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Ethernet input DACS

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Are there any DACS that can accept a "direct" Ethernet input using the usual Ethernet connector and not via an on board DLNA renderer etc?

 

Would there be any advantage to this over SPdif or USB and if examples exist could a PC or other source be connected directly to such a DAC via Ethernet cable?

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I'm not aware of such a device, nor of any standard protocol for that purpose. In principle, it wouldn't be hard to do though. A possible advantage over USB might be the galvanic isolation inherent to Ethernet. Compared to S/PDIF, it could be made asynchronous (like USB).

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I've not tried it, but the Raspberry Pi with either HiFiBerry DAC+ or IQAudio DAC would (might?) work.

 

AVRs do. Auralic Mini too.

 

However, I've not come across a "dedicated" DAC with ethernet input.

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I've not tried it, but the Raspberry Pi with either HiFiBerry DAC+ or IQAudio DAC would (might?) work.

 

AVRs do. Auralic Mini too.

 

However, I've not come across a "dedicated" DAC with ethernet input.

AVRs do what? The ones I've seen use Ethernet for protocols like DLNA and Airplay, which the OP specifically didn't want.

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AVRs do what? The ones I've seen use Ethernet for protocols like DLNA and Airplay, which the OP specifically didn't want.

 

AVRS do = Have ethernet input. Have onboard DAC.

 

There are no networked DACs, at least not with ethernet, not even with "computer" interfaces like USB. If there are then I've not come across one.

 

The only other networked DAC option is wireless, like the AudioEngine D2 and Arcam airDAC, but not what the OP wants.

 

@Norton - Got me thinking (as I searched a ton for wireless DACs and finally settled on the Chromecast Audio for the wireless capability).

 

The Chromecast Audio is also a DAC and there exists an ethernet adaptor for Chromecast Video. Searching on Google shows they might even work together.

 

 

Not what you are specifically looking for... just throwing it out there.

 

FWIW, I don't use the CCA as DAC. I use mine with Toslink to an external DAC. But that still gets my DACs wireless capable and on the network and works great for all of my redbook streaming.

 

Just by definition however giving network capability to a DAC moves it into the territory of a streamer that also has a DAC and not a DAC with network input. I suppose all semantics end of the day!

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erm...

"There are no networked DACs, at least not with ethernet"

I guess that depends on what we define as a networked DAC with ethernet.

 

Well there's this one:

[h=3]MERGING+NADAC - NETWORK ATTACHED DIGITAL TO ANALOGUE CONVERTER[/h]

MERGING+NADAC | PRODUCT

 

Besides this particular device (which admittedly is outside the budget for many of us), there are several other DACs which accept ethernet data via a built-in ethernet bridge:

- PS Audio DirectStream DAC

- Moon Audio 380D ('streaming DSD DAC')

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erm...

"There are no networked DACs, at least not with ethernet"

I guess that depends on what we define as a networked DAC with ethernet.

 

Well there's this one:

[h=3]MERGING+NADAC - NETWORK ATTACHED DIGITAL TO ANALOGUE CONVERTER[/h]

MERGING+NADAC | PRODUCT

 

Besides this particular device (which admittedly is outside the budget for many of us), there are several other DACs which accept ethernet data via a built-in ethernet bridge:

- PS Audio DirectStream DAC

- Moon Audio 380D ('streaming DSD DAC')

 

The PS Audio uses UPnP/DLNA. The Moon Audio website is vague about protocols, but it appears to be something similar as well. The Merging device uses Ravenna/AES67 which is a lot more than a "direct" input as requested by the OP.

 

The trouble here is that the question isn't well defined. The most "direct" Ethernet input would use a dedicated NIC on a computer connected directly to the DAC and send something like S/PDIF data wrapped in Ethernet frames. I doubt such a device exists, at least not on the mass market. A more likely approach would use standard IP networking with either TCP or UDP. It's certainly possible to build a device that simply accepts audio data thrown at a UDP or TCP port. Again, I've never heard of such a thing.

 

Every DAC-type device I've come across with an Ethernet input uses some fairly elaborate high-level protocol like DLNA. Maybe there's a market for something simpler.

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Hegel makes a DAC with Ethernet input, HD30. I just bought their H160 integrated amp that has Ethernet input and it's brilliant.

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Hegel makes a DAC with Ethernet input, HD30. I just bought their H160 integrated amp that has Ethernet input and it's brilliant.

 

Again, DLNA and Airplay.

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@pvanosta & @guerph

 

Do these DACs take input from a NAS, external HDD device, or even a router for media, as in read the library? Or is the ethernet only to get on the network?

 

Kind of a catch 22 situation... none of the NAS solutions I looked into could be plugged into a DAC direct, not via USB.

 

The only solution was wireless from the NAS or the introduction of a streamer.

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With the exception of NADAC, all other offerings are commercial utilizing either Ravenna or Dante protocols. Ravenna caters mostly to broadcast, Dante to live sound and production. Neither does DSD. In theory Ravenna supports Linux, but there are no inexpensive DAC’s. Dante does not support Linux which stops me from trying it. There are several inexpensive DAC’s that support Dante. There are also multiple Dante Network bridges that can be clocked from or provide the clock to a non-Dante DAC. The DAC’s that I would’ve liked to try:

 

D250L | Visionary Solutions, Inc. and

 

Others that I found interesting are:

wireless: Digital & Wireless audio connector product | XIRIUM PRO by Neutrik

and mastering B2 Bomber DAC | Burl Audio

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Are there any DACS that can accept a "direct" Ethernet input using the usual Ethernet connector and not via an on board DLNA renderer etc?

 

You can find some here:

https://www.audinate.com/products/dante-enabled

 

One's I've been mostly looking into are Focusrite's RedNet devices. (see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AES67 )

 

In addition there are AES-67/Ravenna devices from Merging capable up to DXD & DSD256.

 

Then there are AVB-based devices, used in certain setups.

 

Then there's my NAA system, if you use it with something like Raspberry Pi2 + HifiBerry Pro or for example BeagleBone Black, or MinnowBoard Max, etc. Smallest system I run it on is 400 MHz ARM9 with 64 MB RAM.

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In addition there are AES-67/Ravenna devices from Merging capable up to DXD & DSD256.

 

My comment above that Ravenna does not support DSD is incorrect. Thanks for clarifying.

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You can find some here:

https://www.audinate.com/products/dante-enabled

 

One's I've been mostly looking into are Focusrite's RedNet devices. (see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AES67 )

 

In addition there are AES-67/Ravenna devices from Merging capable up to DXD & DSD256.

 

Then there are AVB-based devices, used in certain setups.

 

Then there's my NAA system, if you use it with something like Raspberry Pi2 + HifiBerry Pro or for example BeagleBone Black, or MinnowBoard Max, etc. Smallest system I run it on is 400 MHz ARM9 with 64 MB RAM.

 

Thanks, this is what I was asking about. RedNet looks interesting. From a brief look, to set up you would have a PC with either DVS software or a Rednet PCiE card and then a Rednet DAC elsewhere on your network (looks like current RedNet DACs are limited to 24/192)? I'm surprised that no consumer audio manufacturer has taken up Dante or other AES67 tech so far. Pity no Linux support.

Edited by Norton

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I'm surprised that no consumer audio manufacturer has taken up Dante or other AES67 tech so far.

 

Consumers prefer wireless.

 

One's I've been mostly looking into are Focusrite's RedNet devices.

 

I’ve looked into Rednet as well, but with the exception of Rednet AM2 (

) all of their interfaces are multichannel. I am curious if there’s a potential of destroying stereo imaging when you adopt one of those for playback duties which is not the intended use. This is just a thought I’ve had for some time and not sure if there’s any technical basis for it. One would think if the channels are perfectly synced, there should be no issues. Web searches of this subject provide comparisons to surround sound rather than to pro interfaces. Edited by Serge_S

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I’ve looked into Rednet as well, but with the exception of Rednet AM2 (
) all of their interfaces are multichannel. I am curious if there’s a potential of destroying stereo imaging when you adopt one of those for playback duties which is not the intended use. This is just a thought I’ve had for some time and not sure if there’s any technical basis for it. One would think if the channels are perfectly synced, there should be no issues. Web searches of this subject provide comparisons to surround sound rather than to pro interfaces.

 

RedNet is Dante. All channels of a single unit run out of the same local clock, so all channels of a unit are perfectly in sync. If you use single converter unit, it can act as timing master.

 

Those multichannel interfaces can be useful for stereo playback cases, for example if you like to run loudspeaker digital cross-overs in the software player. It is also useful for playing multichannel material (Channel Classics, 2L, etc).

 

Linux drivers could be also implemented, just the PTPv2 practically requires hardware support for accurate clock source. But for example number of ethernet interfaces in ARM SoC's support it as well as some newer network adapters used on PCs.

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RedNet is Dante. All channels of a single unit run out of the same local clock, so all channels of a unit are perfectly in sync. If you use single converter unit, it can act as timing master.

 

Yes, I agree on the perfect sync. I recalled where I got the stereo imaging idea from and it is unrelated to this topic.

 

RedNet’s D16R and their similar I/O’s are interesting as one can output to a non-Dante DAC (such as Cranesong Hedd that I’d like to try someday) and have an option to sync either to the D16R’s clock or to the Hedd’s clock.

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I'm glad I dropped in over here...

 

I have a Focusrite D16 AES sitting in my gear rack that arrived this morning. It wasn't quite as plug-and-play as the example videos would have you believe, but once I figured out what needed to be changed it has since been working flawlessly. I'm using it to feed a Dangerous Music Convert-2 DAC. I'm syncing the D16 and in turn the Dante network from the master clock in the Convert-2.

 

focusrite_testing.png

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Welcome to CA mhamel! You have quite a mix of pro and audiophile gear. Is your background in pro audio? How did you get to use Dante? You also mentioned Ravenna as your preferred digital interface. How do you use it? Thanks

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Hey Serge,

 

Thank you. I picked that choice for preferred interface because of Ethernet - there was no option for Dante. :-)

 

Professionally, my background is in IT. Audio has been both a hobby and at times I've ventured over into the pro side of things including running sound for a couple of bands, helping to design and build out a sound system for a club, and some mixing/mastering (nothing too elaborate). I think that pro gear is overlooked at times because of some perceptions about it being "too neutral" or I've even heard the argument that it's "ugly to look at." Personally I've found that some pro gear can be every bit as good-sounding as some "consumer" or "audiophile" gear. YMMV, of course, but that's why I tend to have a mix of the two.

 

One example is my DAC. I had bought a Yggrasil last year, thought it sounded fantastic. Having previous owned a Dangerous Source DAC (that had retired a Gungnir), when the Convert-2 became available I picked one up to try. I loved the sound, it was hard to pick between the Yggy and the C2, but I had some USB stability issues with the C2 and ended up sending it back. I then spent the next several months missing the tonality and imaging of the C2 and realized I should have kept it. I re-bought it and sold the Yggy and have zero regrets.

 

Dante came about after getting involved in a thread over on HF about a new DDC (Singxer F-1) as a possible solution to the stability issues I was still having with the internal XMOS-based interface on the C2. The F-1 sounds great, was an improvement over the internal interface, and proved to be completely stable. Problem solved... but this hobby being what it is, I watched the video on the PS Audio LAN Rover, thought about trying the USB over Ethernet solution, then thought, "Why even bother with the USB step - what are the options to take that out of the picture completely and just go over Ethernet?" I had never really delved into the AoE solutions on the pro side, so when I found Dante and started reading up on it, it was intriguing enough to try.

 

My wallet wishes I hadn't, my ears are glad I did. Hahaha. The Focusrite box is pretty expensive and overkill for what I need, but in comparison to the Mutec 3+ and some of the higher end USB DDCs, I guess it's not too far out of the ballpark.

 

Unfortunately there aren't any inexpensive Dante interfaces that use the Audinate Brooklyn II module, even the solutions that use the Ultimo are expensive for what they are - and will only do 96KHz. I've written to Audinate and asked if they would be willing to put together a more DIY-friendly version of their Brooklyn II PDK but haven't heard back yet.

 

-Mike

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Mike, thanks for detailed reply. If you ever decide to compare the SQ when running D16 as the master vs C2, please post your impressions.

 

Serge

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Not sure if I'm allowed to answer, but I think I can. We (Musica Pristina) sell a Roon Ready DAC with an isolated (internal transformer galvanic isolation up to 4kv) Ethernet input. It's the Virtuoso Network DAC.

 

There's Roon's RAAT protocol pulling in audio data, then we clock it and pass i2s to our DAC board. No UPnP, no DLNA.

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A naive question here : could someone explain the drawbacks of DLNA which are making Dante and similar technologies from Pro-Audio very desirable to Audiophiles ?

Thanks in advance.

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