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XMOS XU208 Or Amanero USB
XMOS XU208 Or Amanero USB
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Old 24th May 2018, 11:52 PM   #1
Robert Twotone is offline Robert Twotone  United States
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Default XMOS XU208 Or Amanero USB

I am new to higher quality DAC's and need a recommendation as to the preferred interface?
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Old 25th May 2018, 12:22 AM   #2
passive420 is offline passive420  United Kingdom
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This is an improved Amanero:

Amanero USB I2S module PCM combo384 module DSD512 Upgraded with Crystek CCHD-957 | eBay

And these have the much better XMOS XU216 core:

XMOS 384kHz DXD DSD256 high-quality USB to I2S/DSD/SPDIF PCB - DIYINHK

Isolated XMOS 768kHz DXD DSD512(DSD1024) high-quality USB to I2S/DSD PCB - DIYINHK

If you can look for some form of galvanic isolation either built in or external such as Twisted Pear Hermes.

Last edited by passive420; 25th May 2018 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 12th October 2018, 05:43 PM   #3
RolandPSP is offline RolandPSP  Romania
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Guys, is the xmos inherently superior for pcm playback or is it based on isolation and mostly better clocks ? Does the xmos have a superior clocking scheme regardless of oscillators ?

Am i right to think amanero is superior for dsd even compared to new xmos
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Old 12th October 2018, 07:38 PM   #4
analog_sa is offline analog_sa  Europe
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XMOS XU208 Or Amanero USB
IMHO

- Xmos core model is irrelevant
- isolation is nice
- clocks are important
- reclocking is even more important

But in the end the overall implementation is the only thing that counts. Big audible differences between the interfaces and often not what one would expect.
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Old 12th October 2018, 09:28 PM   #5
RolandPSP is offline RolandPSP  Romania
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From what i've gathered, a while back the berkley alpha usb was the best implementation. Now i see people with offramp saying it reaches close....i'm still unsure if usb or ethernet is better if the whole chain has clean powered ocxo's and the best implementation of usb. There was someone who had preffered rednet over all his other gear for a long while but now he had gotten to a 6 piece usb chain that sounded better to him than rednet. HOWEVER, i think rednet can also be improved with mods, where his usb chain was very close to top of the peak or maybe. There is another option which i'm pretty sure beats both....experience will tell.

REDNET is also limited at 24bit 192khz and aes, but again, the gains may make this unimportant, as long as one doesn't need DSD.

Last edited by RolandPSP; 12th October 2018 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 12th October 2018, 10:10 PM   #6
phase is offline phase  United States
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I now prefer that the inputs to my dac come from an SD card player, via 12s (ak4118).
To me its nicer than usb inputs going through an xmos receiver chip and computer source.
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Old 13th October 2018, 05:51 AM   #7
Thorp is offline Thorp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog_sa View Post
IMHO

- Xmos core model is irrelevant
- isolation is nice
- clocks are important
- reclocking is even more important

But in the end the overall implementation is the only thing that counts. Big audible differences between the interfaces and often not what one would expect.
Beyond the overall implementation, there are a few more (technical) things that count, so on short:

-XMOS - its firmware can be edited and tuned for meeting the design requirements, but the Windows (full) driver is not free; if an USB DAC is used with Windows and Linux based distros for playing PCM and DSD, than XMOS is the best solution.
-AMANERO - it already has a very decent implementation, the Windows driver is free, but the firmware user control is limited; there are some issues playing DSD in Linux based environment; if an USB DAC is intended to be used on Windows,or PCM on Linux, than AMANERO is the best solution.


Speaking about the implementation, as a diy-er, you can build your own XMOS based device and you will have the full control for hardware and firmware. There also are some licensed AMANERO modules better than the original one, but the user control are still limited.
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Old 13th October 2018, 09:41 AM   #8
RolandPSP is offline RolandPSP  Romania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorp View Post
Beyond the overall implementation, there are a few more (technical) things that count, so on short:

-XMOS - its firmware can be edited and tuned for meeting the design requirements, but the Windows (full) driver is not free; if an USB DAC is used with Windows and Linux based distros for playing PCM and DSD, than XMOS is the best solution.
-AMANERO - it already has a very decent implementation, the Windows driver is free, but the firmware user control is limited; there are some issues playing DSD in Linux based environment; if an USB DAC is intended to be used on Windows,or PCM on Linux, than AMANERO is the best solution.


Speaking about the implementation, as a diy-er, you can build your own XMOS based device and you will have the full control for hardware and firmware. There also are some licensed AMANERO modules better than the original one, but the user control are still limited.

Could you say which one, in your audible experience and/or just understanding is better for pcm and separately for DSD, on windows. From what you said it appears the xmos is the better all rounder, however i am curious what you mean when you say the AMANERO is the best solution. From what i gathered i was made sure that it was better for DSD upsampled playback, but for PCM not clear. Would be great if you could share the other amanero implementations ( if there are any available outside commercial dacs).

Now what i really wonder is if someone has compared(with measurements or even group listening ) head to head clocking accuracy/jitter when using the same chain .


In short : Does anyone actually know which one has the better architecture for timing and jitter ?
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Old 13th October 2018, 10:09 AM   #9
Markw4 is offline Markw4  United States
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The particular implementation may matter more than XMOS or Amanaro brand. Clock choices and power quality for clocking matter too. Possibly for that reason, I have never seen jitter specifications or measurements for either brand.
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Old 13th October 2018, 12:10 PM   #10
Thorp is offline Thorp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RolandPSP View Post
Could you say which one, in your audible experience and/or just understanding is better for pcm and separately for DSD, on windows. From what you said it appears the xmos is the better all rounder, however i am curious what you mean when you say the AMANERO is the best solution. [...]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markw4 View Post
The particular implementation may matter more than XMOS or Amanaro brand. Clock choices and power quality for clocking matter too. Possibly for that reason, I have never seen jitter specifications or measurements for either brand.

@RolandPSP Actually Markw4 answered to your question, I have the same opinion, but still I have to offer you an explanation:
when I said "Amanero is the best solution" , I had in my mind the first level of DIY activity when some pre-made boards (or made by ourselves from some shared projects) are combined and used to build a fully functional device. In this case, If Amanero meets your requirements (to listen music on Windows based systems), it is unbeatable because it is unchanged from many years, it is still on top of preferences of many users, it was reviewed over time by hundreds of users, it become a standard in its field, so it past the time test.


If you want to build from scratch your own USBtoIIS module, this is another story.
I will tell you only one "audiophile" fact, as an example: the ATSAM chip from Amanero module has its core 1V power supply derived from a switching DC-DC converter included in the chip (like XMOS U8 had, do you remember it?), but for XU208 you should provide 1V core power supply externally, so you can made an "audiophile" linear snake oil 1V power supply for that purpose.


My in field experience is limited to Amanero and a custom build XMOS (XHRA and XU208) modules, and I can hear no sound difference between them. I believe in good layout, in good low noise power supply, in good decoupling, in good isolation, in good clocks, but I will never spend money on expensive oscillators since I am convicted that my ears can't hear the fifth harmonic.

Last edited by Thorp; 13th October 2018 at 12:15 PM.
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