First, you have an excellent DAC. I recommend you talk with Esoteric and your dealer to get their suggestion. Esoteric provides some external "clocks" and options that will allow better integration. You've already invested in the DAC, so you should give them first chance to provide a solution.
I don't know the rest of your system, but that DAC with allow world class performance.
The DAC has toslink as well as spdif and balanced inputs. If the dell has toslink out, try it with a good cable. If not, you need to make a decision. Go with a Lynx internal PCI card to feed dac a balanced input or go outboard route and get a PC interface to dac interface converter. The pro-audio world has quite a few of these format converters (do not inlude a dac as your Esoteric will be the dac). I would probably go with the PC card but I have been experimenting and I find even laptop too noisey and have used a wireless solution. See how loud the Dell is. It may impact your decision.
The included iLink (firewire) ought to be a nicely implemented input, but you will need a computer that has one. Nearly all macs have firewire, but you may need a firewire card for your Dell. As suggested, asking the dealer is a good idea.
Another option is an Empirical Audio Offramp, which is a very high quality, asyncronous, USB to coax or toslink converter. Maximum distance for USb is around 5 meters, so this effects what will work in your system layout.
I didn't think the iLink was a firewire input. I think only for connectiing to other Esoteric gear via iLink.
Thanks! Have any of you heard about the Esoteric USB upgrade kit for the D-03? Any thoughts on if it would be worth the money and time to send back to Esoteric?
It's a shame that you already ripped your CD's using Windows tools. The better choice would have been dbpoweramp with Accurate Rip enabled. Try the free download and compare the same track. I re-ripped all of my CD's, even when I used EAC to start with.
You may be correct!
Thanks! I'll try it, Steve. I will probably reripp everything as well. I would like to talk this week about an offramp3.
The Weiss INT202 provides some great results if you have a FireWire interface. I do not think the Esoteric "iLink" allows a standard FireWire connection. I think it's dedicated to Esoteric's own transports, but I could be wrong. Again, for as much money as you have invested in the Esoteric, you should have a look at their solutions first.
I spoke with Esoteric and they recommend using a coxial digital output from my PC.
I just purchased two Glyph 2T (2000GB) hard drives for storing my music and a back up. These have firewire 400, firewire 800 and usb 2.0 outputs. The Glyph's are connected to my Dell PC via the Firewire 800 cables for super fast data transfer.
Question: How do I connect my Hard drives to my Esoteric D-03 DAC? Should I get a usb to s/pdif converter or is there something better for this application? Should I be using usb to s/pdif converter and if so....what high end ones do you recommend, or are there firewire to s/pdif coverters out there?
What type of converter do you recommend in between my PC/Glyh's and my Esoteric D-03 DAC?
Thanks in advance!
For the performance of your DAC, I highly recommend something like the Weiss INT202 or similar product. The Wiess is FireWire to SPDIF.
I've also had good experience with the HiFace USB-SPDIF adaptor and the HagUSB.
I use a firewire to spdif converter by M-Audio called the Firewire Solo. I think it was $200 and probably less on sale. It sounds great. I would use Firewire over usb to covert to s/pdif.
Isn't the M-Audio Firewire Solo more of an entry level piece? I've got a ton of money into my Esoteric D-03 DAC so I am pretty much looking at the best of the best at this point. I like the idea of a firewire input, but couldn't find many reviews on the Firewire Solo. Has anyone else tried this? If so, any thoughts??
There are more expensive by RME, etc but that have a ton of inputs, which I don't need. To me, a firewire to s/pdif solution is the only one. You can also check out Focusrite. You already have an incredible dac so all the interface is doing is taking the firewire signal and converting it to an spdif signal. We aren't dealing with state of the art on this firewire/spdif stuff yet. You need to look at the pro market for firewire, mostly. Check there for reviews as well.
Why would you re-rip with dbpoweramp? Isn't EAC bit perfect?
For redbook rips, can you actually hear an improvement
between a dbpoweramp rip and an EAC rip? If so, how is
it different in sound?