Audio-gd Digital Interface
May 7, 2012 at 11:03 AM Post #2,791 of 4,156

fourwed

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Do you know if this is the case for the DI-V2?
Which Adum4160 dongle are you using now with the dual psu inputs? Sounds interesting.
Right around here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/500369/audio-gd-digital-interface/2625#post_7859266
You need 74VHC04N or 74AHC04N or similar to replace the hex inverter chip in the di. I believe I'm using the 74VHC04N in mine.
I forgot to answer you before about this: I have only tried the 74VHC04N and the stock, I didn't get different variations to swap out. The biggest negative of the hex inverter swap is the sound can be a little more 'digital' (slightly harsh highs) but I found it was remedied completely by the isolator and using a good quality USB cable (I love monoprice, but their usb cable didn't seem very good for this purpose). The improvements in detail, soundstage, etc. are totally worth it though in my opinion, and the isolator is pretty much a must if you want the best sound quality.

 
Yes, I agree with you that it sounds digital, or fatigue as JulienM said, that is why I switched it back to stock. However, I did not try it after I use lithium battery. I should give it a try later.
 
Quote:
 
Yeah, I got the ACR based on recommendations on audiogon. I have the version 2 which isolates the data and power within the same cable, but the haven't tried the version 3 which splits the power and data across separate cables. Compared to some generic USB, the sound was a bit more clear and the bass seemed to extended deeper with the ACR. However, there are so many variables just on the USB section of my system, its hard tell what is improving what anymore.
 
 
I've only been able to compare the 74AHC04N and 74AHCU04N so far, and they sounded the same to me. I believe the latter is just the unbuffered version of the same chip. Both inverters added more instrument separation and spatiousness compared to stock, making the music a bit less congested. The stock sounded a bit more warm and smooth to me. I haven't been able to compare to the 74VHC04N yet.
 
I also have the DI-DSP on the way, and agree that all these little tweaks to the old DI may be irrelevant if the new DSP is better sounding in its stock form. Can't wait for the comparisons!

 
The new DI should be better but still, a good power source and power isolation should make a difference.
Quote:
 
I don't see any change in that section of the PCB.
 
 
http://www.poscope.com/pousbiso
 
It's a dead simple PCB with the 4160 chip, a 150mV ripple 400mA(including the device side of 4160, so more like 300mA for the device itself) power isolator and some diodes to force the use of the unregulated external input.
 
I've tried it w/ three types of PSU's:
-the built-in 150mV power isolator, that sounds nasty and colored to death.
-a 5.25V idle/500mA SONY cellphone wallwart, better SQ than either the computer 5V or the built-in power isolator
-a 5V/1A linear regulated PSU: 
 
stunning SQ!
 
IME and IMHO, all those 4160 isolators that either use a very high ripple power isolator or a SMPS regulated input only give you a glimpse of what 4160 can offer. My next challenge is to use another of those linear PSU's in order to feed the HOST side of 4160, but that's a lot more complicated..
 
jkeny has been recommending this cable on many audiophile forums: http://shop.meconet.de/product_info.php?language=en&products_id=115485
 
but he has never tried it himself, huh...I'm not looking for thrills as a friend of mine tried a few tricks himself w/ USB power and all he managed to do is frying his USB controller 
evil_smiley.gif

 
The problem w/ this kind of trick is that you need to share grounds but you still want to block the nasty computer +5V and replace it seamlessly.

 
Oh, I thought you are using this kind of linear power supply. I am thinking how good is it compared to lithium battery.
 

 
 
Also, I purchased this USB isolator from a local online store. I must use a power source with it but its sound is not good even I use lithium battery to power this. I think it might be because of its power regulation and I will try to feed a 5V directly to it.
 

 
May 7, 2012 at 12:06 PM Post #2,792 of 4,156

ursdiego

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Hi out there! Does anybody know wether the new DI with TE8802 can be connected by asychronous USB 2 to the Squeezebox Touch (with the Enhanced Digital Output App as presented by Triode)?
 
There are different statements about linux-compatibility of the TE8802 on the internet...
 
Does anybody have reliable information about that?
 
Cheers!
 
May 7, 2012 at 6:37 PM Post #2,793 of 4,156

somestranger26

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Also, I purchased this USB isolator from a local online store. I must use a power source with it but its sound is not good even I use lithium battery to power this. I think it might be because of its power regulation and I will try to feed a 5V directly to it.


It could also be how the ADUM4160 chip is implemented. Leeperry tested a ton of these isolator boards in a thread about the Firestone Bravo D-D converter and of that batch found http://www.olimex.com/dev/usb-iso.html to be best. I'd try either the olimex or the dual power supply one he linked above for best results. Most people in this thread are using the Olimex one since that's the bandwagon we all jumped on months ago :).

The way you connect the isolator to your computer (or the DI) can have an effect on SQ too from my experience. I found it sounded best Computer->USB adapter->Isolator->Cable->DI, and even the quality of the usb adapter seems to have an effect. A cable before the isolator will give worse SQ by increasing the stream latency, and low quality adapters also seem to affect the sq negatively. I used to have a really cheap USB A male to B male adapter that was wobbly and ended up breaking. Got a new one with better build quality (more robust, gold plate connectors) and noticed a slight improvement.

Hi out there! Does anybody know wether the new DI with TE8802 can be connected by asychronous USB 2 to the Squeezebox Touch (with the Enhanced Digital Output App as presented by Triode)?

There are different statements about linux-compatibility of the TE8802 on the internet...

It will probably be like other async converters on the market -- Windows works with drivers and UNIX systems (Mac and Linux) usually have a built in USB audio driver that is compatible. I don't run Linux, but I could test compatibility on a liveCD for you when I get mine.
 
May 7, 2012 at 6:43 PM Post #2,794 of 4,156

JulienM

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Yeah, I got the ACR based on recommendations on audiogon. I have the version 2 which isolates the data and power within the same cable, but the haven't tried the version 3 which splits the power and data across separate cables. Compared to some generic USB, the sound was a bit more clear and the bass seemed to extended deeper with the ACR. However, there are so many variables just on the USB section of my system, its hard tell what is improving what anymore.


I just put the ACR back in the system. I agree with your comments, a bit more clear. Since I've build some new cast cables using Canare DA202, I'm reevaluating some previous observations.
But the thing I always try to avoid is listening fatigue. I've been fighting it for the past 15 years... How to get an involving sonic presentation without listening fatigue? Anyway, the verdict on the ACR is not complete yet, I need a few days to get used to it again.
 
May 7, 2012 at 11:24 PM Post #2,795 of 4,156

ursdiego

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I've been fighting it for the past 15 years... How to get an involving sonic presentation without listening fatigue?

Hey Julien, are you sure, that you have a reasonable goal here? I consider that involving music sounds as close as possible to live music. And even live instrumental chamber music played in the living room with no amplification involved, will provoke fatigue after a while.
 
May 7, 2012 at 11:26 PM Post #2,796 of 4,156

ursdiego

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It will probably be like other async converters on the market -- Windows works with drivers and UNIX systems (Mac and Linux) usually have a built in USB audio driver that is compatible. I don't run Linux, but I could test compatibility on a liveCD for you when I get mine.

I indeed hope so! I will test it as soon as I get mine... I ordered a DI-DSP as well as the TE8802-upgrade for the two audio-gd DACs I own.
 
May 8, 2012 at 10:04 AM Post #2,797 of 4,156

JulienM

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Hey Julien, are you sure, that you have a reasonable goal here? I consider that involving music sounds as close as possible to live music. And even live instrumental chamber music played in the living room with no amplification involved, will provoke fatigue after a while.


Agreed, not all listening fatigue comes from electronic distortion. It might be a standing wave, or volume, or just a long exposure to complex sounds.

Some recordings will also create fatigue due to electronics, acoustic problems, etc... I can't fix those. I still want my system to be transparent. I feel that too much coloration will make the system predictable and boring after a certain amount of time.

And there's also the listeners present mental and physical condition.

I try to limit my quest to the playback system. One of the signs of fatigue is an inability to listen to the system for more than 30 min to an hour. It just doesn't sound right, even though all the information is there, there's something off... Another one is when after a few hours of music (not necessarily at high volume) you feel your ears acking. Sometimes till the next day...

So, I'm always afraid that extra detail might lead to early listening fatigue. Because the extra detail might actually be extra distortion, or a different distortion, at the frequencies that hurt the ear. Experimentation is key.
 
May 8, 2012 at 12:09 PM Post #2,798 of 4,156

LosNir

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What would be a better choice for a usb isolator, the Olimex or PoUSBiso (4160 based)?
 
May 9, 2012 at 2:35 PM Post #2,799 of 4,156

JulienM

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I have an Olimex isolator on order, but I don't quite get the external power supply... I couldn't find a clear explanation... Does it feed the isolator, or the USB device (bypassing the host power)? My DI has its own power supply.

Do you guys with Olimex isolators use that extra power input? Any gains? If yes, any suggestions on what to get?

Thanks for your help!
 
May 9, 2012 at 4:45 PM Post #2,800 of 4,156

BoyNamedSue

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Quote:
I have an Olimex isolator on order, but I don't quite get the external power supply... I couldn't find a clear explanation... Does it feed the isolator, or the USB device (bypassing the host power)? My DI has its own power supply.
Do you guys with Olimex isolators use that extra power input? Any gains? If yes, any suggestions on what to get?
Thanks for your help!

 
Like a few others here, I used the DI PSU to power the olimex and have the DI set to USB input. I notice a bit more micro-detail with the PSU on the olimex versus the DI. The olimex still works without a external PSU feeding it.
 
Since were on the topic of tweaks, I was wondering if anyone here has tried Jplay as a software player with the DI. I found out about it randomly through this thread that compares multiple software players, http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=sc7kl86m30te6i8c50q1iqsn7mv2c5e6&topic=100613.0;wap2. I got the trial version of Jplay, since it was most recommended,and I am hearing a not so subtle improvement in SQ. In my speaker system, the music is noticeably tighter, in a good way, and I can hear more tone and texture on the bass. I am perceiving a slightly blacker background as well. I honestly don't want to believe that the improvements are so considerable, as I have been happy with foobar2000 and don't want to shell out money for a software player. I'm curious to hear other's impressions. FYI, all the modes on jplay seem to work and be stable with DI on my i7 windows 7 pc. I have mine set to hibernate mode with max settings.
 
May 9, 2012 at 10:06 PM Post #2,801 of 4,156

somestranger26

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Since were on the topic of tweaks, I was wondering if anyone here has tried Jplay as a software player with the DI.... snip snip


JPlay and Fidelizer make absolutely zero difference on my system (KS, 4 sample buffer, "XTREME", etc.) compared to Foobar2000 WASAPI 250ms buffer. I've tried every setting in fidelizer, I've tried hibernate mode with the 'max quality' settings in JPlay (have tried older versions of these software as well). No difference detected either way. I can hear a difference between USB cables but not between software... though it is obvious to tell DS vs WASAPI.

edit: I should mention I have tweaked some settings in f2k. I use full file buffering so it plays from memory (told it to play anything <1GB from memory basically), set playback thread priority to max, and have all replaygain, vst, etc. disabled. I'm not sure that these make much of a difference besides reducing dropout frequency.
 
May 9, 2012 at 10:49 PM Post #2,802 of 4,156

Sganzerla

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I tried the trial version and found it the best player I've ever tried.
 
 On my system, and to my ears:
 
 JPlay > cPlay > JRiver MC 17 > JRiver MC16 > Foobar
 
 I know there are people who don't believe in software, but I find the differences between Foobar and the others easy to spot.
 cPlay is free.
 
May 9, 2012 at 11:46 PM Post #2,803 of 4,156

MohawkUS

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I found Jplay to make a huge difference with my system which ATM is 'onboard sound(I'm having trouble picking a DAC)>A vintage Sherwood Receiver>Stax SR-5NB. If you use Jplay for Jriver it's nearly as good as the standalone and free. The full standalone of Jplay costs $130 and the difference between Jriver and Jplayed Jriv is a lot bigger than the difference between that and the full version. I'm on JRiver MC15 right now.
 
May 9, 2012 at 11:58 PM Post #2,804 of 4,156

kr0gg

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I found Jplay to make a huge difference with my system which ATM is 'onboard sound(I'm having trouble picking a DAC)>A vintage Sherwood Receiver>Stax SR-5NB. If you use Jplay for Jriver it's nearly as good as the standalone and free. The full standalone of Jplay costs $130 and the difference between Jriver and Jplayed Jriv is a lot bigger than the difference between that and the full version. I'm on JRiver MC15 right now.

 
you're saying that Jplay for Jriver is free? that's impossible.
 
May 10, 2012 at 12:46 AM Post #2,805 of 4,156

MohawkUS

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you're saying that Jplay for Jriver is free? that's impossible.

Yeah, the free trial works just fine with JRiver, when you're using it as a standalone player it cuts the audio in and out every minute or so. You'd have to get the payed version to use the standalone without that. I'm actually a bit surprised how good it can sound with onboard audio, the full version does sound noticeably better than the hybrid. Enough for a college student like me to buy it? nope, but someone with a disposable income, yes. The difference is a little more than subtle.

There is a sort of brightness I feel is inherit to JRiver that helps to add detail(foobar, media monkey, etc. all sound a bit dark/smudgy to me), Jplay eliminates the brightness while adding a little bit of texture. Moving up to the full Jplay adds a more accurate tone and a little more texture. I'd assume if I was running a better DAC the differences would be higher. These STAX really show off any tiny difference in the signal chain. Now if only I could find a DAC that kept the aggressive nature of onboard. My metal sounded a bit boring through the few DACs I've tried. That's why I'm in this thread, I was wondering about Audio-GD DACS and the DI.
 

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