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SPDIF Question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

This is a question I've never been able to get a clear answer to. I'm running a Schiit Bifrost DAC thru the SPIF output of my sound card. Schiit has specified that the SPIF input on their Bifrost is the best connector to use sound quality wise. My sound card only outputs at max 2 channel, 16 bit, 96000 hz. I'm I losing sound quality because the card is not outputting at a higher sample rate? Or does it make no difference because i'm running the external dac?

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DenonBeaver View Post
 

This is a question I've never been able to get a clear answer to. I'm running a Schiit Bifrost DAC thru the SPIF output of my sound card. Schiit has specified that the SPIF input on their Bifrost is the best connector to use sound quality wise. My sound card only outputs at max 2 channel, 16 bit, 96000 Khz. I'm I losing sound quality because the card is not outputting at a higher sample rate? Or does it make no difference because I'm running the external DAC?

It might be a little better if your sound card's digital output was 24-bit/96Khz, otherwise I doubt you could do any noticeably better.

My external DAC/amp's USB input supports 32-bit/384Khz, but to me the 24-bit/96Khz optical sounds just as good.

What sound card are you using?

post #3 of 11

Depends what you listen to... If you listen to CD's or rips, it is only 16bit/44.1khz so you won't miss anything there. For hires music that is 24bit/96kHz/192kHz then you will. Can your sound card do 24bit at all, like 24bit/44.1kHz at least? Might be better to set it to that if it can.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm running the SIIG Soundwave 7.1. Thinking of buying something new...

post #5 of 11

The sound card supports 24-bit/96Khz.

The SIIG Soundwave 7.1 uses the same brand of audio processor as the Asus Xonar card.

 

Latest driver update from SIIG

http://www.siig.com/download/search/?keyword=IC-710012-S2

 

So you should be able to set it for 24-bit/96Khz.

I really doubt you would hear a difference between 96Khz and 192Khz

 

As your using the digital optical connection, chances are sound quality will not improve no matter what sound card you install.

 

If you wanted, you could get the Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used, $60), comes with the newer CMI8878 audio processor.

 

Or the Sound Blaster Z (OEM), $60.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The sound card supports 24-bit/96Khz.

The SIIG Soundwave 7.1 uses the same brand of audio processor as the Asus Xonar card.

 

Latest driver update from SIIG

http://www.siig.com/download/search/?keyword=IC-710012-S2

 

So you should be able to set it for 24-bit/96Khz.

I really doubt you would hear a difference between 96Khz and 192Khz

 

As your using the digital optical connection, chances are sound quality will not improve no matter what sound card you install.

 

If you wanted, you could get the Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used, $60), comes with the newer CMI8878 audio processor.

 

Or the Sound Blaster Z (OEM), $60.


Yes it says it will output 24-bit/96Khz which is why I bought it but that output is only available on Windows XP I'm running Windows 7. I contacted them and they confirmed this.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Just to clarify I'm running coax spdif not optical.

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DenonBeaver View Post
 


Yes it says it will output 24-bit/96Khz which is why I bought it but that output is only available on Windows XP I'm running Windows 7. I contacted them and they confirmed this.

Before I forget to ask, did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio? in the BIOS

 

That 24-bit/96Khz is only available for Win XP does not sound right, at all.

 

Install the latest software drivers, just in case there is something not working right with the current software.

http://www.siig.com/download/search/?keyword=IC-710012-S2

 

Then in Win 7, go into "Control Panel", then go into "Sound", then into 'Playback" tab, high light the "Speakers" and then click on "Properties", go to the "Advanced" Tab, look into the "Default format", trying setting it for 24-Bit/96Khz.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Before I forget to ask, did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio? in the BIOS

 

That 24-bit/96Khz is only available for Win XP does not sound right, at all.

 

Install the latest software drivers, just in case there is something not working right with the current software.

http://www.siig.com/download/search/?keyword=IC-710012-S2

 

Then in Win 7, go into "Control Panel", then go into "Sound", then into 'Playback" tab, high light the "Speakers" and then click on "Properties", go to the "Advanced" Tab, look into the "Default format", trying setting it for 24-Bit/96Khz.

Disabled the onboard audio so no issue there.

From SIIG's website:

S/PDIF transmitter supports 44.1/48/96KHz sampling rate and 16-/24-bit resolution (96KHz Windows XP only)

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DenonBeaver View Post
 

Disabled the on-board audio so no issue there.

From SIIG's website:

S/PDIF transmitter supports 44.1/48/96KHz sampling rate and 16-/24-bit resolution (96KHz Windows XP only)

The date on the manual says October 2004, so the manual has not been updated in 9 years, which is 3 years even before Win Vista come out (2007).

The hardware on the SIIG card is still used today, in Win 8 computers.

 

So the Tech support rep.you talk to does not realize his info is 9 years outdated.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The date on the manual says October 2004, so the manual has not been updated in 9 years, which is 3 years even before Win Vista come out (2007).

The hardware on the SIIG card is still used today, in Win 8 computers.

 

So the Tech support rep.you talk to does not realize his info is 9 years outdated.


Trust me I'd take a screen shot of the output option on the driver control panel setting but don't want to install there driver again. I was able to source an upgraded driver from the link below to get the card to output at 96khz

https://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers/

 

My guess is even if I upgraded to a card that outputs 24 bit 198khz I wouldn't hear any difference compared to the 16 bit 96khz i'm running now. But you know how this stuff is you try to squeeze ever last bit of sound quality out even if it's not there...

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