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SWL3600

USB-Optical Converter....

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Looking for recommendations on a reasonably priced USB to optical converter. In the meantime I'm using a $30 Behringer UCA-202 that's getting the job done.

 

Thanks.[emoji4]

 

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I think USB to coaxial converter recommendations could also be useful to some here. @SWL3600 Unfortunately never used them so I can't help.


What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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iFi makes one ($265 from Music Direct):

 

micro – iLink

 

I haven't used this product but I have been been very happy with their DACs as well as the support they have provided.


Everything matters... when brewing coffee.

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Thanks guys. Will the ifi actually give me better sound quality? I see it has a wall wart. This can't be good....can it?

 

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Better sound quality versus the Behringer I meant to say.

 

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I see it has a wall wart. This can't be good....can it?

 

Are you sure? I don't see any mention in manual about an external power adaptor or even a jack on the device to plug one into.


Everything matters... when brewing coffee.

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You are correct. Looking at the picture I thought I seen a jack for an external power supply but I was wrong.

 

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If you look around you can find Musical Fidelity Vlink or Vlink II. The second goes to 192khz and the first 96 khz. Both are discontinued products.

 

These do both coax and toslink optical. Usually a few on ebay for in or around $100. These were pretty nice as they used Gordon Rankin's asynchronous USB from Wavelength. Powered from the USB itself, but work well all the same.


And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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iFi makes one ($265 from Music Direct):

 

micro – iLink

 

I haven't used this product but I have been been very happy with their DACs as well as the support they have provided.

I do like iFi products as well but, if you're planning to use this converter playing PCM as well as DTS/AC3 (i.e., feed your HT unit) ask before buying. I tried my iDSD micro DAC as a USB to Coax bridge and it only passes through 2ch PCM audio.

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I just ordered the ifi micro-link USB-OPTICAL converter.

 

Thanks for the input guys. I'm curious if it will actually sound better than the Behringer UCA-202.....got a feeling it will (it better!)

 

I'll post my results/impressions when I get it. Thanks again.

 

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Looking for recommendations on a reasonably priced USB to optical converter. In the meantime I'm using a $30 Behringer UCA-202 that's getting the job done.

Thanks.[emoji4]

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk

 

The UCA-202 will work fine as long as all you need is 16-bit/44.1 KHz audio. If you want to go higher you'll need something like the iFi "iLink":

 

micro – iLink

 

it will take USB in up to 24-bit/192 KHz and output both Toslink (optical) and CoAx digital output.

 

And yes, it will sound better than the UCA-202. I have both. I didn't buy the UCA-202 though, it came with a Berhinger microphone mixer that I once bought.


George

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Hello, I am using the AFI/USB from Artistik Fidelity - replacing a M2tech Hiface+Battery PS + Clock. The improvement is startling. It takes USB converts to optical separate right/left/sampling info and then goes to AES EBU.

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Just wanted to add my experience to the thread. The iFi iLink I ordered was delivered today. Previously, I had a S/PDIF jack on the back of a PC case (plugged right into the motherboard with a pigtail). That always sounded just plain bad driving a Yggy. The iLink driving that same port on the Yggy from the same PC sounds much better. At first blush, I think it sounds as good as the AES/EBU input. The iLink has a "high" S/PDIF output jack that has a higher voltage level (and a "normal" jack as well). I'm using the "high" jack.

 

Anyway, big thumbs up!

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The IFI MICRO-LINK showed up today. I immediately attempted to hook it up but had issues with the driver installation. Forum member SEDEST walked me through it and saved the day!

 

I'm now up and running. First impressions going from the UCA-202 to the Micro-link are that the highs are slightly cleaner/smoother. A little more sizzle....but maybe this is a burn-in thing. I'll have it on all night so we'll see.

 

Should there even be a difference in sound quality between USB-SPDIF converters?

 

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Forgot to add that the Micro-link has a more delicate sound in comparison. Again....may be a burn in thing. More to come....

 

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Oh yeah.....smoother. I'm digging it. You can't go wrong with that Behringer for only $30.00, though.

 

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Got about 8 hours run through the Micro-link so far. The slight high end sizzle went away after less than an hour.

 

This unit has given me smoother more detailed sound quality. Emphasis on smooth. Very satisfied with this purchase.[emoji106]

 

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Earlier in this thread I commented that I thought there was an external power supply/wall wart with this unit. There is not......

 

.....but if you view the pics on Amazon, one of the pics is of a different unit. An IFI dac maybe? That is what threw me off. So if looking to purchase from Amazon keep that in mind. [emoji4]

 

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Earlier in this thread I commented that I thought there was an external power supply/wall wart with this unit. There is not......

 

.....but if you view the pics on Amazon, one of the pics is of a different unit. An IFI dac maybe? That is what threw me off. So if looking to purchase from Amazon keep that in mind. [emoji4]

 

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Hi mate, I may have missed it, but what Dac are you using? And are you using Toslink or Digital Coax?

I've pivoted away from USB audio, to Toslink after reading forum posts by a couple of the world's best FPGA Dac designers (PS Audio and Chord). Both of them design Dacs that virtually eliminates jitter, which solves the biggest issue with Toslink.

I can't speak for them of course but I recall seeing posts where they hint that Toslink has been given a hard time, despite being immune to RFI and EMI and being galvanically isolated from the source and since jitter is a non-issue with their Dacs, Toslink performs really really well, as long as you can live with the 24/96 or 24/192 limitations (depending on source and cable's ability to handle this).

 

Analysis Plus make quite affordable and well made medical grade Toslink cables and that's what I'm using.

 

As long as your Dac can handle jitter well, I think your iFi microlink solves a lot of the issues that USB audio products are trying to solve or improve (I've gone in circles and spent too much money with USB audio). If your Dac doesn't do much in terms of jitter, the iFi SPDIF iPurifier works really well. I bought that for my old man who uses digital coax and found it really helped things a lot because his Denon receiver doesn't really handle jitter the way a lot of these new gadgets do.

 

Of course there's lots of IFs and everything is system dependent, so I can't generalise. But going from very high end USB audio sources with all sorts of conditioners and isolators and cable combinations, to a very simple and very affordable Toslink based system has been a major eye (and ear) opener for me.

 

Currently for my 2nd system I have a Chord Mojo with Analysis Plus Toslink cable, and I can do 24/192 without issues. I'm missing out on native DSD playback and DSD up-sampling capabilities (the Mojo does it's own up-sampling) of course but the virtual elimination of computer source noise and RFI and EMI really revealed to me how good a simple Toslink system can perform.

 

Sounds like your're really enjoying these benefits too, which is great to hear ! :-)

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Thanks Em2016,

 

Laptop...USB Regen/LPS-1....USB...Micro-link USB-Spdif....Optical...DEQ2496....Optical....IFI Spdif Ipurifier....Maverick Audio Tubemagic D2 DAC

 

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I was not fond of using optical in the past with AVR's that I've had but this setup sounds awesome.

 

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Thanks Em2016,

 

Laptop...USB Regen/LPS-1....USB...Micro-link USB-Spdif....Optical...DEQ2496....Optical....IFI Spdif Ipurifier....Maverick Audio Tubemagic D2 DAC

 

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk

 

NICE. A Regen and LPS-1 going into the iFi USB to SPDIF converter (which already eliminates jitter) IN ADDITION TO the iFi SPDIF iPurifier at the last stop before the Dac tells me you're not messing around ;-)

 

I'm guessing you've tried taking the Regen and LPS-1 out of the chain and didn't like the result?

 

And instead using the LPS-1 to power the SPDIF iPurifier at the last stop?

 

Only asking out if interest of course, having owned all those products (except your Dac and the Regen, although the microRendu has a built in Regen).

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Yeah, I got away from using the Regen for a while because it turns out the USB-OPTICAL converter I was using at the time (Dacmagic Plus) was adding some unwanted noise to the system. So I played with HDMI for a while, but the real magic happened when I recently....

 

.....went back to the Regen, bought the LPS-1, bought the Micro-link, and bought the Spdif Ipurifier. I've always been a subwoofer guy. Since these additions, namely the Regen and the LPS-1, I've not been using my subs. The weight, punch, PRAT etc. is so dynamic I no longer hear the need for supplemental bass.

 

As far as switching components around, that's next on the list. There are a couple different combinations I want to try. I'm just not in that big a hurry because it sounds so perfect right now.

 

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Yeah, I got away from using the Regen for a while because it turns out the USB-OPTICAL converter I was using at the time (Dacmagic Plus) was adding some unwanted noise to the system. So I played with HDMI for a while, but the real magic happened when I recently....

 

.....went back to the Regen, bought the LPS-1, bought the Micro-link, and bought the Spdif Ipurifier. I've always been a subwoofer guy. Since these additions, namely the Regen and the LPS-1, I've not been using my subs. The weight, punch, PRAT etc. is so dynamic I no longer hear the need for supplemental bass.

 

As far as switching components around, that's next on the list. There are a couple different combinations I want to try. I'm just not in that big a hurry because it sounds so perfect right now.

 

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Yeh forget I even asked about combinations and enjoy the music! That's what it's all about

 

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