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Thread: audio over USB v. optical

  1. #341
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    idk ...i scratched that idea...found out it really only has 16 bit dacs in it...i need at least 24 bit...so still searching
    Why - what source do you have that's above 16bit?

  2. #342
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    I am using my computer mp3s which some are recorded at 320 kbps so i want to get the best out of them...unless 16 bit is a higher rate than that...

  3. #343
    Constant Bitrate seanshine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsema View Post
    I am using my computer mp3s which some are recorded at 320 kbps so i want to get the best out of them...unless 16 bit is a higher rate than that...
    Your sound card is more than adequate for the task.320k is roughly 1/3 of the data rate of a regular cd(16 bit/44khz.),in other words you've already thrown away 2/3 of the music by compressing it into an mp3 at that bit rate and if you can't hear the difference between a cd and the mp3 you've made,then there's no point in getting a better sound card.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #344
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    Per seanshine's post

    The bit in 16bit dac does not refer to the bitrate of the decoding, but the bitdepth.

    High quality MP3s sourced from CD are 16bit/44.1khtz so a well designed 16bit dac should be able to extract full resolution. DACs above 16bit tend to be designed for either pro audio (recording/mastering), cinema playback (up to 24bit), or for extra "headroom" in highend music installations (to reduce DAC errors).

  5. #345
    Constant Bitrate seanshine's Avatar
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    Thanks for the further explanation,I'll have to remember to go from the basics on up,lol.
    There is also a need in a my carputer for a 24 bit dac,as one of the reasons I got into this whole hobby was to play dvd-a's in my car.(I also wanted to play sacd's....but I guess ya can't have everything.)

    Nevertheless,once you've ripped a cd into any lossy format,that data is gone forever,and sound quality will degrade....so called "psycho acoustic" modeling
    that supposedly throws away the sounds you "can't hear" in order to make a small file size only works if someone thinks a clock radio or anything ever produced by Bose sounds good.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke

  6. #346
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    Ok thanks guys for your help...so if i wanted to get the best quality music from my computer as the source (better than cds) would getting music in the flac format be better? and if so would it be worth it to replace my whole library with it...according to how much better it sounds...thanks again.
    Ryan

  7. #347
    Constant Bitrate Felix509's Avatar
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    There is much debate if a Computer as source can sound better than the actual CD transport, In my opinion, YES..

    If you have all of your music on CDs you can rip them to a lossless format, either the original CD format which is .WAV, or you can compress them into a lossless format like FLAC.

    You cannot convert MP3 back to a higher quality format as some data has already been discarded during the Mp3 compression

    FLAC will give you the same quality and save 20%-30% of your hard drive..

    I personally use all FLAC played via Winamp. I use a M-Audio Transit to have digital optical output into my processor.

    Next you will get into the debate of how to rip the music, what software is best, what hardware, etc..

    Have fun

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  8. #348
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    so if i wanted to get the best quality music from my computer as the source (better than cds) would getting music in the flac format be better?
    If your source is CD then you can't get better than that. However ripping to a lossless format (FLAC etc) has the advantage that it's not a real time process so more effort can be put into correcting read errors.

  9. #349
    Constant Bitrate Felix509's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pokki View Post
    If your source is CD then you can't get better than that.
    The CD being the Best it can get is a Great debate... Some people have given up $10,000 CD transports in favor of computers.. Of course you still need a DAC..


    I have given up CDs and CD transports for computer as a source for the DAC, I cannot afford any CD transport that can touch my set up now.

    There are many long threads debating it on different high end forums.
    Ours is the age that is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to.

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  10. #350
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    I thought I would come back in here and make note of a few things I've been reading about USB audio in some recent Stereophile magazines I've received. They've reviewed a number of USB DACs all with the same results when it comes to listening to them over USB...no good.

    I'm not 100% sure why the reviews have all been like this. I've got a thread going over on the Sterophile forums to see if I can get some more detailed information. I'll post back what I find for anyone who is interested.
    Jan Bennett
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    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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