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Wap's Noob quest to playback DSD via computer Blog


OK. Kind of a "DSD for Dummies". So... here... we.... go...!


Just ordered an 8x192 ADDA Mytek "Bundle"..The USB card is going to be 4-8 weeks away..The initial Plan is stereo, using Signalyst running on Win7 on a 6 month old MacPro. I've gone ADDA (rather than straight DAC), to have a bit of fun with a Moog litttle phatty StageII synth whilst I'm waiting. :) Also a good friend wants to do some LP archiving. I've gone the 8 channel over the stereo Mytek for ultimate flexibility, and future proofing.. I've gone Mytek over MH because of same. DSD availability, card swapout function, USB availability (in addition to firewire), future potential use of ST fibre, slight cost edge, and heck..it's even got a good ol' familiar audiophile looking analog volume knob on the front!!....All this gave the Mytek the edge.


You know guys, stuff the recession right? Life's short! Gotta luv this hobby :)


In meantime what do the electronic gurus think about adding a SOtM TX USB card to my mac pro for this initial USB combo? A waste of time? It is a PCI card not PCIe...this a problem?


My final aim will be Mytek RME MADI PCIe card via ST fibre..with the Mytek clocking the card...but there is not much point getting this rather expensive card combo (the Mytek will also need an additional card) without some sort of decent DSD file playback solution that's not a hugely expensive DAW like Pryamix...thoughts?


The other option on this, is this "Emotion" solution by that Swiss crowd? Dallasjustice mentioned them a while back, but I can't remember their name. Come in Dallas!..I PM'd ya! Anyway, that's the alternative, but there is little solid data on cost and availability, and how far off we are from getting this..


Anyone know?


Whether I switch back to OSX at that later stage, really depends how far along things get on the OSX side in terms of DSD in general and multichannel playback in particular... It's simple clean sofware playback that seems to be holding things up right now..


Picking up a runnout model MacPro keeps the ultimate flexibility. OSX and Win. It's going to have oodles of power and expansion slots for years to come. Not to mention it came preloaded with..yep you guessed it...SNOW LEOPARD !! Yippe...Not a darn Lion in site.


So anyway. The quest begins. To finally get stereo then multichannel DSD out of a computer into a high end stereo and surround system. Simply. Effectively. Without costing a friggen fortune. Without being too much of a proengineer geek head..


Well here goes. Come along for the ride, or juts sit back and laugh!


Feel free to comment/advise/abuse/snigger/or throw whatever you fancy


It's going to be fun...... I aint gonna die wondering if it can ever be done. :)




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Technologies. Good luck with the Mytek project. I will let you know how my Stereo 192 DSD DAC sounds asap. I am excited you are doing this, and being my guinea pig. :)

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The RME MADI card only has SC-optical duplex(or coax), not ST-optical as used by EMM Labs, Sonoma and Playback Designs, which is a different protocol.

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LOL. Don't hold your breath waiting !




There is always ebay if things don't work out. Can I "on sell" equipment via computeraudiophile.com?...don't worry..I'll be keeping all the boxes...:)

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You had mentioned in your opening paragraph that you wanted to use ST-optical. The RME card and the Mytek card use SC-optical... different protocol. Using the Mytek card and RME card together with SC-optical duplex will work.

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I "think" Merging will release Emotion soon. I was told that they will for sure do a release promo thingy at CES in Vegas. However, I also heard that they are getting ready to release it even sooner. From what I saw it looked pretty great. Emotion will be the reason I am going back to a windows computer. Emotion is unlike any other audiophile playback software to date. There is no playback interface other than the web interface. Merging is using the same playback engine they use in their Pyramix software which is very highly regarded in the recording industry. The software is designed to work with their Mykerinos cards and future Horus-like hardware releases, which I am told will be a scaled-down version of Horus and maybe a hi-end DAC, both of which are networkable devices.




Wap, I say you go nuts with the the SoTM gear. That's what I am doing. I am even going to LiPO4 battery power the SoTM USB card. Who knows if any of this stuff will matter with my DAC or your new DAC, but it will be fun finding out.




The Mytek gear looks like it is very good and represents an awesome value.

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Great comments. Thanks! Didn't appreciate the difference b/w SC and ST !...also following the Mytek Stereo thread with great interest...and thanks Dallas..I had know idea (other than when I went out with a girl from Texas)..what "emotion" was... :)

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The Mytek apparently arrives in a couple of days :).....but the USB card is a long way off yet....which leaves me in the dilemma what to do.....which interface to go with...




Reading other threads, progress is being made with Pure Music, Audiovana, and HQplayer with DSD out via USB...and with Dallas's comments about the direct battery powered USB card ...now I'm not sure what to do. Wait for USB or go fibre from the RME card...




We need to keep things simple here....Can I use these sofware "players" with the RME without using expensive DAW software?




Comments anyone?




Also anyone know of a good multicannel RCA analog snake for this sort of pro-audio gear.,I can get this happening whilst Im waiting.... I plan to loop my NAD SACD player thru the Mytek as well...so I guess I'll need two, right?




Also, where does one source the SC Fibre cable, and is it "eletrical interference free" and capable of long runs like the ST cable?





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I think Mytek's USB interface may have some great potential.




Can I use these sofware "players" with the RME without using expensive DAW software?




At least the RME cards I've used work just like any other (pro) audio card. For DSD I'd need to check with Mytek which way they expect to get the data as I don't think RME supports DSD as such in their drivers.




Also, where does one source the SC Fibre cable, and is it "eletrical interference free" and capable of long runs like the ST cable?




Computer shops that sell networking gear should have those available. And there are also all kinds of connector combinations. For example "ST-SC Duplex multimode 1.0m" costs 10€ here. "SC-SC Duplex multimode 30.0m" is 30€...

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So from a pure DSD playback perspective, given the RME looks like not supporting DSD, (And the Pyramix-mykinos card or EMMLABS route really is over the top for a mere noob audiophile)......the 64Million dollar question is:




Will the Mytek "DSD" card support stereo and multichannel DSD playback right out of the box?




Yes or No?




And further, I'm assuming it also has PCM support...but again I don't know for certain...




As I've yet to get one, and don't know anybody who has tried it, I really don't know.....

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Will the Mytek "DSD" card support stereo and multichannel DSD playback right out of the box?




Currently what I've found they claim to support DSD on:


- USB card


- MADI card to work with RME interfaces


- SDIF cards




USB should be most straightforward as it is probably based on the RigiSys interface that should work just fine with ASIO once they fix the driver.




I'm waiting for answer on how the RME MADI is supposed to work, since I have experience on RME cards only with PCM (actually ~10 years in pro-audio scope). And RME's documentation doesn't say a word about DSD. There are of course other MADI interfaces, like SSL MadiXtreme, but these don't mention DSD either.




SDIF of course works, but requires exotic interface adapter and works only for DSD, not PCM. Should work just fine if it supports ASIO.




For dual-domain, PCM and DSD I would see USB or MADI being most widely supported and well-known.

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re the RigiSys interface...."once they fix the driver".. Remind me again what needs to be "fixed"?




Currently the ASIO DSD support is broken, it reports to support no sampling rates and requesting number of channels returns an error.




So the driver requires some love...




PCM works fine though.

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a bump. DSD worked in earlier fw's, but not currently (PCM does). Michal's new 1.3.3 will likley fix it. He's testing and will have it out asap.




Summary: it's often the nature of software..

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