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What is the best option for getting audio to schitt Gungnir DAC?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have been told that the USB input on the Schitt Gungnir DAC while great, is outperformed by the DAC's coaxial and optical S/PDIF inputs.

 

The one option that I know of is using a computer to feed music to the DAC with a soundcard that has digital connections on it. Does noise interference from the internals of the computer affect optical or coaxial S/PDIF output?

 

So I am wondering what my alternatives are for sources and what the pros and cons of each option is.

 

Thanks,

Hank.

post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

No one has any alternative suggestions to using USB from a computer? 

post #3 of 8
Well optical will be be isolated from any electrical noise in the computer, but it's also got some fairly high jitter IIRC. You could also try a USB to S/PDIF converter as well if you want to still use USB but have an S/PDIF connect to Gungnir.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have heard that with optical, the jitter is caused by low quality cables and loose connections. Also if the clock device in the DAC is high quality and can achieve a lock, is jitter going to be very prevalent? 

post #5 of 8

I'd be seriously surprised if you heard even the slightest difference between the inputs. Use whatever is easiest. I would use USB since I don't have a Soundcard and on Mac CoreAudio is rock solid, on Windows I'd probably do the same.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have done a lot of research in regards to using sound card connections (my HT Omega Claro Plus has optical and coaxial connections) and it seems like people think it pointless to even have a soundcard in the chain. The reasoning being that soundcards sound fine on their own and a DAC does not improve upon or have that great an effect on the sound.

 

Is this true? I have plugged soundcard to amp to headphones for a while on my PC and I was not overly impressed by the sound quality. I was hoping that using the digital outs of my soundcard to connect to an external DAC and then amp would be a lot better.

post #7 of 8

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with optical, provided your source is low jitter. My main digital source is a Mac Mini, which has relatively high jitter through its optical out (>1000 ps), and at least on my speaker rig the difference is audible over other digital sources I've tried (including the Gungnir's built-in USB). For what it's worth, my experience with the Gungnir is that the sound quality is roughly coaxial > USB > optical with the small subset of gear I've tried.

 

If I was buying the Gungnir again, I'd leave out the USB option and use the money to get a V-Link 192. The total cost is in the same ballpark, but you get a digital source that's measured to have low jitter and as a bonus uses the XMOS chipset, which is generally more reliable and bulletproof than the CMedia chipset.

 

If cost is no object, there are other options of course, depending on your needs. You might consider the ART Legato or Audiophileo, but I haven't heard either and can't comment.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaChicken View Post

I have been told that the USB input on the Schitt Gungnir DAC while great, is outperformed by the DAC's coaxial and optical S/PDIF inputs.

 

The one option that I know of is using a computer to feed music to the DAC with a soundcard that has digital connections on it. Does noise interference from the internals of the computer affect optical or coaxial S/PDIF output?

 

So I am wondering what my alternatives are for sources and what the pros and cons of each option is.

 

Thanks,

Hank

optical should not be prone to any interference, that's what I remember reading

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