Question USB DAC To Amplifer Digital Coax

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by HaideraGill, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. HaideraGill

    HaideraGill
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    Hi,

    I am going to connecting my laptop to the digital RCA coax or TOSLINK connection on a Marantz PM6006. From what I have seen I need a USB soundcard with digital outputs. I found a cheap one using a Cmedia CM6206-LX chip which has an inbuilt DAC. It basically will take the USB sound run it through the DAC to get analogue then convert that output into SPDIF and output on the TOSLINK connector CM6206-LX.

    Q1.) Why not just convert the from USB digital audio to the SPDIF protocol via a Digital Signal Processor?

    I had a look at the M-Audio Super DAC M-Audio - Acclaimed audio interfaces, studio monitors, and keyboard controllers with it's Wolfson DACs. The Marantz PM6006 has Cirrus Logic CS4398 CS4398 | Cirrus Logic DAC

    Q2.) Would the Super DAC convert the USB digital audio first into analogue then back into SPDIF digital?

    Q3.) If so would I be better letting the M-Audio Super DAC do the conversion to analogue?

    Your help is much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Haider
     
  2. larkone

    larkone
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    You could just get one of these usb and convert the USB to coax/toslink and feed that into your Marantz and let the DAC in there convert digital to analogue. Much simpler.
     
  3. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    If you are going to spend money, why not just get a USB to Analog DAC and connect to the Analog input on the Marantz?

    This Cambridge USB DAC is reasonably well rated and at a bargain price -

    CAMBRIDGE AUDIO DACMAGIC XS V2Black USB DAC/Headphone Amp

    This Audioquest BLACK is something of the standard in a USB only DAC -

    AUDIOQUEST DRAGONFLY BLACK USB DAC/Headphone Amp

    The Audioquest has recently been upgraded, so it is very up to date, and will handle high resolution files. Plus, it can be connected directly to your phone with the right cable.

    There is one model higher than the Audioquest BLACK, and that is the Audioquest RED -

    AUDIOQUEST DRAGONFLY RED USB DAC/Headphone Amp

    For a vast majority of people, the Audioquest BLACK is more than enough.

    Audioquest - DragonFly Series



    Steve/bluewizard
     
  4. HaideraGill

    HaideraGill
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    I like the Beresford solution but seems Stan has ran out of stock.

    Why not get an external DAC, well the PM6006 has an internal DAC, so it just seems a waste of money. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  5. larkone

    larkone
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    You are not wrong. PM me as I have a Beresford Asynch-1 for sale if you interested.
     
  6. HaideraGill

    HaideraGill
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    Hi Larkone,

    Just pm'ed you.

    On a general note, My idea was: -
    Trial Jplayer on W10 laptop playing back MP4 Apple lossless files, see if it make any difference compared to iTunes
    Wireworld Ultraviolet 7 USB Cable
    USB to SPDIF RCA Coax convertor
    Van Den Hul The Name/Studio RCA digital cable
    PM6006 inbulit Cirrus Logic 4398 Multi-bit and bit stream (for DSD) DAC
    Arcam Muso\Logo 2.1 setup
     
  7. larkone

    larkone
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    If you haven't bought them then do not waste money on expensive digital cables as they add nothing. Digital cables either work or don't work and you will know if they don't because there will be a break down of the signal and therefore the music. Copper does not have any inherent intelligence to decode the digital signal, change the exact bits to make some improvement to the sound, then re-encode the signal all in real time.
     
  8. HaideraGill

    HaideraGill
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    Unfortunately if only it was that simple. I work on building hih performance electronic trading system we have computer systems that transfer data around in purely digital format but error checking and correction (ECC) are implemented at the hardware level because electronics do deliver 'bad' digital data. Even in professional grade RAM has ECC. Unfortunately in trading you need to minimise latencies as there are 'snipers' computers sysems out there looking for companies that are 'behind the market' i.e. the market goes up but because of latencies 300 milliseconds later your price goes up and on it goes. Within that 300 milliseconds the snipers will be buy lots of what ever you sell and flog it off to someone else with the higher price in the market-place. In audio terms you need a constant flow of data otherwise the music will not sound right, it's akin to someone hitting the pause button for variable lengths of time. That's why I'm interested in JPlay as I want a constant 44.1KHz samples per second with sampling period over that second being constant. The Beresford convertor then needs send that data with out adding varing amounts of delay (latency) and so on to keep everything. What I do recommend is Amazon, buy something try it out and then send it back if it doesn't work all for the cost of the signed 24 hours RM service. It allows you to do the test does it work for my ears and does it work for my room acoustics. Pure digital transmission is not quite the silver bullet that it marketed as in low latency/high bandwidth scenarios.
     
  9. larkone

    larkone
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    Yes I agree with you but expensive copper with a fancy dielectric will not perform any better than 99.9999% OFC copper with a less fancy dielectric. I have tried digital and USB cables from a couple of quid to a couple of hundred and they all sounded the same and none had any effect on the quality of the digital transmission of audio signals. The ASYNC-1 is asynchronous so it is buffering the signal so any latency in the supply side is taken care of and it is electrically isolated as well. Try before you buy for the Async to DAC connection as you could save yourself a shed load of money to spend on more music.:thumbsup:
     
  10. HaideraGill

    HaideraGill
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    Absolutely Paul, that's why I shop on Amazon - 30 day return period with no quibble. Convertor to amp is gonna be handled by a studio grade very long RCA coax digitial cable that came bundled with the Xitel Pro HiFi link or the Van Den Hul The Name cable that I took off the Sony DVP-NS955 SACD to Denon AVR-2808 off the home theatre. I'm working away from home so the home theatre is being used...
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  11. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Here is an alternative DAC from Cambridge. This has a USB Input to connect to your computer, but also gives you additional Optical and Coaxial Inputs.

    Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100 - £169 -

    CAMBRIDGE AUDIO DACMAGIC 100Black DAC

    As to wire and cable, this is an old debate. There is a group that says any wire and cable beyond a reasonable minimum standard is fine. Others swear by their expensive cable.

    With something like the Marantz PM6006, which is a good but generally entry level Amp, there is no need for wire and cable beyond the basic minimum standard.

    I would say about £1 to £3 per meter for Speaker wire of 2.5mm² size. Anything from £10 to £30 for RCA cables, and similar for Optical or USB Cables.

    If you are interested, figure out a list of wire and cable, and we can make recommendations.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  12. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Though others object, as a general rule and is common across a wide range of systems, ALL wire and cable are typically less than 5% of the total cost of the system. That can help keep your budget restrained.

    For Speaker Wire this is a pretty decent choice -

    Fisual S-FLEX Studio Grade 2.5mm² (white or black) - £2.35/ meter -


    Fisual S-Flex Studio Grade White Speaker Cable 2 x 2.5mm - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    Fisual S-Flex Studio Grade Black Speaker Cable 2 x 2.5mm - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    In a 3m Length per cable with QED Plastic AirLok Banana Plugs installed on the ends, the total cost for two cables is £46.10/pair. Keep in mind the QED Banana Plugs are £8/end installed. If you choose the Fisual Banana Plugs they are £6/end installed.

    There are options for buying your own banana plugs and installing them yourself. It is really not that hard, and we can recommend alternative banana plugs that are easy to install.

    In a straight forward RCA-RCA cable, something like this is fine.

    Fisual Rio Custom RCA Cable (Top Rated) - £16/meter -

    Fisual Rio Custom Made Stereo Phono / RCA Cable - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    A 1m cable complete is £16, a 2m cable is $18, and a 3m cable is £20.

    In Optical Cable, this is Top Rated and very low priced -

    Fisual Pro Install Series Digital Optical Cable - 1m - £4.29 -

    Fisual Pro Install Series Digital Optical Cable 1m - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    Fisual Pro Install Series Digital Optical Cable - 2m - £4.98 -

    Fisual Pro Install Series Digital Optical Cable 2m - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    In a straight forward USB Cable -

    Fisual Havana USB 2.0 Cable - 1.4m - £9.99 - (2m = £11.99)

    Fisual Havana USB 2.0 Cable 1.4m - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

    OF course there are many others, but this somewhat establishes what most would consider a reasonable price range for wire and cable.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  13. HaideraGill

    HaideraGill
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    To be honest speaker cable wise I had some QED silver micro left over so was going to use that.

    I pulled out an Amazon basics USB 2 cable to fight it out against the ultraviolet

    Van Den Hul The Name from the DVD/SACD fight it out against some coax digital RCA cable.

    I've no illusions on PM6006 & Musos front...
     
  14. HaideraGill

    HaideraGill
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    You're right I need some thicker speaker-wire. I never believed much in cables and was using the RGB scart lead that came in the box with a Playstation to connect a Sony QS DVP-725D and RCA digital lead that came with the Sony QS STR-DB925. A friend brought around a QED Silver Reference RGB SQART (RGB scart cable) and an Ecosse Reference Producer digital RCA cable. At first I gave a bit of banter about the oxygen free copper the fact the SCART was spelt SQART. I told him if copper has oxygen it's called copper oxide and it's black in colour. 'Copper doesn't have any oxygen' I told him. I said to him 'you soft lad they've fleeced you'.

    After dinner we started wathing a movie. You see the picture was more impactful, dynamic and the colour more vivid. The sound coming from the Bose Acoustimass 15 sounded more clear, more real, there was more top end frequencies. The bass more 'formed' an actual sound than just boom-boom. I have seen these TV programmes where they feed these gourmet chefs different cooked foods and they and tell you want the ingredients are whether they it fresh, frozen or canned all from the look, smell and one bite. I don't profess to have that level of senses; I'm just Joe Bloggs but I know what a difference those cables made and it was plain to see and hear. I went out paid 50BP for the scart and 20 for the digital RCA cable with it's 'oxygen free copper'.

    Speaker cable wise I'm veering towards either QED XT40 or The Chord Company Clearaway? What's your tuppenies worth on these cables? I'm also keeping an open on the Fisual USB & speaker cable
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  15. HaideraGill

    HaideraGill
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    Talk about an about turn bought Fisual Havana USB 0.6m 6.99 from Amazon. Bought Fisual S-Flex Studio Grade Black 3m X2 for under 40GBP with banana plugs at both ends from the above link from Steve. Thinking about one of these Accessory – iPurifier2 abou 100 sterling on Amazon
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  16. larkone

    larkone
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    I would wait until you have tried the Asynch-1 because it is electrically isolates the USB feed from the coax/toslink output. You could end up spending a £100 to fix a problem that doesn't exist.
     
  17. HaideraGill

    HaideraGill
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    Yes, I'm going to hang-off until it is all set-up then take try something out. I usually buy stuff of Amazon with the intention of seeing it works out otherwise it goes back returning before the 30 day period is up...
     
  18. HaideraGill

    HaideraGill
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    Just returning to say thank you to everyone especially Steve for his guidance on the cables. Really enjoying the set-up, it definitely seems a setup on CDs->Denon DVD-2500BT->HDMI->Denon AVR-2808->QED Silver Micro->Arcam Muso+Logo. When you consider I paid close to a grand for the AVR-2808 with it's Burr-Brown dacs that's some result...

    BTW JPLAY (trial version) didn't really make a difference on my system, not saying it won't on yours.

    Taken a free demo of Tidal HiFi see what the fuss is all about regarding the MQA HD music...
     

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