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Audio-gd USB-32 Firmware, Drivers, and Feedback Thread

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by petercraig, Nov 26, 2012.
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  1. PeterCraig
    In September 2012 Audio-gd started shipping gear with the new USB-32 interface. 
    USB-32 Module
    Built-in USB interface compatible with Windows / Mac / Linux.
    Supports 16 / 24 / 32 bit with sampling rates of 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 384kHz.
    Firmware upgrade capable
    Firmware is the computer chip in the USB-32 module which contains the program which allows the Audio-gd gear to “talk to” your computer.
    This chip is EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory) and the program stored on it can be changed with a software tool you can download from the Audio-gd website.  This tool gives you the ability to update your equipment with the latest Firmware software when it becomes available.  You can also change the Firmware by swapping the chip inside the gear (but this requires a screwdriver and isn’t as much fun).
    Please be certain to read the Firmware tool guide and follow the steps carefully.  You are updating important software which allows your gear to “talk-to” your computer.  The process is easy and will work perfectly if you follow the steps carefully in the guide included with the Firmware download package.
    USB Drivers
    For Windows users, Drivers are required to be installed on your PC for the different Firmware versions.  Mac and Linux users don’t require Drivers at this time.
    Drives can be downloaded from the Audio-gd website.  Installation is discussed on the website and in the Firmware tool guide.
    Previous USB modules
    You may also be able to upgrade previous Audio-gd USB interface modules to USB-32; contact Audio-gd for details.
    Pops and clicks, music files won’t play properly, drop-offs, and other problems…..
    It is easy to get things up and running, but it is tempting to push the limit to get the best sound from your gear.  There are going to be issues, and these are typically sorted out by learning to configure your computer and audio software properly. 
    USB-32 supports WASAPI, Kernel Streaming, Direct Sound (and ASIO is currently being tested).  I did my research, have learned a lot in a short time, and my system is running great.  But there is always more to learn with this hobby.
    Do some research on the applicable forums, read the guides included with the Audio-gd drivers and firmware, fool around with your audio player (Foobar etc.), and please post here so other users can help you to tune your system to perform its best.
    Current USB-32 Firmware and Drivers
    Refer to the Audio-gd website for the latest Firmware and Drivers.  If you don’t have the latest version, update your system and enjoy the music……..
  2. koonyue
    I cannot made ASIO work with USB32, see my post here:
  3. orth0dox
    Getting "switching to dfu mode failed!" message every time I press "start" button. I did everything as was adviced by manual and Audio-GD NFB-11.32 (Delivery & Impression Thread). Tried both usb chips, same issue. What am I doing wrong?
  4. PeterCraig
     Are you able to post a detailed list of your steps and a screen shot of the tool after you press the "Start" button.
  5. Telstar
    Out of curiosity, is possible to upgrade the firmware of the old TE7022 module? If so, would it support 176.4khz (with 32 or 24 bits)?
    This would make me easier to A/B it with another USB interface I have.
  6. PeterCraig

    I'm pretty certain Audio-gd is not offering a firmware upgrade for the TE7022.  Perhaps a USB-32 upgrade is available for your unit and you may want to consider that option. 
    This poster was able to modify his gear to USB-32:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/613851/audio-gd-reference-5-2-new-balanced-4x-pcm1704uk-dac/195#post_8824808
    It is likely though that not all previous gear can be upgraded due to physical limitations or design of the original unit.  Check with Kingwa on your piece.  It may be a great improvement.
  7. Kingwa
    If who have applied the tool but appear " change to dfu model fail' , please redownload the tool.
  8. PeterCraig
    USB-32 test drivers v1.21 released for Firmware #4 [and #1] - supports 32Bit / 192KHz ASIO  
    See Audio-gd webpage for current details.  http://www.audio-gd.com/
    It should be noted that ASIO support is in test only at this time.  The default is Firmware #3 and Driver v1.1, which does not support ASIO.
    I have not personally installed v1.21, but did install v1.2 and had it up and running for more than a week without issue.
    Re-installed Windows 7 this morning (something was causing my netbook fan to run constantly) and have now configured my "Foobar-only" laptop with absolutely no internet access.
    My setup is a relatively low-power and inexpensive $300 Toshiba Netbook; 1.66ghz and 2GB RAM.  Output method is KS and my Foobar output buffer length is set to a hefty 2000ms to prevent [almost all] dropout scenarios.  1000ms would probably work also, but I don't hear a difference in sound with the larger buffer, and I prefer to have a problem free system.  Probably should of bought a more powerful laptop eh?
    And so now I'm back with Firmware #3 and Driver v1.1 for the time being.  I've done so much testing lately (goofing around really) and I just want to stick with the default version for now and enjoy the music again.
    I'll see how long I can resist installing the new drivers......
  9. koonyue
    Oh ! It is a GREAT news, can't wait to try it out
    Good job Audio-GD !
  10. Anda
    Anybody using this on Linux? Are you forced to use a Windows PC if you want to upgrade the firmware? Don't know when but I'll get one of the DACs with this module on loan - Looking forward to trying out this USB interface.
  11. PeterCraig
    Need some feedback from other users on the Firmware #4 and Driver v1.21.
    I'm running the Ref 5.32 and my front-end is Foobar V1.1.18 and I am using Wasapi ver 3.0 for my latest listening tests 
    I installed the new firmware and driver yesterday, and then reinstalled Firmware #3 and Driver v1.1 this morning, and then back again to #4 and Driver v1.21, and back and forth etc.
    What I'm noticing mostly is that the detail retrieval and the tightness of the bass is vastly improved.  It was an unmistakeable upgrade to me but still I have been switching drivers and firmware so often it has gotten to the point where I don't trust my ears anymore.  So hopefully some other users can give this a try and also supply their feedback. 
  12. koonyue
    Hi Peter,
    I have uninstall driver 1.2, and install 1.21 last night, on Win7, "Nothing" has changed, all problem related to ASIO 32 bits is still there.
    Anybody have installed driver 1.21 and get the ASIO 32 bits working?
    Yes, I am using Ref5.32, FW#4 on linux, actually a Puppy Linux with MPD. It just work, no need to install any driver, and sound GOOD ~
  13. PeterCraig
    Someone correct me if I am wrong but I don't think VIA ASIO supports 32 bit.  ASIO4ALL is required to be installed for 32 bit streaming.
    Koonyue, I understand from earlier posts that you are not fond of ASIO4ALL, but when I take a look at the cPlay website and other sites that support this player, they seem to all suggest using ASIO4ALL.  Check this site out for example: http://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/vt.mpl?f=pcaudio&m=31286
    Have you given ASIO4ALL a try yet?
  14. koonyue
    Hi Peter,
    Finally ... someone who finally understand what I am asking ...
    First of all, VIA ASIO do not care whether it is 16, or 32 bits. ASIO driver is talking directly to the audio device, and it is the audio device which control the sample rate, which in our case, the bit rate being choose in Envy control panel.
    Therefore, VIA ASIO now work under 16 bits because the default sample rate under Envy control panel is 16 bits. If we change to 32 bits under Envy, VIA ASIO should "know" and reflect it in the player (Foobar / Cplay), but sadly, it is not the case now, the communication between VIA ASIO and Envy is somehow broken, so no matter what we have choose under Envy, VIA ASIO still detect 16 bits.
    Let me further describe my problem
    I have 2 Windows in my PC, one Win7 32 bits, one WinXP
    On Win7, I hv both Cplay and FooBar installed.
    Under Foobar, I can use VIA ASIO but only 16 bits
    Under Cplay, I can only use ASIO4ALL (it say 32 bits, but I don't think it is reliable)
    and the most important is, Foobar with VIA ASIO sound SO much better then Cplay with ASIO4ALL
    On WinXP, I hv only Cplay installed and this Windows is being extremely tuned and tweaked which it cannot run Foobar, so only Cplay + ASIO4ALL will work (VIA ASIO still fail since Cplay only support 32 bits ASIO)
    My question is, since all my previous DAC (last one is emu0404) come with factory provided ASIO driver which support 32 bits and work under my Cplay on XP. If I need to compare this Ref 5.32 head to head with my previous DAC, I need to compare under the native ASIO driver with 32 bits, under XP and Cplay
    Moreover, in the case of Win7, it clearly show the VIA ASIO sound much better then ASIO4ALL, no argue because we are comparing a native ASIO driver, and a simulate one like ASIO4ALL.
    ASIO4ALL is really only meant for onboard sound card, it is not something we need to use for a DAC that cost that much !
    I still got wonderful sound now (using Puppy Linux / MPD), but somehow I really like to try this DAC under Cplay with native ASIO driver. I understand this driver is still under testing, but the feedback from AudioGD is not very positive ...
    Quite hopeless actually, any help would he appreciated
  15. PeterCraig
    Perhaps I understand what you are asking, but I don't have answers though.
    I do have some questions which may not help you with your cPlay predicament, but might help shed some light overall:
    (1) On your Win7 under Foobar, which is sounding better: ASIO4ALL or VIA ASIO.
    (2) And if you have time, on your Win7 under Foobar which is sounding better: VIA ASIO or KS.
    I did do some reading last week about "tweaking" the PC for play with cPlay and it sounds daunting.  I'm impressed and if you went to all that trouble, and can listen that closely to notice the differences in sound quality, then I'm thinking your ears should be in shape to help pick out the best configuration for USB-32.
    What I would really like to know is.....which sounds better: Firmware #4 under Windows or under Linux.  koonyue, that would be really helpful to get an opinion on those different setups.  I know it is difficult to a/b two different operating systems with only one DAC.....but you may be able to give an opinion.  I'm not sure there are too many other people who have both Win7 and Linux available for testing.
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