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AX5i USB input

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Brogan, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Just hooked up my PC to my AX5i via the USB input.
    Doing a comparison between MP3 tracks played back via the PC USB connection and from the 868 (with same tracks burnt to CDR) via the phono and iLINK connections results in no noticeable difference.
    What a result!
    That means I don't now have to burn 30GB of MP3 to CDR.

    Granted the quality isn't as good as CD but it's ideal for parties, etc. when you just want to compile a playlist of songs and let it run for the rest of the night.

    :smashin:
     
  2. Arsenal

    Arsenal
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    Nice one Brogan.. Look forward to testing this myself when i get hold of all my stuff, although i think i'll probably hook my pc up to the ax5i via the digital co-ax connection on my sound card in the end.. be good for when i want to occasionally connect my laptop to it though!
     
  3. Brogan

    Brogan
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    My PC is quite old and I don't have co-ax or optical outs so the USB port is my only option.
    Works really well and as I will only ever play back stereo sources from the PC, I have no need of a multi-channel capable input.

    On a slightly different note, will an iPOD work connected via iLINK?
    Is the firewire port on the iPOD used for audio or just data transfer?
     
  4. Arsenal

    Arsenal
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    I have no idea :) I have an ipod here, but no sign of my AX5i and other stuff yet so i can't try it.. would certainly be interesting to find out though.
     
  5. ailean

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    Had this in another thread... no the iPod won't work. The firewire and USB connection are only used for data access to a pc/mac. However in future versions of the iPod they could utilise the firewire if they could be bothered and pay what ever licensing is involved.

    The next batch of Pio amps have 7.1 channel support on the USB which would be cool for HTPC/mp3 etc.
     
  6. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Thanks ailean.
    Shame about the iPOD but as I have the PC hooked up it's no big deal.

    Sounds like the future amps will be quite interesting - although I tend to listen to music in stereo only so the multichannel decoding won't be a feature I would use for mp3.
    HTPC though - that could be a definite possibility.
    I wonder if the new amps will also incorporate HDMI switching?
     
  7. Paul D

    Paul D
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    mmm, i wonder if PC sound card manufacturers will start fitting i-LINK connectors.
    Just imagine, SACD/DVD-A/DD/DTS/Games all from your PC in 7.1 surround!
    The more amps to use i-LINK the more chance they will!
     
  8. Brogan

    Brogan
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    I am of the opinion that when iLINK (firewire) and HDMI become more mainstream, the PC will become the main source component in a home media centre set up.

    I expect my next "upgrade" will be to a dedicated media PC and an amp with HDMI, USB, iLINK, etc.

    Edit: I have a Firewire card which I haven't got around to fitting to my PC yet. Presumably this is just for data transfer then?
     
  9. ailean

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    The only DVI/HDMI switching AV unit I know of is the Tag AV192. I'm hoping Pio/Yam will add this soon but it's not in there 2004/Q1 releases. :(

    Yeah adding standard FireWire and USB ports has certainly added a little confusion as to how these interact from other devices but as far as I'm aware the rules are;

    1) USB can only be connected to a PC (not iPod or other jukeboxs).
    2) FireWire uses a new iLink Audio protocol which only the new Amps/DVD units can speak. This involves certain encryption methods to prevent copying via a PC so it's very unlikely that PC will be able to use this in the future (except maybe a one way PC->Amp link).
     
  10. ancientgeek

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    Of course the MP3's jolly well should sound identical from any source if the AX5i is doing the decoding; it will be the same bitstream, and input jitter will be eliminated in the decoding process.

    Apple don't pay firewire royalties for iPod; they own the patents having invented firewire as successor to the 1986 Apple desktop bus. Intel and co wanted to keep Apple in their place and introduced the similar but inferior (and a few cents cheaper to build per port) USB.
     
  11. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Of course you're correct on the decoding.
    I was more concerned as to whether the output via USB would be any good, not having used it for audio before.
     
  12. kifimoto

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    do you just have to use a normal USB to USB cable to connect the pc to the ax5 then?
     
  13. ailean

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    Yep, the amp is basicly just like any other usb slave device, printer, scanner, etc.

    It's just an external soundcard as far as the PC is concerned, admitedly a VERY expensive extrernal soundcard. ;)

    WinXP should just pick it up without any extra drivers.
     
  14. Brogan

    Brogan
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    It's exactly as ailean says - just plug in the cable and Windows should install the drivers.
    I'm on ME and I now have a new USB Audio Device.
    The only problem is, you can only have sound from either the PC or the amp - not both at the same time (at least with my system you can't).
    To get sound to the amp I have go into the Sounds & Multimedia settings in Control Panel and change the Sound Playback Preferred Device from SB Live to USB Audio.

    Still, it beats burning everyhting to CDR and playing it back from the CD player.

    Remind me why I bought a "universal" player again...? :rolleyes: ;)
     
  15. kifimoto

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    Thanks for the info guys.
    The USB connector on the AX5 is a square one which means it's a type B (or is it A the square one?)...
    I've got a couple of USB2.0 to spare but they are the flat types (A - or is it B) so basically i need a usb cable with type a in one end and type b on the other......?
    cheers
     
  16. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Yes - a standard USB cable type AB.
     
  17. gregoir

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    Chaps,

    Do you know how to get this to work on an Apple Mac? Having plugged in the cable is seems not to have recognised anything?

    Thanks

    Greg
     
  18. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Yes, buy a PC :D
     
  19. gregoir

    gregoir
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    Any ideas for a cheaper solution?
     
  20. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Sorry, no idea - I've never used a Mac.

    The amp should just be picked up when you plug in the USB cable.
    Have you tried contacting Pioneer to check whether they have drivers specifically for a Mac?
     

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