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Bit Perfect Playback.

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With all the talk about bit perfect playback, how do you tell that you are / are not achieving it. I fail to see, without some fairly sophisticated test equipment that it is possible for the average hifi nut to be able to state one way or the other. I'm sure we would all like to know if we are getting the best out of our system but it doesnt strike me as an easy thing to answer. Maybe I'm missing something here so please enlighten me. For reference I'm using a PC with XP....maybe Mac's are able to answer this, I dont know......


MacMini 8Gb OSX > Pure Music / Bitperfect / Amarra / iTunes > Synology DS215J NAS > Schiit Wyrd > Stello U3 > Naim Uniti Atom, Harbeth P3ESR. Meier Corda Arietta Headphone Amp > Sennhieser HD650 Phones (Cardas rewire). Isol-8 Powerline Axis. Isotek GII Orion Power Conditioner. Cardas Clear USB Cable. Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cable. All other cables by Mark Grant.

Vinyl still has it's place. Technics SL1200. Modified with Mike New Bearing, KAB Strobe Disable, MCRU 2 box PSU, Isonoe Feet, SME M2-9 Tonearm > Goldring 2400 >Rothwell Simplex Phonostage.

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.. the lights/display on the DAC, if it has one, to be reading what we expect it to read. Not very 'test equipment', I know, but if you're playing a 24/96 file and the DAC says it is getting a 96 signal then you can be reasonably happy that all is well - provided that the rest of the playback chain is configured correctly.


For Windows XP the most important thing is to take the Windows audio stack out of the equation as much as possible. (That will be the infamous Kmixer you may have read about!) To that end most people will use an ASIO driver, or ASIO4ALL, to bypass the Windows system. (There is a lot of very useful information is Chris's recent article, in the CA Academy section, on configuring JRiver MC on a Win7 machine. If you couple that with some site searches for 'ASIO', Windows XP, etc, then you will certainly get all the info you need).


In brief, you set your media player to output to ASIO and set the ASIO driver to output to the DAC. So, if your media player is configured to NOT do anything by way of DSP, SRC, Volume levelling etc and XP's default audio stack is being bypassed, the you can be as sure as is possible that all your bits are getting delivered intact. If the DAC says what you think it should say, and none of the volume controls work, then that's job done.


There is a bit of geeky stuff to add to all of this but further specific questions and/or a bit of rummaging around the site will soon have you sleeping soundly! :~)


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