What DAC did you get?
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Doesn't the musicland have a USB input?
How does it sound? via the USB? I'd really appreciate a review and comparison to other dacs if you could.
Quite curious to compare it against the nixon usb tube dac and my Quad 99CDP, as I really like the top end crystal dacs, which is used in this dac, with a bit-perfect volume control, it seems, utilized on the 4398 chip. Wonder if the usb input is i2s or converts to SPIF?
There is no such thing as a DAC that "supports" ASIO. The DAC simply takes the digital stream that it is fed and converts it to analog. It is the player software that either does or does not support ASIO. Apple iTunes does not, foobar has plugins that do, Windows media player does not, etc. As long as the data comes at a standard rate like 44.1 and in a form it can decode the DAC doesn't care whether it gets adulaterated digital from a player that passes its data through kmixer, or unprocessed data like you would get from a mac or a player that bypasses kmixer.
Herman....that is incorrect. There are DACs that support ASIO - but they must have USB input. It gets the signal via USB from the player (which as you state, must support ASIO output) and it must be able to utilize that data before sending it to the D/A process.
Many USB interfaces are like this: they have USB input and a built-in DAC, although many people simply use those to get USB out using ASIO, have a digital signal generated, and have that digital signal sent to an external DAC (such as one which does not have USB input). A good example of this is the EMU 0404 USB or Edirol UA-1EX. I used the latter prior to getting the external DAC - fed it USB, it supports ASIO, and I used its DAC capabilities too thus outputing an analog signal to my amp.
You are mistaken.
Asio is a software protocol to handle the digital data BEFORE it is sent out the USB port to the DAC. It is capable of doing various things but the one we are interested in is its ability to bypass Windows kmixer. The kmixer is an embedded software routine in windows that re-samples the data (in other words it corrupts it) prior to sending it to the USB port. Any program that outputs audio via the USB port will suffer this corruption unless they use an asio driver.
It is completely a function of software and completely independent of the hardware. Any USB DAC can handle the data from windows whether or not it has been processed by kmixer or bypassed by ASIO.
Audioengr - true indeed. It must have an ASIO-supporting driver. Many (read most) use generic drivers meaning that, even with programs like ASIO4ALL or ASIO2KS - the windows kernel / audio stack are involved. True ASIO drivers are specific to the DAC/underlying hardware and thus allow the program to chat directly, bypassing any OS involvement.
Herman - Yes, even my USB DAC and converters will be detected by Windows and it will try to load the native Windows driver, but I recommend against this. The Windows driver is a bad sounding driver. Better to use the custom driver provided for that hardware (as for my Off-Ramps), use the drivers from http://www.usb-audio.com/ or at least use ASIO4ALL if the existing driver will not support ASIO.
The driver is the most important software part of getting a world-class sound, followed by ASIO and upsampler.
I'm trying this USB-Audio driver out. It does sound better than the freeware versions(ASIO4all.etc) without a doubt.
Problem is it only works with Foobar. All my other devices are muted like Winamp. I like the internet radio and video features of Winamp. I can't seem to use any of them.
Anyone know how I can get this driver to work with Winamp?
Any help is much appreciated
sorry to ventrue off topic. but i am wondering how the edirol UA-1EX sounds. i have heard good things about the previous edirol UA-25 but am curious about the UA-1EX. i am looking for a cheap interface that sounds pretty good to hook up to my external dac. have you used the UA-1EX without the D/A function?
Sorry for not replying earlier....have lost touch with this thread :)
Yes indeed I have, and still do. I now use the Edirol as a pure USB interface, so that I can pass a bit-perfect signal using ASIO out to an external DAC. It is now exceedingly better than before (using a Musiland MD10 DAC, fed by digital optical output from the Edirol).