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New Guy chewing through the gobs of information...


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Hi everyone,

 

I am an audio lover looking for sweet music. (Wow, sounds like I am posting in a different forum!)

 

I am new to computer audio and working my through the myriad of information sources as I try to put together some nice audio from my new notebook. I am awaiting a pc, and my interests are in streaming untouched(or whatever comes closest) audio through USB DAC to powered monitors and sub.

 

I have researched DACS quite a bit, and am also trying to get a handle on Foobar, Asio, etc. I don't know if I made my first bonehead move, but I ordered a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB DAC, http://focusrite.com/products/audio_interfaces/scarlett_2i2/

 

I have been looking for a DAC that is USB powered and that had balanced outputs as well as a headphone amp for portable use. I think I may find the headphone end of things lacking, but the desktop functionality seems like it would be there.

-2 in / 2 out USB audio interface

-96 KHz, 24-bit conversion

-2 balanced monitor outputs – ¼” TRS Jack

-USB 2.0 Port

 

OK, on to a question. Here is one area I am shaky about. I need a player that will stream (kernel?) bit-perfect audio using an audio communication system (Asio?) to my 2i2, and on to my speakers. My understanding is that the Scarlett drivers will already have Asio, so I won't need to use asio4all.

 

Wow, looking at this all I can say is, "That's quite a first post, son"

 

Anyway, thanks for any insight.

 

Todd

 

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I think your post was maybe a bit open ended.

 

Foobar is a good playback software for Windows. It is perhaps best using WASAPI to interface with your DAC via USB. This should get you bit for bit correct, unaltered, output of your music files. You will be able to do this easily in Win 7. There are of course more elaborate music players like J River. I would try Foobar at first though as it works well and is free.

 

Not familiar with the Focusrite equipment so cannot be of help on the particulars exactly of how best to use it. I suppose it will allow volume control. So send Foobar via WASAPI to the Focusrite and control volume with the Focusrite. There are probably some tweaks to be done, but that will be a good starting point for you.

 

From there it becomes open ended again. It might be good to have a power supply for USB separate from the USB coming out of the computer since your Focusrite unit is bus powered. You can go to elaborate lengths of linear regulating supplies or simply put a powered USB hub between the computer and DAC. Even then, get your unit in and just use it bus powered. Plenty of fun to be had figuring it out further once you have everything up and playing music.

 

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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Hi Todd and Welcome,

 

Most Windows players will allow you to use Asio, Kernal Streaming and Wasapi, all ways of bypassing Windows internal sound. They'll all allow for bit perfect to your dac.

 

One of the most popular not free players is JRiver, lots of threads and posts on CA about it, including a couple of reviews by Chris C. (owner of CA). You can demo it for a month before buying.

 

There are also a couple "highend" players, XXHighend and JPlay come to mind, but there are others. As to if they truly have better sound quality is debated on CA. They're also more expensive and less functional than JRiver which is $50. They allow for free but somewhat restricted demos.

 

It may sound like I'm recommending JRiver, but I'm not. Just stating the short version of the facts ma'am. I happen to have XXHighend and JRiver.

 

Good luck with your quest. I can't tell you if you made a bonehead move or not with the dac--I've not heard of it, but my guess is probably not (unless you spend $10k on it and couldn't easily afford to).

 

-Chris

 

 

 

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Thank you esldude and Chris, for your suggestions and welcome.

 

Yes, open-ended is accurate. Information overload can make you crazy, and I just figured I would get the ball rolling by blurting out an overview of where I am.

 

After my discussion with a Focusrite rep, I was left with the impression that I will need nothing more than Foobar. Either the drivers or the software suite that was included with the Scarlett 2i2 would do what I needed, so the rep suggested. I will proceed and come back with some more pointed and well-reasoned questions, I am certain.

 

UPS showed up with my new 2i2, and I must say I hope it works because I find it quite a nice looking piece of kit (as they say) with it's solid aluminum sleeve shell.

 

Thanks again,

 

Todd

 

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  • 1 month later...

I just wanted to give another thanks to you all for your help. I went ahead with the JRiver software, and am SO glad I did! I am using the Scarlett 2i2 which has Asio component and could not be happier with my excellent sound! I went with Yamaha 2.1 monitor setup (HS50M's and the sub)

Thanks again!

Todd

 

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