High-end DAC upsampling (24bit/192kHz) and USB converter
Jul 22, 2009 at 9:31 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

boozcool

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At the moment, I am using a USB converter (Trends UD-10.1) to convert from USB to Optical, which in turn feeds my DAC. I am using Foobar w/ the ASIO USB Driver (not ASIO4all), which is supposedly bit-perfect.

If I decide to purchase a high-end DAC which supports up to 24bit/192kHz Upsampling such as a Stello DA100, wouldn't it be best to feed the DAC the original 16bit/44.1 kHz signal, which is what the Trends UD-10.1 outputs?

Since CD data is typically 16bit/44.1kHz and the high-end DAC would be doing the Upsampling, would it be worse for sound quality if I was to use a USB converter which outputs 24bit/96kHz, which in turn is re-upsampled to 24bit/192kHz?
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Jul 22, 2009 at 4:56 PM Post #2 of 10
Stello already had USB input, so your Trends might not be necessary.
If DAC does upsampling properly, software upsampling could do more harm than good.
 
Jul 22, 2009 at 6:34 PM Post #3 of 10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Stello already had USB input, so your Trends might not be necessary.
If DAC does upsampling properly, software upsampling could do more harm than good.



Andrew and Booz

A number of us compared my DA100's USB implementation to a Blue Circle Thingee at the last NY meet.

Those who listened were able to say fairly quickly that the Thingee's USB implementation (to optical or coaxial) sounded richer, fuller and better than the Stello's rather thin native implementation.

A few things things:


I know the Stello and the UD 10.1 use the same chips for their USB implementations....

My guess is that the UD 10.1 and the Thingee use the same chips as well, (because it's sealed up so you can't take it apart)....

The USB implemented Stello and the Optically implemented Stello do not sound the same.

When the Stello is fed an Optical or Coaxial signal from the USB Thingee, (and I would expect the same from the UD-10.1), it sounds like Optical from my computer....

I had the same problem with my USB Constantine DAC, which is why I bought the Thingee....

USG
 
Jul 23, 2009 at 4:07 AM Post #5 of 10
Thanks guys for the replies

Although I have yet to hear a Stello DA100, I can also confirm that there was a huge difference between the Constantine's USB implementation and the Trend's USB-to-optical implementation, as USG mentioned
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I was considering the Stello just as an example, but it could be any 24bit/192kHz upsampling DAC really

I guess the issue is that since the DAC does the upsampling properly, and all of the music files on my hard drive are 16bit/44.1kHz, using something such as a Bel Canto USB to SPDIF converter, which converts a USB input of up to 24bit/96kHz, would be pretty pointless unless my music was originally ripped in the 24bit/96kHz format, which it rarely is

If:
1) I'm using a decent USB converter (Trends UD-10.1) which outputs the same format (16bit/44.1kHz) as the original music files on my hard drive, and
2) I am using the ASIO driver for bit-perfect data transfer

I don't see the justification in upgrading the USB converter, especially if the high end DAC is specifically designed to properly upsample to 24bit/192kHz

Am I missing something?
confused_face.gif
 
Jul 23, 2009 at 5:49 AM Post #6 of 10
Quote:

Originally Posted by boozcool /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks guys for the replies

Although I have yet to hear a Stello DA100, I can also confirm that there was a huge difference between the Constantine's USB implementation and the Trend's USB-to-optical implementation, as USG mentioned
jecklinsmile.gif


I was considering the Stello just as an example, but it could be any 24bit/192kHz upsampling DAC really

I guess the issue is that since the DAC does the upsampling properly, and all of the music files on my hard drive are 16bit/44.1kHz, using something such as a Bel Canto USB to SPDIF converter, which converts a USB input of up to 24bit/96kHz, would be pretty pointless unless my music was originally ripped in the 24bit/96kHz format, which it rarely is

If:
1) I'm using a decent USB converter (Trends UD-10.1) which outputs the same format (16bit/44.1kHz) as the original music files on my hard drive, and
2) I am using the ASIO driver for bit-perfect data transfer

I don't see the justification in upgrading the USB converter, especially if the high end DAC is specifically designed to properly upsample to 24bit/192kHz

Am I missing something?
confused_face.gif



No, the only benefit of high sample rate USB dongle is if you have same high bitrate music in your collection.
Stello USB implementation is pretty good, and I know what mediocre one sounds like, had to use Transit with HR MicroDac myself.
 
Jul 23, 2009 at 12:53 PM Post #7 of 10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT /img/forum/go_quote.gif
For what it's worth:
- Stello and Trends UD-10.1 sound the same to my ears
- Trends UD-10.1 sounds better than optical from my computer



That's very interesting Andrew.

Do you hear any difference between the Stello's Optical and USB implementations? If so, which is better?

When you say the Trends sounds better than optical from your computer, are you using coaxial or optical out of the Trends?

Are you using a sound card to provide optical from your computer? If so, which one?

USG

Edit: Are you using the external battery pack with the Trends or USB power?
 
Jul 30, 2009 at 10:40 PM Post #8 of 10
Quote:

Originally Posted by upstateguy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's very interesting Andrew.

Do you hear any difference between the Stello's Optical and USB implementations? If so, which is better?





Optical: A bit more brighter (just a veeery tiny bit) and the impression of a somehow bigger soundstage... As a matter of fact the difference for me is so insignificant that I prefer using USB. Now comparing USB and coaxial. Coaxial seems to remove some muddiness of the sound, which you will never identify that ever exists if you don't do a A-B instant comparison between these two modes...
 
Jul 30, 2009 at 10:55 PM Post #9 of 10
I'm not sure what USB converters you're thinking of, but I don't recall any that upsample. When they say they do 24/96 it's that they have a USB chip that can handle a greater than 16/48 sample rate, which is the limit of most.
 
Jul 30, 2009 at 11:35 PM Post #10 of 10
Quote:

Originally Posted by ironeisnna /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Optical: A bit more brighter (just a veeery tiny bit) and the impression of a somehow bigger soundstage... As a matter of fact the difference for me is so insignificant that I prefer using USB. Now comparing USB and coaxial. Coaxial seems to remove some muddiness of the sound, which you will never identify that ever exists if you don't do a A-B instant comparison between these two modes...


What are you using for an optical source?

Nice rig, btw.

USG
 

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