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TOSLink confusion


mantisory
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Hi all,

I am new to the forum and have been reading quite a bit and, well, am a little confused.

My current setup is a PC-based system using a chaintek av-710 to a beresford dac using a 25' TOSLink cable, which actually sounds decent enough. However, I would like to upgrade, as these things go :)

In any case, I am going to be investigating a few different DACs including the Twisted pear kit, the Neko D100 as well as possibly a couple others. I briefly considered the Weiss Dac 2 but it's a little out of my price range.

So, personally I'd like to stick with the TOSLink setup but am wondering what the benefits would be to changing soundcards, if any? I mean, I have done some testing with the on-board TOSLink that my PC has, and even compared to the $20 chaintek, it's total crapola - very harsh sounding.

So would going to the M-Audio Audiophile 192, EMU 1212 or something like that make as much of a difference? Would it be better to go to the Lynx or would it be overkill?

My understanding is that with TOSLink the limiting factor is that you cannot 'slave' the clock in the PC to the DAC's clock and so the best thing is to have an accurate 'master' clock on the soundcard, is that correct?

Any help clearing this up, and suggestions as to where to go next, would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

Byron

 

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"So would going to the M-Audio Audiophile 192, EMU 1212 or something like that make as much of a difference? Would it be better to go to the Lynx or would it be overkill?

My understanding is that with TOSLink the limiting factor is that you cannot 'slave' the clock in the PC to the DAC's clock and so the best thing is to have an accurate 'master' clock on the soundcard, is that correct?"

 

The amount of difference is very dependent on the rest of your system, what music you listen to, your ears, etc... The Lynx is never overkill in my opinion. It's always good to get top notch components even if one outmatches another. This way incremental upgrades can be done instead of replacing all your components at once. Pick up a Lynx card and if you're not satisfied with the DAC then the DAC is your next upgrade (or something similar).

 

With clocking there are a few really good approaches. One is to use a word clock output of your DAC to clock the Lynx card. A clock close to the DAC is preferred by some people. Another method is to use a master clock that sends word clock signals to the DAC and the Lynx.

 

 

 

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