1) no. Just make sure you try out all the USB ports; certain areas of the computer near USB ports CAN POSSIBLY have noticeable effects on sound quality, static and distortion etc. and you want to stay away from those areas.

2) no.

-- April 16th, 2017, 3:37 pm --

Toby wrote:
Another option is keeping your DAC on a shorter USB cable, but getting longer interconnects for the run from DAC to preamp


In theory, a digital signal isn't affected by cable length like an audio signal is. The rule of thumb is always shorter for audio connects, and a "convenient" length for digital.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:15 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 2:06 pm
Posts: 4903
Location: Montreal, QC, CA
@bleepedy bloops, what is the theory to which you refer, and how does it relate to the recommended lengths for USB interconnects ?

bleepedy bloops wrote:
In theory, a digital signal isn't affected by cable length like an audio signal is. The rule of thumb is always shorter for audio connects, and a "convenient" length for digital.


Quote:
USB 2.0 provides for a maximum cable length of 5 meters for devices running at high speed (480 Mbit/s). ... .

The USB 3.0 standard does not directly specify a maximum cable length, requiring only that all cables meet an electrical specification: for copper cabling with AWG 26 wires the maximum practical length is 3 meters (9.8 ft).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group