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External USB Interface


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Hello to all,

 

I am looking for a external USB interface that will provide a asynchronous digital audio stream to my Nuforce Icon HD USB DAC. The Icon HD only has a USB input.

 

I have looked at the M2TECH hiFace but it's digital output is S/PDIF.

 

I am a newbie, so any assistance would be appreciated.

 

Gordon

 

iMac, Core i5, 16GB RAM, 480Gb SSD., Wadia 121decoding Computer, KRK VXT6 Powered Reference Monitors. KRK10s Powered Sub. AKG Q701 Headphones, Little Dot MK IV SE Headphone Amp/Preamp, Audioquest & Take Five Audio Interconnects, Take Five Audio Powercords, BitPerfect, Pure Music, Max, XLD.

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No such thing exists.

 

If you're using a computer with a PCI slot you may find the SotM USB interface provides some improvement but this isn't a certainty (and doesn't create an asynchronous USB interface).

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...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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I was afraid that such a device did not exist.

 

Thanks for your input.

 

Gordon

 

 

iMac, Core i5, 16GB RAM, 480Gb SSD., Wadia 121decoding Computer, KRK VXT6 Powered Reference Monitors. KRK10s Powered Sub. AKG Q701 Headphones, Little Dot MK IV SE Headphone Amp/Preamp, Audioquest & Take Five Audio Interconnects, Take Five Audio Powercords, BitPerfect, Pure Music, Max, XLD.

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... I hope so.

 

Here's what I can tell you about the way your Mac works: Of the two most likely outputs available to you from your Mac, Mini-toslink or USB, USB probably (I say, "probably". YMMV) will offer better results, for two or three reasons.

The first is that (I read on this forum) the mini-toslink out of Macs is a fairly high-jitter implementation of S/PDIF. The second is that USB out of Macs offers access to higher data rates than does the S/PDIF mini-toslink out of Macs. A third reason is that your DAC has USB input.

 

EDIT: I see you have software and cables out your ears, so ignore the suggestion I previously offered in this space. (I really need more coffee before I post anything else on the internet)

 

There's a good chance you'll be very happy listening to this setup until you are ready to trade/upgrade DACs.

EDIT 2: That's silly of me, too. Presumably you are NOT happy listening to it, or you wouldn't be asking.

 

-Richard G.

 

Vinyl: Rega P3-24 (a red one), Rega Exact, Mistral phono preamp, Kimber Hero WBT - Server: Mac Mini 2.66 Core2 Duo, 8GB addressable RAM, Lion 10.7.4, iTunes 10.6.3, Pure Music 1.86, Halide Bridge, Rega DAC, Kimber Hero WBT, Denon AVR-2807, pre-out to Theta Dreadnaught, Kimber 8TC, Linn Majik Isobariks "Passive Bi-Amped" and Linn Ekwalls for surround

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That's okay Richard, we all suffer from silliness at times .... and not enough caffeine.

 

I notice that you use the Rega DAC . Would you recommend it as an upgrade ? I would also need a preamp.

 

 

Gordon

 

iMac, Core i5, 16GB RAM, 480Gb SSD., Wadia 121decoding Computer, KRK VXT6 Powered Reference Monitors. KRK10s Powered Sub. AKG Q701 Headphones, Little Dot MK IV SE Headphone Amp/Preamp, Audioquest & Take Five Audio Interconnects, Take Five Audio Powercords, BitPerfect, Pure Music, Max, XLD.

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I do use the Rega DAC, and I love it.

 

I can't tell you whether I recommend it as an upgrade for you, because I have no experience with the Nuforce.

 

I do HIGHLY recommend it to you, in conjunction with the Halide Bridge, because it meets all the criteria for getting low jitter, high resolution signal out of your iMac.

 

The Bridge connects to one of the iMac's USB 2.0 ports. This both avoids the reputed high-jitter implementation of the Mac's mini-toslink port and provides access to output from the Mac up to 24/192 (where the Mac's S/PDIF output is, I think, limited to 24/96). The Bridge provides an asynchronous conversion of the data stream into an S/PDIF connection to the Rega. In one of those rare but wonderful matches made in heaven, the Rega only accepts 24/192 at it's S/PDIF inputs, not via it's USB inputs.

 

The Mac>Bridge>Rega is such an elegant combination, it really is almost as though the three components were designed for each other. The deal is that, in my system at least, they SOUND like it, too.

 

As I said, I don't know anything about your Nuforce, so I don't know whether this would be an upgrade or not, but if you were looking to spend $1500 or so, you should give this combo a chance.

 

-Richard G.

 

 

 

Vinyl: Rega P3-24 (a red one), Rega Exact, Mistral phono preamp, Kimber Hero WBT - Server: Mac Mini 2.66 Core2 Duo, 8GB addressable RAM, Lion 10.7.4, iTunes 10.6.3, Pure Music 1.86, Halide Bridge, Rega DAC, Kimber Hero WBT, Denon AVR-2807, pre-out to Theta Dreadnaught, Kimber 8TC, Linn Majik Isobariks "Passive Bi-Amped" and Linn Ekwalls for surround

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... my only excuse here is that I've been using mine so happily and for long enough that I had forgotten that it doesn't actually do everything that I wish it would.

I should have checked the specs before publishing shite on the internet, but, I own the dang thing! You'd think I'd know, wouldn't you? But I just plain forgot.

 

OP, I can tell you that it sounds good enough, at least in my system, that I never even thought about it, but Alan is right, it does only handle up to 96 kHz. If you want more, there a lot of other asynchronous USB to S/PDIF converters out there.

 

I still like it in combo with my Rega DAC, though. It's not for nothing that I call myself "subjective".

 

-Richard G.

 

Vinyl: Rega P3-24 (a red one), Rega Exact, Mistral phono preamp, Kimber Hero WBT - Server: Mac Mini 2.66 Core2 Duo, 8GB addressable RAM, Lion 10.7.4, iTunes 10.6.3, Pure Music 1.86, Halide Bridge, Rega DAC, Kimber Hero WBT, Denon AVR-2807, pre-out to Theta Dreadnaught, Kimber 8TC, Linn Majik Isobariks "Passive Bi-Amped" and Linn Ekwalls for surround

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Nuforce is very vague with regard to jitter measurements of the Icon HD. Mind you, jitter can be measured and reported by different methods which makes product comparisons extremely difficult. Last week I shot off a email to Nuforce asking about this subject, also the async. vs. sync. issue. So far, no response......

 

Alan, great pics on your site. One of my recent passions is reading/learning all I can on Cosmology/Astronomy/Astrophysics.

 

iMac, Core i5, 16GB RAM, 480Gb SSD., Wadia 121decoding Computer, KRK VXT6 Powered Reference Monitors. KRK10s Powered Sub. AKG Q701 Headphones, Little Dot MK IV SE Headphone Amp/Preamp, Audioquest & Take Five Audio Interconnects, Take Five Audio Powercords, BitPerfect, Pure Music, Max, XLD.

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