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PC setup and active speakers - DAC query


ecc
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Hi

 

Looking for some advice and hoping someone here can help. Up until a few months ago I had a very good analog hifi setup which had to go for personal reasons. I recently bought AVI ADM9 active speakers and am listening to all my music now through the PC. So far so good, speakers are really brilliant so no problems there. Setup is as follows:

 

Bog standard Asus PC with Windows 10 with no optical output connecting via USB to a Behringer 202 which runs optical line to AVI ADM9RS speakers which contain a wolfson DAC.

Using JRiver latest version

 

My querys are as follows and excuse my technical illiteracy:

1. As the PC has no optical out i cant connect direct to the speakers so have the behringer. This is a cheap solution which doesnt seem to support HD audio. Any suggestions for a good DAC with USB in and Optical out?

2. Is there a benefit of running DACs in series as I will always have two unless I upgrade the PC?

 

Im sure these are stupid questions. Any suggestions appreciated. Have looked around at loads at sites for DACs and basic requirements are USB in and optical out which supports HD audio.

 

Thanks

C

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It sounds to me like you need a usb converter rather than a DAC here.

 

I have a somewhat similar scenario with one of my systems. I use an Ifi Ilink. It will do hd music up to 24/192.

 

Do the AVI's also have spdif coaxial input? If so there are even more options for converters than if it only has optical.

 

The AVI's are supposed to pretty good, although I haven't heard them myself. Best of luck!

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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It sounds to me like you need a usb converter rather than a DAC here.

 

I have a somewhat similar scenario with one of my systems. I use an Ifi Ilink. It will do hd music up to 24/192.

 

Do the AVI's also have spdif coaxial input? If so there are even more options for converters than if it only has optical.

Sam's advice is correct...

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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Hi C,

 

Agree with Sam and Louise as the iFi Ilink claims to greatly reduce jitter, which would most likely result in a sound upgrade as well as giving you the benefit of hi res. Cost is around US$250

 

iFi Micro iLink USB-to-S/PDIF Converter at Music Direct

 

Alternative is too purchase a new DAC and by pass the Wolfsom DAC altogether and connect to the AVI's RCA inputs. Again iFi Micro would be good choice if you are interested in DSD as well as PCM.

 

Ajax

LOUNGE: Mac Mini - Audirvana - Devialet 200 - ATOHM GT1 Speakers

OFFICE : Mac Mini - Audirvana - Benchmark DAC1HDR - ADAM A7 Active Monitors

TRAVEL : MacBook Air - Dragonfly V1.2 DAC - Sennheiser HD 650

BEACH : iPhone 6 - HRT iStreamer DAC - Akimate Micro + powered speakers

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I meant to add there are a number of alternative USB to SPDIF converters but less of them support TOSLink.

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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Thanks to all of you for getting back to me. Its just toslink on the speakers so no options there. So if I went with the iFi Ilink it simply sits between the PC and the speakers and removes the need for the behringer, is that correct? Also does cable quality matter here at all and if so have you any recommendations?

 

Thanks

C

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Actually would another option be simply to replace the soundcard in the computer and replace it with one with toslink out. I have no idea about this side of things but maybe one of you has considered this. The reason I am considering this as an option is that the DAC in the speakers, Wolfson 8741, is supposed to be good.

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Cable quality makes a difference but it's relatively marginal. There are at least 1 million pages of opinions about cables out there so you can have a lot of fun reading that! Personally I Have found good value/performance from Supra and LHlabs lightspeed 1g. Best to buy cables second hand to try them out if you can.

If you find an audiophile quality card with optical out, let me know!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Actually would another option be simply to replace the soundcard in the computer and replace it with one with toslink out. I have no idea about this side of things but maybe one of you has considered this.

Yes you could add something like an ESi [email protected] to gain a TOSLink output from your computer.

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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Thanks to all of you for getting back to me. Its just toslink on the speakers so no options there. So if I went with the iFi Ilink it simply sits between the PC and the speakers and removes the need for the behringer, is that correct? Also does cable quality matter here at all and if so have you any recommendations?

 

Thanks

C

 

yes, that's right -- the behringer would no longer be needed.

 

as others mentioned, cables can make a difference. for the optical cable, most people opt for an upgrade over the cheap plastic optical cables. for usb, there are a lot of options -- the key thing is the length of the cable (shorter is better). if you've got a longer run, then the importance of the usb cable goes up. i've been pleased with using the lesser expensive audioquest usb cables.

sources:  intel nuc8i7 (audiolinux, roon core) (server) | simaudio moon mind 2 (renderer)
headphone rig:  chord qutest > bryston bha-1 > audeze lcd-3
main rig:  chord dave > parasound jc5 > kef reference 1
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