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  • USB DAC options

    Hey all.

    Seeing as how the USB DAC has become a popular option for some folks, I figured a thread listing the options out there would be beneficial.

    I'd like to set it up much like the 5.1 amps with digital ins thread, and the mini-itx threads on this board elsewhere.

    So show me what you have found!

    http://www.wavelengthaudio.com/ - This is by far one of the nicest DACs I've found. However, the price will cause some people to nearly stop breathing I'm sure.

    http://www.silverstonetek.com/products-eb01.htm
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  • #2
    Seeing as how I'm sure there will be much debate and discussion regarding these DACs, I figured a few words about them from various sources might be beneficial to some.

    What is a DAC?

    From the Stereophile Forums talking about jitter and USB DACs as well as USB two way communications for error correction. VERY good read.
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

    Comment


    • #3
      well i guess i'll start.

      this is the one i'm currently testing:
      http://www.ecp.cc/HPDAC.html
      we'll call it the 'douglas' hpdac. since this is a diy board you can use whichever components you'd like. I'm currently running burr-brown opamps and blackgate caps.

      also... since it's a diy board you can wire it with female rca's to connect directly to your amp. This will give you a digital signal within inches (or less) of your x-over or amp. If you are going the x-over route you can also think about cracking that active x-over open and wiring the outputs of the dac directly to the inputs of the x-over.
      New System in progress:
      M10k
      Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
      Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
      Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
      Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
      Transflective Xenarc

      My Car Pc Install
      My Boat Pc worklog

      Comment


      • #4
        I use the Silverstone USB DAC. It of course doesn't require a driver, just plug it in and it shows up as USB Speakers. You don't have to worry about turn on thump w/ most DAC's, as w/ the SS it doesnt turn on till it gets music to play. The DAC doesn't require in extra power... just a single USB cable will do comms and power. The sound is rich and clean.

        The problem most DACs (that have problems) have is that of IRQ's. On my setup I have 8 USB 2.0 powers onboard and a add on card, along w/ the normal basic interupts. When I first connected the DAC to this setup I had cracking and popping... after disabling a couple things in the bios I've lost all but a slight crackling every now and then. The fix is usually changing the PCI latency or changing IRQ's for the device.
        Setup:
        Dynaudio 240GT
        PPI PC4100, PPI PC2350
        Zapco DSP6
        ADS DAC
        Testing new board (Albatron KI690-AM2)

        "I dont know if complaints were filed, or mistakes were made, but feelings were hurt." -Krystal Washington

        Comment


        • #5
          You can change the volume of the DAC using your front end, correct?

          Comment


          • #6
            Correct!
            Setup:
            Dynaudio 240GT
            PPI PC4100, PPI PC2350
            Zapco DSP6
            ADS DAC
            Testing new board (Albatron KI690-AM2)

            "I dont know if complaints were filed, or mistakes were made, but feelings were hurt." -Krystal Washington

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
              http://www.wavelengthaudio.com/ - This is by far one of the nicest DACs I've found. However, the price will cause some people to nearly stop breathing I'm sure.
              *clutches chest and reaches for phone to dial 911* j/k. Amazingly resembles the prices my brother charges for the high current tube amps that he builds.




              *edit*
              Would the average person/carpc system be able to discern the quality difference between an $84 Silverstone and a $195 HPDAC? I don't even want to try and get my head wrapped around the Cosecant, Brick, or Ultimate DPU.
              http://gickr.com/results4/anim_5055e...a2b3b197c9.gif
              1990 RHD JDM 300ZX TT 2+2 5sp T-Top
              491RWHP / 18psi / 94 octane

              Comment


              • #8
                The average person can't tell the difference between a MP3 ripped a 128 and the true CD source.

                However, it's like anything else in life. If it's something you are into, which we all have something, you know the differences.

                When you live and breathe something nearly every waking moment of your life, you can tell a difference.
                Jan Bennett
                FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

                Comment


                • #9
                  If that was the truth it would be a shame.

                  Originally posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
                  The average person can't tell the difference between a MP3 ripped a 128 and the true CD source.

                  However, it's like anything else in life. If it's something you are into, which we all have something, you know the differences.

                  When you live and breathe something nearly every waking moment of your life, you can tell a difference.
                  Setup:
                  Dynaudio 240GT
                  PPI PC4100, PPI PC2350
                  Zapco DSP6
                  ADS DAC
                  Testing new board (Albatron KI690-AM2)

                  "I dont know if complaints were filed, or mistakes were made, but feelings were hurt." -Krystal Washington

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    why do you think the iPod has become so popular? Why do you think there are companies making millions off of selling mp3s that are much less than CD quality?

                    it's because people don't know the difference and don't care to.

                    Try and find a music store online, where you can download music files in HIGH quality.

                    There was 1 that I was aware of, and even then, it wasn't 'HIGH' quality by many standards...
                    Jan Bennett
                    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

                    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm using silverstone's EB01, and the sound quality is awesome. The only problem is you can't input through another sound card and output through the DAC... So no XM radio! It really sucks and I'm trying to find a solution.

                      There's a program called Virtual Audio Cable that may be able to solve this problem, but I haven't had the time to figure it out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
                        why do you think the iPod has become so popular? Why do you think there are companies making millions off of selling mp3s that are much less than CD quality?

                        it's because people don't know the difference and don't care to.

                        Try and find a music store online, where you can download music files in HIGH quality.

                        There was 1 that I was aware of, and even then, it wasn't 'HIGH' quality by many standards...
                        (lets keep this ontopic N00BS!!!)
                        New System in progress:
                        M10k
                        Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
                        Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
                        Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
                        Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
                        Transflective Xenarc

                        My Car Pc Install
                        My Boat Pc worklog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post
                          why do you think the iPod has become so popular? Why do you think there are companies making millions off of selling mp3s that are much less than CD quality?

                          it's because people don't know the difference and don't care to.

                          Try and find a music store online, where you can download music files in HIGH quality.

                          There was 1 that I was aware of, and even then, it wasn't 'HIGH' quality by many standards...
                          Yeah yeah... I'm very aware of the latest trends. I dont think its a fact that most dont know the difference, its probably 90% that they dont care. Most are still downloading illegally, and the others are following the leader to ITunes.

                          I download mine from a Russian site that has high bitrate albums. You can chose the compression level of your download.
                          Setup:
                          Dynaudio 240GT
                          PPI PC4100, PPI PC2350
                          Zapco DSP6
                          ADS DAC
                          Testing new board (Albatron KI690-AM2)

                          "I dont know if complaints were filed, or mistakes were made, but feelings were hurt." -Krystal Washington

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            XxandXx let us know how that works out for you. I was weighing my options (same boat as you w/ XM).
                            Setup:
                            Dynaudio 240GT
                            PPI PC4100, PPI PC2350
                            Zapco DSP6
                            ADS DAC
                            Testing new board (Albatron KI690-AM2)

                            "I dont know if complaints were filed, or mistakes were made, but feelings were hurt." -Krystal Washington

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RedGTiVR6 View Post

                              From the Stereophile Forums talking about jitter and USB DACs as well as USB two way communications for error correction. VERY good read.

                              bad link?
                              New System in progress:
                              M10k
                              Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
                              Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
                              Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
                              Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
                              Transflective Xenarc

                              My Car Pc Install
                              My Boat Pc worklog

                              Comment

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