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I need Digital Interface...


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On one end of my musical computer system...

a good computer rig / Dell server, plenty of power, Windows 7, JRiver Media Center 19

On another end...

a Metric Halo ULN-2,with FireWire inputs (Mac only) and SPDif inputs (then Neumann KH120 monitors)

The transport, from the Dell computer to the ULN-2 DAC, can be of many. Here are the possibilities I am considering, for a budget of maximum 300$

 

  • Buy the brand new DI-2014 from Audio GD from China, to convert from USB to SPDIf, (but then I am blowing my budget) with a 30 feet USB cable from Redco (not sure which want to get). Previous experience with AudioGD: great sound, poor drivers.
  • Buy a m2Tech hiface from a local vendor, with a 30-feet SPDif cable from Redco. 200$ for the m2tech, probably about 50$ for the SPDif cable
  • Buy an inexpensive digital-out only PCI card (Musiland Digital Times), 50$, with a 30-feet SPDif cable from Redco.
  • Buy a more expensive soundcard, like an Asus Azur (200$?), and use the digital-out with a 30-feet SPDif cable.

These little decisions are important, of course: we all have heard the resuts of poor digital transport and its impact on sound. And of all these solutions, I bet the AudioGD is the only one whose making any re-clocking...

So what do you think? The m2Tech seems like a sure bet (loads of praise), but am I gaining anything compared to the cheaper Musiland card? Or is there other soundcard (like the Asus) with bit-perfect output?

And for 30 feet cable transport, is there a preference between USB and SPDif?

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You could probably get a second hand Lynx PCI/PCIe soundcard cheap. RME is also very good. And some use a Julia card here too. Even cheaper is an Emu 0404 card.

 

Or if you want to go USB, the IFI range is very good and good value.

 

I would not go beyond 5m for a USB cable.

 

Since you already have a pc, save your money and don't bother with a Mac.

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You could probably get a second hand Lynx PCI/PCIe soundcard cheap. RME is also very good. And some use a Julia card here too. Even cheaper is an Emu 0404 card.

 

Or if you want to go USB, the IFI range is very good and good value.

 

I would not go beyond 5m for a USB cable.

 

Since you already have a pc, save your money and don't bother with a Mac.

 

What about the Lynx ONE Professional ? Good value?

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I don't know anythign about the Audio-GD, but it looks like it does all the right things. Of the devices I have heard and am familiar with:

1.) ifi iLink - $250 (coax output)

2.) iFi iLink + iUSB Power - $450

3.) iFi iUSB Power + Yellowtec Puc2 Lite - $650 (AES output only, but can serve as a two way device if that matters to you)

4.) Bryston Buc-1 - $750 (Toslink, BNC, caox, AES)

5.) Audiophilleo 2 + Pure Power - $1000

 

The Bryston is probably what I would go for if I were getting one now. It comes with its own nice beefy power supply and in a nice chasis.

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

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Do you need the Mac and Windows simultaneously? Can you hold on a while?

 

I think I read Metric Halo are developing Windows drivers.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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For the price < $300 I would suggest Gustard U10. It is clearly better than hiFace Two, I could compare them.

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I don't know anythign about the Audio-GD, but it looks like it does all the right things. Of the devices I have heard and am familiar with:

1.) ifi iLink - $250 (coax output)

2.) iFi iLink + iUSB Power - $450

3.) iFi iUSB Power + Yellowtec Puc2 Lite - $650 (AES output only, but can serve as a two way device if that matters to you)

4.) Bryston Buc-1 - $750 (Toslink, BNC, caox, AES)

5.) Audiophilleo 2 + Pure Power - $1000

 

The Bryston is probably what I would go for if I were getting one now. It comes with its own nice beefy power supply and in a nice chasis.

 

My undertanding is that jitter is the true enemy. ifi Link pretend to be doing much better than the Asus Xonar in that respect. Very tempting.

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Is [Windows drivers] a recent rumour? Because last time I checked (a good while ago) they seemed to have close that door definitively!

Reference the 15th post in this thread -- Metric Halo announces new technologies and upgrade path - Gearslutz.com

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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