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Thread: USB sound output to JBL MS-8 DSP which is the better option?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rray View Post
    The FiiO D3 is more than $50, and the Hifiman HM 101 is a combo DAC and Headphone Amplifier so unsuitable. You have to be careful, as the USB DAC market is geared for guys who listen to music on $500+ headphones, so the DAC is often sold with a headphone amplifier. I am a fringe DAC users, in fact I don't know of anyone else who has actually used one of these devices instead of a PC soundcard to connect to car audio.
    The D3 looks like it can be picked up easily on eBay for less than $30. Here is one of many on there. Are they counterfieted? Seems to be a fairly low priced item to fake, but people will make counterfeit anything if it makes them a quick buck. Assuming that D3 would work with the MS8, can it be powered via USB? It looks like it comes with a power pack, although it looks like it only outputs via RCA. Not a big deal, just means having to run MORE cables through the car, and I just had a massive headache getting my 3.5mm to RCA cable under the carpet to the trunk, so would ideally prefer to use that since it is now in place.

    Let me know how the Sabre sounds when you get it installed, it may be a week or two before I need to pick one up anyway (unless I stumble across a great deal). The sound on the video was good, are you running a center channel with your MS8?

  2. #22
    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    Remember the D3 is an SPDIF DAC not a USB DAC, so it's USB port is only for supplying power, and you have to use the SPDIF connection from your motherboard to drive it.
    The D3 is still a good option, but the Sabre will be much easier to wire, because you only have to plug 1 end into a USB port and the other end has a 3.5mm stereo jack. And the ESS DAC is much cleaner than the D3's Cirrus DAC.

    I don't have a center channel, so am only using 6 outputs from the MS-8, with 2 Fronts, 2 Sides, and 2 Subs, so I am using 6 outputs. The full blown recommended MS-8 configuration is 2 Fronts, a Center, 2 Sides, 2 Rears, and 1 Sub.

  3. #23
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    I knew there was a reason I was unsure about the D3, no USB rules it out for me. I spent some time looking at the Sabre earlier, and likely will go that route. Its slightly more than I really wanted to spend, but seems to be worth it.

    My MS8 uses a center, but no rears. I am running active fronts, center, sides and a sub.

    Edit: Went ahead and ordered a Sabre
    Last edited by naiku; 02-22-2013 at 10:31 PM.

  4. #24
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    subscribed;

    I also have a MS-8 and decided to use the Peavey, which I just ordered. Is the best way to connect
    Computer USB ----> Peavey ----> XLR - RCA ----->MS-8.

    Is this the cable http://www.amazon.com/Black-Y-Cable-...ywords=xlr+rca to best connect the two units or would you recommend something else ?

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by heretic View Post
    I also have a MS-8 and decided to use the Peavey, which I just ordered. Is the best way to connect
    Computer USB ----> Peavey ----> XLR - RCA ----->MS-8.

    Is this the cable http://www.amazon.com/Black-Y-Cable-...ywords=xlr+rca to best connect the two units or would you recommend something else ?
    That looks like it would work fine to me, have you looked at monoprice.com? they usually have just about any cable, decent quality and cheap as well. I am using one of their 3.5mm to RCA cables for my MS8 and get 0 interferance. Before I was using a cheaper cable, and would get that annoying cell phone interferance sound.

  6. #26
    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    I have never used balanced outputs before, so I am curious how impervious to noise the Peavy setup will be. I am just using the traditional 15' RCA cables.

  7. #27
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    So I did a test connection of the USB-P to the MS-8, and it did sound very nice.

    The problem I noticed was that volume was lacking by maybe 20-30% of what I could get through my headunit.

    I maxed the MS-8 volume and maxed PC volume (checking to make sure everything was at 100%)

    The volume just isn't there. Does the MS-8 calibration routine do something to sense the input level and adjust for the signal?

    Mainly wondering if re-doing the configuration steps on the MS-8 will get my volume back

    Thanks guys, great reads in here so far

  8. #28
    Maximum Bitrate rray's Avatar
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    The volume level may be lower depending on what the output voltage of the Peavy is compared to the PC. You may get a bit louder output from the MS-8 if you set it's volume to -35db when you do the calibration, but other than that you might have to adjust the amp's gains up a little to get the same volume you had before. If you up the gains, start playing an mp3, then put it on pause. Next turn up the gain till slight background hiss is heard and back off till it's gone.

    I set all my gains to 0, and have less volume, in favor of cleaner sound, but it's still loud enough to blow down the freeway at 90 with the windows down and still enjoy the music.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rray View Post
    The volume level may be lower depending on what the output voltage of the Peavy is compared to the PC. You may get a bit louder output from the MS-8 if you set it's volume to -35db when you do the calibration, but other than that you might have to adjust the amp's gains up a little to get the same volume you had before. If you up the gains, start playing an mp3, then put it on pause. Next turn up the gain till slight background hiss is heard and back off till it's gone.

    I set all my gains to 0, and have less volume, in favor of cleaner sound, but it's still loud enough to blow down the freeway at 90 with the windows down and still enjoy the music.
    I'm running just the built-in MS-8 amps at the moment. Best plan sounds like:

    do what you suggest with -35 volume during setup

    buy that additional amp for the speakers

    if neither of the above suits, get a different DAC (I did read elsewhere on the web that the Peavey USB-P doesn't go to +4 on the output <whatever that means>, sounds like that may be what's affecting the volume in my case.)

    Thanks again!

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by heretic View Post
    subscribed;

    I also have a MS-8 and decided to use the Peavey, which I just ordered. Is the best way to connect
    Computer USB ----> Peavey ----> XLR - RCA ----->MS-8.

    Is this the cable http://www.amazon.com/Black-Y-Cable-...ywords=xlr+rca to best connect the two units or would you recommend something else ?
    That's how I did it, I went with monprice XLR and monoprice gold USB.

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