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Thread: Found an inexpensive USB Audio DAC with 2V RMS Line Out

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    Found an inexpensive USB Audio DAC with 2V RMS Line Out

    While looking around for low price competitors to the Objective DAC, I stumbled across the Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC based off the same ES9023 Digital to Analog Audio converter chip on the ODAC. For those that do not know what an Audio DAC is, it's basically a high quality replacement for the Line Out function of your sound card, by just plugging into a USB port, and Line Out to your amps. No drivers are usually needed for USB DAC's for Windows, MAC, or Linux, however this one is recommending one for Windows 7, which I will load on my ODAC to compare apples with apples.

    While the ODAC board can be purchased for $100, the Hifimediy Sabre is selling for $57 on ebay #130828065609. I went ahead and ordered one to compare with the ODAC I have installed in my car, and will post findings ASAP.

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    Don't suppose you have found one available with 5.1 output so you can use it to drive your front, rear and subwoofer?

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    for what movies?

    5.1 is a home theater term

    car audio doesnt work that way.... triditional car audio well, has never been about quality staging...

    99% of the music is 2 channel stereo

    the proper playback is all audio from front of head

    so, right and left
    no center

    so all you need is 2 channels

    now to get LF production in cars, we need a bigger speaker than our doors will allow...
    so we slam in some 10-15" thing, anywhere we can fit it
    and take the 2channels and spit the freq up so that say 80hz and below goes to sub, and 80hz and above goes to the right/left speakers
    still only 2 channels of audio....


    if you want to do all that processing inside the pc, you need a device with more than 2 outputs, but not 5.1
    it has to be fully routable assignable outputs
    (audiomulch solves a lot of that)

    traditional car audio, is if anything.... left/right + copy of left/right in rear of car + sub
    all from 2 channels

    just sayin...
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    i bet some people use 5.1 settings in the pc, then play a mp3, and wonder why no sound in rear... or sub...
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    Mitch
    www.rush2112.net

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    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    I have my DAC connected to a DSP which creates the Harmon Logic7 out of stereo, and actually does a surprisingly good job of it.

    There is however an 8 channel DAC available, If I remember correctly made by Burr Brown, but the cost is prohibitive still.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

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    ^ do you have a link to the 8ch version? i don't see it on hifimediy's site. i'm curious to replace my esi gigaport, though doubtful it's at any reasonable cost..

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchjs View Post
    if you want to do all that processing inside the pc, you need a device with more than 2 outputs, but not 5.1
    it has to be fully routable assignable outputs
    (audiomulch solves a lot of that)
    as long as the card actually shows the channel numbers to the pc instead of post-processing to generate the extra channels, any multi-output card will work with audiomulch. i've used the creative x-fi, which is advertised as a 5.1 sound card, and it routes fine in AM.

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    I have seen software available to make use of the 5.1 setup in a variety of ways. Although for in car use it would be more like 4.1. With a sound card like the above mentioned Creative x-fi there are processors on board that allow real time processing in a variety of ways. If you have only 2 channel sound you CAN set it up to be rear fill or duplicates of the front's. Only problem with those cards is that they are proprietary which means they don't have drivers for anything other than Windows and possibly Mac. There are no Linux drivers available. They will work in 2 channel mode under Linux though but don't take advantage of the on board processors.

    So yea, my thought is to be able to drive amplifiers directly from the computer without need for external crossovers and control everything on board.

    I have seen chip sets that allow up to 8 channels of sound and have Linux drivers for them but I have as of yet to find a device using them. (I think realtek may have a chip set to do so.)

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    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    The way I find these type of products (8 channel audio DACs) is to first go to all the 2 channel DAC manufacturers websites, then look for their data sheets, where you will find all the similar devices listed. Then you have to search the web for comercial products utilizing the device.

    Example:
    Hifimediy Sabre USB DAC is based off the ES9023 DAC chip, so I go to ESS site and find a list of DAC's they sell:

    The ES9016 SABRE32 Ultra DAC is the latest addition to the world’s highest performance and critically acclaimed SABRE32 DAC family. With ESS patented 32-bit HyperstreamTM DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, the ES9016 SABRE32 Ultra DAC delivers spectacular music with an unsurpassed sound stage, with up to 128dB dynamic range and 0.0003% (-110dB) total harmonic distortion, and free from clock jitter common in digital audio systems.

    Device: ES9016 Description: SABRE32 Ultra 32-bit 8-Channel Audio DAC Package: 48-LQFP DNR (dB): 128 (2ch) or 124 (8ch) THD (dB): -110 I2S/DSD/SPDIF Input: Yes

    Next I search for devices using this chip:

    Oppo BDP-83 Special Edition Blu-Ray Player

    And in this case, they are using this DAC's 8 channel mode for a really high end 7.1 home theater Blu-Ray player.

    So I keep searching for just the DAC itself with a USB interface, and fine another company selling evaluation board, with a slightly different chip model that could be usable:

    Shaw Electronics:
    ES9018 8 Channel Eval Board 4868-9018EK-8
    Price: $750.00 Qty: Add to Cart

    DNR (dB): 132 | THD (dB): -118 (0.00013%) | Output: 8-channel XLR or RCA | Input: SPDIF or I2S/DSD header

    Standalone SPDIF mode, or PC-based control panel via USB | Power supply included
    Maximum order quantity 1.


    Here we see the model is the the ES 9018 DAC, but this one is an evaluation board with USB interface. As you can see, these are high end type devices, and generally the 8 channel devices are targeted towards high end audio visual equipment, but can be used by those with deep pockets and the drive to go to the extreme.

    I myself choose the high quality yet inexpensive 2 channel DAC paired with a decent programmable DSP which can create the same clean 7.1 soundstage. Think Audison Bit One, Rockford Fosgate 3.Sixty.3, Zapco DSP-Z8, or JBL MS-8 to create your multi-channel soundstage.

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