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Old 13th May 2013, 04:41 AM   #11
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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phoman is also mistaken, only lazy tacked on USB inputs are using any of that old technology commercially and here, where the question was asked about the current state of play, nobody would buy something like that and nobody would design using that old technology unless low budget was the dominant driving factor. its simply not a real problem with vaguely recent technology.

people will believe USB cables make a huge difference regardless of the USB method, much to my dismay, people still seem to feel it has an effect when there is a fifo and galvanic isolation in place ...
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Old 13th May 2013, 06:42 AM   #12
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Originally Posted by qusp View Post
phoman is also mistaken, only lazy tacked on USB inputs are using any of that old technology commercially and here, where the question was asked about the current state of play, nobody would buy something like that and nobody would design using that old technology unless low budget was the dominant driving factor. its simply not a real problem with vaguely recent technology.
Let me repeat the OP point:

What a shock when I saw USB based sound cards and DACS

The OP talked about USB cards and DACs, not about speciality DACs for audiophiles.

Now, a user goes to a PC shop and asks for a USB sound card. Will he bring home async or adaptive? Well, the seller will have no idea what that means anyway...

A user needs a multichannel dac for his HT setup from notebook. What are his chances of buying async multichannel audio device?

If someone is not looking specifically for async USB audio device, he will most likely end up with adaptive one. That is reality, still today. Async is not default, and it takes a bit of effort for the buyer to avoid adaptive.

Last edited by phofman; 13th May 2013 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 13th May 2013, 08:19 AM   #13
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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many decent semi-pro, or even hobbiest USB interface now, will be async, or custom bulk mode too. he also mentioned a 5 year absence and asked what had changed to make USB audio palatable. 5 years ago pcm270x receivers and the like, were pretty much ubiquitous and had quickly discounted USB as a serious audio interface for audiophile and pro-audio, for anyone not making custom hardware and drivers anyway. Firewire, or PCI was preferred in pro-audio, mostly for reasons of latency and bandwidth

I took the question as read, asked by an old DIYA member, diyer and audiophile, not a noob, to be related to quality audio gear, not plain vanilla tacked on budget USB crap, or otherwise quality hardware made by designers who dont know better, or dont put the effort into putting a proper USB input, instead taking the cheap and easy way out to round out the feature/buzzword checklist.

He was asking what had changed to make it successful. Anything not doing async, or custom bulk mode (both with clocking local to the dac) nowdays, in this market, is not taken very seriously and would not sell to anyone who has recent experience, or has taken the time to ask questions and async USB is such a buzzword all throughout the industry that it wouldnt take all that much to find one.

Such older legacy USB devices are widely known to be crap, even by new members here and audio hobbiests in general who have bought a dac in the last couple of years. Even if you ask among the teenagers over at head-fi, they will not buy a PCM270X based dac, they may not all know exactly why, but the spread of information and to some extent fashion, they know its inferior and there are multitudes of products for sale among the pages using async; from entry level through hi-end and portable, or home source gear.

how long do we consider that old technology be considered in questions like this? until the last cheap ebay crap, or utilitarian audio hardware design sells? how long must dated and nolonger relevant experience be passed on by experienced members who should know better, to those who may not know enough to search further after being warned of the evils of USB audio jitter? how long will such opinion/bias be spouted in new threads, in effect sustaining the ridiculous notion that spdif is superior?

In a properly designed dac, there should be little, or no difference on the output, but USB is certainly more convenient and flexible, no other interface has such direct and universal connection for PC audio and no other commonly available interface copes with stereo to multichannel 16-32bit 44.1-384+kHz PCM, as well as DSD

Last edited by qusp; 13th May 2013 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 13th May 2013, 09:26 AM   #14
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Originally Posted by qusp
how long must dated and nolonger relevant experience be passed on by experienced members who should know better
Forgive me if I am mistaken, but that may be a reference to my comments.

Let me make one thing clear: I have absolutely no experience whatsoever of using USB for audio! I never claimed any experience. All I did was used my IT knowledge and looked at some of the USB specs. My conclusions were purely theoretical, but it seems that they agree with your findings. I continue to be puzzled why you seem so angry when someone agrees with you, and seem to want to silence a warning about how not to do something - while admitting that this method is still in use even though it should not be.

Are you a manufacturer in this field? If so, that might explain your apparent frustration with everyone else.
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Old 14th May 2013, 06:51 AM   #15
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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not you specifically mate, that was more a general comment, you dont hold the patent on this behavior but yes I have seen you make comments to this effect, that point to timing and USB data clock jitter being a concern, when people ask about USB audio on this site.

there is years of this sort of info on the internet, by people that have some old experience that put them off and havent tried anything since, or alternatively have read only second hand psuedo-technical scaremongering jibberish.

People who have traditionally avoided USB audio for this reason, but are otherwise knowledgeable diyers, as well as diyers who are making their first foray into digital audio; come here and ask questions about USB audio and expect long term users of this site to give them a no ******** response based on relevant, recent first hand technical experience. Unfortunately often the same old information makes it into the threads and sustains it for another round. Just the mention of it, to someone who has already been reluctant and perhaps somewhat neurotic about taking this step into the 'new world' of digital audio, will easily sway them against it. Given it hasnt been a concern for years with the right products and now almost universally for modules here, thats unfortunate.

here on this site, there are many options and no interface that uses timing information directly is taken seriously, you would have to search harder to find a module promoted here that still uses these legacy type receivers.

I havent even mentioned the fact that a number of new DACs you might build to go with such a receiver, dont even use the master clock from the USB interface anyway.

I recommend you grab yourself an amanero to check it out for yourself, its cheap for DIYA members. here is the googlegroups list 48EU shipped is less than half retail price. ahh it'll be a bit more for you as you need to pay VAT. 56.46EU shipped

Last edited by qusp; 14th May 2013 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 17th May 2013, 02:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by qusp View Post
In a properly designed dac, there should be little, or no difference on the output, but USB is certainly more convenient and flexible, no other interface has such direct and universal connection for PC audio and no other commonly available interface copes with stereo to multichannel 16-32bit 44.1-384+kHz PCM, as well as DSD
Its about bloody time !

Cheers guys, thanks for the news..
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Old 17th May 2013, 07:48 AM   #17
grufti is offline grufti  United States
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I rarely agree 100% with qusp, but in this case I have no clue what DF96 is arguing. All competent current USB audio being discussed on diyaudio at this time offer great flexibility and avoid the problems associated with USB audio eons ago.

To DF96: I am not a manufacturer in this field and do not intend to be, but I do believe that I understand the issues.

Last edited by grufti; 17th May 2013 at 07:50 AM. Reason: added
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Old 17th May 2013, 09:35 AM   #18
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Originally Posted by grufti
in this case I have no clue what DF96 is arguing
I don't intend repeating it, as it seems clear enough to me.
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Old 19th May 2013, 01:30 AM   #19
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Audiophiles generally agree that PC audio works best when the operating system is stripped of all non-essential services, the network is disconnected, and the entire audio file is read into memory before playback begins. How does that compare with a USB DAC? The USB DAC includes a microprocessor that does real-time management of two USB endpoints: one controls the network protocol and the other formats and buffers the sample data. The 12 MHz oscillator for the USB network clock is always running and itís asynchronous to the sample clock. There is rarely a moment when the processor is not attending to interrupts from the USB interface. With an I2S interface between the USB section and the DAC chip, the situation is bad enough. With S/PDIF between the USB section and a DAC chip in an external box, as is often done, you have the worst of both the USB and S/PDIF worlds.

A better approach is an S/PDIF connected DAC that derives all clocks from a local oscillator and exports a word clock to sync the source. All the clocks running in the DAC, including the S/PDIF PLL, are multiples of the sample clock.
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Old 19th May 2013, 01:33 AM   #20
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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hahaha, sorry, it sounds like you read too much fiction. there is just enough real info in the content to make it believable to some.

you tend to notice when a buffer underuns or overflows, its not a subtle thing. the above holds if you are getting dropouts, or segments repeating; then you might look at addressing what your resources are doing, if not, dont worry about it

Last edited by qusp; 19th May 2013 at 01:38 AM.
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