Why even include USB?
post-7605735
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 28

Trasselkalle

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
157
Reaction score
46
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Posts
157
Likes
46
I've been enjoying my NuForce HDP a while and thought I'd try out the USB connection just for fun, and I couldn't believe how much of a difference the optical cable has made for my first impression. I don't get it, really - why is even USB included on dac's? Sure, convenience, but paying good money and not wanting full return on it doesn't add up to me. I'd much rather have additional optical inputs than this USB crap. It's as if USB is fighting to get things right, while optical is sitting there sipping an espresso and relaxing at the same time. Oh, the arrogance of excellence in detail and nuance!
 
DISCLAMER: While I mention the HDP, I don't mean to say that their USB implementation is poor in relation to anyone else's. I'm sure others have had similar experiences with all the other brands. I really like my HDP, and this post is only intended as a rant for more optical inputs as well as a reminder for all to use their optical inputs.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7605863
Post #2 of 28

maverickronin

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Messages
7,390
Reaction score
420
Joined
Apr 5, 2010
Posts
7,390
Likes
420
Its all convenience. Nothing more, nothing less.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7605865
Post #3 of 28

Trasselkalle

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
157
Reaction score
46
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Posts
157
Likes
46
It just irks me that USB is included over additional optical in. That is actually useful after all.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7605873
Post #4 of 28

Wingstrike

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
235
Reaction score
13
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Posts
235
Likes
13
It would be necessary for those without optical outs, would it not?
 
     Share This Post       
post-7605885
Post #5 of 28

strannik

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
221
Reaction score
16
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Posts
221
Likes
16
Indeed, my crappy old computer with all my music on it doesn't have any SPDIF out, USB is the only way to connect to my DAC.
 
On a side note, my other computer (without much music) has SPDIF and I honestly could not hear a difference between USB and coax/optical. Is it something minor or did I go deaf already? 

 
Quote:
It would be necessary for those without optical outs, would it not?


 
 
     Share This Post       
post-7605887
Post #6 of 28

Trasselkalle

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
157
Reaction score
46
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Posts
157
Likes
46
Well yes, but how often does something have USB out but not optical out? 
 
     Share This Post       
post-7605896
Post #7 of 28

Trasselkalle

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
157
Reaction score
46
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Posts
157
Likes
46
Time for a random soundcard with optical out, I would say? Cheap is better than nothing.
 
For my HDP, the sound opens up fully and nuances are simply much more present. Voices and strings (incl. electric), brass, drums... all come out and play like they mean it rather than just being around. You can absolutely live with USB, but I'm surprised at how clear the difference comes out on my dac. I don't want to sound like I know this for a fact regardless of brand, though. I'm just ranting from how big the difference was for me.
 
Quote:
Indeed, my crappy old computer with all my music on it doesn't have any SPDIF out, USB is the only way to connect to my DAC.
 
On a side note, my other computer (without much music) has SPDIF and I honestly could not hear a difference between USB and coax/optical. Is it something minor or did I go deaf already? 

 


 


 
 
     Share This Post       
post-7606095
Post #8 of 28

sidel

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,498
Reaction score
37
Joined
May 28, 2011
Posts
1,498
Likes
37
I think it has a lot to do with implementation / trying to have the best of both worlds in order to appeal to a wider market without appropriating funds accordingly.  There are plenty of great dacs out there with, or strictly using, usb.  I'm sure some of the time it's an add-on feature for the sake of convenience and doesn't work out quite as well because the same amount of integration, cost, and whatever else have you didn't go into it.  I'm not pointing fingers at the HDP by any means;  I'm just saying that I don't think USB itself is what is necessarily flawed here.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7606885
Post #9 of 28

WarriorAnt

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Messages
4,283
Reaction score
154
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Posts
4,283
Likes
154


Quote:
I think it has a lot to do with implementation / trying to have the best of both worlds in order to appeal to a wider market without appropriating funds accordingly.  There are plenty of great dacs out there with, or strictly using, usb.  I'm sure some of the time it's an add-on feature for the sake of convenience and doesn't work out quite as well because the same amount of integration, cost, and whatever else have you didn't go into it.  I'm not pointing fingers at the HDP by any means;  I'm just saying that I don't think USB itself is what is necessarily flawed here.


I have to agree.  Many folks using DAC's that implement asynchronous USB transfer prefer the USB connection by far over optical out.   I'm using a W4S DAC-2 and like all the other users I know are thrilled with the USB over any of the other options.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7606903
Post #10 of 28

Redcarmoose

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
19,889
Reaction score
14,244
Location
.
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Location
.
Posts
19,889
Likes
14,244
I don't want to start a big sound-off here but I have noticed I like the sound of my Mac better than PC laptop with the usb and Nuforce Icon. The laptop seems to have a sluggish bass feel? I'm no expert here but it is amazing how this stuff all sounds different.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7606908
Post #11 of 28

WarriorAnt

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Messages
4,283
Reaction score
154
Joined
Jan 9, 2009
Posts
4,283
Likes
154
you're not the only who feels the Mac has a better USB implementation than many laptops on the market.  But start a big sound-off anyway.

 
     Share This Post       
post-7606940
Post #12 of 28

xxhaxx

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 17, 2010
Messages
487
Reaction score
17
Joined
Jul 17, 2010
Posts
487
Likes
17
I always used usb with my DAC but recently found out that I have a spdif on my laptop. 

 
 
     Share This Post       
post-7607065
Post #13 of 28

Cheeznuklz

Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Messages
79
Reaction score
15
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Posts
79
Likes
15
Newby question:
 
My headphone out is S/PDIF.  If I line out from this to my DAC is my POS soundcard involved in the DAC'ing and amping?
 
     Share This Post       
post-7607088
Post #14 of 28

sidel

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,498
Reaction score
37
Joined
May 28, 2011
Posts
1,498
Likes
37


Quote:
Newby question:
 
My headphone out is S/PDIF.  If I line out from this to my DAC is my POS soundcard involved in the DAC'ing and amping?

It took me a second to figure out what you were trying to ask.  No,  your dac will do all of the sound processing.  As long as your card / integrated sound is sending the information in a reliable manner (read: it's working at all) to the dac you're fine.
 
     Share This Post       
post-7607104
Post #15 of 28

Cheeznuklz

Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Messages
79
Reaction score
15
Joined
Jun 2, 2011
Posts
79
Likes
15
Maybe I should rephrase.
The same port I plug my headphones into has the lettering S/PDIF over it.
If I have a double male-ended AUX cable and connect it from this S/PDIF headphone AUX port to the Line-in on my Mav D1 will the D1 be doing the converting?
I was under the impression that the signal was analog once it had reached this port, which is what I don't understand.

 
Quote:
It took me a second to figure out what you were trying to ask.  No,  your dac will do all of the sound processing.  As long as your card / integrated sound is sending the information in a reliable manner (read: it's working at all) to the dac you're fine.

 
 
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top