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USB to S/PDIF


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I have a DAC I would like to use with my computer, but it doesn't have a USB input. Rather it has S/PDIF in RCA and optical forms. It can work up to 24 bit 96 KHz. A while back, I believe it was more common that DACs didn't have USB inputs. I think the USB S/PDIF convertors were called transports, mimicking the old-fashioned (but good!) CD transports. I have been using CD for all this time, slow to get into computer audio. Anyway, can someone recommend a 24/96 USB transport?

 

Mike

 

EDIT: oh I need an ASIO driver for it. Preferably this would be something fairly new in design as the drivers would be up to date.

 

Further edit: I realized that my iFi Nano has an S/PDIF output in addition to an analog output (it's a USB DAC). I just tried the S/PIDF output input my good DAC, and it sounds a bit harsh. At least the iFi goes up to 24/96 and has a good ASIO driver, but I don't think it was really designed to be used as a transport.

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Further edit: I realized that my iFi Nano has an S/PDIF output in addition to an analog output (it's a USB DAC). I just tried the S/PIDF output input my good DAC, and it sounds a bit harsh. At least the iFi goes up to 24/96 and has a good ASIO driver, but I don't think it was really designed to be used as a transport.

 

The iFi nano S/PDIF output goes up to 192 kHz, just FYI. It's odd that you find it harsh-sounding. The iFi clock is actually pretty good. Maybe you have a (ground) noise issue. Does it sound better (or different) if you drive the iFi from a laptop running on battery with no other wires connected?

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The iFi nano S/PDIF output goes up to 192 kHz, just FYI. It's odd that you find it harsh-sounding. The iFi clock is actually pretty good. Maybe you have a (ground) noise issue. Does it sound better (or different) if you drive the iFi from a laptop running on battery with no other wires connected?

 

I have observed a number of factors that change how the iFi Nano sounds from its analog output, including running the laptop on battery, and also the use of an external LPS to provide the 5V. (And also running the Nano on its own battery.)

 

When testing its digital output, I was using the LPS and the UpTone Regen. I don't know if the computer ground was connected through the Regen.

 

I discovered a better USB/SPDIF convertor-- it's a custom modified Trends. I think the stock Trends is pretty cheap. This one is highly modified by a technician who did other work for me on amps and my good DAC.

 

Also, the digital interconnect from the USB/SPDIF to the DAC makes a big difference. I have once again a custom interconnect made by the same guy -- silver wire, quad shielding, Eichmann Bullet RCAs. This is much better than an inexpensive digital interconnect.

 

EDIT: I should say that I agree the Nano has a terrific analog output (for its price, simply amazing), so its internal clock should be good. However, my gut feeling is that the digital output was an afterthought. Perhaps it has a cheap buffer amp. Not sure.

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