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Old 7th April 2013, 09:05 PM   #11
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You don't have to do it in real time. Just upsample file to file. Play the upsampled files. If you can hear any difference. This will give you a chance to find out. Rightmark?

Duh.
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Old 7th April 2013, 10:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollowman View Post
I should've been clearer....what I meant was what is delivered to the Xonar's decoder DSP. Does the Xonar control center simply act as a multi-position switch (it detects native sample rate of certain file or disc).
The switch in the control panel directly affects the rate that the hardware runs at. This overrides what any other software, including what's in the windows control panel, might be set to. The only exception to this is if you are using an ASIO driver, which bypasses everything in the control panel.

You do have to watch out with regards to sample rates. Depending on the settings you will either get the soundcard doing the upsampling, which it does a good job of, or windows upsampling, which it sucks at.
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Old 7th April 2013, 11:36 PM   #13
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Just took the Sample Rate all the way up from 44.1k (where its been all along AFAIK) to 192k. Definite improvement -- a keeper!
Yeah, that sucks that ASIO + Xonar Control is not doable (or is there a workaround?). For older Win this may be an issue, but AFAIK, Win 7 and later run much cleaner. Does this mean ASIO on newer Win OS not as "necessary"? You guys tell me.

EDIT: Researched this topic a bit. There was topical disc. thread on Hydrogenaudio not too long ago. The thread-starter noted 192k works best -- for him anyway -- with 16bit originals (he posted RMAA results to that effect). I haven't tested any of the in-between rates yet.
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Old 8th April 2013, 12:00 AM   #14
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You're not supposed to be able to use the ASUS control panel with ASIO, that's the point, it bypasses everything so that nothing gets in the way. This means that no additional processing of the data stream occurs between the software producing the sound and soundcards interface chip. It gives a direct path, both in terms of software and any configurable processing within the soundcard itself, from start to finish.
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Old 8th April 2013, 08:03 AM   #15
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Default ASIO vs. Xonar

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5th element View Post
You're not supposed to be able to use the ASUS control panel with ASIO, that's the point, it bypasses everything so that nothing gets in the way. This means that no additional processing of the data stream occurs between the software producing the sound and soundcards interface chip. It gives a direct path, both in terms of software and any configurable processing within the soundcard itself, from start to finish.
So how "direct" is the Xonar Control Center software? It could be written in a way that it achieves ASIO-level "purity" and offer some hardware-level control (like Sample Rate). I've heard that ASIO "directness" is much less of a deal with newer versions of Windows (Win 7 and later; indeed, the ASIO home page has not been updated since Oct. 2008...so no new version since v2.9) -- apparently some folks in Redmond were concerned enough about audio in Windows to clean up the OS's audiostream path.
IAC, even on my now-dated XP machine, Xonar at 192k -- playing 16/44.1 files -- is an important improvement over ASIO.
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Last edited by hollowman; 8th April 2013 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 9th April 2013, 12:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollowman View Post
So how "direct" is the Xonar Control Center software? It could be written in a way that it achieves ASIO-level "purity" and offer some hardware-level control (like Sample Rate). I've heard that ASIO "directness" is much less of a deal with newer versions of Windows (Win 7 and later; indeed, the ASIO home page has not been updated since Oct. 2008...so no new version since v2.9) -- apparently some folks in Redmond were concerned enough about audio in Windows to clean up the OS's audiostream path.
IAC, even on my now-dated XP machine, Xonar at 192k -- playing 16/44.1 files -- is an important improvement over ASIO.
From the tests and measurements that I've performed, they suggest that the Xonar's processing is minial, or close to none when you've got the 'direct audiophile' button selected.

Windows upsampling is horrendous though and I'm talking objectively about W7 here. The Xonar's is very good. If windows is handling any of your upsampling then you owe it to yourself to ensure that Windows isn't doing it.

ASIO directness wasn't specifically done to ensure bit perfect data transfer, it was originally designed and intended specifically to give very low latency playback. This is essiential with real time music synthesis, ie when you've got a MIDI keyboard plugged into the computer with the computer handling the sound. If you use windows to do this you press the key and the sound comes out what sounds like seconds later. Use ASIO and most of this goes away.

I personally use foobar with the SoX plug in set to 192k. I mostly use direct sound, making sure that windows is set to 192k as is the Xonar. If I want to do any critical listening though I'll switch over to ASIO. I can't really tell any difference but it makes me feel better that windows is truly out of the loop.
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Old 10th April 2013, 07:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5th element View Post
From the tests and measurements that I've performed, they suggest that the Xonar's processing is minial, or close to none when you've got the 'direct audiophile' button selected.
'direct audiophile' button? I don't know what that is--at least for my ST version. Where is it?
EDIT: Okay, went thru the manual ... I think this is Hi-Fi "HF" DSP mode. It may be called something diff. in other versions???I had everything else "off" anyway, so pretty direct w/ or w/o this button, methinks.
Anyway ... About ASIO and latency. Audio via ASIO can be clicky and poppy. Latency can be a good thing in, e.g., a dedicated audio computer -- with proper software -- as it can buffer the datastream. But now with other inline buffers, like the one on the HD, not so sure ... also not sure how RAM memory w/ or w/o ASIO interact.
In the "old" days and on "older" (non-PC) gear, this was sometimes (and loosely) called re-clocking. For my Xonar ST, I'm using a 9-year-old XP system, and I way prefer Xonar at 192k over ASIO.
Not sure how the Xonar handles sample rate ... I assume the SRC is built into the AV100 DSP chip (as opposed to contracting out the job to an 'old'-fashioned / dedicated SRC chip).

I use Foobar, but I haven't experimented with its plug-ins extensively enough to offer opinion.
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Old 14th April 2013, 06:30 PM   #18
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Default Clock freq. for Firewire vs. Red Book

The Ayre QB-9 an outboard USB D/A uses two clocks:
22.5792MHZ for 44.1k/88.2k data, 24.576MHz for 48k/96k
So, the Xonar's sole 24.576 XO may not be ideal for most audio.
The 24.576 seems to also be optimized for Firewire.
See:
Crystal oscillator frequencies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
That said, Xonar's manual notes its use of double floating point sample-rate conversion, so "integer division" or "binary division" issues from that 24.576 clock may not be that important.
But all that said, I just installed the latest n' greatest Uni Xonar 1.70 drivers and played around with the ASIO settings ... and that 192k sample rate in Xonar Center still stands out as the best software upgrade.
It does make some mathematical sense: setting the decoder to a STANDARD "integer division" freq. of the 24.576 clock (i.e., 192k or 96k), and feeding that "clean" math to 1792. But I'm not sure how much of this and/or concomitant up-/oversampling is related to my perceived sonic improvements.
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