The Dynaco Tube Audio Forum

Dedicated to the restoration and preservation of all original Dynaco tube audio equipment - Customer support for Dynaco VTA tube amp kits, all Tubes4hifi.com products and all Dynakitparts.com products


    Best audio from your computer?

    Share

    audiobill

    Posts : 331
    Join date : 2014-03-13
    Location : Philadelphia

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by audiobill on Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:31 am

    Schiit bifrost - inexpensive but good.

    Emotiva: https://emotiva.com/collections/dacs/products/little-ego

    Downloads are expensive, so 2000s  and passe (except for certain classical pieces), Tidal lossless streaming is where it's at.


    Done.


    Last edited by audiobill on Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:50 am; edited 2 times in total

    audiobill

    Posts : 331
    Join date : 2014-03-13
    Location : Philadelphia

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by audiobill on Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:33 am

    Or build one of these, it's what Bluemeanies on this forum and I each have:

    http://www.ankaudiokits.com/Non-Oversampling-Valve-Rectified-Tube-DAC.html
    avatar
    deepee99

    Posts : 1993
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:17 pm

    I can second Bill's comments on the Bifrost and the Emotiva. Both are fine units for the price.
    avatar
    dmagazz

    Posts : 115
    Join date : 2018-06-20
    Age : 50
    Location : new fairf, ct

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by dmagazz on Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:23 pm

    wow! i like the kit idea, 31 dollars? damn. count me in. lol Wink ($3100)
    i will def check out the ego!

    pigface

    Posts : 83
    Join date : 2011-04-10
    Location : pittsburgh

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by pigface on Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:19 pm

    I've been thinking about a DAC for a while but  , On  your DAC if it has only 1 toslink input and you have multiple  sources  ( CD , Blu-ray-SACD  , Computer ), has anyone used a toslink switch to switch between multiple inputs , or will there be degradation of the optical signal ?
    avatar
    deepee99

    Posts : 1993
    Join date : 2012-05-23
    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:52 pm

    Pigface,
    I would think, in analog terms, that a switch on the optical side would be a simple DPTDT where the signal goes to one path or the other.
    Every DAC and every *modern* digital device I've encountered offers plenty of options: S/PDIF, coax, Toslink and even good ol' RCA. Those apply to the outputs as well as the receiving ends, so I would not think switching to be a worry.

    audiobill

    Posts : 331
    Join date : 2014-03-13
    Location : Philadelphia

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by audiobill on Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:47 pm

    Toslink switches merely redirect a series of binary light flashes , no degradation.

    They are inexpensive on the internet.

    avatar
    Buck_R0gers

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2018-01-14

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by Buck_R0gers on Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:55 am

    K-Lite! Mega Codec pack is an Free optimized version of Media Player Classic.

    Plays Anything, Video or audio, Even broken files! Light weight works on old computers, Never hangs up, Never breaks.

    Get your K-Lite Mega Codec Pack from "FileHippo.com".

    I use the SPDIF output from the MOBO of my Ryzen 7 computer into a Musical Fidelity DAC.

    My Esoteric P10 transport going into a modded Musical Fidelity A3/24, Stomps the computer by a country mile.

    In any case a good DAC is sorrily needed for computer playback and SPDIF (Sony Philips Digital Interface) Rocks!

    Edit:This is a Coaxial connection. Not optical.

    Never give up, Never surrender!


    Last edited by Buck_R0gers on Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:13 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : stuff)
    avatar
    corndog71

    Posts : 650
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by corndog71 on Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:52 pm

    audiobill wrote:Toslink switches merely redirect a series of binary light flashes , no degradation.

    They are inexpensive on the internet.


    Perhaps more degradation than you thought.

    https://www.psaudio.com/pauls-posts/shedding-light/

    audiobill

    Posts : 331
    Join date : 2014-03-13
    Location : Philadelphia

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by audiobill on Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:11 am

    I don't think your link is on point.  Given the decision to use toslink, a toslink switch hasn't been shown to degrade the digital signal.

    We're not comparing toslink to coaxial in this case.
    avatar
    cci1492

    Posts : 180
    Join date : 2016-05-09
    Age : 57
    Location : Bergen County NJ

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by cci1492 on Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:11 pm

    Does this one look like it's worth checking out? A little more in my price range:

    https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649437451-audio-mirror-tubadour-tube-dac-xmos-latest-usb-chip-dsd/images/1885753/
    avatar
    Buck_R0gers

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2018-01-14

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by Buck_R0gers on Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:46 pm

    avatar
    cci1492

    Posts : 180
    Join date : 2016-05-09
    Age : 57
    Location : Bergen County NJ

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by cci1492 on Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:14 pm

    Wow thank you Buck. I think they're selling the none-USB input ones cheaper on eBay, but worth thinking about if the USB is important or not. I didn't see these on eBay.
    avatar
    Buck_R0gers

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2018-01-14

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by Buck_R0gers on Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:01 pm

    Not a fan of USB or tubes in DAC's.

    Always have glitches with the USB on multiple puters.

    And the tubes sound like recessed mids, Which might be good on some systems.

    Surprised at the M-1's sound. Pretty good for the price.

    I like great components made by larger companies, They have better engineers.

    JBL, B&W, Musical Fidelity they make some awesome stuff.

    PS:I don't work there or sell them.
    avatar
    cci1492

    Posts : 180
    Join date : 2016-05-09
    Age : 57
    Location : Bergen County NJ

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by cci1492 on Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:18 pm

    OK thanks again!
    avatar
    dmagazz

    Posts : 115
    Join date : 2018-06-20
    Age : 50
    Location : new fairf, ct

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by dmagazz on Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:07 pm

    i got this USB sound blaster SBX X-FI PRO on the CHEAP.
    it sounds pretty good. has some tweeker program with it for bass enhancement and some other jazz,
    record tools capture and you can chop the tracks apart/make separate files to name them after ,
    but it saves them as 16 bit 48k dat lossless, not 24 bit 96k
    however it streams in 24/96 thats all i need.
    definitely has less pocking going on. but i did notice some kind of scrape/rip/tear noise sometimes.i suspect its still pocking but adding many buffblurbs togather and doing it less but bigger.kinda like when a cd has a bad spot and it skip/chirps.

    avatar
    Kentley

    Posts : 487
    Join date : 2015-03-06
    Age : 65
    Location : Worcester, MA

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by Kentley on Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:18 pm

    IMHO, CD-quality res is perfectly acceptable for the vast majority of sources. How many vintage rock, jazz, or folk albums do you really think benefit from hi-res transfers? Especially when a good percentage of those transfers currently available, honestly, are not treated with the care necessary to benefit from such. I don't believe it's quite time to invest in expensive and permanent solutions to the whole "digital media" morass. Give it, maybe, five more years. Once again merely my opinion.
    avatar
    Buck_R0gers

    Posts : 5
    Join date : 2018-01-14

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by Buck_R0gers on Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:19 am

    The most common full resolution files available for download are 16/44 FLAC.

    Flocking good sounding on my RYZEN system.

    CD is still the easiest medium for most people to use and convert to computer files.  

    MP3's are no longer needed nor required for space.

    WAV's use the lowest amount of CPU power and give excellent listening results,

    Yes that use lots more space, But who doesn't have a ton of that now?

    Edit:



    Last edited by Buck_R0gers on Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:25 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : stuff)
    avatar
    dmagazz

    Posts : 115
    Join date : 2018-06-20
    Age : 50
    Location : new fairf, ct

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by dmagazz on Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:47 pm

    i have noticed a MAJOR difference if the curtain, if you will. of the sound differences between that of spotify's high quality and tidal's hi-fi resolutions. obviously the bit-rates are different(320 compared to 1411/let alone master) but the handling of those resolutions from my laptop are now much more efficient. i noticed a difference before i got the usb dac,but now its more obvious. ive opened both programs,side by side, with the same song, from the same exact album, on each program,with both programs at the highest possible resolution,and the internal sound card at 24/96 and then the SBX (also uses same driver,yet modified by the program to define its usb output) and the difference is pretty major. but ive also noticed,or so it seems ..a dip,in quality on the SBX box between the rca outputs,and the headphone output, the headphone output seems to have a little more clarity,little brighter and wider.or should i say more open. bringing it closer to what im calling the curtain.(better sound making the curtain closer or thinner/more clear and open). thing is im going right to the amp inputs now from the SBX. and i do wish it had a bit more output. i enabled the equalizer, but kept it flat. and there is a eq total level that enabled me to effectively raise the volume with it flat, however,that seemed to change/shape the sound in a way i didn't like. so i may go back to using the preamp in my harman kardon 730 to boost the signal. i think im on my way to getting a PAS3 or 4, ive heard they boost very flat and clean.
    avatar
    sKiZo

    Posts : 1486
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by sKiZo on Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:05 pm

    - I've ripped everything to FLAC, including vinyl, and store everything on "video" quality hard drives. Those tend to have lower error rates and are extremely quiet in operation.

    - The DAC is king. I use a Maverick TubeMagic D1+ here.



    It performs well above it's price point and never fails to satisfy. Whatever you decide to go with, DO check all the input options available. I find that I much prefer the USB chain on the D1+ even though it tops out at a lower resolution than either optical or coaxial.

    - My player of choice is jRiver Media Center If that can't do it, it just doesn't need to be done. Everything was ripped to digital using their internal ripper, which is a lite version of EAC. All the tags and cover art were added automagically after the tracks were ripped. I used Audacity with minimal tweaks for my vinyl.

    - Don't forget the cables. Quality does make a difference in what you hear. I upgraded to a Pangea silver here and the difference was immediate.

    - DO try to match your resolution all through the chain. Any resampling from the source file to the final output will tend to introduce errors and buffering that can lower the sound quality. My system is all set to 96/24 which is where the Maverick tops out on USB.

    - For Windows users, WASAPI is the next best thing to bit perfect and runs rings around Direct Sound or most any other options. Try to avoid any addon programs or drivers unless your equipment insists on them.

    Oh. And don't ignore the computer hardware. Most of the built in sound handling tends to suck. USB especially tends to be prone to interference from all the other USB devices we like to have. I went with a Paul Pang "audiophile grade" USB card that creates it's own unique USB channel and draws power directly from an external power supply. The only thing plugged into that chain is the DAC, and the ADC I use for ripping vinyl. Once again, difference was immediately apparent. The card itself actually cost more than my DAC, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.




    avatar
    dmagazz

    Posts : 115
    Join date : 2018-06-20
    Age : 50
    Location : new fairf, ct

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by dmagazz on Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:25 pm

    good stuff skizo! thanks, i may eventually get a large external solid state drive for storage, right now im tinkering with my half gig sata drive Wink
    i notice my usb SBX box dont have dolby, not sure thats a showstopper if the stream/music is lossless and playing through a clear path. what is your take on that. i see you have some sort of dolby ..wifi?
    avatar
    sKiZo

    Posts : 1486
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by sKiZo on Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:23 pm

    Don't need dolby unless you're working with dolby encoded material. Noise reduction isn't really an issue otherwise. The Dolby sticker you see is just one I had hanging around, stuck on the side of a plasma ball.

    avatar
    dmagazz

    Posts : 115
    Join date : 2018-06-20
    Age : 50
    Location : new fairf, ct

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by dmagazz on Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:37 pm

    oh. ok

    Dogstar

    Posts : 335
    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by Dogstar on Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:38 am

    I know a DAC is a Digital Audio Converter (?) but exactly what does it do and why do I need one?
    Can't I can load digital music files such as *.WAV or *.FLAC files onto my iPad that I can play using iTunes that I can send to my amp using a cable with a Mini RCA to RCA jacks. I'm asking because I tried this a while ago and since I have a decent CD player never really persued this source in the past.

    I'm reluctant to subscribe to a music streaming service because even if I do I don't really posess the music file that I can load onto multiple devices such as my phone so I can listen to song from that server while driving.

    How does a DAC improve the sound quality of the digital file? is a $2000 DAC really that much better than a $100 DAC.
    avatar
    corndog71

    Posts : 650
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by corndog71 on Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:40 am

    Dogstar wrote:I know a DAC is a Digital Audio Converter (?) but exactly what does it do and why do I need one?
    Can't I can load digital music files such as *.WAV or *.FLAC files onto my iPad that I can play using iTunes that I can send to my amp using a cable with a Mini RCA to RCA jacks. I'm asking because I tried this a while ago and since I have a decent CD player never really persued this source in the past.

    I'm reluctant to subscribe to a music streaming service because even if I do I don't really posess the music file that I can load onto multiple devices such as my phone so I can listen to song from that server while driving.

    How does a DAC improve the sound quality of the digital file? is a $2000 DAC really that much better than a $100 DAC.

    DAC is actually Digital to Analog Converter. It's the analog part that can cause problems. Mainly loss of detail. Unless you can make direct comparisons the differences can be subtle. I've used portables and they usually do a decent job. My newer ipad sounds distinctly better than my several years old ipod. Better bass and more detail. But I still use my ipod for casual listening at work through computer speakers. The lost detail isn't a big deal there.

    Sponsored content

    Re: Best audio from your computer?

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:34 am