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Low-Jitter USB: Dan Lavry, Michael Goodman, Adaptive, Asynchronous

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by jude, May 20, 2010.
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  1. DaveBSC


    Yeah, and now they are trying to say the Earth rotates around the sun. What kind of nonsense is that? Clearly the Earth is the center of the solar system, and everything rotates around it.
  2. Bianci1969
    There seems to be a bit of confusion-
    Gordon Rankin didn't invent asynchronous USB, nor has ever claimed to have. Asynchronous USB was invented by the USB steering group. You can find this at USB.ORG
    Gordon was just the first to successfully implement asynchronous USB transfer for audio.
    Synchronous USB only works at 48khz. Not a practical solution for all that pesky 44.1khz music out there.
  3. Syan25
    Ok - so which DACs on the current market are offering the asynchronous USB - for low-jitter USB usage?
    I am planning on getting a DAC to use with my notebook/desktop and USB will be my prime input used. 
  4. Dynobot
    Asynch alone does not guarantee low jitter at the dac chip.  There are many other variables at play that Asynch can not control, like small variations in electrical voltages, emi interference of cables, jitter induced by the cable lengths and materials themselves, operating system induced jitter due to programs inside the operating system that periodically start and stop...etc.  Then their is the question of added even order harmonic distortion which is the case for WaveLength products...ie tube buffered dacs.
    All in all, Asynch has not proven to make any product categorically and consistently better sounding than any other product which is not Asynch but has sound design principles.
  5. Syan25
    Thank you for letting me know. So where do I start when looking for a quality dac?
  6. Dynobot
    All these things help increase fidelity and/or reduce jitter.
    Quality parts
    Quality design
    Quality power supply and regulation
    Features that You desire [coax in, XRL, RCA, toslink, etc]
    Reviews keeping in mind associated gear when reviewed, Price / Value
    What is being used to deal with jitter [a miracle wonder, DSP filter, clock]
    True 75ohm BNC min 1.5 meter or XLR 110ohm provide a better signal [disputable]
    Computer Operating System:
    Light weight low resource, small footprint operating system
    Maximum RAM with Mac and Linux, Min RAM with Windows
    Bios adjustments to reduce CPU power and emi
    Real time, low latency
    Clean Power
  7. DaveBSC

    Currently the solid-state DACs with the best USB implementations are the Ayre QB-9, North Star USB DAC32, Wyred4Sound DAC-2, Audio Research DAC8, and I guess the Antelope Zodiac, although the mini port was a dumb design decision on their part. 
    Of course with a converter like the Off-ramp or Wavelink, you can use any DAC you want.
  8. Dynobot


    Oh really??
    So an Off-Ramp or Wavelink plus NuForce Icon Dac at $120
    Will sound that same as.
    an Off-Ramp or Wavelink plus Prism Orpheus Dac at $4,500
    Interesting...some how I doubt that.
  9. Syan25
    Yeah - some of those look pricey - 
    I was originally thinking of the RSA - Predator or the Headroom Micro adp/dac combo
    All I worry about is that I am going to have noise from the USB terminal. 
    And I have no experience with DACs before
  10. DaveBSC

    When I said "you can use any DAC you want" I meant that using a converter frees you from being limited to the current handful of DACs where USB implementation is taken seriously, not that DAC quality doesn't matter. Obviously a converter (whatever the type) is just giving you S/Pdif. It's still digital, and it's still up to the DAC to produce the ultimate results. If you have your heart set on a vintage R-2R for example, obviously none of those have USB inputs, but a converter makes them an option.
  11. bigshot

    I don't know anything about the specifics of the comparison, but in electronics, I have found very little correlation between price and sound quality.

    I do know that worrying about inaudible things like jitter is a waste of time. Acoustics are a much more important aspect of sound reproduction than electronics.
  12. Syan25
    I think you are right - as a musician in a studio - we take great care to get the recording "right" and use the best acoustic space for the instruments used. My mic everything very carefully and since it is my own studio - I am insistent we use minimum compression so that a greater depth of dynamic and timbral range is reproduced to CD.
    The whole process is vital - from original recording processes to final headphone/speaker set and cables used by the listener. 
    From my perspective - I just don't want to buy a DAC if it isn't going to cancel any kind of jitter from USB terminals. I need a portable amp/dac but I want to be sure I buy something within my price range and that it is going to sound great.
  13. bigshot
    The level of jitter in tmost modern DACs ia 100 times below the threshold of audibility. It isn't anything worth worrying about. Better to focus on things you can actually hear.
    Bmac likes this.
  14. regal


    Not a proven fact,  thousand of people hear differences in transports,  there is a multimillion dollar industry based on this.  I don't subscribe to believing in an epidemic of mass auditory hallucinations. 
  15. bigshot
    If you believe people every time they claim to be able to see and hear things other people can't, you're going to end up believing in an awful lot of mythical stuff. The fact is, there was a study on jitter to determine a threshold of audibility. They couldn't find anyone (even experienced audiophiles) who could even come close to hearing it. The closest they could come is 100 times the rate of jitter in audio components.
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