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HDMI to DAC?


msb1
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Hi,

 

Has anyone used HDMI outout from a PC to feed a DAC? Is there anything like a HDMI to AES/EBU or SPDIF converter?

If yes, do these output 24/192 and how do they compare to say the Lynx AES16?

 

Thanks.

 

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There are many A/V processor/receivers out there with 192/24 converters on all channels and HDMI connectivity. Among these, there are several which output digital audio via S/PDIF. I haven't researched the capacities of these outputs.

 

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  • 1 year later...

I've been looking for a fashion watch with digital inputs . . .

 

Macmini (as server)-> AE Express/SB Touch-> Dacmagic plus -> Outlaw RR2150 -> PSB Image T6 (dedicated 2 channel audio system)

Macmini (via toslink)-> NAD T747 -> PSB Imagine B/SVS SB2000 subwoofer (home theater)

Macbook Pro-> Peachtree idecco->PSB Imagine Minis, Energy ESW-M8 subwoofer, Beyerdynamic DT880 (home office)

IMac->audioengine D1 dac->airmotiv 4 (work system)

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the HDMI spec...mainly for two reasons IMO. One, it is a very expensive license and only the a/v mfgers can sell enough to justify it. And two, as an audiophile standard it is not well designed, with jitter issues, noise issues, etc. Supposedly hurried and put together mostly as a means to simplify digital cabling in a/v, HDMI is not the vehicle for great audio. The HDMI ports you see on a few audiophile-type DACs (PS Audio, for example) are not really spec HDMI but instead other signals (I2S, etc) using the same connector in a proprietary fashion.

 

All that being said, yeah it would be nice to see a non-mid-fi HDMI capability somewhere...so we could grab, among other things, 5.1 MLP or pure DSD off an Oppo or other existing transport, for example, and send it to a Mytek or Metric Halo or other mch DAC for real hi-end surround. :) I mean, we can rip the above and figure out how to send it via firewire or multiple SDIF but what a pain right now.

 

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Devialet is supposed to implement just that on the D-Premier through a software upgrade later on this year.

 

My Oppo BDP-93 NXE is ready in case that happens. It is one of the 3 Blu-Ray players I know of able to output sound through a HDMI output and image through another one (the other 2 being the Denon/Marantz high end players costing about 10 times more).

 

It will also be able to stream 88.2 Khz PCM converted internally from DSD which will enable high quality SACD replay through the superior dac of the D-Premier (one PCM1792 per channel).

 

The question is whether this still makes sense. I have quite a few SACDs whose CD layer's rip is probably not tapping into the potential of the D-Premier, but am I going to go trough the trouble again of putting disks in the player again when an m4p replay is one click away on the iPad???...

 

Cheers,

Bernard

 

 

Room: Gik Acoustics room conditioning | Power: Shunyata Omega XC + Shunyata Everest + Shunyata Sigma NR v2 power cables | Source: Mac mini with LPS running Roon core (Raat) | Ethernet: Sonore OpticalModule + Melco S10 + Shunyata Omega Ethernet | Dac/Pre/Amplification: Devialet D1000 Pro Core Infinity | Speakers: Chord Company Sarum T speaker cables + Wilson Benesch Act One Evolution P1

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  • 1 year later...

I've discovered that both Audirvana and Pure Music players send a signal to the Mac Mini HDMI output, which when connected to the newly implemented Devialet HDMI input, are decoded and play in the Devialet. Audio Midi shows that the signal is output in all the usual bitrates up to 24/192.

 

Is this a high quality connection possibility, or are there problems, potential or real, that I should know about?

 

Any point of view or superior knowledge is welcomed.

 

fm

Qobuz via Aurender N10 > Devialet Expert Pro > Audio Physic Avantera

 

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the HDMI spec...mainly for two reasons IMO. One, it is a very expensive license and only the a/v mfgers can sell enough to justify it. And two, as an audiophile standard it is not well designed, with jitter issues, noise issues, etc. Supposedly hurried and put together mostly as a means to simplify digital cabling in a/v, HDMI is not the vehicle for great audio. The HDMI ports you see on a few audiophile-type DACs (PS Audio, for example) are not really spec HDMI but instead other signals (I2S, etc) using the same connector in a proprietary fashion.

 

All that being said, yeah it would be nice to see a non-mid-fi HDMI capability somewhere...so we could grab, among other things, 5.1 MLP or pure DSD off an Oppo or other existing transport, for example, and send it to a Mytek or Metric Halo or other mch DAC for real hi-end surround. :) I mean, we can rip the above and figure out how to send it via firewire or multiple SDIF but what a pain right now.

 

I guess that I must be lucky because the HDMI from my htpc and my Dune player to my Integra DHC-80.3 has insignificant jitter and the sound-floor is about as quiet as I have ever heard. I output 5.1 DSD to my Integra all of the time without issue via ASIO. If I want to use room correction, the DSD is converted into pcm anyway.

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The more promising approach is to get the Oppo 93 with the vanity93 digi out board. This board will convert DSD to 176/24 LPCM, reclock and send out over coax. MUCH better than the Oppo DSD to PCM conversion at 88/24, you avoid HDMI alltogether and can take advantage of your existing high grade DAC.

 

If you want to take advantage of this in MCH mode, you need three 2 channel DACs. This will beat the crap out of any processor over HDMI signal path. Only issue is synching up the volume controls, which can be done using a MCH analog preamp, or macro programming in Irule using the volume control in the DAC. In fact, my appraoch is diffent still. I run the Oppo digi out into a Trinnov processor with DRC.

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The new NAD integrated 390DD and the M51 DAC both sport optional HDMI inputs. They sound very good. :)

 

Paul

 

Hi,

 

Has anyone used HDMI outout from a PC to feed a DAC? Is there anything like a HDMI to AES/EBU or SPDIF converter?

If yes, do these output 24/192 and how do they compare to say the Lynx AES16?

 

Thanks.

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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The new NAD integrated 390DD and the M51 DAC both sport optional HDMI inputs. They sound very good. :)

 

Paul

 

I was wondering when some DAC manufacturer would decide to offer HDMI. I had very good experience streaming DSD from my Sony XA5400 into a surround sounf processor over HDMI, and imagine it would sound very good on two channel using a topnotch DAC.

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The M51 is only 2 channel output and doesn't support DSD; all of that for only $2,000 :)
not bad considering the some ultra $$$ USB only DACS and ultra $$$ Firewire only DACS cost a whole lot more, so the NAD offers more at $2,000 and then some and actually measures good as well. And Paul is right, the DAC sounds very good.

The Truth Is Out There

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(grin) How many channels do you want just for Music? More than 2, use a PrePro or AVR, of which there are many that are Audiophile quality, and as many monoblock amps as you need... :)

 

-Paul

 

 

The M51 is only 2 channel output and doesn't support DSD; all of that for only $2,000 :)

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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(grin) How many channels do you want just for Music? More than 2, use a PrePro or AVR, of which there are many that are Audiophile quality, and as many monoblock amps as you need... :)

 

-Paul

 

Regrettably, there are no "audiophile" quality processors that support DSD. I had an Onkyo once, that did an OK job with MCH SACD over HDMI, but as you move up the SSP foodchain, DSD drops off the specsheet. To get audiophile MCH SACD in native DSD, you need a top notch player, use the analog outs and a MCH analog preamp.

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Hi,

 

Has anyone used HDMI outout from a PC to feed a DAC? Is there anything like a HDMI to AES/EBU or SPDIF converter?

If yes, do these output 24/192 and how do they compare to say the Lynx AES16?

 

Thanks.

 

The Lynx cards have a good reputation for stationary computer.

 

 

If you insist on an external converter say for a laptop/Mac Mini, stay in the professional world and have a look at:

 

Blackmagic Design: Home or

 

8 channel HDMI Digital Audio Converters

 

I'm sure you can find more in the broadcast world.

 

 

I would stay away from HDMI if I could to keep jitter low, alternatively a DDC or DAC with a good buffer/de-jitter capability.

 

And no, I have not tried any of these boxes in my rig.

Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt2 ->
MacBook Pro M1 Pro -> Motu 8D -> AES/EBU ->
Genelec 5 x 8260A + 7271A sub
Genelec 8010 + 5040 sub

iPhone SE 2 ->  Sennheiser PXC 550 II
Blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

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Have you measured jitter on recent HDMI connections?

 

No. Would you have some data to enlighten us with?

Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt2 ->
MacBook Pro M1 Pro -> Motu 8D -> AES/EBU ->
Genelec 5 x 8260A + 7271A sub
Genelec 8010 + 5040 sub

iPhone SE 2 ->  Sennheiser PXC 550 II
Blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

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I have a DAC with 2 Toslink Inputs that are switchable via remote control.

Surprisingly, HDMI to a Samsung LED TV, then Toslinkk to my DAC, sounded cleaner and clearly better than Toslink direct from a WD TV Live HD, even though it was using a low noise Linear +12V supply.

Apparently it comes down to how well the manufacturer implements HDMI.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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I'm not an expert like many others in this tread and on this forum. I do see the opinion that HDMI is bad for jitter often on this forum and I think these opinions are from measurements of HDMI on the older versions.

 

My understanding is that the 1.3 spec has requirements to reduce jitter. Oppo BDP-93 & BDP-95 On the Bench — Reviews and News from Audioholics

Excerpt: Early HDMI products (ver 1.0 to 1.2) reportedly suffered from jitter related issues but HDMI ver 1.3 and above has completely eliminated jitter related issues thus ensuring bit for bit exact signal transfer from the player to the A/V receiver or processor.

 

Manufacturers of AVRs use various "clocking" technologies to reduce jitter to the v1.3 specs. I have read that my Marantz SR6003 has a Phase-Locked Loop (PLL), which (in Marantz's words) '..is a control system that generates a signal that has fixed relation to the phase of a 'reference signal''.

Sounds like the timing of the 'clock receiver' adjusts itself depending on the input timing, thereby reducing the effects of having the reference clock in the player/transport. Pioneer uses PQLS and “speed synchronises” the digital audio data.

 

To me, it seems newer versions of HDMI (properly implemented) do the same thing "natively" to reduce timing jitter that we have to jump through hoops (asynchronous USB DACs, Converters, external clocks) to get out of our computers. Plus, AVRs have 192/24 DACs (AND easy multi-channel) and we often bump into 96/24 limits via usb.

HDMI may have other issues and its invention was likely not for better audio, but the high jitter specs are for older versions of HDMI on older AVRs or processors.

I think the HDMI license fee is the main reason high end DAC developers don't embrace HDMI.

 

Again, I'm not an expert. Just joining the conversation.

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The new NAD integrated 390DD and the M51 DAC both sport optional HDMI inputs. They sound very good. :)

 

Paul

 

Linn's DSM series of streamers and Preamps also now incorporate HDMI inputs.

Mainly for passing video from set top box's and Blue Ray players but I am betting they are also looking at Apple and the ATV and Mini HDMI streaming juggernaut.

 

Streaming HD movies can sound superb through this combo. Two channels only of course but still quite satisfying.

David

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