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Old 25th October 2011, 05:09 AM   #1
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Default USB DAC with volume and track info display

im looking for a usb DAC that has a volume control and track info display.

its for my car PC setup and im trying to find something with hardware controls instead of touch screen.
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Old 30th October 2011, 12:26 AM   #2
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those are 2 things; a dac is one and the lcd display with buttons (I assume you are talking about) is another.
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Old 31st October 2011, 01:03 PM   #3
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Hi,

You could get a Squeezebox (the top of the range has usb I think ?) or just use an iPod to do this, or build a cheap itx PC. The questions is, what kind of quaity are you looking for and at what price ?

I'd love to get an lcduino or similar to read track metadata - is that possible ?
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Old 31st October 2011, 04:27 PM   #4
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as good as i can get.

ideally i would like the DAC to go straight to 4 channel amp.(if the preamp voltage is high enough)
but theres no dacs with playlist controls that i know of.
or a volume button.


ive set my eye on hifi diy usb dac that has the colume
but just looking if there any others that have both.

my budget is 200-300 dollars
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Old 31st October 2011, 04:44 PM   #5
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fwiw, I recommend keeping ALL of that separate. the notion of playback control is entirely diffrent (and should be decoupled, imho) from converting digital to analog (audio path). in my field (networking) we call that the 'control plane' and the 'data plane' and audio would fall under the data plane, in this case. carrying audio and telling the source what song to play and having the source tell us the remain time (etc) is a separate thing from doing a good job at being a DAC.

if you keep things separate, you can change out those middle stages and upgrade/customize more easily.

I did something sort of close, once:

Click the image to open in full size.

but that was *only* just 'velcro integration' (lol). it gave the appearance that there was playlist and song remote control as well as volume control (and a local DAC, too). in fact, the arduino code did local volume control (PGA based) but the song and remain-time display all came over the local ethernet network. I had an MPD (music playback daemon) program running on a linux pc and there was also apache and some other stuff to make it all work. the arduino (blue lcd display box) would send remote web requests to the MPD system and it would reply back with current song, current artist, total/remain and so on. the arduino would parse the web reply (a very simple reply format) and display to the screen. the user could pause and skip back and skip next all using learned IR from a sony/etc remote. it was one big display and it did show song info and vol level info at the same time, but it was a 'trick' and as I call it, 'velcro integration'

if you want to do that, you do what I do and integrate what you want and call various remote services to do various things (like playing songs or even varying vol level, changing input, etc).

(the metal box held a standard arduino base board and an ethernet 'shield' giving an rj45 in back for wired 10/100 ethernet out).
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Old 1st November 2011, 02:34 AM   #6
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Mins is separate at the moment and I'm happy with that. I have zero coding skills so it's probably gonna stay that way !

The CS4398 has a volume control and so do some of the Ti upsampling chips like src4392. I have an SRC4392 evm sitting in a box somewhere. I had intended to use it as a way to dejitter a PC's spdif output and control the volume, but I never got around to discovering how the coding works. One day.... ;-)

Anyway, Squeezebox used to make a hi-end version of the Touch but maybe they've dropped it since Logitech bought them. Sonos do network players too.
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Old 1st November 2011, 03:06 AM   #7
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its my understanding that almost all (if not all) hardware based audio players do not do proper dithering when they do digital volume controls. vol control is still better done at analog final stages rather than cutting down bit depth and resolution.
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Old 1st November 2011, 06:51 AM   #8
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u mean a PC based volume control(usb jog dial) would be worse than running the DACs output through a preamp with volume and fader?
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Old 1st November 2011, 10:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raverx3m View Post
u mean a PC based volume control(usb jog dial) would be worse than running the DACs output through a preamp with volume and fader?
Generally, yes. Not only for the reason mentioned above, but also because without an analog volume control between the source and amp, any noise from the source outputs will be amplified at full volume constantly.

It doesn't need to be a full "pre-amp"; a simple potentiometer could be used.
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Old 1st November 2011, 10:22 AM   #10
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Dual CS4398 CS8416 24Bit/192KHZ DAC+ VFD Display+Remote | eBay

This could be worth a look, it will control a pc media player but i'm not sure if it shows the actual track info on its LCD.
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