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Onboard SPDIF vs USB-SPDIF converter

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What are the differences when using an onboard SPDIF output such as on a desktop motherboard or a USB2SPDIF converter such as the HiFace or V-LINK?



My current setup is-

RaspberryPi with RuneAudio

Musical Fidelity V-DAC + V-PSU (connected by USB)

Denon PMA-510AE

Quad 11L speakers.



The USB implementation of the V-DAC is rather poor, and I expect it to benefit from being connected via SPDIF.

The question is, which is the better approach considering only sound quality?

There is an option to add an onboard SPDIF unit to the RaspberryPi, such as the HifiBerry Digi,

or use a USB2SPDIF converter







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If you are using Rune, you may consider direct to DAC as I think Rune supports i2s out of the Pi. It does not have a Master Clock signal, but if you use one of the Sabre based DAC ships that async resamples, it works great using the onboard clock. If Rune does not have i2s support, it's cousin Volumio does for sure. I'd give it a whirl, it is cheap and will likely gives your V-DAC a run for its money. I cannot be sure as I used my own clock and not the one supplied. The clock used to be an option on the second board- the one I have. FWIW, I spent more on the clock crystal than the DAC board.


Hifimediy ES9023 I2S DAC for Raspberry Pi mod B 192Khz/24bit

Hifimediy Sabre ES9023 DAC, I2S and left justified input, 192Khz/24bit


Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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