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Are cables limiting with respect to bit rate and sampling


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I am probably thinking way too much about this, but I have the following question.

I am beginning to purchase and download music from Lynn and Reference Recordings. Currently all downloads are at 24/96, but I can easily envision 24/176.4 when this version becomes available. The music is stored as AIFF on my external drive linked in turn to a MacPro running iTunes. I have not decided on an external DAC, but it will likely be the new Bryston external DAC or the Benchmark USB DAC-I. My question is: do S/PDIF, Toslink, and USB cables all support 24/96 to an external DAC? Moreover, does one or all or none of these cables support 24/176.4? I guess another way of asking this question is----what part of the data stream (hardware, software, cables) from the hard drive to the DAC might limit transport of a 24/176.4, such that the DAC never sees data at 24 bit 176.4 kHz? If the cables or software cannot support, for example, 24 bit or 176.4 kHz, why spend the extra cash to purchase such a file?

 

Tom

 

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Hi Tom - The big limitation right now is the connection interface from the computer. USB and optical won't get above 24/96 in your setup currently. If you get the Bryston or the Dac1 and want files up to 24/176.4 or 192 than you'll need to use a separate card like the Lynx or RME or M-Audio cards. These will allow you do output either coax or AES which will both support the higher resolutions.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Kinda off the subject, but I just learned that the Benchmark DAC1, outputs everything at 110khz, so I am not sure if that really is a true 192 output.

 

\"It would be a mistake to demonize any particular philosophy. To do so forces people into entrenched positions and encourages the adoption of unhelpful defensive reactions, thus missing the opportunity for constructive dialog\"[br] - Martin Colloms - stereophile.com

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The more research you do on this you'll find that most DACs change the sample rate through up/over sampling. This is a very popular way to reduce jitter and other negative effects on sound. Some DACs like Gordon Rankin's at Wavelength or the Devilsound DAC don't up or over sample at all. In my opinion there is not one way to produce good sound and each manufacturer has a different approach.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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I guess the reason I brought it up, was two fold, one, I just bought a DAC1, two having an eye for my future upgrades, I am trying to figure out what I will need to support 24/96 and 24/192 files. The new hi res file seem very cool, esp. bit perfect 24/176.4. I am pretty sure my Apple TV won't support those rates, I at some point I will need to dive into hardware that will. I am consdiering: Mac Mini -> firewire 24/192 adapter (that is why I posted about that pro-audio piece) with USB or NAS harddrive, or a Mac Pro with 24/192 sound card like you are running. I am also thinking being patient (not a strong suit of mine) will pay off and 24/192 media server type device will become more common and less expensive over the next 18 months. For now I will concentrate on ripping my CD collection to AIFF. So iTunes with error correction, MAX or EAC under a Windows boot and import to iTunes? Any preference, keeping in mind I have some really scratched CD's.

 

Thanks Chris,

 

Jeff

 

\"It would be a mistake to demonize any particular philosophy. To do so forces people into entrenched positions and encourages the adoption of unhelpful defensive reactions, thus missing the opportunity for constructive dialog\"[br] - Martin Colloms - stereophile.com

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