• 09-13-2009, 01:42 AM
    poppachubby
    1 Attachment(s)
    DAC...USB vs. Coax/Optical
    Hello Everybody. I have been on the market for a DAC for a couple of weeks now. Maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hell of a time deciding. It just seems like there's alot to weigh out between alot of different products. Perhaps it's the fact that its my first, because I can make quick decisions in every other dept.

    Right now a friend of mine is trying to sell me his Firestone Spitfire. I have it hooked up and its a great unit. The thing that's throwing me off is this; my card has optical and digital out. I have been going about my search by looking for DACs that will connect from these. Should I be overlooking USB DACs? I feel like I should be using the outputs my card has but am I selling myself short? Will a USB cable provide the same results as coax or optical for this application?

    There are some great looking, USB only DACs out there....what do you think??
  • 09-13-2009, 06:12 AM
    noddin0ff
    Overall, I think you're better off using coax or optical. Most USB audio interfaces are limited to 16bit 44.1kHz CD resolution. Performancewise I don't think it makes any difference. But if you want to use it for higher res audio formats, then USB doesn't generally work.
  • 09-13-2009, 07:20 AM
    poppachubby
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by noddin0ff
    Overall, I think you're better off using coax or optical. Most USB audio interfaces are limited to 16bit 44.1kHz CD resolution. Performancewise I don't think it makes any difference. But if you want to use it for higher res audio formats, then USB doesn't generally work.

    Excellent, thanks noddin, well stated...
  • 02-18-2011, 08:59 AM
    Leoross
    Feochanboy
    Hi Poppachubby

    The difference is that usb connections will only sustain 16 bit files, which is why I want to know how can I tell if my card has optical or co-ax output. If you download 24 bit files from specialist sites such as Linn audio there would not be any point with usb. Can you help? What kind of card do I need and which output would I then use, headpone? The answer is don't bother with usb. By the way, all apple downloads via i tunes are 16 bit, but what about when they upgrade to 24 bit or more? usb connections will soon be redundant!
  • 02-18-2011, 09:30 AM
    Luvin Da Blues
    WOW!!!!!! REALLY!!!!

    I guess I better tell my MH DAC (using a USB interface) to stop playing 24 bit files then????? :nonod:
  • 02-18-2011, 10:01 AM
    Feanor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Hello Everybody. I have been on the market for a DAC for a couple of weeks now. Maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hell of a time deciding. It just seems like there's alot to weigh out between alot of different products. Perhaps it's the fact that its my first, because I can make quick decisions in every other dept.

    Right now a friend of mine is trying to sell me his Firestone Spitfire. I have it hooked up and its a great unit. The thing that's throwing me off is this; my card has optical and digital out. I have been going about my search by looking for DACs that will connect from these. Should I be overlooking USB DACs? I feel like I should be using the outputs my card has but am I selling myself short? Will a USB cable provide the same results as coax or optical for this application?

    There are some great looking, USB only DACs out there....what do you think??

    It depends. As others have said, standard USB is limited to 98kbps. Also in general it's inclined to be jittery. Personally I use the S/PDIF coax from my sound card via a 30 foot cable to my DAC. (The longer cable suppresses jitter due to possible card/DAC impedance mismatches.)

    On the other hand, asynchronous USB connectors, using custom software drivers, are becoming increasingly available; they permit 24/192 and can reduce jitter to levels as good as or better than S/PDIF.

    Here's an example of a low-cost DAC that boasts a custom USB interface as well as an ASIO driver ... Musiland Monitor 02
  • 02-18-2011, 10:36 AM
    LeRoy
    Hello PC, have not seen you post in awhile.....unless you are in a really big hurry to pick up a DAC you might want to consider getting a loaner audition from Neko. Here is the website and if you check out their forums section you can sign up for a loaner but of course there are terms....

    http://nekoaudio.com/