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Getting the SB Live digital out to work.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I got me a Musical Fidelity XDAC to play with. It has got a toslink input. I start thinking, my SB Live MP3+ has an optical digital out, so why not. Bought a mini to toslink cable, plugged it in. Nada. I was expecting light to come out of the cable just like my DVD player. Went to the volume control and selected digital out only, the volume from the regular outputs cuts off but still nothing from the digital output. Any ideas anyone?
post #2 of 13
Isn't that essentially the same as the Live Player 1024 with a different software package? Then it shouldn't have an optical out. It's electrical, as far as I know, just using the mini-plug instead of rca/cinch.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

So, in fact, you can solder the electrical digital cable yourself - you only need some 75 ohm coax cable, one rca- and one mini-plug...
post #3 of 13
I *think* (not sure tho) that it's an electrical digital out. You can but add-on boards for most Creative cards that will give you optical out:

http://www.audiencedp.com/
post #4 of 13
Wing: Yes, you can either add the digital-I/O-board to the sb-card or use an external electrical-to-optical s/p-dif-converter - the converter might be a bit cheaper, though.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #5 of 13
Why don't you return the optical cable and exchange it for a co-axil one.
post #6 of 13
raymond: Well, he still needs the conversion to be done - as he said, his XDAC only had an optical input...

Manfred / lini
post #7 of 13
Are you sure? I have X-ACT, it's the model down from the X-dac (the only difference is the X-DAC has HDCD and a bigger frequency response), and mine has both digital and Co-axal input. You should have both.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas. The XDAC does have both toslink and rca digital inputs. The SB Live has a mini-jack socket that is labeled digital and I assumed it was optical by the way it looked. It has a yellow plastic lip and not metal like the rest of the analog mini-jack in/out sockets. I guess I must try and find my manual to figure it out. I think I may have lost all the packaging that came with the card. The other thing I could do is to pull the card out and really look at it if no one else has any definitive answers.
post #9 of 13
dunno if you want to replace your soundcard, but here's a nice soundcard that'll cost less than most digital cables...

http://www.west-tech.com/P_766.htm
post #10 of 13
wing: Well, if you have an electrical s/p-dif-input on the dac, too, then it's easy: You just need the aforesaid 75-ohm miniplug-to-rca-cable - the tip should be data and the base should be ground; diy-cost ~ $ 5.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've got it working. Turns out it is an electrical mono mini-jack digital out. I used a regular stereo mini-jack to 2 RCA cable and used the white RCA jack into my DAC. The volume was quite a bit lower than regular digital output and I'm not sure if the level can be normalized. I played with software mixer to no avail. Thanks for all the ideas.
post #12 of 13
Using a SBLive and an external DAC is a bit counter-productive. The SBLive resamples everything played back over the digital out to 48 kHz and this is not lossless if the original signal is 44.2 kHz.
post #13 of 13
but it still bypasses the crappy DAC and output amp inside the soundcard, as well as isolating it from the VERY noisy computer powersupply. If the xdac has a good reciever, jitter should also be reduced

Its not perfect, some distortion occurs in the resampling process, but its still a lot better than any built in soundcard.
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