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PS Audio DL-III DAC


Rob
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Chris,

Do you know if the PS- Audio DL-III DAC will bring in native 24/96+ files from the toslink out of my Intel Imac so I can take advantage of 24/96+ downloads? I am trying a borrowed DL-III on USB which only supports 16/44 incoming on this DAC which sounds very good, particularly when upsampled to 24/192, but I would like to be future proofed as much as possible. Your help would be appreciated. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

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I tried to find it, but mentioning the input taken is so much avoided everywhere that I'd say No. It usually works like that. So, it seems this DAC can upsample, but not take more than 16/44.1 directly.

 

Now, Chris must know, but he too avoided this important question somehow, or I must have overlooked it : http://www.computeraudiophile.com/ps-audio-dliii-dac-review

 

But Chris, how is it possible that you skip such an important subject ? you already were pointed at the similar question about USB in that article/thread, and then still don't mention anything about SPDIF input rates ?

What if it indeed is so that it can't do it ?

Peter

 

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Amazing to me how many questions can arise in this hobby.

I spoke to PS Audio's Customer Service last week, asking about the USB input. Interestingly, it took a few phone calls to final derive that the USB input is at 16/44.1. My question sort of took them by surprise. It appeared that only the engineer who was responsible for the unit knew the correct answer.

I then "assumed" that the other inputs would automatically read a native file at 24/96 (as opposed to upsampling), but never bothered to ask. I will be very interested to learn the answer.

 

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The answer is, concerning the DL-III, that it receives native 24/96+ into the SPDIF and Toslink inputs. Scott McGowan from PS Audio got back to me very promptly with the answers. He Also said the price has been dropped from $999 to $699.

 

Rob

 

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Based on all the specifications I've read, the DL III accepts 96khz or 192khz 24bit inputs. However, being caught in this game before (with respect to the USB port) I sent an email to Scott McGowan at PS Audio to see what he has to say about this question. As soon as I hear back from him, I will let you all know his response.

 

Now on to a related question. I have attempted to use the Optical S/PDIF output of my Mac Mini to push out audio at 24 bits 96khz (using the Audio Midi Setup utility to set this for the digital optical out). However, I've tried three different optical cables with varying results. All not to my satisfaction. I keep coming back to the USB cable because it just sounds more musical for CD quality content. Anyone else have some input into this mysterious voodoo? Has anyone tried the Kimber Kable Opt-1? Does it sound transparent? Most of the optical cables I've attempted to use sound either lossy or way too bright.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Stuart

 

Addendum:

 

It looks like the CS8416 receiver chip in the DL III does in fact support sampling rates up to 192khz at 24 bits (right justified). All the other components listed below also support 24bit inputs. And for those curious about the specifications for the DL III they include the following chips:

 

192 kHz Crystal CS8416 DAC receiver

TI PCM1798DB DAC 192 kHz with upsampling via TI SRC4192

PCM2902E - USB 1.1 Audio Interface with S/PDIF

 

 

Hope this helps to clear the air.

 

Mac Mini Intel; PS Audio DL III - Stage IV Cullen Circuits Mod; Mcintosh MA6500; Audio Physic Virgo IIIs, Anti-cables, Luminous Audio - Synchestra Signature Interconnects, Kimber Kable USB cable

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  • 3 weeks later...

You guys seem to like USB from Mac to DLIII more. I found the complete opposite. USB gave me a reduced soundstage, lifelessness, & lacked details/finess. I prefer the Mini optical to Toslink because it comes close to CD playing through a GREAT transport. I am using a cheap 3ft. USB cable and a Monster LS200 optical cable, nothing fancy.

 

System:

- '09 Mac Mini 2.0, 4GB RAM, 500gb HD

- PS Audio DAC Link III (stock)

- McIntosh C2200 tube pre-amp

- McIntosh Mc602 solid state power amp

- JM Lab Mezzo Utopia speakers

- MIT Terminator 2 cables

- Sony SCD-1 (CD transport)

 

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Frankly, I could not agree with you more. I've have an almost identical setup and have tried the USB route using a Kimber Kable (very nice). However, I too heard a major difference in sound using the TOSLINK and Digital Output set to 24 bits and 96khz. My major problem was finding the right mini-TOSLINK to standard TOLINK cable. I first used a few cables with an adapter and they just did not cut it. I finally broke down and bought a Monster Cable ILS100TM-1M Toslink-to-Mini Optical Digital-Audio Interconnect on Amazon.com and what do you know, the sound was exactly as I had expected it should be! I've been using the Digital Out exclusively now and the Kimber Kable was placed in storage.

 

Immediately apparent are the following:

 

1) Deeper sound stage

2) Wamer more musical sound

3) Airy highs

4) Blacker blacks (you know the dark matter of sound)

 

Overall, I found that my 24 bit 96khz ALAC content sounded superb. Even CD quality ALAC is up sampled by core audio before it makes it to the Digital Output and sounds significantly richer. I even went as far as to adjust the output settings using Audio Midi Setup to see if I could hear the difference. And you can. No doubts in my mind. What made the biggest difference in sound was the bit depth. Of course having the sample rate at 96khz added just that additional touch of detail and warmness to the music.

 

So, with that said, until I can afford the Bel Canto USB Link, I'm sticking with my TOSLINK S/PDIF out. I'm not even sure I even care to plunk down $500 for something until I am uncertain will sound any better that the Digital Optical out on the Mac Mini.

 

My setup:

 

Mac Mini (intel)

MiniMax 500GB external USB drive by iomega

PS Audio DLIII with Cullen Circuits Stage IV Modification (well worth the additional $400 over stock version IMHO)

Monster Cable ILS100TM-1M Toslink-to-Mini Optical Digital-Audio Interconnect

McIntosh MA6500 Integrated Amp

AudioPhysic Virgo III Speakers

Anti-Cables - Speaker cables

Luminous Audio: Synchestra Signature Series interconnects

 

Stuart

 

 

Mac Mini Intel; PS Audio DL III - Stage IV Cullen Circuits Mod; Mcintosh MA6500; Audio Physic Virgo IIIs, Anti-cables, Luminous Audio - Synchestra Signature Interconnects, Kimber Kable USB cable

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"Overall, I found that my 24 bit 96khz ALAC content sounded superb. Even CD quality ALAC is up sampled by core audio before it makes it to the Digital Output and sounds significantly richer".

 

Is "Core Audio" the same as Audio Setup in OS X or is it another setup menu I don't know about?

 

Funny that you say, I am actively looking for a better Mini Optical to Toslink cable. I tried using a cable from Monster ATV (Apple TV) kit. It maybe the same cable as ILS100 with different packing. I got slightly better results with a ILS200 and a mini to toslink adaptor. I may ask Monster Cable to make me a M1000 with the mini on one end.

 

I am waiting for the Digital Lens from PS. I want to try that before I take the DAC to Rick.

 

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Yes, Core Audio is basically the core libraries under Mac OS X that handle all the built-in audio formats supported by Apple (ALAC, AIFF, AAC etc). Sorry, I'm mixing developer metaphors here. I've recently fixed Max so that it will convert 24 bit / 96khz FLAC and AIFF to ALAC of the same order. That is where I got the Apple "Core Audio" term from.

 

 

Mac Mini Intel; PS Audio DL III - Stage IV Cullen Circuits Mod; Mcintosh MA6500; Audio Physic Virgo IIIs, Anti-cables, Luminous Audio - Synchestra Signature Interconnects, Kimber Kable USB cable

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