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PS Audio DLIII, Windows 7 USB Audio Codec, J River Media Center 14 Any Answers?

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I am not sure where to put this since it involves 3 variables as I see it. Here is my dilema. I have a HP Laptop running 64 bit Win 7 Ultimate with J River Media Center 14 and it is plugged into a PS Audio DLIII DAC.


I have been reading about and have attempted to use WASAPI to get the cleanest signal possible. When I set the JRMC output mode to WASAPI and then check exclusive, not check flush buffers, and check 24 bit in a 32 bit package, and NOT use any DSP output format at all and send the signal to the onboard sound card (which is set at 24/192 with all defaults checked) I can play any bitrate or frequency I want to without changing a thing. All the music I am testing with has been 24/48, 24/96, 24/192 2 channel audio downloaded or ripped. This is usng the built in soundcard.


When I plug the USB cable into the laptop and use the PS Audio DAC I must set JRMC to uncheck exclusive mode, and then set the DSP output format to 2 channel, 24 bit, and 48 Khz for the unit to playback. When I investigate the USB Audio Codec properties in control panel/sound/configure/advanced the most I can set it to is 24/48Khz unlike the internal sound card which I can set to 24/192.


Now I do not believe the internal sound card is native 24/192 and I do not believe the PS Audio will not do 24/96 native so here is my question. What am I missing? Is the USB Audio codec (which is totally generic) at fault for only being able to pass 24/48? Are these just default messages and I really am getting better resolution than I think? Or does the problem lie in JRMC?


Personally I think there is a problem with either the USB Audio codec or the way the PS Audio unit is talking to the port. Does anyone have any ideas? I appreciate any help in advance. I have also been very logical about troubleshooting this and have copious notes about what has been checked/unchecked and the results thereafter.




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Here is the essence of what was posted by Ryan Conway (PS Audio National Sales Manager) on the PS Audio forum:


"The Digital Link III supports up to 24/192 input signals via SPDIF and Toslink. The USB however only supports 16/48. When on the road I use a MacBook Pro via Toslink. This allows me to output up to 24/96 files from the MacBook, since that is the limitation of its output. Higher resolutions may be obtained from the Macbook if you use another output device such as a Firewire Soundcard."


I have been thinking about this today and I really have to wonder. 16/48 sources usually come from CD transports playing back RB CD's and such, but they usualy use a SPDIF or toslink for the output interface so the 24/192 input capability would be wasted. Most PC's are capable of 24/192 output on the USB port, but the DLIII is limited to 16/48 on its USB port. I don't know why it was built this way. OTOH, the DLIII is a wonderful musically sounding unit.


I am looking into a USB to SPDIF convertor like this http://www.tweekgeek.com/_e/Portable_Computer_Audio/product/HiFace/HiFace.htm that would let me take advantage of higher resolution from the PC and the capability of the DLII SPDIF port.



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Unfortunately, the DL-III is a little limited with what it does on USB- 16/48 on a typical Windows installation, and 16/44.1 on a Mac installation. At least on the Mac you get a transfer of "bit perfect" CD material, so to speak.


OTOH, once you're on board the DL-III, it uses a Cirrus Logic 8416 and TI Ansyncrhonous sample rate converter, which lowers the jitter and upsamples to either 96 kHz or 192 kHz before being fed to the TI PCM1798 DAC.


For high resolution music sources, your windows system is down converting/decimating the 24/96 to 16/48. It's also "side converting" 16/44.1 to 16/48, which many believe is rather damaging to the fidelity of CD PCM, because of the lack of integer relationship and the relatively low resolution way that Windows does that.


Usually for a system like yours, installing an ASIO4ALL driver is a desirable choice to improve the fidelity of CD playback.


The built in chips in your laptop probably do go all the way up to 192 kHz, but the question is the fidelity. Does your built in audio solution include a 24/96 capable S/PDIF output? That may be your best bet. In the end, if you want to use this laptop as a music source, you may need an external music interface (obviously, suggest Firewire) with a high grade S/PDIF output. Possibly a dedicated solution like the soon to be released Weiss INT202 or the upcoming Wavelength USB to S/PDIF converter, which uses asynchronous transmission and may work to 96 kHz.


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