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Review: ZERO 24 BIT/192KHz DAC/Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp - Page 564

post #8446 of 9354
The xfi has optical spdif out you just need the right cable.

For only $1.82 each when QTY 50+ purchased - Toslink to Mini M/M OD:5.0mm, Molded Type - 6ft | Toslink to Mini Plug

I don't know about shipping to where you are, but those cables are not hard to come by. It would completely defeat the purpose of having that card to go back to your mobo output IMO... I'd look for a cable. You should be able to find a local place that has them - or a local ebay seller. It is a lso a much cheaper option than getting the addon module (although I have it and it is nice).
post #8447 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottieB View Post
The xfi has optical spdif out you just need the right cable.
I did not see any SPDIF out in the pic of the soundcard he posted..

I have one question too, I dont have a sound card (seperate ) but since my motherboard ( Asus P5KPL - AM) supports SPDIF out, I bought one of the Asus SPDIF modules pictured in the previous page. Does one get a better SQ through a dedicated soundcard, or is it as good as it comes out of Motherboard - I mean afterall I am using the Zero as a DAC, so why do I need a dedicated soundcard??..
post #8448 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
There were quite a few complaints about them in their forum before it was changed to a direct link to their site.

You mean the product or the vendor??.. because I recall I read some good words about the converter.
post #8449 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandchak View Post
I did not see any SPDIF out in the pic of the soundcard he posted..

I have one question too, I dont have a sound card (seperate ) but since my motherboard ( Asus P5KPL - AM) supports SPDIF out, I bought one of the Asus SPDIF modules pictured in the previous page. Does one get a better SQ through a dedicated soundcard, or is it as good as it comes out of Motherboard - I mean afterall I am using the Zero as a DAC, so why do I need a dedicated soundcard??..
That's why I said you need the right cable. It is a mini jack, but it can do optical out - trust me -- look at the cable in the link I sent. As far as quality, onboard sound cards have two (potential) issues that can affect even a bit-perfect out. One is that they are prone to interference - presumably from the rest of the components on the mobo. This manifests as static or clicks or pops. Also, many have complained that their onboard sound cards create "clicks" between songs as they disengage and then re-engage the optical out. That is, they don't send a constant signal, so there is an audible glitch when switching from song to song. If you don't have these issues, then you likely won't notice a difference with a separate card.
post #8450 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottieB View Post
I would like to buy this cable is shipping only to CA and US, im from Europe, Czech Republic.
post #8451 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaLiu View Post
I would like to buy this cable is shipping only to CA and US, im from Europe, Czech Republic.
OK, my point was that I've sent you the cable you need - it's up to you to find a local vendor. The cables aren't that hard to find, so you should be able to find someone local or who will ship to you (you could try ebay) - being from the US, though, I really can't help with that part, sorry.
post #8452 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandchak View Post
I have one question too, I dont have a sound card (seperate ) but since my motherboard ( Asus P5KPL - AM) supports SPDIF out, I bought one of the Asus SPDIF modules pictured in the previous page. Does one get a better SQ through a dedicated soundcard, or is it as good as it comes out of Motherboard - I mean afterall I am using the Zero as a DAC, so why do I need a dedicated soundcard??..
Hello,
Here's my opinion. If it sounds good to you, then it's fine. Pay close attention to Pops' and crackle type artifacts. Most likely the soundcard will be better in some regards.

Look at where your sound card chip is on your motherboard. Most likely it is nestled up against one or two Ethernet chips and all the rest of the I/O on the Board. It's kinda crowded down there! this is not conducive to great quality sound. A ton of EMI and RFI. Getting your chip up off the board has it's advantages for sure. It is still a hostile environment, but not near as bad as the motherboard. I have a Asus P5K3 Deluxe, and i couldn't use the onboard sound. I was getting this crackling and popping crap coming out of the speakers. I'm not saying all boards do this, here's the thing though, you may only notice a little harshness or ambiguous distortion that makes the sound uncomfortable. I was lucky I guess, mine reared it's ugly head in an obvious way.

IMHO, if you're doing DAC's and Head amps, Good phones, a "decent" sound card is part of that equation. You don't have to spend $200. Get one that does SPDIF and you should be OK.
post #8453 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottieB View Post
That's why I said you need the right cable. It is a mini jack, but it can do optical out - trust me -- look at the cable in the link I sent. As far as quality, onboard sound cards have two (potential) issues that can affect even a bit-perfect out. One is that they are prone to interference - presumably from the rest of the components on the mobo. This manifests as static or clicks or pops. Also, many have complained that their onboard sound cards create "clicks" between songs as they disengage and then re-engage the optical out. That is, they don't send a constant signal, so there is an audible glitch when switching from song to song. If you don't have these issues, then you likely won't notice a difference with a separate card.
Hi Scottie, thats a very good solution for DaLiu, guess in my case its going to be a little more expensive.. All this while I have been thinking Zero as an external sound card, Am I wrong??.. or is it better to go through the USB digital PCLINK that came with ZERO.. and isnt a dedicated sound card prone to interference from MOBO?.. Or Am I just confused between a Soundcard and a DAC??..
post #8454 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by les_garten View Post
Hello,
Here's my opinion. If it sounds good to you, then it's fine. Pay close attention to Pops' and crackle type artifacts. Most likely the soundcard will be better in some regards.

Look at where your sound card chip is on your motherboard. Most likely it is nestled up against one or two Ethernet chips and all the rest of the I/O on the Board. It's kinda crowded down there! this is not conducive to great quality sound. A ton of EMI and RFI. Getting your chip up off the board has it's advantages for sure. It is still a hostile environment, but not near as bad as the motherboard. I have a Asus P5K3 Deluxe, and i couldn't use the onboard sound. I was getting this crackling and popping crap coming out of the speakers. I'm not saying all boards do this, here's the thing though, you may only notice a little harshness or ambiguous distortion that makes the sound uncomfortable. I was lucky I guess, mine reared it's ugly head in an obvious way.

IMHO, if you're doing DAC's and Head amps, Good phones, a "decent" sound card is part of that equation. You don't have to spend $200. Get one that does SPDIF and you should be OK.
Hi Les,

Yes, there is this pops every time I switch on and off the system, that is really what I call as problem to me.

I had an audiotrak HD2 SE sound card before I bought the Zero, my point was (or my thinking) that the less circuits in between, the better would be the sound from Zero if I could have the sound out of my mobo feeding the ZERO, and thats why I got this Asus SPDIF module that takes the sound directly out of the motherboard to the ZERO..

I mean why would one need sound be processed by a sound card and then again reprocessed by the ZERO..

My question is about the sound quality and not the odd pops and cracks in between music...
post #8455 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandchak View Post
Hi Les,

Yes, there is this pops every time I switch on and off the system, that is really what I call as problem to me.

I had an audiotrak HD2 SE sound card before I bought the Zero, my point was (or my thinking) that the less circuits in between, the better would be the sound from Zero if I could have the sound out of my mobo feeding the ZERO, and thats why I got this Asus SPDIF module that takes the sound directly out of the motherboard to the ZERO..

I mean why would one need sound be processed by a sound card and then again reprocessed by the ZERO..

My question is about the sound quality and not the odd pops and cracks in between music...
The processing and handling will be the same whether the MB puts out SPDIF or the soundcard. They are both "Soundcards.

The MB "soundcard" is shoehorned and Nestled down in the "TRON" world of the Motherboard. The slotted soundcard is standing off the MB and away from the Electrical noise of the board. Additionally, most "Decent" soundcards should have better design and electronics than the Onboard chips. This may or may not make any difference, as you are only transporting the digital stream to the DAC. It would seem that the biggest advantage is getting the "Card" off the MB. Most Sound chips are next to the CPU and amongst the Ethernet chips. Additionally, mine is right next to the Onboard wireless controller. Total junk coming out of my MB soundcard.
post #8456 of 9354
Ok Les, I get your point now.. maybe I need to take a closer look at my motherboard as soon daylight comes..
You do have a point though, depending on the motherboard design and sound chip placement, one should decide on the necessity of a dedicated sound card even with an external DAC..

THANKS !
post #8457 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandchak View Post
Ok Les, I get your point now.. maybe I need to take a closer look at my motherboard as soon daylight comes..
You do have a point though, depending on the motherboard design and sound chip placement, one should decide on the necessity of a dedicated sound card even with an external DAC..

THANKS !
The MB environment is a very "Dirty Noisey" environment. If it is not "designed" correctly, it will never run right. The Paths from the RAM to the CPU are noisey and prone to interference. If they are not designed correctly, your memory runs with errors constantly, and the board always feels sluggish. ASUS boards are my favorite. But now that "EVERYTHING" is on the MB, they are getting noisier. Just my 2 cents!
post #8458 of 9354
er i don't have a sound card my motherboard does have both coaxial and optical, can you output these to the zero say using optical?
post #8459 of 9354
I just ordered a TOSLINK to Optical Mini-Plug Digital Audio Cable from Ebay but will take 1 month to receive it.

TOSLINK to Optical Mini-Plug Digital Audio Cable - eBay (item 220328066338 end time Dec-21-08 00:15:44 PST)
post #8460 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaLiu View Post
I just ordered a TOSLINK to Optical Mini-Plug Digital Audio Cable from Ebay but will take 1 month to receive it.

TOSLINK to Optical Mini-Plug Digital Audio Cable - eBay (item 220328066338 end time Dec-21-08 00:15:44 PST)
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