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Thread: Cheapest way convert USB Audio to either SPDIF or TOSLINK

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate hypnotiq's Avatar
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    Cheapest way convert USB Audio to either SPDIF or TOSLINK

    I want to connect my laptop that doesn't have a spdif connection to my H701.

    I already bought a box that converts SPDIF to TOSLINK, because the dock I was planning on using already had SPDIF.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate Felix509's Avatar
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    First thing we need to do is sort out what is what.

    SPDIF = a standard format for sending digital signals

    TOSLINK = an optical connector invented by Toshiba, almost an industry standard now on opticalcables

    SP/DIF can be thought of as a set of rules that keeps everything compatible. So if you have optical cable or digital coax they can both use SPDIF, it is kind of like a digital pipeline between electronics regardless of the connenting cable. Then through this digital pipeline we can send many different digital signals -- PCM, DTS, dolby digital, etc.. A stereo pair is usually sent as PCM. (Pulse Code Modulation)


    SO you have a digital out on your docking station, is it Coax with a RCA connector or something else?

    If you have a digital out via coax with RCA, it is very simple to convert to optical with TOSLINK connector.

    Here is an example of these converters.


    And finally a USB to optical unit that is easy, cheap, and high quality is the M-Audio Transit, can be had on eBay for $60-70, it would act as your soundcard and has both analogue and Optical digital output.(Digital out via TOSLINK and MINI TOSLKINK)


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  3. #3
    FLAC
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    Since i could never get my creative 2nx to work properly.
    I decided to look for something similar and i found this on ebay, and i found this one:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/USB-5-1-Ch-optic...QQcmdZViewItem
    Looks cheap, and it does not even require an ext. power source, but i'd like to see if anyone has experience with them first before iget one.

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate hypnotiq's Avatar
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    Sorry for not fully explaining my situation, here goes.

    My original plan was to use my laptop (Dell 600M) with a dock that has SPDIF digital xocial out to a converter that would change the signal to optical TOSLINK, which would then go to my H701.

    However, since dells have a proprietry third pin in their power sources, the dock will not work off of my PSU (carnetix P1900). Thus, my dilemna of how to get my sound to my H701. I'd strongly prefer not to go through the headphone jack or a expensive soundcard since i have the Alpine H701 as a digital processor.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate Felix509's Avatar
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    Well the Transit is a great card, under $70(sometimes $30-40 used on eBay), i use one to get Digital out from my computer to my Zapco DSP-6.

    What do you consider 'expensive'? You may have a hard time finding a quality USB/firewire solution cheaper than the transit, although i am sure there are some out there..
    Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.

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  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate FPeter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypnotiq View Post
    Sorry for not fully explaining my situation, here goes.

    My original plan was to use my laptop (Dell 600M) with a dock that has SPDIF digital xocial out to a converter that would change the signal to optical TOSLINK, which would then go to my H701.

    However, since dells have a proprietry third pin in their power sources, the dock will not work off of my PSU (carnetix P1900). Thus, my dilemna of how to get my sound to my H701. I'd strongly prefer not to go through the headphone jack or a expensive soundcard since i have the Alpine H701 as a digital processor.

    Thanks
    there are several cheap soundcard in the market with spdif out (coax, toslink, or both), like terratec aureon dual usb, its about 30$, or you can buy a really cheap CMedia CM108 based adapter, for ~10-15$. usually the spdif output is not used, but the chipset can handle it, just connect to the 1st pin with soldering... it has a smart driver with control panel, several options (equalizer, enviromental effects, etc), kernel streaming support and others... (i think, the terratec has cm108 too)
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  7. #7
    Low Bitrate hypnotiq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felix509 View Post
    Well the Transit is a great card, under $70(sometimes $30-40 used on eBay), i use one to get Digital out from my computer to my Zapco DSP-6.

    What do you consider 'expensive'? You may have a hard time finding a quality USB/firewire solution cheaper than the transit, although i am sure there are some out there..
    Quote Originally Posted by FPeter View Post
    there are several cheap soundcard in the market with spdif out (coax, toslink, or both), like terratec aureon dual usb, its about 30$, or you can buy a really cheap CMedia CM108 based adapter, for ~10-15$. usually the spdif output is not used, but the chipset can handle it, just connect to the 1st pin with soldering... it has a smart driver with control panel, several options (equalizer, enviromental effects, etc), kernel streaming support and others... (i think, the terratec has cm108 too)
    Thanks for all the replies thus far.

    I'd like the unit to be under 30, the aureon usb looks pretty good. Any idea where to buy it in the US?

    I'd love to get the transit at 30-40, but at 70+shipping, it's a little out of my price range.


  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate
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    Totally just get the Tutrle Beach Audio Advanatge Micro -- $25-$30 and has toslink out. It's a fairly good quality piece too. I have one and it works well. Can be had at newegg, turtle beach's website, and probably many other places.
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  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate Felix509's Avatar
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    Well, since i am a lil bored today, i did some ebay browsing:

    $40 shipped USB --> digital converter


    $37 shipped USB --> SPDIF Toslink


    USB --> digital for $30 shipped


    These designs are very simple and utilize widely known and proven chips from Burr Brown and crystal semiconductor.. I imagine there is not much that can go wrong with them except solder coming undone..

    --

    Laters
    Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.

    ___________________________________
    Current SYSTEM
    AMD64X2 2.5
    Xenarc
    ZAPCO DSP-6
    ARCAUDIO SE Amps
    Rainbow Profi CS365 & Profi Vanadium 12"

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate hypnotiq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extide View Post
    Totally just get the Tutrle Beach Audio Advanatge Micro -- $25-$30 and has toslink out. It's a fairly good quality piece too. I have one and it works well. Can be had at newegg, turtle beach's website, and probably many other places.
    Quote Originally Posted by Felix509 View Post
    Well, since i am a lil bored today, i did some ebay browsing:

    $40 shipped USB --> digital converter


    $37 shipped USB --> SPDIF Toslink


    USB --> digital for $30 shipped


    These designs are very simple and utilize widely known and proven chips from Burr Brown and crystal semiconductor.. I imagine there is not much that can go wrong with them except solder coming undone..

    --

    Laters
    Thank you both. Just placed an order for turtle advantage for 25 shipped brand new

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