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Musical Fidelity V-LINK USB SPDIF - Page 9

post #121 of 188

well done keep post

post #122 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by realmassy View Post



 

MPD supports S24_3LE format, so you can bypass the ALSA completely addressing the card with hw,0,0 (or whatever is your device number)

I'm sure other players do the same.



That is exactly my setup. MPD > usb convertor > benchmark dac1.

 

The issue I have with being forced into 24bit samples is software trust. I know if I play a 16/44.1 flac into the trends, what goes in comes out. Ie it appears to be bit perfect.

 

I've looked at the mpd source and it appears just to be a shift from 16>24 (ie padded with 8x0s). Which is exactly what I want but what about other software? If there is more processing done, there is more risk of something going wrong. My hifi philosophy is always to keep it as simple as possible.

 

So is there anyone in the NE of England who has one of these? Then we can test and get the final defacto answer as MF tech support is worse than useless.

 

PS . all this so I can play 24/96 that in reality I dont even think I need.

 

 

 

 

post #123 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightSpark View Post


 


While I probably should have said "then in Linux it might  be addressed in ALSA as a plughw device" , I believe your own statement is incorrect. It's not just a case of what format a particular Linux sound player supports (MPD, mplayer etc.) but also if this matches what the hardware supports.

 

 


Yes, it makes sense!

What I meant is with hardware supporting 24 bit streaming (like Halide Bridge or  V-Link) you can bypass the ALSA mixer and address the device with hw.

 

By the way, I'd love to compare my Bridge with the V-Link :-)

 

post #124 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmf22 View Post

In that same April 2011 issue of Stereophile, the V-Link is one of the Class A recommended components (p. 82). 

 

Towards the end of the review, the V-Link was compared to the Halide Bridge:

"Well, as much as I would have liked to say that the $169 V-Link equaled the $450 Halide, with the Sibelius symphony the Halide did provide a slightly more transparent window on the Walthamstow Town Hall acoustic, with slightly more precisely defined stereo imaging.  (Although, if I had to swear, the Halide's bass sounded a little less rich.) Reverting to the expensive glass AudioQuest TosLink did even matters up, the V-Link still sounding slightly richer than the Halide and the Halide still ahead in precision and transparency. But these are small differences in absolute terms- and with a DAC that offer better jitter rejection than the Benchmark, those differences may well vanish." (Stereophile, Vol 34, No. 4; April 2011, p 167).


lmf22-

thanks for the relay. This makes me happy. The Halide would have been my first choice, but at 3X the price of the v-link I went with the MF. I didn't want to be in the same boat with the m2tech/kingrex/etc boys when microsoft eventually rewrites the usb driver. There aren't a lot of fanboys for the v-link on head-fi like the audio-gd di. because there aren't any parts to swap or tweak IMO, but plug and play sweetness sounds good to me.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by abaxas View Post
........

PS . all this so I can play 24/96 that in reality I dont even think I need.

abaxas-

I know what you mean brother.

Right now I'm setting up a playlist that randomly chooses songs from Gaucho by Steely Dan from either my original CD, the MoFi or the 24/96 d/l I just got from HD Tracks for this purpose to see if I can tell the difference without knowing which is which.


 

 

post #125 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by realmassy View Post




Yes, it makes sense!

What I meant is with hardware supporting 24 bit streaming (like Halide Bridge or  V-Link) you can bypass the ALSA mixer and address the device with hw.

 

By the way, I'd love to compare my Bridge with the V-Link :-)

 


Now I see what you meant. That is correct.

 

AFAIK all Envy24 based cards end up being referenced as a "plughw" device in ALSA as the ICE chipsets work on a 32 bit format. So in my case 24/9600 and higher rez files still need linear PCM format conversion if I send playback via the s/card's optical out to my DAC. e.g:

 

aplay -v --device=iec958:CARD=A71,DEV=0 2L38_01_96kHz.wav
Playing WAVE '2L38_01_96kHz.wav' : Signed 24 bit Little Endian in 3bytes, Rate 96000 Hz, Stereo
Linear conversion PCM (S32_LE)

Its setup is:
  stream       : PLAYBACK
  access       : RW_INTERLEAVED
  format       : S24_3LE
  subformat    : STD
  channels     : 2
  rate         : 96000
  exact rate   : 96000 (96000/1)
  msbits       : 24
  buffer_size  : 32768
  period_size  : 8192
  period_time  : 85333
  tstamp_mode  : NONE
  period_step  : 1
  avail_min    : 8192
  period_event : 0
  start_threshold  : 32768
  stop_threshold   : 32768
  silence_threshold: 0
  silence_size : 0
  boundary     : 1073741824
Slave: Hooks PCM
Its setup is:
  stream       : PLAYBACK
  access       : MMAP_INTERLEAVED
  format       : S32_LE
  subformat    : STD
  channels     : 2
  rate         : 96000
  exact rate   : 96000 (96000/1)
  msbits       : 24
  buffer_size  : 32768
  period_size  : 8192
  period_time  : 85333
  tstamp_mode  : NONE
  period_step  : 1
  avail_min    : 8192
  period_event : 0
  start_threshold  : 32768
  stop_threshold   : 32768
  silence_threshold: 0
  silence_size : 0
  boundary     : 1073741824
Slave: Hardware PCM card 0 'Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1' device 1 subdevice 0
Its setup is:
  stream       : PLAYBACK
  access       : MMAP_INTERLEAVED
  format       : S32_LE
  subformat    : STD
  channels     : 2
  rate         : 96000
  exact rate   : 96000 (96000/1)
  msbits       : 24
  buffer_size  : 32768
  period_size  : 8192
  period_time  : 85333
  tstamp_mode  : NONE
  period_step  : 1
  avail_min    : 8192
  period_event : 0
  start_threshold  : 32768
  stop_threshold   : 32768
  silence_threshold: 0
  silence_size : 0
  boundary     : 1073741824
  appl_ptr     : 0
  hw_ptr       : 0
 

Trying to playback the same audio file via my DAC's USB input needs the device to be addressed as a "plughw" device because format and rate conversion are needed:

 

aplay -v --device=plughw:1,0 2L38_01_96kHz.wav
Playing WAVE '2L38_01_96kHz.wav' : Signed 24 bit Little Endian in 3bytes, Rate 96000 Hz, Stereo
Plug PCM: Rate conversion PCM (48000, sformat=S16_LE)

Converter: libspeex (builtin)
Protocol version: 10002
Its setup is:
  stream       : PLAYBACK
  access       : RW_INTERLEAVED
  format       : S24_3LE
  subformat    : STD
  channels     : 2
  rate         : 96000
  exact rate   : 96000 (96000/1)
  msbits       : 24
  buffer_size  : 48000
  period_size  : 12000
  period_time  : 125000
  tstamp_mode  : NONE
  period_step  : 1
  avail_min    : 12000
  period_event : 0
  start_threshold  : 48000
  stop_threshold   : 48000
  silence_threshold: 0
  silence_size : 0
  boundary     : 1572864000
Slave: Hardware PCM card 1 'USB Audio CODEC ' device 0 subdevice 0
Its setup is:
  stream       : PLAYBACK
  access       : MMAP_INTERLEAVED
  format       : S16_LE
  subformat    : STD
  channels     : 2
  rate         : 48000
  exact rate   : 48000 (48000/1)
  msbits       : 16
  buffer_size  : 24001
  period_size  : 6000
  period_time  : 125000
  tstamp_mode  : NONE
  period_step  : 1
  avail_min    : 6000
  period_event : 0
  start_threshold  : 24000
  stop_threshold   : 24001
  silence_threshold: 0
  silence_size : 0
  boundary     : 1572929536
  appl_ptr     : 0
  hw_ptr       : 0

But back to the V-link. I'm happy with my DAC's adaptive USB input so I'm not convinced the V-link is for me yet. But if I change to say the new Rega DAC it would become a necessary purchase.

 


Edited by BrightSpark - 4/13/11 at 8:47am
post #126 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by abaxas View Post





That is exactly my setup. MPD > usb convertor > benchmark dac1.

 

The issue I have with being forced into 24bit samples is software trust. I know if I play a 16/44.1 flac into the trends, what goes in comes out. Ie it appears to be bit perfect.

 

I've looked at the mpd source and it appears just to be a shift from 16>24 (ie padded with 8x0s). Which is exactly what I want but what about other software? If there is more processing done, there is more risk of something going wrong. My hifi philosophy is always to keep it as simple as possible.

 

So is there anyone in the NE of England who has one of these? Then we can test and get the final defacto answer as MF tech support is worse than useless.

 

PS . all this so I can play 24/96 that in reality I dont even think I need.

 

 

 

 


Really, I don't think you need to worry about sound playback where bit padding from 16bits to 24bits takes place.  Mixers and software volume controls are a concern, and do degrade playback SQ.  But it's not just so you can play 24/96, it's the magic bullet of "async USB" you'll be paying for.  Assuming of course it really is a magic bullet and there is a descernable difference between using your Trends convertor and the MF V-Link. In the end it's your ears and your money.

 

post #127 of 188


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightSpark View Post




Really, I don't think you need to worry about sound playback where bit padding from 16bits to 24bits takes place.  Mixers and software volume controls are a concern, and do degrade playback SQ.  But it's not just so you can play 24/96, it's the magic bullet of "async USB" you'll be paying for.  Assuming of course it really is a magic bullet and there is a descernable difference between using your Trends convertor and the MF V-Link. In the end it's your ears and your money.

 



Good question, is the jitter rejection on the dac1 sufficient for the trends UD-10. Who knows that answer, probably no-one!

 

Maybe best to leave off until the dust settles as standards are still quite new.

 

 

 

post #128 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightSpark View Post
But back to the V-link. I'm happy with my DAC's adaptive USB input so I'm not convinced the V-link is for me yet. But if I change to say the new Rega DAC it would become a necessary purchase.

 


You know what? with my Linux box and ecasound in real time mode the adaptive USB input of my Havana sounded very very good. It was as good as my Juli@ optical output actually.

I didn't get same result running XP. The Halide sounds noticeably better but I'd have been happy anyway with standard USB.

 

post #129 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightSpark View Post




Really, I don't think you need to worry about sound playback where bit padding from 16bits to 24bits takes place.  Mixers and software volume controls are a concern, and do degrade playback SQ.  But it's not just so you can play 24/96, it's the magic bullet of "async USB" you'll be paying for.  Assuming of course it really is a magic bullet and there is a descernable difference between using your Trends convertor and the MF V-Link. In the end it's your ears and your money.

 


Or in my case, also the ability to use the better implemented interface on my dac. (s/pdif vs usb)

 

post #130 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Uthadude View Post
lmf22-

thanks for the relay. This makes me happy. The Halide would have been my first choice, but at 3X the price of the v-link I went with the MF. I didn't want to be in the same boat with the m2tech/kingrex/etc boys when microsoft eventually rewrites the usb driver. There aren't a lot of fanboys for the v-link on head-fi like the audio-gd di. because there aren't any parts to swap or tweak IMO, but plug and play sweetness sounds good to me.

 

Beware that you'll have to add the cost of coaxial and USB cables, and you could end up with a setup that's more expensive than the Halide Bridge.  I use the Blackcat Veloce coaxial cable ($123) and the Wireworld Silver Starlight USB (1 meter, $300).  On the other hand, you get to experiment with different cable combinations.  I also like how the Silver Starlight USB have power conductor that's isolated from the signal conductors.
 

post #131 of 188

I have discovered some oddities lately. I was re-arranging my ‘office’ at home and moved my gear. Now it’s closer to my desktop computer than where my laptop sits so I plugged it into the desktop for the heck of it. It got better. My initial belief is that the usb ports on my laptop are underpowered. It made a difference which actual port I used on the laptop. I sometimes heard some low level crud when I played music at 24/96. I would sometimes get dropouts. On my desktop, I can hear no difference if I use the usb galvanic isolator dongle (both data and power lines). Switching cables seems to make no difference. No problems. All is well in musicland. I am going to buy a powered usb hub for the laptop and see if it makes a difference.

 

In the meantime, I cannot tell if it’s the asynch or coax instead of usb in my dac, but the v-link has made a nice improvement. Ideally, I would have a one box dac with asych (to i2s) and galvanic isolation built-in, but where’s the fun in that? Waiting for perfection isn’t really Head-Fi-ish is it?

 

post #132 of 188

I have a Musical Fidelity X-DAC v8 with a USB input.  Does anyone know if the USB interface on the X-DAC provides the same functionality as the V-LINK?  I'm wondering if the V-LINK would improve the sound for my setup.  Thanks.

post #133 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghofer View Post

I have a Musical Fidelity X-DAC v8 with a USB input.  Does anyone know if the USB interface on the X-DAC provides the same functionality as the V-LINK?  I'm wondering if the V-LINK would improve the sound for my setup.  Thanks.

X-dac uses the adaptive mode of the USB receiver whereas V-Link is asynchronous. I believe V-Link will give you a big boost in sound quality.
Edited by tubesound - 4/17/11 at 5:59pm
post #134 of 188

Thanks for the reply.  I thought as much but I wanted to verify since I can't find any USB specs in my manual.

post #135 of 188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Uthadude View Post....On my desktop, I can hear no difference if I use the usb galvanic isolator dongle (both data and power lines). Switching cables seems to make no difference. No problems. All is well in musicland. I am going to buy a powered usb hub for the laptop and see if it makes a difference.

 

Thanks for the report. I look forward to what the powered hub does. Which one are you getting?

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