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 Post subject: USB to spdif conveters
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:36 pm
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
Perhaps someone could discuss USB to spdif converters and how they affect music quality.

I want to run an older Lenovo desktop into a non usb DAC for music via a USB stick and maybe tidal. I don't need hi res the DAC is 16/48khz

I noticed they range in price dramatically. Is it really necessary or will the cheap ones suffice?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:25 pm
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Location: toronto, ON, CA
Hi
I speak from my own experience.I used the M2Tech Hiface for a while and it did the trick.I mean I got sound through it and pleasant at that.Then I upgraded to M2Tech Hiface EVO and the improvement was very noticeable. Another good unit is the Audiophilleo . Its all relative however. If your DAC is up to the task and resolving enough then yes a better USB converter is worth investing.
George


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:00 pm 
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Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
Buy a Schiit Eitr (haha I'm actually serious here) and you'll get pretty much as good as it gets going USB->Coax up with 24/192 (no DSD support). The rest of these gadgets available these days that are better (Berkley Alpha, for example) are excessively expensive for what they do, imo.

Make it easy on yourself and just buy this. You'll save yourself a headache of research and marketing fairy dust without spending a lot.

http://www.schiit.com/products/eitr

Note: the power supply for this unit where it plugs in the wall is HUGE. Serious bargain for what you're getting compare to pretty much anything else out there.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:10 pm 
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Many consider the Singxer SU-1 to be one of the best. I can tell you that I've tried a number of DACs with premium onboard USB implementations, and the Singxer has bettered just about all of them; the one exceptiion was merely as good as the Singxer. At this point I consider my Singxer an essential part of my digital playback system.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:09 pm 
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Location: Delta, BC, CA
I bought a Space Tech 32bit /384Khz USB-to-SPDIF quite happy with it.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:33 pm 
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I can get a Musiland Mentor 01 for $50 or a Musical Fidelity V Link for about $90.

Not sure if the Musiland cleans up USB.

Thoughts on these conveters?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:24 pm 
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USB to digital conversion has major impact on sound. Unless you are restricted by your budget, don't cut corners here.

The V-Link was an attractive product a few years ago, when "asynchronous" USB converts were still a relatively new thing; today that model is outdated.

If you don't need DSD and and multiple digital connections out (such as AES or i2S) then buy the Schiit EITR, which is about half the cost of the Singxer SU-1. Some consider the EITR to be one of the best performing products on the market; I actually just ordered one to test out in my office rig.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:54 pm 
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Source is very important in my experience. You want to retain as much of the source signal as possible.

Would be interesting to know what the rest of your system is.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:32 am 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
CJ CAV50
Proac response 2
Custom tube phono
Sota sapphire, grado reference, rega arm with mods
Foundation research notch filters
Golden cross cables

It's high res analog. I could never get into digital music only the mega $$$ stuff impresses me but that was decades ago.

The medium is much improved and I'm missing out

I'm not prepared to put much into a secondary source. Just something that's listenable. I'm not expecting super duper playback.

I found a Blue Circle USB Thingee that guy is a noise expert. At less than a $100 I'm inclined to grab it and then add a DAC later.

I've learnt so much so quick digital sure has changed. Thanks for all the help on her


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:17 am 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
I have used a MF Vlink, a MF Vlink 2, a Fiio X10, a Hiface2, the onboard coax out from my motherboard, and the built in USB on my UD-501. Personally I could not find any real difference sonically between any of them. YMMV of course ...

Having said that, the original Vlink was the least painful to use since it was plug and play (I think the Fiio was too). Most of the other options required finiky drivers. I eventually settled on the Vlink2 because the 501s onboard usb implementation is terrible.

Long story short, I'd say just get something recent, that does async, and is affordable. Spend the money you save on HDtracks.com

Happy listening! :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:20 am 
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Kel34 wrote:
CJ CAV50
Proac response 2
Custom tube phono
Sota sapphire, grado reference, rega arm with mods
Foundation research notch filters
Golden cross cables

It's high res analog. I could never get into digital music only the mega $$$ stuff impresses me but that was decades ago.

The medium is much improved and I'm missing out

I'm not prepared to put much into a secondary source. Just something that's listenable. I'm not expecting super duper playback.

I found a Blue Circle USB Thingee that guy is a noise expert. At less than a $100 I'm inclined to grab it and then add a DAC later.

I've learnt so much so quick digital sure has changed. Thanks for all the help on her

Unless they released a newer one, the original USB Thingee was based on a very archaic Creative Labs board from the prehistoric days of USB to digital; that thing won't be asynchronous.
If you are still looking to buy a DAC and are on a budget, why buy a seperate USB to Digital converter, just get a DAC with a decent USB implementation on board.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:50 am 
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Location: Edmonton, AB, CA
Do not buy a USB to spdif converter before buying a dac, that's completely backwards.

Dacs are just like computers and have improved at nearly the same rate. Not sure what you heard before but definitely no need to spend mega bucks these days to get a quality dac.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:12 am 
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Location: victoria, BC, CA
this would work for you:
http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/ ... -i2s-port/

But as msommers says above, if you have an older DAC and you need USB then it might be a better idea to just spend a little more and buy a newer DAC. All DACs now have USB so unless you are wedded to your existing DAC (or it's super high quality) buying a new modern DAC would be the better option.

It's only really worth buying a USB interface if your existing DAC is a high quality unit that came out just when the asynchronous USB 2.0 audio standard was being introduced, so doesn't have USB at all or just basic USB 1 support.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:57 am 
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It was a real eye opener for me this year when I started comparing USB inputs on modern DACs. A few years ago most USB inputs where done with inferior chips, so it was a big deal to get something with an asynchronous input, but now they all are. The chipset used is important (Xmos, Amanero, etc), but it turns out the implementation is everything. I compared a number of current model USB DACs direct from my SOTM SMS-200 network endpoint (which already provides a very low noise, low jitter USB out) versus my Singxer SU-1. In all but one case, the Singxer SU-1 bettered the onboard USB implementation by a good margin. The only DAC which didn't benefit from the Singxer was the Benchmark DAC3, it sounded the same in either situation.

So for someone staring out in computer audio, definitely buy a newer DAC with a good USB input; ones from even 5 or more years ago will often be very limited in performance. USB to digital converters from a few years ago will no longer be competitive. Those with decent USB inputs on their newer DACs may find a Singxer SU-1 to be a meaningful upgrade.

The Schiit Eitr may also offer even better performance at a very low price, but I haven't received mine yet to confirm.


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