Two DAC's out of one PC: USB and Optical
Jul 4, 2009 at 5:12 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


Headphoneus Supremus
Jul 27, 2005
Currently I have an older Dell PC as my music server. I have installed a Chaintech AV710 which feeds via a glass optical cable a Monarch NM24 DAC followed by various amps. Very happy w/ this setup.

However it looks like I may get a Red Wine Audio Isabellina DAC w/ the Amphora Headphone Amp module in the near future. I would like to feed this new unit from the same PC using USB.

I tried something similar in the past using an iBasso D10 DAC. However I could not have the sound reach the USB DAC and only the Monarchy NM24 was receiving a signal.

I believe there is a feature (Control Panel - System - Hardware) that would allow me to defeat one of the two DACs and allow the other to receive the signal (alternate as needed) but have not been able to do so. Would someone please help? Thanks.
Jul 5, 2009 at 2:49 AM Post #2 of 6
Hi Miguel

I don't know on that specific machine, however, I have hooked up 2 DACs on my pc (one optical, one usb) before when I want to compare different things. I use Foobar and Winamp and basically once either is turned on , both Foobar and Winamp recognize the device in the output dropdown list.
You can check in control panel--sound or right click volume icon and see if they are there.
When I used to use iTunes, I would have to get to the output through Quick Time---Preferences.
As a matter of fact the other day I was comparing my XM5 to my old school Entech and both were rocognized upon powering.
I have tried this with both XP and Vista....

I use Wasapi, ASIO and Kernal Streaming. For example, in my Foobar output dropdown list with two dacs, it would look like this- ASIO4ALL (I choose the device from ASIO4ALL), KS USB Device, KS Digital Output, Wasapi USB Device, Wasapi Digital Output, DS USB Device, DS Digital Output....Then I just choose which one I want to use.
Jul 5, 2009 at 5:12 AM Post #3 of 6
Depending on which software you use, you can select the output option. I currently have 2 soundcards with 3 selectable outputs and I use all of them through Foobar2000. My main music listening setup is through an ESI Juli@ with modded I2S output, gaming is through a Creative XtremeMusic modded with S/PDIF pulse transformer and BNC output and DAC testing through optical output off the ESI Juli@. I also have a USB->S/PDIF adapter that I have no problem using at the same time.

What exactly is the problem you are seeing and how are you switching sources?
Jul 5, 2009 at 5:24 PM Post #4 of 6
I use iTunes w/ Quicktime, the software to control the Chanitech AV710 is the Envy Audio Deck. Currently I get sound using the optical out feeding the Monarchy but I can not send sound to the monitor speakers even though the correct speakers have been selected under Sound and Audio Devices.
Jul 5, 2009 at 6:06 PM Post #5 of 6
Guess you have XP, you can just disable particular card/audio device in control panel hardware section. There is also possibility to mark one as a default if your app does not allows you to choose one, this way you can have both enabled. In Vista with ASIO4ALL and foobar2000 I was able to use USB and optical out at the same time. IIRC in XP I had to disable one device in ASIO4ALL control panel in order for the other one to work.

Users who are viewing this thread