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USB to S/PDIF converter for Bel Canto DAC2.5


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Hi,

 

I am looking to buy a USB to S/PDIF converter for my system best matching with my Bel Canto DAC2.5.

 

Can anyone suggest a USB to S/PDIF converter working well with Bel Canto DAC2.5? Is the Bel Canto USB Link converter a good match?

 

Cheers,

Dj

 

@Home: AIFF > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" USB3 > MBP 15" 8GB RAM / Audirvana Plus > ifi iUSBPower > Bel Canto mLink > Bel Canto e.One DAC2.5 > Wyred 4 SX-1000 > Wilson Audio Sophia II

@Work: ALAC > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" > DELL laptop > JDS LABS OBJECTIVEDAC (ODAC) > JDS LABS C421 > Sennheiser Momentum or Sennheiser HD650 or Sennheiser HD25

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Just curious why you want to do this as opposed to going USB direct? The master clock in the BC DAC reduces jitter to 2picosecond RMS, which should be well below audible levels and better than any converter I have seen at least. I guess the motivation may be higher resolution files above 24/96?

 

 

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I tried Optical Toslink before but hit issues with long cable (35ft). I went and got a MacBook Air last weekend. Dedicated it for music and tried the USB solution. It sounds good but not as good as I have heard elsewhere.

 

I am hoping to improve sound quality, RFI/EMI and Galvanic isolation, and as you mentioned higher resolution.

 

I may just change the USB cable to a higher quality USB cable to see if I get any improvement but I wanted to know if there is a ground braking changes if I use say USB to Coax converter on my Bel Canto DAC.

 

 

 

@Home: AIFF > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" USB3 > MBP 15" 8GB RAM / Audirvana Plus > ifi iUSBPower > Bel Canto mLink > Bel Canto e.One DAC2.5 > Wyred 4 SX-1000 > Wilson Audio Sophia II

@Work: ALAC > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" > DELL laptop > JDS LABS OBJECTIVEDAC (ODAC) > JDS LABS C421 > Sennheiser Momentum or Sennheiser HD650 or Sennheiser HD25

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products use an adaptive USB receiver, then use an asynchronous sample rate converter to upsample and re-clcok the data, which results in good measured jitter (by the traditional jitter measurements). My experience with the same approach in other devices has always resulted in a big improvement in sonic performance by providing a low jitter feed from a better USB receiver-despite the "jitter rejection" inherent in the ASRC's reclocking.

The bel canto USB link will likely be no better than the existing onboard solution. For best performance, a good, asynchronous, USB-SPDIF should be used (Wavelink, Berkeley Alpha USB, etc)-I think you might be surprised how much better the bel canto DAC sounds with something like the Wavelink feeding it low jitter SPDIF data.

 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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Dj,

 

When I became interested in computer music, I already had a Bel Canto DAC3.5VB, which I used to play CDs. When I tried the Bel canto USB link from the Mac Mini, the results were disappointing, and not as good as the Bel Canto CD player.

 

But when I happened upon the asynchronous Musical Fidelity V-Link, the music came to life. I’ve now switched with great satisfaction to the recently released Stello U3, which goes to 24/192, is more sophisticated in design than the V-Link, and is galvanically isolated and asynchronous.

 

fm

 

Qobuz via Aurender N10 > Devialet Expert Pro > Audio Physic Avantera

 

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Barrows, Thanks for your input. Wavelink is on my list now.

 

@Home: AIFF > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" USB3 > MBP 15" 8GB RAM / Audirvana Plus > ifi iUSBPower > Bel Canto mLink > Bel Canto e.One DAC2.5 > Wyred 4 SX-1000 > Wilson Audio Sophia II

@Work: ALAC > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" > DELL laptop > JDS LABS OBJECTIVEDAC (ODAC) > JDS LABS C421 > Sennheiser Momentum or Sennheiser HD650 or Sennheiser HD25

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FM, You would think that Bel Canto USB Link should match better with Bel Canto DACs. But thanks for that info. I have read good reviews of Stello U3. It is on my list.

 

@Home: AIFF > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" USB3 > MBP 15" 8GB RAM / Audirvana Plus > ifi iUSBPower > Bel Canto mLink > Bel Canto e.One DAC2.5 > Wyred 4 SX-1000 > Wilson Audio Sophia II

@Work: ALAC > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" > DELL laptop > JDS LABS OBJECTIVEDAC (ODAC) > JDS LABS C421 > Sennheiser Momentum or Sennheiser HD650 or Sennheiser HD25

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Is that supposed to be a good thing? I see it as a negative myself. Sure it saves you the extra expense of providing one- in this case about $5. What it does do is prevent you from trying a better one.

 

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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I have tried two converters recently. The Audiophilleo 1 and the Empirical Audio Off-Ramp 4. Both are night and day improvements in my system(s). I think the AP is fantastic and you can't go wrong with it. I think the OR is phenomenal and even better than the AP, very highly recommended.

 

MBP/Amarra/Wireworld USB/Empirical OR4/Black Cat Silverstar/NAD m51/Custom hand built cryo'd ALO Audio XLR/Luxman M-600A/Custom hand built cryo'd ALO Audio speaker cables/Usher 6311/JL Audio f112

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@Soundslikemusic, Yes Halide Bridge looks really neat and small and the reviews are speaking for it.

 

@4est, As far as I can see from the photos of Halide Bridge even if you wanted to buy a better cable and replace the cable you couldn't change it because it looks like a one piece to me. Can anyone verify if the cable on Halide Bridge is exchangeable?

 

@Woodcans, Audiophilleo 1 looks very funky. Their website looks like Apple's website. I will check it out if I find a dealer for it. I found good feedbacks for Empirical Audio Off-Ramp 4.

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

 

Does anyone have any experience with Lindemann USB-DDC 24/192?

 

@Home: AIFF > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" USB3 > MBP 15" 8GB RAM / Audirvana Plus > ifi iUSBPower > Bel Canto mLink > Bel Canto e.One DAC2.5 > Wyred 4 SX-1000 > Wilson Audio Sophia II

@Work: ALAC > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" > DELL laptop > JDS LABS OBJECTIVEDAC (ODAC) > JDS LABS C421 > Sennheiser Momentum or Sennheiser HD650 or Sennheiser HD25

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The Halide's cable is not exchangeable. That was my point. I do not think that super pricey (say $1k USD) USB cables are required, but just because one cannot change them, doesn't mean that the device couldn't sound better with a different one.

 

Now that I am into this thread, I will cast my vote for the M2Tech Evo. Out of the box it is not much better than its sibling the HiFace. Using my Weiss DAC as Firewire>spidf walked all over it. Put a good regulator on the power supply and it starts to approach the Weiss. Now add a decent external clock and it gives it a run for its money at a fraction of the cost.

 

I do not know how that makes the Evo stack up amidst the other convertors, but the Weiss gear sounds good largely due to their digital sections and its strengths are apparent both as a DAC and Firewire>spdif convertor.

 

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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Dj,

 

Audiophilleo offers a trial period with refund if you return. That's what I had planned but it sounded so good I kept it. Then I tried out the OR4 and it was even better (although no return option). Don't want to sound like a fanboy but these devices have changed my systems for the better, without question. I equate these devices to the following w respect to my hifi journey: realizing computer as source much better than cd transport, discovering tube amplification/preamplification, and discovering vinyl. Hope this helps.

 

wc

 

MBP/Amarra/Wireworld USB/Empirical OR4/Black Cat Silverstar/NAD m51/Custom hand built cryo'd ALO Audio XLR/Luxman M-600A/Custom hand built cryo'd ALO Audio speaker cables/Usher 6311/JL Audio f112

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@4est, M2Tech Evo seems to be an interesting piece, especially with the power supply. Your signature says: Externally clocked and regulated M2Tech Evo. Does that mean Asynchronous USB? Is that an extra master clock? Would that change the behavior of my Adaptive Mode USB Bel Canto DAC???

 

@Woodcans, I appreciate your thoughts. Did you try them with with a Bel Canto DAC2.5? What is your DAC?

 

@Home: AIFF > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" USB3 > MBP 15" 8GB RAM / Audirvana Plus > ifi iUSBPower > Bel Canto mLink > Bel Canto e.One DAC2.5 > Wyred 4 SX-1000 > Wilson Audio Sophia II

@Work: ALAC > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" > DELL laptop > JDS LABS OBJECTIVEDAC (ODAC) > JDS LABS C421 > Sennheiser Momentum or Sennheiser HD650 or Sennheiser HD25

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Hi. Just a clarification of what you were writing...

 

You said... Now that I am into this thread, I will cast my vote for the M2Tech Evo. Out of the box it is not much better than its sibling the HiFace. Using my Weiss DAC as Firewire>spidf walked all over it. Put a good regulator on the power supply and it starts to approach the Weiss. Now add a decent external clock and it gives it a run for its money at a fraction of the cost.

 

Now if I read that right you are saying M2Tech Evo + (good) PSU + External Clock "gives [the Weiss DAC used as FireWire to SPDIF] a run for its money". Now to me that sound as if the Weiss DAC used this way is still superior? Is so, and making a leep that the INT202 is equivalent quality to the Weiss DAC used as FireWire to SPDIF, then the INT202 ($1346) is similar cost if not less than the M2Tech Evo ($500) plus Evo Supply ($600) plus Clock (price unknown).

 

Just an observation...

 

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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4est builds his own power supplies and external clocks for the Evo, so his costs are much, much lower. I also suspect his externally clocked, shunt powered, Evo is outperforming the Weiss at this point, but I am sure he will confirm this himself.

 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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I have tried them both with Metrum Octave, AMB labs Gamma 2, and Burson DAC(dedicated DAC, not the headphone amp version). I do not have access to a Bel Canto. They have made phenomenal differences in the sound in all DACs I have tried. I will be using them with my Weiss DAC2 (and comparing w/ FW input) as soon as my friend who is borrowing it returns it to me. This friend really liked the AP with his Lexicon/Levinson/Vandersteen system. He has not borrowed the OR yet(I'm not ready to let it go!).

 

MBP/Amarra/Wireworld USB/Empirical OR4/Black Cat Silverstar/NAD m51/Custom hand built cryo'd ALO Audio XLR/Luxman M-600A/Custom hand built cryo'd ALO Audio speaker cables/Usher 6311/JL Audio f112

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Thanks for the explanation RE forrest's Evo... I wasn't querying the quality only the cost...

 

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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Always the stickler eh? Last I knew, the INT 202 was about $1700 here in the States, but I may be wrong. The Weiss DAC2 has gone up in price at Vintage King, but they did not have a price for the Int 202.

 

In my case I am not using the Evo power supply, but in fact a DIY shunt regulated one. I do not think that the regulator is anywhere near as important as the external clock in this application either. On board there are at least four internal regulators, ameliorating much of what is to be gained by a low impedance PS.

 

I used the term "approaches" because I have not taken the time to compare them directly. They are close- it is give and take. I started using i2s amidst this process and have not reverted back to spdif to test things. My point was simply that the Evo was intended by design to have some extras, and the clock made the biggest difference. There are many whom feel that the clock needs to be right next to the DAC chip in order to be low jitter. That is true in theory, but in practice there are many factors, and also reasons why having it remote may be superior.

 

My post was to shed light on the under utilization I see with many individuals whom own an Evo or are thinking of purchasing one. It is true that purchasing M2Tech products for this purpose will bring the tally near the cost of the Int 202, but there are other options if one were to look. Presently Parts Connexion has clocks and regulators on sale and there are many other sources. Some as simple as batteries.

 

In my case I built my clock and the regulator for under $200 USD, both using readily available parts, kits and a dash on yankee ingenuity. I just received notification of my pre ordered Crystek 957 crystals being shipped, they are presumably the same as those used in the new Berkeley USB>SPDIF device that others have been talking up. My present clock uses Crystek 950 series and a frequency divider, and I cannot see how the next one will not be better still. My goal being to have it built, tested and shipped to one of our fellow members before the holidays for their feedback on it. If that goes well, I am considering making a batch of them to sell. I do not see a lot of profit in it, but my business has been a little slow and this may be a stepping stone. Besides, I like to make things...

 

 

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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@Woodcans, Please let me know about your experience AP vs. OR with Weiss DAC2.

 

@Bear, Did you get the Stello U2 or U3? Let me know what you will find out please.

 

@Borrows, or anyone techie, Could you please redirect me to some literature about Clocking, Re-clocking, Asynchronous Mode ... etc? Cheers

 

@Home: AIFF > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" USB3 > MBP 15" 8GB RAM / Audirvana Plus > ifi iUSBPower > Bel Canto mLink > Bel Canto e.One DAC2.5 > Wyred 4 SX-1000 > Wilson Audio Sophia II

@Work: ALAC > LaCie Rikiki 2.5" > DELL laptop > JDS LABS OBJECTIVEDAC (ODAC) > JDS LABS C421 > Sennheiser Momentum or Sennheiser HD650 or Sennheiser HD25

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good explanation of jitter, clocking, and the advantages of asynchronous USB, go to ayre.com and read some of their tech papers.

 

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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  • 1 month later...

After some difficulties with my USB cable not allowing the Stello to sync. Alex at Wywires graciuosly sent me a redesigned USB cable and have now been up and running for a few days. The difference feeding my BC DAC 1.5 with balanced digital (Wywires) compared to going straight USB is definately worth the price of admission. The sound stage is deeper and wider, while the placement of each instrument within the soundstage is even more defined. Vocals are nothing short of magical they are so realistic. What can I say - I guess the 6Moons review was spot on.

 

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I don't get it. What kind of USB cable will not work as an interconnect between a USB source, a device like your Stello U3, and a DAC with an S/PDIF input? I have a set-up similar to yours, including a Stello U3 and a Bel Canto DAC 3.5 (see my signature line) and have had no problems with any USB cable, from cheap to pricey. What did the Wywire people do to make their initial product non-functional, thus requiring a "redesigned" cable?

 

fm

 

Qobuz via Aurender N10 > Devialet Expert Pro > Audio Physic Avantera

 

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