A DAC using USB 2? Is there such an animal?
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KenW

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If there is, I've not found it. Anyone??

I've been looking for a DAC to use with my home PC and laptop on the road for a few weeks now and had thought the Micro seemed to be the perfect fit but now I'm having second thoughts. Too tempted by the DAC1 and some of the other high end DACs. I guess right now I really must have USB connectivity but want the flexibility of using sources other than the PC down the road. Guess I'm looking for the 'Swiss army knife' of DACS but want a top performer to boot. What are my options other than the Micro? Not that I'm down on it but there's a lack of experience with it and I'm having second thoughts about buying one. Its almost as if I'm viewing it as a "compromise" for the sake of getting the USB connectivity. Maybe I need to upgrade my sound card or forget the DAC altogether and simply enjoy the SuperMacro and Karma?

Someone with no dog in this hunt help me clear my mind. Puhlease!!!
Crap, I'm totally frustrated....and AMPLESS again!!
 
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Feanor

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KenW
If there is, I've not found it. Anyone??

Someone with no dog in this hunt help me clear my mind. Puhlease!!!
Crap, I'm totally frustrated....and AMPLESS again!!



how about the apogee minidac with the usb module?
 
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Glassman

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not USB2, but no reason for it either as it's just up to 16/48..
 
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KenW

Why not try the MicroDAC with a 30 day return. I got mine working last night using the USB of my computer with little problems like my own cluelessness in setting the MediaPlayer codec correctly. After this issue was resolved I had no problems using the USB.

Steve
 
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i was talking with my friend about this last night. there are a few problems. i was looking at the cirrus chip used in the microdac and it can support 24/192, but apparently the microdac can only go up to 24/96 right? that doesnt make sense to me why they would use cirrus's best chip and then take a few features away. i guess they had to do this because of limitations from the usb chip and the optical chip, but i really wish it were able to fully utilize the features of the cirrus chip. it seems like this might be able to be resolved with usb 2.0 compatibility or a better optical chip, unless all of my deductions were terribly wrong, which they very well may have been. any corrections?

rj
 
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KenW

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Glassman
not USB2, but no reason for it either as it's just up to 16/48..


So USB2 won't help the performance at all? Guess that simplifies things a bit. Thanks. Not sure I understand it but thanks.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KenW
So USB2 won't help the performance at all? Guess that simplifies things a bit. Thanks. Not sure I understand it but thanks.


The USB audio standard only requires up to 16/48 support. Manufactuers have increased that all the way up to 24/96 (or maybe 24/192, not sure) with custom drivers. HeadRoom and most other USB-DAC vendors that target audiophiles generally don't have the resources to custom-write drivers for their USB-DACs (which takes time and money). If you want 24/96 support for an external DAC check out the Chaintech AV-710 soundcard ($25) which has bit-perfect digital optical output. If you need a USB device with optical output for an external DAC and 24/96 support the M-Audio Transit should fit the bill.
 
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KenW

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr.Radar
The USB audio standard only requires up to 16/48 support. Manufactuers have increased that all the way up to 24/96 (or maybe 24/192, not sure) with custom drivers. HeadRoom and most other USB-DAC vendors that target audiophiles generally don't have the resources to custom-write drivers for their USB-DACs (which takes time and money). If you want 24/96 support for an external DAC check out the Chaintech AV-710 soundcard ($25) which has bit-perfect digital optical output. If you need a USB device with optical output for an external DAC and 24/96 support the M-Audio Transit should fit the bill.


So, with the transit, my setup would go PC->transit(via usb)->DAC(Micro?)->amp->cans.

Actually, I'd hoped to somehow work the SuperMacro into the computer rig somehow, someway. If I go with the MicroDAC, I'd have to go TOS link, yes?
 
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The MicroDAC supports USB (up to 16/48), Optical/TOSLINK, and Coaxial SPDIF. The Transit only has optical digital outputs so you'd be limited to that if you went with the Transit.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr.Radar
The MicroDAC supports USB (up to 16/48), Optical/TOSLINK, and Coaxial SPDIF. The Transit only has optical digital outputs so you'd be limited to that if you went with the Transit.


Okay, you seem to know your stuff in this area. Let me be blunt. Let's say you had a desire to get decent sound from your pc/laptop for headphone listening. You have a crappy soundcard on the pc and pretty much the same on the laptop. What would you recommend to get respectable tunes to your headphones. Right now, I have no dac and the only portable amp I have is the SM-3.

Lay it on me!
 
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Jon L

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KenW
Okay, you seem to know your stuff in this area. Let me be blunt. Let's say you had a desire to get decent sound from your pc/laptop for headphone listening. You have a crappy soundcard on the pc and pretty much the same on the laptop. What would you recommend to get respectable tunes to your headphones. Right now, I have no dac and the only portable amp I have is the SM-3.

Lay it on me!



Are you any good with modding? My Empirical Audio Modded Transit sounds surprisingly great through its line-out. Empirical's mods usually just disables line-out and concentrate on coax digital out, but I asked Steve to leave my line-out alone. All that was done to line-out was to change the coupling caps to black gates. Of course, the other mods help, such as black gates for power supply, power delivery mods, separate power supply (a simple 12V switching PS).

I've got the line-out hooked up to my SuperMacro v.3, and it really sounds awesome together.
 
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Mr.Radar

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KenW
Okay, you seem to know your stuff in this area. Let me be blunt. Let's say you had a desire to get decent sound from your pc/laptop for headphone listening. You have a crappy soundcard on the pc and pretty much the same on the laptop. What would you recommend to get respectable tunes to your headphones. Right now, I have no dac and the only portable amp I have is the SM-3.

Lay it on me!



I'd go with the HeadRoom MicroDAC. That seems like the best value in the DAC market today, and I'm not sure you'd find anything else that is as portable unless you went with a discontinued AOS Piccolo or Flute. If you can wait a while it is rumored that Xin himself (maker of the SuperMacro 3) is coming out with his own SuperDAC, but if you want something now the HeadRoom DAC is the one to beat for value and portability.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jon L
Are you any good with modding? My Empirical Audio Modded Transit sounds surprisingly great through its line-out. Empirical's mods usually just disables line-out and concentrate on coax digital out, but I asked Steve to leave my line-out alone. All that was done to line-out was to change the coupling caps to black gates. Of course, the other mods help, such as black gates for power supply, power delivery mods, separate power supply (a simple 12V switching PS).

I've got the line-out hooked up to my SuperMacro v.3, and it really sounds awesome together.



Unfortunately, no. I'm not a modder. Not my forte but thanks for your suggestions. At this point, I may just scrap the idea of using the computer as a source. Just feel like I'm in over my head. Don't know the difference in a TOS link and a S/PDIF. In short, I don't know what the heck I'm doing!
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr.Radar
I'd go with the HeadRoom MicroDAC. That seems like the best value in the DAC market today, and I'm not sure you'd find anything else that is as portable unless you went with a discontinued AOS Piccolo or Flute. If you can wait a while it is rumored that Xin himself (maker of the SuperMacro 3) is coming out with his own SuperDAC, but if you want something now the HeadRoom DAC is the one to beat for value and portability.


Thanks for the help. Guess it's back to the MicroDAC. Maybe that's the best thing for a guy like me. I mean how much easier can it get? Plug in the USB and connect my SM-3 via a cardas mini and then my cans, right? Even I can't screw that up....can I??<okay, this is where Mr. Pinkwings steps through the door I just opened! Go ahead...I know you want to!>
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KenW
Thanks for the help. Guess it's back to the MicroDAC. Maybe that's the best thing for a guy like me. I mean how much easier can it get? Plug in the USB and connect my SM-3 via a cardas mini and then my cans, right? Even I can't screw that up....can I??<okay, this is where Mr. Pinkwings steps through the door I just opened! Go ahead...I know you want to!>



Ken, somehow I think you will find a way.
Just kidding. Didn't I tell you a long time ago in response to one of your threads to go with the micro dac. If I didn't, I should have. It's a great little dac. If I weren't Mr. Dollarless at the moment, I would have one on order. Well, after I pay for my Hornet.
 
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