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Old 8th February 2006, 06:23 PM   #1
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Default USB DAC/Soundcard 192Khz

Hi,

I'm wondering if it's possible to build (DIY) an USB DAC/soundcard
with 2 inputs and 2 outputs with a DAC with a sampling frequency of 192Khz.
Has anyone tried to do something close?
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Old 10th February 2006, 05:54 PM   #2
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No one has ever tried it, right?
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Old 10th February 2006, 06:36 PM   #3
gmarsh is offline gmarsh  Canada
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It's easy to make a 44.1/16 DAC using a PCM270x/290x chip from TI - these include the USB interface and software layer, isochronous clock recovery and everything and they're natively supported by Windows.

No such publically available chip exists for 24/192 right now, and I don't believe that the Windows USB soundcard driver supports these high sampling rates anyhow. This means building lots of custom hardware (think Cypress USB chip, separate PLL, PLD for handling I2S/SPDIF reformatting, etc), writing your own soundcard driver for windows, and lots of other evil things. It's a ton of effort.

Best to wait for TI to come out with a successor to their USB audio chips.
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Old 10th February 2006, 06:51 PM   #4
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gmarsh, thanks for your reply!
There are some commercial USB sdcards that allow 192Khz, but I've never seen a DIY one either!

How do the more usual 44,1khz using a PCM270x/290x chip from TI sound?
How do they compare to commercial soudcards?
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Old 10th February 2006, 08:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alexnick
How do the more usual 44,1khz using a PCM270x/290x chip from TI sound?
How do they compare to commercial soudcards?
In general they have opamps built in. They sound decent for what they are, but are not spectacular. However, you can use the spdif output (2902, 2704, 2706, 2707) or the i2s output (2706, 2707) and build quite a nice DAC (http://www.ecp.cc/NOS-USB-DAC.html)
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Old 11th February 2006, 05:45 PM   #6
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dsavitsk, thanks for the link!
How does this DIY sdcard compare with commercial sdcards in terms of SQ?
You say that I could build that sdcard just tu use its S/PDIF output and use an external high quality DAC, right?
Has anyone tried it?


Are there rumors that Texas Instruments are gonna lanuch a new generation of USB audio chips?
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Old 11th February 2006, 05:57 PM   #7
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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Here's another link
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Old 11th February 2006, 08:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alexnick
dsavitsk, thanks for the link!
How does this DIY sdcard compare with commercial sdcards in terms of SQ?
Well, I designed it, so I am biased as to how good it sounds. To me, however, it sounds better than any other sound card I've used.

Quote:
Originally posted by Alexnick
You say that I could build that sdcard just tu use its S/PDIF output and use an external high quality DAC, right?
Has anyone tried it?
The pcm2706/7 can output either spdic or i2s depending upon voltage on one of the pins. That particular card does not have spdif output. Some other chips are only spdif (or analog). For a usb to spdif project, look here (http://www.ecp.cc/usb-spdif.html). For a simple usb dac using the analog output, here is a thread on one currently being worked on. (http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=139368)
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Old 14th February 2006, 05:58 AM   #9
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dsavitsk, how does this DAC perform?
http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=139368
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Old 14th February 2006, 06:29 AM   #10
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I've not heard it. I have a couple of the previous versions, and they are pretty good. Here is a review I wrote: http://www.ecp.cc/gud.html

I should mention a couple of things though. It is an old review and I have learned a lot since then. I'm not quite as much of a newb as I was when I wrote the article. Compared to the one I linked above (the NOS USB DAC) the one in the review is not nearly as good. I would assume that Alf's that you linked to is a little better than the one n the review, but basically the same as it is basically the same circuit.

All that is to say that it is worth looking into. You should expect it to be pretty good for the investment, but don't expect it to be a giant killer.
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