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Old 18th July 2008, 08:48 PM   #1
kop89 is offline kop89  United States
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Default Recommendation on good USB-SPDIF interface?

Hi,

I am new to computer audio and need help from anyone with more experience.

What I want to do: play stereo hi-res 24/96 FLAC or WMA files that I downloaded from Linn website (using laptop), and feed the data from USB into my DIY WM8740 DAC with SPDIF input (WM8804 receiver).

So I am looking for a box that have:
USB 1.1 or 2.0 input (or wifi)
accepts 24/96 data from USB and outputs 24/96 data on SPDIF

I liked the Slimdevices squeezebox (wifi), but it only supports 48kHz sample rate, and the slim transporter is way too pricey with many features I do not need.

I am not sure which is the appropriate player should I use to play these 24/96 files (Media Monkey?). I was told by Tascam customer support that Winamp does not support 24/96????

I have done some research and come down on these 2 choices:

Tascam US-144: http://www.tascam.com/products/us-144.html

E-mu 0404-USB: http://www.emu.com/products/product....&product=15185

Anyone have any experience with either of these box? Any pitfalls I should know about playing 24/96 computer audio?

Thanks!
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Old 18th July 2008, 09:31 PM   #2
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And why would you not bypass the 8804 and use USB to I2S? The spdif transition will cost you plenty in quality.
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Old 18th July 2008, 11:48 PM   #3
kop89 is offline kop89  United States
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I have been thinking about that, too.

This is the only one I found: http://www.audio-magus.com/PC_Digita..._p/pctrans.htm

Unfortunately, it looks like the I2S and SPDIF output when using USB input is limited to 48kHz

I want an interface, whether it is I2S or SPDIF, that can pass 24 bit and 96kHz.
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Old 18th July 2008, 11:53 PM   #4
xaudiox is offline xaudiox  Philippines
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how about M-Audio Transit?
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Old 19th July 2008, 12:00 AM   #5
kop89 is offline kop89  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by xaudiox
how about M-Audio Transit?
Unfortunately, my DAC des not have optical input.

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Old 19th July 2008, 12:04 AM   #6
xaudiox is offline xaudiox  Philippines
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you can always add spdif to it: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/add...ransit-129132/
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Old 19th July 2008, 12:15 AM   #7
kop89 is offline kop89  United States
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Thanks for the link, XaudioX, looks very cool!

Here's what it says in Transit manual:
Note: Due to USB 1.1 bandwidth limitations and hardware constraints, sampling
rates above 48000 Hz do not support full duplex (i.e., simultaneous input and
output) mode

does it means it will only pass through 48kHz when plugged in to my laptop USB port and output through Toslink? What does simultaneous input/output means?
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Old 19th July 2008, 01:53 AM   #8
andy_c is offline andy_c  United States
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Default Re: Recommendation on good USB-SPDIF interface?

Quote:
Originally posted by kop89
E-mu 0404-USB: http://www.emu.com/products/product....&product=15185

Anyone have any experience with either of these box? Any pitfalls I should know about playing 24/96 computer audio?
I'm currently using the E-MU 0404 USB as a USB-to-S/PDIF converter. I've described some of my experiences with it in this post.

I have some updates to that post. The random pausing problem with MediaPortal has been solved. It turned out to be due to one or both of the following things (I haven't done a controlled experiment to figure out which).

1) I am using Kerio Firewall 2.1.5 - my favorite. I found some entries in the Windows XP Event Viewer under "System" for my music server holding the files (streamed across the network to my laptop). When music was being played, a buffer size bigger than the max allowable by Kerio was being requested. A change to the registry to allow Kerio to allocate bigger buffers made the error message go away.

2) Also, I ran the DPC Latency Checker software and found a latency problem in the Promise RAID 5 controller driver of my server. I updated to the latest driver, which fixed the problem.

Other updates: The developer of Foobar2000 refused to fix the problem I reported in which it "forgets" the ASIO configuration of the 0404 after each reboot. Details can be found here. That exchange caused me to completely lose respect for the guy. One must reconfigure the 0404 USB ASIO configuration in Foobar after every reboot - totally unacceptable. His code deviates from the Steinberg example code in the ASIO SDK, and as a result Foobar2000 is the only player that has this problem with the 0404 USB.

In addition, I've tried J.River Media Center 12. This mostly works correctly, but there is an occasional glitch with some FLAC files when played individually in which a distinct one-time "click" is heard at the beginning of a track.

In short, the only totally glitch-free playback I've found is with MediaPortal and Symphy's PureAudio ASIO plugin. Unfortunately, the high CPU usage of the 0404 USB (all players) makes the fan of my laptop kick into high gear. I'm going to completely replace this setup with a quiet HTPC and PCI sound card to get S/PDIF out.
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Old 19th July 2008, 04:03 PM   #9
andy_c is offline andy_c  United States
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Oh, I just wanted to add that the reason I kept mentioning ASIO in connection with the E-MU 0404 USB is that ASIO is the only way one can use the S/PDIF output. For whatever reason, the S/PDIF output doesn't work with DirectSound or kernel streaming.
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Old 31st July 2008, 10:36 PM   #10
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Can you tell me if you got the ASIO USB driver with the 0404? A lot of the external soundcards come with it, but this does not seem to be in the list on the website. http://www.usb-audio.com/

It is about 40 to buy the driver!

Have you tried any other USB to SPDIF options? How does the EMU sound in comparrison?
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