or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › SPDIF optical out Questions
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

SPDIF optical out Questions

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello,

I've looked through the search but couldn't find any solid answers so I decided to start a thread.

I'm in the process of upgrading my PC and my DAC both, and what I heard was that if I wanted to use a dac with 24bit or higher playback then I need to use SPDIF coax or optical out from a pc soundcard into the DAC 

 

Now the question is, do I need a pc sound card with SPDIF coax or optical? or can I get SPDIF out some other way so I don't waste money on a soundcard with a dac built in just to plug it into ANOTHER external dac.
Thanks in advance.

EDIT: I don't know if I want to use USB anymore since I hear about jitter and all the stuff around it.


Edited by Rinoue - 3/29/14 at 6:20pm
post #2 of 13

Why do you want to go to 24 bit or higher playback?

 

Are you sure you will hear differences between 16 bit and 24+ bit?

 

Just trying to save you the trouble of spending some money.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've never actually heard 24bit playback, I don't know if I'll hear a difference or not, but I do see every other post on here that a lot of people are using 24bit playback, so I'm naturally curious, even if I can't hear a difference just knowing that I'm running at higher bits and a cleaner signal would be worth it for me, peace of mind if you will.


Edited by Rinoue - 3/29/14 at 7:29pm
post #4 of 13

if I am understanding you correctly you cannot use the analog. if you want to use a dac that is. you either need coax,toslink or usb. honestly with a computer I would use usb. that is the whole thing with a computer. at the level I am guessing you are getting id just get a usb dac. it is going to be better than a cheap sound cards spdif implementation. if you are getting high end gear you can use a usb to spdif converter. you can upsample if you want either way. if you get to the level you want the noise out of the usb you can read all about that here. btw, if you have a computer that is less than five years old it probably has toslink(optical) on the motherboard. which is as good as any soundblaster or whatever.

 

with usb some dacs will do 32 bit if that matters to you. usb can also do dsd and dxd. if I were buying any dac now I would want usb regardless of price.


Edited by music_man - 3/29/14 at 7:29pm
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
 

if I am understanding you correctly you cannot use the analog. if you want to use a dac that is. you either need coax,toslink or usb. honestly with a computer I would use usb. that is the whole thing with a computer. at the level I am guessing you are getting id just get a usb dac. it is going to be better than a cheap sound cards spdif implementation. if you are getting high end gear you can use a usb to spdif converter. you can upsample if you want either way. if you get to the level you want the noise out of the usb you can read all about that here. btw, if you have a computer that is less than five years old it probably has toslink(optical) on the motherboard. which is as good as any soundblaster or whatever.

 

with usb some dacs will do 32 bit if that matters to you. usb can also do dsd and dxd. if I were buying any dac now I would want usb regardless of price.


I didn't know USB can support 24 bit and 32 bit, also I didn't know motherboards had a built in toslink as my computer is almost 9 years old and mine doesn't have it.
I'll rethink what I want to do and why before taking the next step now with the info you gave me, thanks.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinoue View Post
 

I've looked through the search but couldn't find any solid answers so I decided to start a thread.
I'm in the process of upgrading my PC and my DAC both, and what I heard was that if I wanted to use a dac with 24bit or higher playback then I need to use SPDIF coax or optical out from a PC sound card into the DAC 

Now the question is, do I need a PC sound card with SPDIF coax or optical? or can I get SPDIF out some other way so I don't waste money on a soundcard with a dac built in just to plug it into ANOTHER external dac.

Thanks in advance.
EDIT: I don't know if I want to use USB anymore since I hear about jitter and all the stuff around it.

 

I have an external DAC/Amp that comes with a 32-bit/384Khz USB input, so I can't see S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) being something you have to have.

USB bypasses the computer's sound card, S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) will work with a sound card's features.

So USB is fine for music (stereo sound), S/PDIF is more preferred for use with surround sound (6-channel audio)

If you need a S/PDIF optical output, Newegg sells the Asus Xonar DG sound card, $27.99 and their is a $10 mail in rebate this month.

You can get a good DAC in USB & optical & coaxial.

post #7 of 13

Please review these sites and enjoy that feeling of knowing what you have is not good enough. These are ONLY USB->SPDIF convertors, and since they make such expensive versions of this tool one would have to assume that using them is better than just plugging a DAC into your computer's USB port.

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/15-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-spdif-converters-shootout-15327/

 

http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/USB_SPDIF.htm

 

*evil laugh*


Edited by ag8908 - 3/29/14 at 9:22pm
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ag8908 View Post
 

Please review these sites and enjoy that feeling of knowing what you have is not good enough. These are ONLY USB->SPDIF convertors, and since they make such expensive versions of this tool one would have to assume that using them is better than just plugging a DAC into your computer's USB port.

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/15-universal-serial-bus-industry-standard-cables-connectors-and-communications-protocols-between-computers-and-electronic-devices-spdif-converters-shootout-15327/

 

http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/USB_SPDIF.htm

 

*evil laugh*


My god, those numbers are evil

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

I have an external DAC/Amp that comes with a 32-bit/384Khz USB input, so I can't see S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) being something you have to have.

USB bypasses the computer's sound card, S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) will work with a sound card's features.

So USB is fine for music (stereo sound), S/PDIF is more preferred for use with surround sound (6-channel audio)

If you need a S/PDIF optical output, Newegg sells the Asus Xonar DG sound card, $27.99 and their is a $10 mail in rebate this month.

You can get a good DAC in USB & optical & coaxial.


Yeah I just want stereo sound so I wouldn't need any features on a sound card, I mostly asked these questions initially because I didn't know that USB can do 24 bit and up and I also understand higher bits don't equel a be all end all thing, but I am curious as to how it would sound if I can even hear it.

 

I use Stax Lambda Sig SR-404 with a SRM-252S from Foobar2000 with Wasapi and into a Audio GD Compass DAC and into my Stax. Since the Stax are very resolving I thought if any headphones were going to benefit from 24bit audibly it'd be  the Stax.


Edited by Rinoue - 3/29/14 at 11:54pm
post #10 of 13

well really high end r2r dacs seem to be better at 16 bit. stax is great with hi-rez. if you can hear dsd from the sr009 it is sublime. those expensive converters cannot even do hi-rez. if you want 24 bit plus id just go usb. otherwise you are into really big money. a nice usb dac will be better than coax from a cheap soundcard. I would look at getting a new computer. dsp and upsampling require some horsepower. you may find it won't run on that.

post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
 

well really high end r2r dacs seem to be better at 16 bit. stax is great with hi-rez. if you can hear dsd from the sr009 it is sublime. those expensive converters cannot even do hi-rez. if you want 24 bit plus id just go usb. otherwise you are into really big money. a nice usb dac will be better than coax from a cheap soundcard. I would look at getting a new computer. dsp and upsampling require some horsepower. you may find it won't run on that.


I read somewhere that usb-> SPDIF convertors can do 24 bit 192khz, and that their advantage is that they have better timing than most USB dacs. too technical for me.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
 

well really high end r2r dacs seem to be better at 16 bit. stax is great with hi-rez. if you can hear dsd from the sr009 it is sublime. those expensive converters cannot even do hi-rez. if you want 24 bit plus id just go usb. otherwise you are into really big money. a nice usb dac will be better than coax from a cheap soundcard. I would look at getting a new computer. dsp and upsampling require some horsepower. you may find it won't run on that.


Indeed I am building a new computer with these specs for the upgrade, and looking to get a Alpha Design Labs Esprit USB DAC to replace my Audio GD Compass (it sounds ok)

i7-4770K, 3.50GHz w/ 8MB Cache
Asus Z87-PRO w/ Dual DDR3 1600
RipjawsX Series 32GB PC3-12800 Quad Channel DDR3 Kit (4 x 8GB)

It should have plenty of juice to run dsp and upsampling.


Edited by Rinoue - 3/30/14 at 10:25am
post #13 of 13

I guess some can do 24/192. 32/384-dsd is only usb right now.

 

those are good computer specs. just get a good psu depending on the graphics. people skimp on the psu never a good idea. make sure it runs dual chan with 4 sticks.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › SPDIF optical out Questions