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Dacmagic vs sound card, am I doing something wrong

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I might be doing something wrong cause this seems strange to me, on the other hand I might have been expecting too much.


I purchased a dacmagic and first when using toslink the signal is locked at 48khz on USB as indicated by the dacmagic leds the signal will run at 44khz playing through a Sony vaio desktop, I cannot get it to switch to 96khz when playing material that is encoded that high playing though media monkey or anything else. The setup I had before was 1/8 to rca adapter from the vaio motherboard headphone out to onkyo grand integra preamplifier to onkyo grand integra amp to sonus faber concerto domus floor standing speakers


Now with the dacmagic taking the place of the 1/8 to rca to preamplifier either with to slink or USB playing CDs ripped to 24/96 flac I hear almost no change in sound at all, am I doing something wrong or is my internal sound card just that good.


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If the sampling rate received by the DAC does not deviate from 48khz, then you are not bypassing the Windows mixer.


Ripping CDs to 24/96 will not change their original resolution of 16/44.1, it will just interpolate the gaps. This could sound better or worse.


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First off, although the DAC Magic is capable of up to 24/96k bitrates via it's SPDIF (coax and TOSLink) it's USB input is limited to 16/48 so you will never get high bitrate via this connection. To get 24/96 played back you'll need to use a separate USB converter or add a soundcard with SPDIF output to your Vaio Desktop - devices I would recommend would be M2Tech HiFace (USB) or a ESI Juli@, M-Audio Audiophile 192 or Asus Sonar STX (PCI).


Once you have that connection (or keep with the USB) you'll need to set up Windows to allow bit-perfect output. Unfortunately you say neither what OS you are using, or what software you are using to playback.


Finally, you say there is little to no improvement over using the Line out (Mini-Jack to RCA) connection. What is the source of your files? Are and CD rips made using lossless or no compression (i.e. FLAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF or WAV) or are you using lossy compressing such as MP3 or AAC? If the latter you are never going to get "perfect" playback (compared with CD).






...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.

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