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Format converter - interface


MontyW
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Hi,

 

Can anyone tell me if there is a way of taking the optical out on a Mac Mini 3.5mm to Toslink and convert it to an AES/EBU XLR?

 

Is there an external 'box' of tricks I can buy to do this?

 

Monty

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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Chris - the swiss-army knife box you refer to appears to be a cable termination-change device, but can it really extend a USB source beyond 44.1 or mitigate the noise/bus artifact problems inherent in USB? This goes to a more fundamental (newbie) problem I have understanding claims for these USB/Firewire DACs going to 196mhz when the source (USB) is limited to 96mhz at best on Windows (and Leopard, I think). If your server gives you Toslink out, what's the motive to go USB (with the attendant noise and bus artifacts)? How do you playback those hi-rez files over a USB connection?

 

Again, sorry if I'm mangling terminology. I have a 24-inch iMAC 3.06Ghz with 4GB of memory and a rapidly shrinking internal drive. BTW does anyone know if USB/Firewire external drives have the bandwidth for HD playback (of Itunes vids)?

 

Many thanks for input

breagan

 

 

 

 

Bernard Reagan[br]Dual-core 3.06GHz/4GB RAM 24-inch iMac-Benchmark DAC1 via AT&T Glass Toslink-Mackie 8MkII powered studio monitors-8TB Drobo array for multimedia storage

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first the gizmo will output a digital aes signal not to be confused with the analog balances out. you still need a dac, ok.

 

usb 1.0 up to 96

usb 2.0 up to 192

firehire :) up to 192

 

mini with optical = jitter

mini with async usb (also up to 96) = almost no jitter (you thought I was going to say no jitter, right)

 

external hdd is a ok

 

please correct me if I mis spoke chris!

 

jr

 

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Hi breagan - Hmm, where to start :~) Only kidding.

 

 

 

"Chris - the swiss-army knife box you refer to appears to be a cable termination-change device, but can it really extend a USB source beyond 44.1 or mitigate the noise/bus artifact problems inherent in USB?"

 

The Hosa box handles S/PDIF input not USB. The Trends Audio piece does convert USB at a max of 16/44.1. Not sure where you are going with the noise/bus artifacts comment.

 

 

 

"This goes to a more fundamental (newbie) problem I have understanding claims for these USB/Firewire DACs going to 196mhz when the source (USB) is limited to 96mhz at best on Windows (and Leopard, I think). "

 

This is not a limitation of the operating system. Currently most USB devices support 16/44.1. Some of the "better" devices support 24/96 without additional drivers needed. Very few USB devices support 24/192 currently but they require additional drivers which many people think is not a good thing for audio playback. Also, the M-Audio Transit is a 24/96 capable USB DAC but it also requires additional device drivers. FireWire DACs are a different story. They require additional software and almost all support 24/192. FireWire max sample rate is also independent of the operating system.

 

 

"If your server gives you Toslink out, what's the motive to go USB (with the attendant noise and bus artifacts)?"

 

There is no black & white answer as to what interface is better S/PDIF or USB. Some S/PDIF are better than some USB and some USB are better than some S/PDIF. It all depends on the components in the system.

Again, not sure where you are going with the noise/bus artifacts wording. Can you elaborate on that one?

 

 

"How do you playback those hi-rez files over a USB connection?"

 

Depends on what high resolution files you are talking about. It's easy to play up to 24/96 via USB as long as you have the right USB DAC or converter like the Bel Canto USB Link.

 

 

"BTW does anyone know if USB/Firewire external drives have the bandwidth for HD playback (of Itunes vids)?"

 

I have an external FireWire 800 drive with one of the newer Oxford chipsets and it can handle HD video playback.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

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So Chris are you saying taking mini optical out from the Mac via Toslink causes problems with jitter and that the converter you gave the link to would cause problems with jitter?

 

Monty

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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Ah just fnoud this from Mutec - may be this is the answer re jitter?

 

 

http://www.mutec-net.de/

 

Mutec MC1 or MC 1.1

 

Also found one from Lake People:

 

http://www.lake-people.de/index.php?id=2&lang=eng&typ=2&nr=c430

 

But with this one no mention of handling jitter?

 

Any views on either of these converters?

 

Thanks,

 

Monty

 

 

 

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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Hi Chris - thanks for your quick reply and the chance to clarify my comments. I tried the Apogee Duet recently and was unable to eliminate a very audible background static-y grunge from playback. With no music playing, the mouse scroll wheel or other activity would cause an increase in the grunge volume. A cursory glance at a few forums revealed others with the same problem, that it was not unique to the Duet, or even firewire. The Apogee CSR was responsive and made several suggestions, unfortunately none of which worked. As the Duet has no other input option I was out of luck.

 

From your comments about sample rate I'd guess my concern about sample-rate limiting for Firewire are dated, but I'm presented with two problems - a)the original noise issue, and b) I have only 1 Firewire port and it looks like I'm going to need that for external storage for my rapidly growing iTunes hi-def vid collection, not to mention my uncompressed CDs. What got the whole ultra hi-rez issue started for me was reading about new vinyl ripping software that performs the RIAA correction in 64-bit and creates a 24/192 file. Personally, I've never held Redbook CDs to even be a reasonable facsimile of audio truth and never considered the 'USB turntable' an archival option. To coin a phrase, you can't put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.. Anyway, how can I find out the chipset on my Dec 2008 vintage iMAC?

 

Many thanks - bernard

 

Bernard Reagan[br]Dual-core 3.06GHz/4GB RAM 24-inch iMac-Benchmark DAC1 via AT&T Glass Toslink-Mackie 8MkII powered studio monitors-8TB Drobo array for multimedia storage

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Can anyone help me understand if the Lake People converter will add a negative amount of jitter into the chain, if I use optical Toslink to AES/EUB - XLR conversion?

 

Thanks,

 

Monty

 

Location: Manchester\'ish - UK. System: iMac, YellowTec PUC2 Lite, Genelec 7270A sub, 2 x 8240A monitors, a Drobo and Vovox cables.

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