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Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by the monkey, Nov 17, 2008.
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  1. niamex
    Hi there,
    I am reading the thread and trying to understand it nevertheless I am not a specialist - just music lover or something. Still I am very interested in the topic because at the moment I feed my DAC from a media player via SPDIF /BNC/ considering this type as the best jitterless connection.  However recently I heard that SPDIF is converting and manipulating the original data  two times - first in the source and after that to split it in the DAC:s SPDIF receiver. Therefore the ideal connection would be a direct data transfer from the source to the data receiving chip in the DAC.
    In such a case a media player with an USB output could be a high end solution ??? Sounds quiet naive but still?
    Please comment,
  2. parkerdars
    If there is a chip that listens on the S/PDIF port and translates the data to be sent through USB, it's possible, but of course you must write firmware for this chip and drivers for the computer to communicate with it. A host must understand and know how to communicate with the slave.[​IMG]
  3. James Romeyn
    Same question as OP: please post link or brand/model for SPDIF (coax or optical) to USB convertor.
    A particular DAC (with USB input only) has caught my attention.  I appreciate computer based audio and the convenience of spinning a silver disc on a transport.
    I worked at two audio shows, one with a full time professional and highly successful designer of main stream digital audio equipment.  At both shows the computer music systems failed.  Even the above described engineer took significant time period to fix the problem (early 2012) in hardware/software he personally designed.  In the other case this year the guy gave up and we had no music server the last day of the show. 
    The convenience is obvious, but I certainly dislike the failure rate and down time.  I suppose this is one reason why Sony, Marantz and others released integrated music player systems, which in stock form don't meet my performance goals. 
  4. brhfl
    Not much has changed in half a year... still a complicated and incredibly niche idea for a product, and I still have yet to hear of the existence of such a thing. 
  5. James Romeyn
    The best person I know to estimate retail cost for such a niche convertor is EJ Sarmento of Wyred4Sound.  I'm not telling anyone to call him and ask what would be approximate MSRP for such product, so don't please don't don't please please don't say that if you call him. 
    I'm just saying he's the best person I can think of to answer this question.  He's young, brilliant, smart, ballsy, and happy to give frank answers to difficult questions.  
    If there's no progress here by mid-October Denver RMAF, I'll hit up EJ, and anyone else I bump into possibly willing and able to reply.
    I'm usually wrong about such things, but I can't help but suspect there is wider application and sales potential for such product than is commonly believed.  
    One thing is sure.  If one came to exist it would own the market, with sum total competition of zero.      
  6. Currawong Contributor
    Someone could probably configure an Android DAP to do it, assuming there was one that had S/PDIF input as many can act as USB hosts. The problem is exactly that though: a USB host is required -- basically a computer.
  7. brhfl
    Precisely. My thoughts are all along the lines of whipping something up on a RaspPi, but… well, then you're just relying on a computer anyway. Therein lies the rub of dealing with USB…
  8. Typhoon859
    Not so much a computer as simply a DSP chip..  Am I wrong?  Yes, some serious fundamentals would need to be coded in order to simply just perform this one function but an existing OS which requires resources to run additional processes wouldn't be necessary.
  9. Currawong Contributor
    If the DSP was running essentially an OS with USB drivers. I'm not sure entirely how basic I could be -- someone with a programming background would have to answer that.
  10. Typhoon859
    Well, if I ever implied that it would be basic, I was only referring to the level of difficulty there would be for an existing company to pioneer this.  On a more personal level, it obviously wouldn't be exactly simple...
    My point with the previous comment was precisely mainly that an entire OS wouldn't have to be utilized and/or developed for this purpose.  I don't know enough about this to be certain but I'm pretty sure a more direct method can be thought of in terms of programming/designing and implemented.  It sincerely was more in the form of a question though, hoping you may have had some insight onto the matter.
  11. HiFiChris Contributor
    Sorry for digging out such an old thread. [​IMG]
    Was just browsing the web for the same scenario as the OP (SPDIF in, USB Host out) to see that I'm not the only guy that is interested in such a niche product. I'd like to see something like that happening in the future, but it probably never will.
    I guess for somebody with a programming background, it wouldn't be rocket science to build sth. like that with a RaspBerry Pi and a SPDIF input card.
  12. Roseval
    Found 3 units doing this.
    They are on my website: http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/SPDIF-USB.htm
  13. sterling1
    Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi HD will convert optical spdif to usb. I have a very old Sony professional DAT recorder which I have connected to my laptop. It does not have optical ins/outs but it does have coaxial digital ins/out. I connected an M-Audio coaxial to optical converter to it, and the optical out goes to the Sound Blaster and from there the digital stream goes to computer. Since the Sound Blaster is a two way product I can also record from computer to DAT. With this system I can record anything from the computer including stuff for which there is no means to download. I can also upload music from any source. Interestingly, today's components using HDMI ins/outs are never found in any arrangement to allow for recording/copying, it appears. My point is get a pro DAT recorder or pro CD recorder off eBay and you can download/upload/convert any audio from anywhere to enjoy on any device. One more thing, the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD does not advertise the SPDIF to USB function and in fact the instruction manual for this external sound card does not cover the feature. Perhaps it's why not many folks know about it and others refer to it as being "rare" which it is not.
  14. DeadEars
    I've looked at this problem too (same thing: trying to take digital out from a Logitech SPDIF device to a USB DAC).  Problem is all the USB DACs expect a computer to sort the interface, so it only works with a computer.  The Rasperry Pi solution looks reasonable, but the "right" way would be to use a DAC with a SPDIF input.  I've got an Audeze Deckard with a USB input that I can't use, so it looks like I'm in the market for a DAC or a Pi if I want to feed/use the internal Deckard DAC.
    I consider USB DAC's a scourge given the generally poor quality of PC output via USB -- and all the devices that have been built to try to solve the PC USB deficiencies.
  15. Reticuli2
    So what's the cheapest 16/48 solution that requires a laptop?  I'm looking for like a USB dongle with a coax spdif input.
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