Jump to content
IGNORED

Why a Lynx card and a DAC?


Ralph Bagge
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been reading through the articles and the forum here over the past few weeks in an effort to work out a music server solution to enable me to rip my CD collection and start working with high res downloads.

 

If for example, I use a Powermac G5 as my music server, with say a Lynx L22 interface, why would I run the digital output into a standalone DAC when I could feed the balanced analogue output from the Lynx card direct to my amps?

 

My understanding is that Lynx interfaces are used in broadcast and mastering studios and the are designed to meet pro sound expectations. What am I missing?

 

Ralph

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ralph - Welcome to Computer Audiophile. Great question. Most people prefer to to the digital to analog conversion outside their computer via an external DAC. The Lynx AES16 card provides the digital output that can be fed to almost any DAC. I don't think the DAC on the Lynx22 card is nearly as good as the best external DACs.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ralph,

 

Your Power Mac already has a superior means of getting digital audio out of the computer: its FireWire port.

 

The better FireWire interfaces will act as DACs and can feed power amps directly, if you choose to do this.

 

Just my perspective.

 

Best regards,

Barry

www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Chris,

 

"I don't think the quality of a firewire interface has anything to do with whether or not it has a DAC."

 

Perhaps I was not clear.

The FireWire interfaces I am aware of will act as DACs (as well as ADCs). I meant to suggest they can be used as the DAC for a home playback system.

 

The better ones will act as digital line stages in that they can be used to control volume when connected directly to power amps.

 

I hope this is more clear.

 

Best regards,

Barry

www.soundkeeperrecordings.com

www.barrydiamentaudio.com

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been reading this forum for a few weeks now with much interest - firstly, thanks for a great resource!

 

I guess I should sum myself up - I am newly converted. I am abandoning my 128kb collection of MP3s and re-ripping as aiff files (after many A/B comparisons and a lot of reading and option-weighing). I have a great computer (albeit Windows based) but I don't have much in the way of sound equipment. I currently have my sound card connected directly to my receiver via an optical s/pdif. Primitive, I know, but I just got rid of my creative labs computer speakers so...cut me some slack! I don't yet have quality speakers - I have a pair of okay-ish low grade consumer grade Sony towers. But...its on my to-do list.

 

At any rate, I have read many reccommendations about USB/Firewire cables, a Lynx AES16, and a DAC but...as for how this all fits together and why, I am having trouble grasping "the big picture". Can I get the 5 minute sum up or at least directions to a thread that starts at the beginning?

 

Much thanks.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Chris,

 

Thank you for your welcome and congratulations on a fantastic site which is pulling together the thinking in an area that's not covered by mainstream audio titles.

 

Has anyone done any a/b evaluation of Lynx interface cards against external DACs? My own empirical experience is that subjective differences between different CD players tend to be exaggerated by reviewers and owners in comparison to speakers or vinyl replay equipment.

 

Why then the need to install an expensive pro sound interface when a Powermac G5 offers both a Firewire connection (purpose designed for audio and video connection) or optical digital/Toslink?

 

Ralph

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Why then the need to install an expensive pro sound interface when a Powermac G5 offers both a Firewire connection (purpose designed for audio and video connection) or optical digital/Toslink?"

 

Most of the DACs familiar to audiophiles were designed prior to the use of computers in audio(phile) playback. They were fed by transports, which utilized some form of S/PDIF protocol - AES/EBU, Coax S/PDIF, or Optical (aka Toslink) - as the communications interface.

 

Computers typically offer Firewire and USB interfaces, and often Toslink, but not the Coax S/PDIF or AES/EBU interfaces that the most highly regarded (in their time) audiophile DACs utilize.

 

If one wants to use their 'legacy' DAC (called this due to being a legacy of the Transport -> DAC era) with a computer as source, they need a special purpose interface (card or converter), such as the Lynx card, to provide the S/PDIF signal. There are also USB and Firewire interfaces which will convert the signal to S/PDIF or AES/EBU.

 

However, there are a growing number of audiophiles who are connecting their computer directly to their DACs via Firewire or USB. In this instance, the Lynx card, or other interface converter, is not required. Toslink connections also obviate the need for a converter or card.

 

hope this helps,

clay

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have this card and love it! However, let me share with you that while at CES I did a demo and it was a train wreck. My fault as I had it in case with a poor power supply! My point is that it needs to be done right! FireWire is great and I use it, but you need to really consider the price of all the componenets in the big picture. Decide if you want to just buy a card or apply the cash to the dac.... that is the question!

 

Jesus R

www.sonore.us

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your explanation of the reasons for using the Lynx cards. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that if the computer has either Firewire or optical outputs and the DAC of choice can accept either then there's no requirement for an interface card.

 

@Jesus

 

Thanks for your response. I would imagine that your demo wasn't the only one affected by the mains quality of the hotel environment in Vegas last week. That's an external factor which can be controlled in home use and I'm sure in the Lynx's intended environment, the studio, it would be.

 

Ralph

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I may butt in and clarify what Clay is saying ...

 

In any system where you have an external DAC (as opposed to having an analogue output built into a PCI card such as the L22) you need to connect the DAC to your computer. There are many ways to accomplish this.

 

For many modern DACs, a computer can be connected directly using either FireWire or USB. In many cases this will give you the best quality (though with USB this connection can be vary from excellent in the case of Ayre / dCS / Wavelength Aysncronous technology, to mearly just okay).

 

There is a larger number of DACs though which either have only SPDIF connections (AES XLR, Co-ax or optical TOSLink) or who's SPDIF gives superior quality compared with it's USB port. In this case you need to have a suitable port on your computer. Many motherboards provide an SPDIF port in the form of TOSLink or Co-ax, but these are often of poor quality, either being high jitter, or have limited support for High Resolution sample rates. A lot of people consider that the Lynx AES16 card to be the pinacle of (affordable) cards providing AES connections so use this to provide an AES connection to DACs such as Berkerley Alpha DAC and Bryston BDA-1.

 

There are many alternatives to the Lynx AES16 card such as ESI [email protected] and the RME 9632 series. That I know of no one has particularly provided a comparision between the SQ of these cards.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

"...you're saying that if the computer has either Firewire or optical outputs and the DAC of choice can accept either then there's no requirement for an interface card."

 

Yes, and this applies to USB as well.

 

clay

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...