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USB DAC with Asio support

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by .sup, Feb 22, 2009.
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  1. .Sup
    Hi guys what are your recommendations for DAC with USB input in 300~400$ range? I want it to have Asio support, not for recording but I'm bypassing kmixer and want to use Asio exclusively. LD MK3 will be connected to it and Sennheiser HD600.

    Thanks for your answers
     
  2. obobskivich
    really really lazy answer: E-MU 0404USB

    more detailed answer:
    there is no DAC with ASIO support, theres a number of USB and FireWire recording solutions that feature DSPs and DACs (like the 0404) which do support ASIO though, and most of them are in your target price range, since you're going into an hp amp, you don't need to worry about the hp stage on these devices, just get something with an alright line-out, like 0404 USB, another option would be M-Audio's FastTrack Pro, and I think PreSonus' CS (or some other PreSonus device, if not the CS) has USB input
     
  3. .Sup
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by obobskivich /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    really really lazy answer: E-MU 0404USB

    more detailed answer:
    there is no DAC with ASIO support, theres a number of USB and FireWire recording solutions that feature DSPs and DACs (like the 0404) which do support ASIO though, and most of them are in your target price range, since you're going into an hp amp, you don't need to worry about the hp stage on these devices, just get something with an alright line-out, like 0404 USB, another option would be M-Audio's FastTrack Pro, and I think PreSonus' CS (or some other PreSonus device, if not the CS) has USB input




    heh I have 0404 on my other PC :p
    so does Asio really matter or windows kmixer won't make the sound worse if i buy a dac without asis support?
     
  4. obobskivich
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by .Sup /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    heh I have 0404 on my other PC :p
    so does Asio really matter or windows kmixer won't make the sound worse if i buy a dac without asis support?




    I don't think its worth the hastle, like imho/ime, however many members will scream in all caps that I'm wrong and to go with ASIO or your favourite 80's pop singer, kitty, children, family, etc will die and the universe will shatter [​IMG], I say make up your own mind, if you've got an 0404, test ASIO out with that, if it seems worth it, spend the $150-$200 for the USB, if you don't think its worth $150-$200, save your cash
     
  5. MikeW
    most USB dac's can use ASIO4all to bypass kmixer. some will allow kernal streaming, and in vista you can use wasapi. Take a look at keces, dacmagic, or my fav Valab.
     
  6. obobskivich
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MikeW /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    most USB dac's can use ASIO4all to bypass kmixer. some will allow kernal streaming, and in vista you can use wasapi. Take a look at keces, dacmagic, or my fav Valab.



    gah, ASIO4All, here's my take:

    unless you already own the equipment thats incompatable, if ASIO is your goal, buy something that supports it, period, the extra CPU load and nightmare limitations of ASIO4All is not worth it imho

    I'm not saying its bad, but if you don't own a source already, and want ASIO, why not buy something compatable? (with either KS, ASIO, or whatever non-Windows solution (remember not everyone uses Windows))
     
  7. MikeW
    eh? the op only wanted to bypass windows Kmixer. for that purpose, asio4all is fine, and it hardly uses any cpu/memory. Especially in the age of quadcore machines and 8 gigs of ram standard. I happen to own a dac with USB, Optical, and Coax input. I can use my X-fi's native asio with coax output, but frankly the dac's usb interface sounds better, the x-fi is likely the blame. and in the end the sound quality is all that matter, so i'll take asio4all usb interface straight to my dac before i take a native x-fi > dac interface.
     
  8. Brighten
    Maybe a HeadAmp Pico DAC-only?
     
  9. obobskivich
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MikeW /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    eh? the op only wanted to bypass windows Kmixer. for that purpose, asio4all is fine, and it hardly uses any cpu/memory. Especially in the age of quadcore machines and 8 gigs of ram standard. I happen to own a dac with USB, Optical, and Coax input. I can use my X-fi's native asio with coax output, but frankly the dac's usb interface sounds better, the x-fi is likely the blame. and in the end the sound quality is all that matter, so i'll take asio4all usb interface straight to my dac before i take a native x-fi > dac interface.




    I sincerely doubt the average user has such a machine, so thats not a fair comparison (is your machine equipped as such? sig says otherwise)

    honestly, ASIO4All does incur more CPU load, his question was firstly how to get ASIO, and secondly was curious if ASIO did improve sound, like I said, I'm probably the only one who doesn't view it as worth the hastle, but if the op wants it, I still suggest going with a proper solution, given that he hasn't purchased anything yet, why have to fight with a hacked solution (which we could argue the sound quality of, if you really wanted to split hairs that badly)
     
  10. LostOne.TR
    Isn't Asio4all (specifically) just a kernel streaming method, as opposed to say something with full on Asio support.
     
  11. obobskivich
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LostOne.TR /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Isn't Asio4all (specifically) just a kernel streaming method, as opposed to say something with full on Asio support.



    ASIO4All is specifically a software work around to emulate ASIO support and provide KS and more importantly low latency monitoring abilities to devices without this functionality, in other words its a hacked method, and we could split hairs about its quality all day long (and about KS vs kmixer too)

    simple fact is, who cares if it works or doesn't, the OP has not purchased a thing yet, so if he's going after ASIO, why are we even having a debate over how to hack ASIO onto his system, when he could just buy something that natively, and correctly, implements ASIO in software and firmware?

    I mean, this is like arguing about how to put a trailer hitch on a honda accord that you don't even own, instead of just buying a light truck or SUV at the same price, and doing it right
     
  12. .Sup
    Don't argue guise, your answers are much appreciated. I had issues with Asio4all as I heard scratching every couple seconds though I did hear sound improvement. Tried several winamp asio plugings. It worked when I selected my 0404 usb as the asio source via winamp asio plugin. Oddly winamp is the only player that works (well it kinda makes sense as its the only player that I have been given the asio plugin), other players have no sound, youtube even stutters but thats a whole new problem. (i do solve this by switching winamp's plugins everytime i want to watch movies)

    emu 0404 works great with its own asio support but i wanted to explore other amps, something not relatated to PCs so much I you know what I mean. A simple DAC with USB and stereo out but with good sound and asio support. Asio4all did also cause me problems with audigy2 zs (haven't tested it with x-fi yet but I sespect I will be getting same issues)
     
  13. obobskivich
    there is no such thing as a "simple DAC with USB support and good ASIO support", ASIO is "too related to PCs", because its designed for professional users, not consumers

    your options are a prosumer interface, a full pro interface, or one of the dying remnants of the multimedia soundcard era

    oh, and its "guys" (I'm speechless at that spelling error...)
     
  14. LostOne.TR
    guess I forgot the question mark with that line :D (>'-')> <('-'<) v('-')v <('-'<) (>'-')>
    Might not like ya much- but I do get that you are knowledgeable to a certain extent on this stuff so thanks for the info, it is appreciated.

    gotta take off for a bit, buy guise
     
  15. .Sup
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by obobskivich /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    there is no such thing as a "simple DAC with USB support and good ASIO support", ASIO is "too related to PCs", because its designed for professional users, not consumers

    your options are a prosumer interface, a full pro interface, or one of the dying remnants of the multimedia soundcard era

    oh, and its "guys" (I'm speechless at that spelling error...)




    guise is slang, shocked you haven't heard about it yet, been living under a rock have we? [​IMG]

    How does Cambridge Audio DacMagic sound? It does have Asio support right? Found a dealer very close to me offering it for 350€.
     
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