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Which is more ideal for me: USB/Coax or Optical?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
The Gods struck down my computer yesterday when the power went out. I'm still troubleshooting what exactly went bad, but I'm fairly certain it is the motherboard (rom chip). I've located an equivalent motherboard to the one I'm currently using, but in my curiosity, I looked at the next 2 models above it and found for a little extra I can get an S/PDIF out on the mothboard. This is how my current setup looks:

---> Computer mp3/FLAC files
---> USB cable via mobo rear USB port
---> V-LINK Asynch 24/96 converts USB to coaxial
---> Coaxial cable

---> Audio-GD DAC-19
---> RCA cables
---> Marantz 2275 receiver
---> Headphones or speakers

I've bolded basically what will be taken out of the equation if I bypass the V-LINK converter by going straight optical from motherboard to DAC. I have no complaints about how the current system sounds, but I'm in an interesting position to obtain an optical out and I'm looking for some feedback. Here are the links to the motherboards I'm looking at:

Mobo without optical: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157297
Mobo with optical: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157296

Thanks.
post #2 of 5

It may be worth getting the upgraded mobo even to have the possibility to compare and choose, as judging by your current setup seems your preferences could be different.

 

I have done such comparison as both my motherboard and DAC support all 3 connection types (USB/Coax/Toslink) and concluded that direct USB is the best for my needs. But since you're going through a lot of trouble not to use USB, you must have your reasons. Toslink has offered me nothing over the Coax, but it could be useful if you have to galvanically isolate the devices. YMMV.

post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by treal512 View Post

The Gods struck down my computer yesterday when the power went out. I'm still troubleshooting what exactly went bad, but I'm fairly certain it is the motherboard (rom chip). I've located an equivalent motherboard to the one I'm currently using, but in my curiosity, I looked at the next 2 models above it and found for a little extra I can get an S/PDIF out on the motherboard. This is how my current setup looks:
---> Computer mp3/FLAC files
---> USB cable via mobo rear USB port
---> V-LINK Asynch 24/96 converts USB to coaxial
---> Coaxial cable

---> Audio-GD DAC-19
---> RCA cables
---> Marantz 2275 receiver
---> Headphones or speakers
I've bolded basically what will be taken out of the equation if I bypass the V-LINK converter by going straight optical from motherboard to DAC. I have no complaints about how the current system sounds, but I'm in an interesting position to obtain an optical out and I'm looking for some feedback. Here are the links to the motherboards I'm looking at:
Mobo without optical: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157297
Mobo with optical: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157296

S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) will work with sound cards (on-board or add-on).

USB will bypass the sound cards, which is fine if you play all you audio sources (music, movies, gaming) as 2-channel sources (no headphone surround sound).

I just use optical for PC to Audio-GD connection.

post #4 of 5

That board uses Realtek ALC 892.

 

http://www.realtek.com.tw/products/productsView.aspx?Langid=1&PFid=28&Level=5&Conn=4&ProdID=284

 

Which is hardly cutting edge any more but according to objective theory it ought to be transparent to the human ear.

 

So you might even be able to get rid of the Audio_gd as well!

 

Well worth a $10 punt. You can always go back to your existing method for a comparison. Be interested in the result.

 

I'm a USB/Firewire guy myself though so hopefully someone else with direct hands on will pitch up.

 

ed: presentation


Edited by RonaldDumsfeld - 2/17/14 at 6:47am
post #5 of 5

I currently made the switch from usb to toslink optical not because i hear the sound difference, but it's very hard to hear sound positioning in games when using usb.  

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