Audiophile USB PCie Cards
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WDGuy

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HI I'm just wondering if anyone is having the same problem I am.

I have been using an Elfidelity AXF-100 low cost USB card for a couple of years without issue with my Mytek DAC+. Having decided that this was a worthwhile upgrade I have since tried two other PCIe USB cards - The Matrix Element H and the SOTM tX-USBexp. However both the Matrix and SOTM cards have both refused to see my Mytek DAC. Confusingly they both see other USB devices such as audioquest dragonfly and flash drives etc. I am at a loss as to why these two different USB PCie cards cannot see the Mytek. This is after following both manufacturers guidelines for installation & drivers etc.
Can anyone throw any light on this? The vendor that sold me the SOTM card is using this in their showroom with the Mytek DAC which is even more of mystery as this should have been a surefire success. My card is installed in a Tower PC case in my home machine with a good spec so I dont think memory, power or CPU capabilities are the issue.
 
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gimmeheadroom

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I don't understand what you're saying. When you use an external DAC over USB your sound card(s) are not in the signal path.
 
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WDGuy

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Just to be clear, the Elfidelity, Matrix and the SOTM cards I mention aren't sound cards. They are separate low noise USB PCIe cards that occupy the PCIe slot to improve sound quality for DACs. i.e you don't use the standard usb ports on the motherboard you use the PCie card instead for connection to a device like a DAC. The issue is the Elfidelity worked fine and connected to my Mytek DAC but the Matrix and SOTM USB cards do not 'see' it. Yet they seemingly work perfectly well with other USB devices. My query is based on seeking to understand why the Elfidelity would work happily with my DAC yet the Matrix and SOTM PCie USB cards do not. This has the potential to be quite complicated since it is windows machine and may involve issues such as device conflicts etc. If this scenario has never been seen before in this forum them I might be barking up the wrong tree.
 
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gimmeheadroom

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I see. Well, there is another school of thought that the less crap you have in the signal path the better off you are. I can assure you the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ works beautifully off bog-standard USB ports on an el-cheapo mini PC.
 
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Roseval

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Maybe a UAC2 issue.
If other devices work properly with this cards but the Mytek doesn’t, it looks like UAC2 (USB audio class 2) is not installed properly.
You might try to install/deinstall drivers.
The Mytek has one
The Element has one
Windows has one
Any combination might/might not work.
The device manager is your friend…
 
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WDGuy

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Maybe a UAC2 issue.
If other devices work properly with this cards but the Mytek doesn’t, it looks like UAC2 (USB audio class 2) is not installed properly.
You might try to install/deinstall drivers.
The Mytek has one
The Element has one
Windows has one
Any combination might/might not work.
The device manager is your friend…
Thanks - I will try having a look at this. Although I have uninstalled and reinstalled drivers I have not specifically looked at USB2. Last time I messed with USB drivers I accidently removed all drivers and disconnected all devices rendering me unable to connect to the PC! So I will tread more carefully this time. If you don't hear from me in a couple of days - presume I am lost....
 
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WDGuy

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I see. Well, there is another school of thought that the less crap you have in the signal path the better off you are. I can assure you the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ works beautifully off bog-standard USB ports on an el-cheapo mini PC.
Don't disagree with that sentiment at all, but it is exactly the reason for using a PCIe card in the first place! A PC is an electrically noisy environment so doing anything to alleviate that noise would be beneficial. Initially skeptical - I tried it out with a cheap card and found it did work and was much better than a standard USB port. Whether you agree with that principle or its legitimacy is probably a conversation for another thread...
 
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gimmeheadroom

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It seems the conventional wisdom is that an outboard USB device is good enough without needing anything extra. All the better DACs deal with it without resorting to additional cards.
 
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WDGuy

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Thanks - I will try having a look at this. Although I have uninstalled and reinstalled drivers I have not specifically looked at USB2. Last time I messed with USB drivers I accidently removed all drivers and disconnected all devices rendering me unable to connect to the PC! So I will tread more carefully this time. If you don't hear from me in a couple of days - presume I am lost....
Noticed in device manager that the mytek device/USB Hub it is connected to says it was "not migrated due to partial or ambiguous match". I'm guessing this is not good. However I also have no idea how to solve it as typically uninstalling/rebooting process etc has not fixed it.
 
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gimmeheadroom

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Try running it direct, without a USB hub
 
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WDGuy

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Try running it direct, without a USB hub
Yes technically it works fine when plugged into a standard USB port on the PC - always does. It's what I'm listening through now. It just doesn't sound as good compared to the original PCIe card. That's my point. Going back to standard USB port is a backwards step.
 
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gimmeheadroom

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Yes technically it works fine when plugged into a standard USB port on the PC - always does. It's what I'm listening through now. It just doesn't sound as good compared to the original PCIe card. That's my point. Going back to standard USB port is a backwards step.
If you have installed the Brooklyn's drivers I can't imagine there is any degredation in sound quality. Nobody else uses the PCI USB cards.
 
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WDGuy

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If you have installed the Brooklyn's drivers I can't imagine there is any degredation in sound quality. Nobody else uses the PCI USB cards.
I think then i should investigate other forums. These cards are used widely but it seems not by all participants in this forum. If you havent at least tried this dont dismiss it. I was a skeptic too remember!
 
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