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Old 30th October 2008, 11:22 PM   #1
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Default Has Anyone Used A Netbook As Digital Source?

Has anyone used a netbook along with a USB-DAC as a digital source. It would seem that a netbook would be ideal with an external hard drive as a digital source.

Netbooks are small and have no fans to emitt unnecessary noise. The hard drives are flash drives so they would be quieter as well.
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Old 30th October 2008, 11:46 PM   #2
Floric is offline Floric  Europe
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Hi,

had that idea too. Cheap but enough power, no fan and a display.

But I have no experience with USB-dacs, are they worse then SPDIF? Nearly the same?

Don't know....

Anybody?
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Old 30th October 2008, 11:53 PM   #3
dmills is offline dmills  United Kingdom
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I have a report of a netbook with external hard drive being used for remote broadcast contribution, and it apparently works ok.

The problem with USB dacs is that most of them have a serious jitter problem due to the usb interface working on a 1ms timeslice which goes badly with 44.1K and which in any case is kind of difficult to lock a low jitter DAC clock to.

It can be done, but is non trivial to do right.

There is a usb operating mode that would work better, but windows XP drivers never supported it for audio class devices, so most usb audio hardware vendors didn't implement it.

Regards, Dan.
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Old 31st October 2008, 10:18 AM   #4
Quaddy is offline Quaddy  United Kingdom
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i have used an asus eee 900 solid state drive, with a 1TB external drive
with a trends-audio UD-10.1 dac and tested with DAC1pre also.

i used XP, with foobar as player and ASIO4ALL as the driver stack with great results - the asio bypasses the windows mixer and thus creates a decent lineout

there is nothing in principal, different to using a 'netbook' over any other computer in my experience, as i use an external drive even on a PC which could store a lot of music

in fact i prefer solid state netbooks, running on their battery not mains, to rip my redbooks to wav via an external CD/DVD drive

as there is no mains influence on the process, same goes for playback
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Old 31st October 2008, 05:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmills
I
The problem with USB dacs is that most of them have a serious jitter problem
I take jitter issues with a grain of salt. I've never been able to actually hear jitter between different DACs myself. Others may have better hears than I do.

I know it's fashionable to obsess over jitter nowdays. I still remember all the issues with listening to vinyl. Compared to vinyl Digital is a dream, even with theoretical jitter issues.
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Old 31st October 2008, 10:13 PM   #6
Quaddy is offline Quaddy  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimOfOakCreek


I take jitter issues with a grain of salt. I've never been able to actually hear jitter between different DACs myself. Others may have better hears than I do.

I know it's fashionable to obsess over jitter nowdays. I still remember all the issues with listening to vinyl. Compared to vinyl Digital is a dream, even with theoretical jitter issues.
totally agree. not to say it doesnt exist, but glad to see someone else not jumping on the jitter bandwagon.

in fact i dont know why more people arent into the bragging rights associated with saying i dont hear jitter, means you have a good rig going!
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Old 31st October 2008, 10:34 PM   #7
dmills is offline dmills  United Kingdom
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I entirely agree when it comes down to the sort of picosecond jitter you see being worried about sometimes (especially when the 'improvement' involves 8 inches of hookup wire from the clock module built on a bit of vero board), but make it gross enough and the sidebands do become audible (at least on a pure tone).

It is an interesting experiment to use a computer to generate a set of .wav file with varying amounts of synthetic jitter on them (very easy to do for pure tones, only slightly harder for actual audio), and see what your threshold for perception is.

Unfortunately, a lot of the cheap and cheerful USB audio interfaces do truly suck in this regard.

Regards, Dan.
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Old 31st October 2008, 11:05 PM   #8
Floric is offline Floric  Europe
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Hi,

thanks for the answers.

The common part for usb recieving in the diy-scene is the pcm2707 sold as module, as kit or usable in a public available schematic. If I see (and hear) the commercial audio gear that uses the pcm2707 - in most cases as a DAC, i don't feel very encouraged to built anything with it. But as fas as I know I did not listen to anything that uses the pcm2707 as usb reciever with i2s output.

Any experiences with that part in an application as "pure" reviever? Has anyone compared the pcm2707 (with usb) to e.g. a cs8416 (with spdif)?

Best regards

Flo
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Old 31st October 2008, 11:21 PM   #9
dddac is offline dddac  Germany
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Quote:
Originally posted by Floric



Any experiences with that part in an application as "pure" reviever? Has anyone compared the pcm2707 (with usb) to e.g. a cs8414 (with spdif)?

Yes and when the 2707 is implemented right and drives (in my case) a nos dac, the gain compared to spdif is clearly audible in favour of the 2707 interface: more texture, more detail, nore space

take care,
doede
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