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Two 2-channel USB DACS into a 2.2 System using Room Correction. Anyone done it?

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Hello,

 

The best way for me to explain what I'm asking here is to use a hypothetical example. I'm curious to hear about why this is or is not possible or perhaps why its a bad idea compared to using something like a Lynx Hilo (which I have and use today for this same purpose). Mainly I'm looking for alternatives to the Hilo that can do most of what I need and ideally in a Linux environment where drivers are not needed. The goal would be to use this hypothetical setup with Roon/Roon Convolution in a system with 2 main towers and 2 subs (stereo sub config, not two mono's).

 

The hypothetical system would consist of the following gear and be able to do/use the following features/software:

 

1. DAC's = 2 x Benchmark DAC3's

2. Interface between Roon Core server and DAC's = USB (one cable into each DAC, using two available USB Ports on music server)

3. Core server OS = Ubuntu latest LTS version

4. One 2-CH DAC feeds L/R signals to each of the Main Towers (2)

5. One 2-CH DAC feeds L/R signals to each of the Subs (2)

 

Lets assume that the creation of the Room Correction files are handled via Audiolense which is also living on the same hardware as the Linux Music server Host where there is a Dual Boot Windows partition so it has access to the same two DAC's mentioned above. Signal sweeps and corrections would be done in the Windows Domain and the correction file that gets puked out here is then used on the Linux Host within Roon as your standard .wav files.

 

Am I missing anything on why this may or may not be possible to implement? A few thoughts on what may be potential problem areas that have been tumbling around in my empty skull are:

 

1. Will there be an issues with having multiple USB DACS connected to the same Host when it comes to the music software gaining exclusive access to that hardware while stream files

2. Would having multiple two channel DAC's appear as individual output channels to the Room correction software and Music streaming software like they do today when using a DAC that has up to 32 Channels shoe horned into the same cable?

3. In Roon, today I use the 7.1 Channel configuration and manually map the 4 channels that I need while zeroing out the remaining 3 in the config file.

 

Ok that's it for now. Don't want to make this wall of text too large just yet.

 

Thanks for any thoughts/insights on this

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This a sub-set of what multichannel fans have been doing for a while.  There are sync issues as well as signal distribution issues for Roon and JRMC but the easy start-up would be to use a miniDSP U-DIO8 to split the USB output into up to 8 channels with DACs of your choice.  


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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compare the price of the 5 channel Octo (Okto?) DAC to 2 of the Benchmarks....


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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19 hours ago, Kal Rubinson said:

This a sub-set of what multichannel fans have been doing for a while.  There are sync issues as well as signal distribution issues for Roon and JRMC but the easy start-up would be to use a miniDSP U-DIO8 to split the USB output into up to 8 channels with DACs of your choice.  

Thanks for the info Kal. I will look into that device from miniDSP and see how it works.

 

Do you know if once the main USB cable from a music server is connected to the mini box if it then presents all those other channels to the Operating System to then be used as the User see's fit? As an example, if using Windows, if when I open the Sound settings in control panel would I see a bunch of Input/Out Channels available to use as I do today with the Hilo?

 

Just trying to picture the outcome on the OS side of things once USB cable is connected...Thanks agian

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3 hours ago, cjf said:

Do you know if once the main USB cable from a music server is connected to the mini box if it then presents all those other channels to the Operating System to then be used as the User see's fit? As an example, if using Windows, if when I open the Sound settings in control panel would I see a bunch of Input/Out Channels available to use as I do today with the Hilo?

Not in Windows Sound Settings.  However, I can access/reorder/redistribute channels in Jriver/Roon or in the U-DIO8's own control panel app.  Also, note that the U-DIO8 has 8 channels of digital input as well as the 8 channels of digital output!


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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A bit late where I am to fully follow exactly what you are doing but it sounds like one of the DEQX products might be what you need.

 

They have various processors but all provide preamp/dac/eq functions with multiple digital and analogue outs for different "zones".

 

The processors support two or three zones and you can configure each as needed.

 

They are well reviewed and I use an HDP-4 for a four channel (all full range) system (noting its 2 channel IN, four channel out)

 

see: https://www.deqx.com/

 

Peter

 

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23 hours ago, Kal Rubinson said:

Not in Windows Sound Settings.  However, I can access/reorder/redistribute channels in Jriver/Roon or in the U-DIO8's own control panel app.  Also, note that the U-DIO8 has 8 channels of digital input as well as the 8 channels of digital output!

Thanks for the additional info. It looks like a promising option. Two concerns are there is no mention of supporting Linux. There is OSX support listed but I've come to learn that support for OSX doesn't necessarily mean support for Linux too (perfect example is the Hilo which is said to be USB compliant but yet doesn't work with Linux Distros..go figure).

 

Also, I do wonder if that cable for the DB25 connection is available elsewhere for those who would need a longer length to the various downstream devices and what the output voltage is to drive downstream dac's.

 

My subs for example would need about a 25ft run. Wonder if Mogami or someone offers a setup that can do say a few 6ft runs and a few 25ft runs with a single DB25 head to plug into the unit itself?

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15 hours ago, ricko01 said:

A bit late where I am to fully follow exactly what you are doing but it sounds like one of the DEQX products might be what you need.

 

They have various processors but all provide preamp/dac/eq functions with multiple digital and analogue outs for different "zones".

 

The processors support two or three zones and you can configure each as needed.

 

They are well reviewed and I use an HDP-4 for a four channel (all full range) system (noting its 2 channel IN, four channel out)

 

see: https://www.deqx.com/

 

Peter

 

Hello and thanks for the link.

 

In the past I looked into Deqx products but last time I looked they only do 24/96..like most similar units. This is one reason why I went Audiolense in the computer world to do corrections for higher sample rate music without down sampling.

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1 hour ago, cjf said:

Thanks for the additional info. It looks like a promising option. Two concerns are there is no mention of supporting Linux. There is OSX support listed but I've come to learn that support for OSX doesn't necessarily mean support for Linux too (perfect example is the Hilo which is said to be USB compliant but yet doesn't work with Linux Distros..go figure).

Try the website.

 

1 hour ago, cjf said:

Also, I do wonder if that cable for the DB25 connection is available elsewhere for those who would need a longer length to the various downstream devices and what the output voltage is to drive downstream dac's.

Dunno but it is simple to get a M-F db25 cable as an extension.

1 hour ago, cjf said:

My subs for example would need about a 25ft run. Wonder if Mogami or someone offers a setup that can do say a few 6ft runs and a few 25ft runs with a single DB25 head to plug into the unit itself?

Ah.  Instead of one DB25 extension, just get an individual balanced or unbalanced extension for each channel of suitable length.  Getting a custom assembly to suit your system would be stupidly expensive.


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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5 hours ago, cjf said:

Hello and thanks for the link.

 

In the past I looked into Deqx products but last time I looked they only do 24/96..like most similar units. This is one reason why I went Audiolense in the computer world to do corrections for higher sample rate music without down sampling.

 

Was true. Their most recent products (shown below) support high bit rates and ROON. The pre-mate has two analogue outs, the HDP-5 has three.

 

image.png.2c9d4038a33cb26b2c9e81ebe2c33197.png

 

We see that either supports the following (all PCM based, no DSD)

 

image.png.a1913cba09b0d661f0598fb587aaac79.png

 

 

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4 minutes ago, ricko01 said:

 

 

however you may be right... that internally its all 24/96... I will check on this

 

yep... the digital outs are all limited to 96k.... which points to an internal max of 24/96.

 

not a concern for me

 

 

image.thumb.png.9182bd1c647b97d37c000f156bc9ebfc.png

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