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Computer with PS Audio DAC III


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HI!

This is my first post. I live in Argentina, and in this country it is hard to get equipment to build a decent system.

I have a "real" music system with a Mark Levinson Nº334 amp, Marantz AV8003 pre/processor, B&W802 and transparent cables.

I needed a good source, and after a long research for a CD player I decided to give a chance to my PC before I spend $10.000. I think this is a challenging test. So, I decided to get de PSA DAC (I will receive it next week) and use the balanced output to enter to the AV8003.

The first question is: connecting the dac via usb, do I still need a decent sound card or the onboard is ok (realtek hd audio)? if the answer is yes, is he Linx vista compatible? I have a 0404 usb from E-mu connected to my laptop in a home studio set up, can I get better results with it?

The second question: I am confused about getting real 24/192 audio using a usb connection with the psa dac.

I will use foobar with all the tweaks you suggested in this EXCELENT site.

If this experience is good, I plan to upgrade to a wavelength/alpha/berkeley dac in the future.

Thank you all for all your valuable information.

Max

 

I\'ll think about a signature in the future...

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Hi Max - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. First I will say that this is not as tough of a challenge as you might think. You should be able to spend far less than 10,000 and get better sound from a computer based system in my opinion.

 

"connecting the dac via usb, do I still need a decent sound card or the onboard is ok (realtek hd audio)?"

 

You don't even need an internal sound card. The USB DAC will become you "sound card."

 

"I am confused about getting real 24/192 audio using a usb connection with the psa dac."

 

This is impossible. You can playback 16/44.1 and upsample to 24/192 with the PS Audio DL III, but you can play native 24/192 material without downsampling first, then upsampling. Not ideal in my opinion.

 

I looked at your Marantz unit and it does not have a digital AES/EBU input so the Lynx AES16 card is out of the question without a different DAC.

 

I believe I know what you are trying to accomplish with a computer based system but I am a little unsure. Can you give a little more detail about what you want to do. This way I, or some else, can likely provide all the answers you need and get you off and running with your music server!

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

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but you can play native 24/192 material without downsampling first, then upsampling.

 

Chris, not wanting to correct you really, but to me it looks like you wanted to say

 

"but you can not play native 24/192 material without downsampling first, then upsampling."

 

Still looks a bit strange, but it seems this "not" needs to be there. Or ?

 

Peter

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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I have a somewhat similar setup. I'm currently using a Dell /XP Pro computer with a Linx AES16 card with a PS Audio DACIII. To make this work, since the Linx is AES/EBU output and the PS Audio DAC only has USB/Toslink/Spdif coax digital inputs, I purchased a Neutrik 110ohm to 75ohm impedance transformer from Redco.com (~$30), a BNC to RCA short pigtail (~$6), along with my HD26 to XLR cable for the Linx card and had them use Canare D206 110ohm cable (~$30). Redco did an excellent job! I would say it was the most value / $ I've ever spent in audio.

 

My intention is to eventually get a Berkeley alpha DAC or similar with AES input, so this was a nice way to bridge the gap for me. The sound quality is excellent and noticeably better than when I ran the PS Audio DACIII via USB from same computer. Plus I'm able to accumulate and listen to high rez music now!

 

You came to the right place. Chris and others on this site are extremely helpful. I would not have made the leap to computer audio had I not received excellent guidance from this site specifically. And I'm so happy I made the leap!! Good luck!

 

Jordan

 

Synology NAS -> Quadcore i7, 3.8GHz -> RoonServer -> HQPlayer (all up sampled to DSD128) -> Sonore urendu (Uptone JS2 PS) -> Lampizator Golden Gate DAC -> Valvet A4 Monoblocks -> Zu Audio Definitions Mk4

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Thank you Chris for your welcolme and the info.

I have just recived an email from my dealer confirming the purchase. The down side is that I have to wait two more weeks to have the dac at home (this is southamerica folks, and nothing works as it is supposed...).

I am clear now that changing the sound board won't make any effect in music using the USB connection from the PS Audio dac.

I can't wait to have ir and make comparisions using foobar->wasapi->dac (XLR)->Marantz against my DVD player (Denon DVD-3910).

I've been seeing some mods from Cullen, do you think it will make a hugue improvement for the money?

As I understood, it won't worth to get 24/192 files from reference recordings with this dac. I believe that the Benchmark does admint 24/192 files from the USB connector, am I right?

Thank you all, and I hope to contribute to this formul as you did to me.

Max

 

PS: excuse me if my english isn't accurate enough ;-)

 

I\'ll think about a signature in the future...

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The Neutrik is only fixing one part of the problem with going from AES to spdif. It only fixes the ohms from 110 to 75. The real purpose behind this unit is to run aes over long distance on cheaper co-ax 75 ohm cables and then convert back to 110ohms. The voltage out of the lynxs card is around 5Vp-p if I remember my conversation with them a few months back on this very issue. The spdif voltage is much less at around .5Vp-p. You need a device that has the transformer for ohms and what is called a db attenuation pad to reduce the voltage.

 

JR

 

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JR, what's the risk?? You're saying there is an order of magnitude difference in typical output voltage between the aes output from the lynx card and the typical rca spdif input range? Wouldn't the input receiver get saturated and cease to work properly?

 

Redco suggested this intermediate option AND it sounds fine...actually it sounds great. I'm not discounting your concern...in fact I'd like to know for sure if it is something to be concerned about, but like I mentioned, I would also expect something to sound wrong or not work at all if what you say is true?

 

Synology NAS -> Quadcore i7, 3.8GHz -> RoonServer -> HQPlayer (all up sampled to DSD128) -> Sonore urendu (Uptone JS2 PS) -> Lampizator Golden Gate DAC -> Valvet A4 Monoblocks -> Zu Audio Definitions Mk4

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When I was growing up Makita made a 9.6v cordless drill. Later they made a 12v cordless drill. Turns out the 12v battery fits 9.6v drill. It worked FINE until after a few weeks of use (abuse) when it burned the motor out ;)

 

Anyway

I went through my e-mails on the topic and this is what I found:

Product 1. Hosa Interface for AES to SPDIF, model CDL-313. The hosa is around $130 and claims its compatable with all spdif formats. I did not like this one (even though its probably the safest bet) because it is an active device and requires power.

Product 2 Canere 110-75 ohm Digital Audio Impedance Transformer, model BCj-XJ-A10TRA. The Canere adapter is inline, cheap, converts the xlr to bnc and fixes the ohms issue, but its output with a 5Vpp input is around 1.26Vpp. Mabie this is better than no voltage drop at all.

Product 3 From http://proaudio.uk.com/prod_dip.htm a - SAP XF BF - XLR female with level adjustment 0,5 Vss / 75 ohms (SPDIF). This I really liked this one and its passive. I would have bought it, but I didnt end up needing it.

 

These are pretty cheap and you didn't spend that much for what you have. It would not hurt to be safe though. I hate to see you burn your unit out over a few bucks.

 

I wish I have some solid info other than the fact that the voltage are out of wack per the specs. Also, the unit you have does not say its an aes to spdif converter, but just a AES/EBU Impedance Transformer.

 

regards

 

vortecjr

 

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