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when is a connection just an output?


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hi there


i have been searching for a way to get a spdif connection from a pc without useing a dedicated soundcard as i would be useing the sound from its output to go into my soundcard external.


my idea is to output as a usb would so whatever is there is there then changed by the external soundcard. as i have balanced outputs on the card itself thats sorted but from the pc i need a connection that is a high quality output without changeing the sound quality

(adding/detracting) from it.


does anyone have any thoughts?



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Welcome to Computer Audiophile!


What kind of input does your external soundcard have? I'm guessing what you want is something like the M-Audio Transit. This will connect to your computer via USB and provide outputs as Optical S/PDIF.


So if your external soundcard accepts optical in then this would do the trick.


2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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The quality you get depends on what you want to spend:


Lowest quality

M-Audio Transit - $99

Tascam US-144 - $130-150

EMU 0404 - $200

BelCanto 24/96 - $499

Empirical Audio Off-Ramp 3 - $699-999

Highest quality


Steve N.

Empirical Audio


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i love this site, descent people with good manners and positive feedback. let me be more specific on what i have and what i am going to be doing.


i am a hifi man not a pc person but having now learned about pc's i have also gone mac. so mac unless pro is usb and even then i am not sure if they do balanced. you guys really helped in regards to the pc side and now i know soundcard balanced to the dac job done.


i will eventually spend a grand or more on the last dac/soundcard to give 24/192 or more. i have just mastered my first album and know that in regards to what equipment is out there its the best i could do with what i had.


i have spent a lot of time perfecting my system so much others wonder why i have what i have and it does what it does. well put enough money in and be productive in first sourceing whats worth it and benefits unfold.


i want to now go via the pc and mac with the same philosophy as i do with audio. i thank you for the help on the bel canto and the better dac also the m-audio audiophile 24/192. this apparently does balanced out. i will be mastering in 24/192 as this is the minimum allowed for this service. but in my own home for me i want not only this as an output not down sampled, but as i am perfecting a mix but also i want to be able to redo cds and mp3's to a better quality than i have now.


so any further thoughts on mac pro sides as in balanced? and any software you may be ableto steerme towards wouldbe a gift




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Hi praer4life - I'm not sure I'm following every word, but it looks like you're looking for a good card for a Mac Pro? I highly recommend the Lynx AES16e card for new Intel based Mac Pros. Full 24/192 support and AES/EBU XLR output.


Let me know if I misunderstood your questions :~)


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also i want to be able to redo cds and mp3's to a better quality than i have now.


I think I saw this question coming by today in another thread;

If you want to improve your MP3s, get the CDs concerned. I won't say MP3 can't be uplevelled somewhat, but you would agree that just getting the CDs is the best thing to do.


Squeezing out more from a format than what's in there IMO is a strange objective (but that could be a personal opinion).

Playing it back the best possible way is another matter, but I think whichever way can be found, it will apply to MP3 and CD at the same time.




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i know now what to get via mac or pc and that they must be balanced! your a star thanks for that.


it also seems that i need to go from aes on the source again pc or mac to a i believe pace car? to give the dac the best jitter response as in lowest.


then i just need to choose a dac thats awesome! i notice you liked the bryston and for me it will be my end setup so its important to do all correctly. recomend me any dacs you feel are reference.


ihave the cable sides sorted all silver even the mains i have is as well with a dedicated feed via russ andrews mains and a company that has done an rcd box in rhodium and the plugs in rhodium as well.


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