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Thread: Trying to figure out how I could make a DIY multichannel DAC work?

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Trying to figure out how I could make a DIY multichannel DAC work?

    Ok so I'm very much an audiophile type of guy. I'm starting to piece together my list of components for my CarPC setup and so far this part I'm stumped on. I'd really like to use this DIY dac which is capable of 8 channels.

    So I decided to load up RR and Centrafuse to check a few things. What I found and what I think is a major downfall to both is that you can't designate speaker outputs. My main concern here is the sub channel output? How do you specify that a particular channel is for the sub? I'm guessing most of you just use standard sound cards with onboard cards and such, but all the ones I've ever had experience with are not to my expectations. Maybe I'm just trying to do something that's not possible. There has to be a way to get audiophile quality out of these things though. I know there are some high end sound cards out there, but I'm not sure they are really up to par with some of the higher end DAC's out there. Anyways so this is my main question, how can I designate outputs and what not? Has anyone gotten 4 channels plus a sub channel out of something other then a PC sound card?

  2. #2
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    on the border of northern IL/IN
    i do (8ch esi gigaport hd, full active 3-way setup)

    it cost me nearly $250 in software to do it... you'll need a audio processing software like console('s old-- last update was '08 but less then $100 for a license) or audiomulch(updated, $200, huge increase in quality over console though), as well as virtual audio cable, and possibly ASIO4all if you can notice the difference in quality over the windows driver stack(i can't tell a difference)..

    though i am not aware of how well this stuff would work with a optical output... all of the soundcards i've tried have been hardwired to the pc-- either via pci, or usb..

  3. #3
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Well, there is another way. Apparently I can tap into a sound card and grab I2S right off the board and feed it into the DAC. So with this instance it would work just like the sound card would work. This is what I was told on the TPA forums anyways so I may go this route.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Alright! In case anyone is interested I found out that the Asus Xonar HDMI board makes it VERY easy to do this as there are headers for I2s. Here is the info over on the TPA forums.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    here is am easy way to have up to 8ch of I2s

    this is what I am doing in my car...

    here is am easy way to have up to 8ch of I2s. I have my car PC running an ESI Julia soundcard, which has SPDIF outputs on optical and coax. at the mo I am using SPDIF coax, but am working with the guys from MiniDSP to feed I2s directly to one of their 2x8 MiniDSP boards.

    I am already using I2s at home to feed a heavily modded Buffalo 3 and also a tweaked 8xTDA1541 DAC from ECDesigns, so have a little experience with I2s, and realised when working on the I2s connection from the ESI Julia soundcard to the MiniDSP 2x8, that the headers on the MiniDSP DAC give me 8 individual ch outputs of I2s, which can all have their own seperate EQ and DSP settings, all of which can be done in the digital domain. This is perfect for the Buffalo DAC!

    I have a 7 way setup at the moment, driven by the 8v balanced outputs from the Minidsp, and it sounds pretty good already. the individual ch for me are 2x high frequancies driving tweeters from a JL Audio jl audio zr650-csi component set without the JL Audio passive x-overs, 2 x mids for the mid range/ woofers from the jl audio zr650-csi components, and 3 individual ch for my 3 aperiodic 12" Peerless 830500s. power comes from 3 x JL Audio 500/v2s, and 1 JL Audio 450/v2.

    will probably look to connect I2s from my soundcard to the Minidsp, and then feed a buffalo DAC with 6 chanels, 2 x tweeters, 2 x mids and 1 stereo sub ch(JL Audio make it easy to daisy chain their sub amps and take a stereo balanced signal) will probably pair up the unused DAC chanels in the Buffalo to use 2 DACS on the tweeters. The best I/V for the Buffalo looks like the IVY, which is supposed to run quite cool, I have used the Legato I/V indoors and it does get pretty hot.

    system sounds pretty good, but I am just wondering how much better this will be. relatively low cost as well.LOL


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