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play musit to an analag amp: 24bit/96kHz or 192kHz


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good evening,

 

I'm planning to buy a DAC like uDAC-2 of Nuforce to connect my notebook to my analog amp to have a better sound quality.

 

However, I found difficult finding a sound card or DAC that runs in 24bit/192Khz usable in analogue.

 

Then, is 192khz exclusive for coaxial / optical connection?

 

Is it worthy looking for 192khz if my intention is playing music for an analogue amp?

 

Thank you so much!

 

jfS

 

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unless your notebook has a digital out you will need something like the Musiland 02 USB "soundcard". These work well in extracting the digital signal from your software player to a proper DAC. While the musiland is able to output analog sound including headphone jacks it falls short in this task, But it is capable of playing back playlists with mixed bit/sampling rates which can be a chore with other devices. This device is readily available from ebay.

 

There is proliferating music at high bit rates it makes sense to have 192/24 capability today with higher resolutions around the corner (including DSD 5.6Mhz over USB from Korg). Once you have the musiland soundcard (approx US130.00) send the digital out from that to your Nuforce DAC.

 

Of course there are many other choices like the Musiland.

 

Music Interests: http://www.onebitaudio.com

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I use the older version of the nuforce icon udac which is not capable of the higher bit rates and find it very good. This is a solid product at a very reasonable price. By the way, I don't know your set up but how close is the amp to the computer? The icon icon udac has a pretty long usb cable and, of course, you can run the analog cables a good distance past that. Nonetheless, if the amp and computer are a good distance apart, you may want to think of a streaming solution (I'm a big fan of the logitech squeezebox touch) but that may present problems with the bit rates you want to play.

 

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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I dont know what you mean by saying "That's why I'm having doubts about 24/96 or 24/192.". You need to say what your doubt is.

 

With a USB DAC you dont need anything else to send data to your power amp. But I see no point in limiting yourself to 96/24. Furthermore this limitation is because they, Nuforce, appear to be implementing a first generation USB design. Newer asynchronous/isochronous designs can handle 192/24 and higher (Korg have been demoing a USB DSD/PCM DAC that converts 5.6Mhz double rate DSD to analog using ASIO 2.1 drivers). Asynchronous/isochronous designs have much lower jitter.

 

There is daily increasing amout of musical data that is made available in higher resolution than 96/24, at least in what I enjoy listening to, jazz and classical so this DAC I would not even consider. If you do not expect to have any higher resolution data then I guess this DAC is kay

 

If you are going to send analog out from your DAC

directly into your power amplifier (which is better than via a preamp or preamp stage of an integrated) you need to give some consideration to the output voltage of the DAC which can range anywhere between 0.2 and 4 volts and also impedance matching. You need enough voltage to drive the power amp to sufficent listening levels. Wide differences in output impedance from the DAC and input impedance into the amplifier can affect the listening experience if the mismatch is wide enough.

 

Music Interests: http://www.onebitaudio.com

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I am looking for a Headphone based DAC/Amp solution and really like the Wavelength Proton, but it tops out at 96/24. This is somewhat frustrating since Wavelength created Streamlength Asynchronous USB code and is really trying to push forward the pure USB digital music solution (and do support higher rates on other products). It is a very nice solution, but I'm somewhat stuck on wanting 192/24 since it seems to be getting more accessible with HD track downloads. So, although the vast majority of HD audio track content is only 96/24 is wanting 192/24 in the Proton price range wanting too much?

 

Also, I'm struggling finding other 192/24 options in the 1K price range. Am I missing some key options?

 

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it's challenging to find a decent DAC with 192/24 around for 1K.

I've been in your shoes for awhile but ended up spending 3K for Weiss Dac2 You can also give a shot to benchmark dac1 usb. But again it's a little over your budget.

 

2010 Mac Pro (westmere 6-core, 16G Ram)[br]M2Tech Vaughan DAC[br]McIntosh MA6600 integrated[br]B&W805S[br]Luxman P1_u[br]Sennheiser HD800[br]Silver Streak Interconnects

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  • 3 months later...

I have a uDAC2 on my mpd machine right now, I have defined the output for bit perfect.

 

It appears to play up to 176.4Khz (HRx recordings from this site) without issue. I have not been able to test 192Khz yet.

 

It appears that MPD is resampling when I play these tracks:

 

Technical Information:

 

[email protected]:/proc/asound$ cat cards

0 [intel ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel

HDA Intel at 0xfcffc000 irq 94

1 [N2 ]: USB-Audio - NuForce µDAC 2

NuForce NuForce µDAC 2 at usb-0000:00:1d.7-6.3, full speed

 

Here is the log:

 

Mar 10 09:12 : playlist: play 75:"HRx/1-01 Gymnopedie No. 1-a.flac"

Mar 10 09:12 : decoder_thread: clearing mixramp tags

Mar 10 09:12 : decoder_control: mixramp_start = NULL

Mar 10 09:12 : decoder_control: mixramp_prev_end = NULL

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] command returned 0

Mar 10 09:12 : playlist: queue song 76:"HRx/1-07 Taint So-a.flac"

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] process command "status"

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] command returned 0

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] process command "idle"

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] command returned 1

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] process command "playlistid "75""

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] command returned 0

Mar 10 09:12 : decoder: audio_format=176400:24:2, seekable=true

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] process command "playlistid "76""

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] command returned 0

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] process command "playlistid "76""

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] command returned 0

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] process command "status"

Mar 10 09:12 : output: closed plugin=alsa name="NuForce uDAC"

Mar 10 09:12 : alsa: buffer: size=192..174762 time=2000..1820438

Mar 10 09:12 : alsa: period: size=96..87381 time=1000..910219

Mar 10 09:12 : alsa: default period_time = buffer_time/4 = 500000/4 = 125000

Mar 10 09:12 : alsa: buffer_size=48000 period_size=12000

Mar 10 09:12 : output: opened plugin=alsa name="NuForce uDAC" audio_format=96000:24_3:2

Mar 10 09:12 : output: converting from 176400:24:2

No protocol specified

xcb_connection_has_error() returned true

Mar 10 09:12 : Failed to open mixer for 'NuForce uDAC': no such mixer control: PCM

Mar 10 09:12 : client: [1] command returned 0

Mar 10 09:12 : pcm: selecting samplerate converter "Fastest Sinc Interpolator"

Mar 10 09:12 : pcm: setting samplerate conversion ratio to 0.54

 

You can see mpd tries to play with 172.4Khz, ALSA refuses so mpd resamples.

 

 

 

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