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Marktdac
07-10-2010, 17:22
Hello again ,i have a couple of questions about my caimen and laptop.

As i now mostly listen to music via my laptop caimen and headphones connected via Usb , i was wondering if i got a laptop with an SPDIF output would i get better sound ?

Also whats all this 16 bit 24 bit 32 44.1 48 KHz stuff actually mean:scratch:

And finally i see u can get an adaptor to convert a 3.5mm headphone socket to Spdif ,is this way of doing it any good? ,would it give better results than Usb and would it give the same results as a dedicated Spdif socket?

Another thing before i forget! i am useing foobar2000 i take it when i use Usb i select 16 bit ,if i was useing spdif or toslink id select 24bit?

Many thanks Mark

Marco
07-10-2010, 17:31
Hi Mark,

Just a quick one....

Could you do me a favour and add your basic geographic location details to your profile? :)

Cheers! :cool:

Marco.

technobear
07-10-2010, 17:38
As i now mostly listen to music via my laptop caimen and headphones connected via Usb , i was wondering if i got a laptop with an SPDIF output would i get better sound ?

Not necessarily. The digital outputs from laptops are often not that great. They can be noisy and jittery.

A better bet is to get one of the newer DACs with asynchronous USB.




Also whats all this 16 bit 24 bit 32 44.1 48 KHz stuff actually mean:scratch:

The 16 and 24 are bits per sample. CDs have 16 bits per sample. DVDs have 16 or 24. Some hgih-res downloads are available with 24.

44.1, 48, 96, etc is the sample rate or number of samples per second (in thousands). CD is 44.1. DVD and TV are 48. Some DVDs have 96 as do some high-res downloads.



And finally i see u can get an adaptor to convert a 3.5mm headphone socket to Spdif ,is this way of doing it any good? ,would it give better results than Usb and would it give the same results as a dedicated Spdif socket?

Only if the laptop has a dual headphone/spdif socket. The spdif bit is an optical transmitter at the end of the socket I think.



Another thing before i forget! i am useing foobar2000 i take it when i use Usb i select 16 bit ,if i was useing spdif or toslink id select 24bit?

Depends on the source media. Read this: http://www.rightnote.co.uk/pdfs/dcs_guide_to_computer_audio.pdf

Welder
07-10-2010, 17:47
Hello Marktdac

Laptops with SPDIF are relatively rare.
This may help you out with regard to which connection sounds best with your caimen.
http://www.headfonia.com/beresford-tc-7520-review/
Iím sure others here will have a different perspective.

This may go some way to answering your questions concerning bit rate and frequency. Itís worth book marking this site.
http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/USB_DAC.htm
Otherwise a simple net search should answer in detail.

I personally wouldnít recommend using 3.5 jack to SPDIF converters and would recommend sticking to USB throughout.

There has been a lot of discussion concerning SPDIF v USB for audio in Hi Fi circles.
Generally most people believe USB is equal to if not better than SPDIF.
For laptop source applications USB has definite advantages.
Adding 8 bits to 16 bit sound files is unlikely to do any harm and may even give you a bit more headroom for noise. I use 24 bit replay for some 16 bit files in foobar2000 and ASIO4all. I canít hear any difference.

Marktdac
07-10-2010, 17:52
Ok thanks Tecnobear ,Welder ,marco have done that.As i type i am listening to foobar at the bottom it says 44100hz and it sets to 16 bit in the settings ,so in theory that should be same as as a cd , but its an mp3 download at 296 kbps {which for some reason is going up and down} so how come then a higer bit rate also effects sound ?

Another thing is how can one of those Spdif convertors convert back to a digital format? THe music comeing out of a headphone socket has already been processed to a form the human brain understands {music }so surley it would have to convert it back to digital so the dac can do its stuff? or isnt SpDif a digital output

technobear
07-10-2010, 18:09
Ok thanks Tecnobear ,Welder ,marco have done that.As i type i am listening to foobar at the bottom it says 44100hz and it sets to 16 bit in the settings ,so in theory that should be same as as a cd , but its an mp3 download at 296 kbps {which for some reason is going up and down} so how come then a higer bit rate also effects sound ?

Another thing is how can one of those Spdif convertors convert back to a digital format? THe music comeing out of a headphone socket has already been processed to a form the human brain understands {music }so surley it would have to convert it back to digital so the dac can do its stuff? or isnt SpDif a digital output

What you have there is a variable bit rate MP3 ;)

Foobar will decompress it to 16/44.1 because your DAC does not understand MP3.

FYI, CDs have a bitrate of about 1400 kbps (vs 320 for the best MP3s).

The SPDIF converter you mention is simply a plug adaptor (3.5mm to TOSLINK). It doesn't convert anything. The SPDIF has to be in the socket already. Not many laptops have this.

Reid Malenfant
07-10-2010, 18:16
FYI, CDs have a bitrate of about 1400 kbps (vs 320 for the best MP3s).
Apologies for the slight :offtopic: drift here, but isn't most of the CDs 1400 Kbps data made up of error correcting data in case the laser misses data? From what i have read there is error correction data before & after the "real" data to be read so if things go amiss there shouldn't be any mistake :scratch:

John
07-10-2010, 18:23
What I do with my laptop is use a USB converter to my DAC but with the Caiman no need just use your usb lead. My view is that mixing plays a bigger influnance than cables to sound you hear; just enjoy the music

Marktdac
07-10-2010, 18:28
Total agreement there john the mix itself makes a dramatic difference to sound ,see what u mean now about Spdif ,it is a digital signal but the compter has to support sending the digital signal to the 3.5mm plug .In that case then thats not really any differnce to usb .Its just that i was reading the caimens ins and it says usb is limited to 16 bit toslink and spdif are 24 bit

technobear
07-10-2010, 18:33
Apologies for the slight :offtopic: drift here, but isn't most of the CDs 1400 Kbps data made up of error correcting data in case the laser misses data? From what i have read there is error correction data before & after the "real" data to be read so if things go amiss there shouldn't be any mistake :scratch:

Nope, that's on top. I'm talking about the recovered datastream.

16 x 44,100 x 2 = 1,411,200 bps

Edit: just to be clear, there is no error correction data in an SPDIF stream. There is extra data on the CD.

Vincent Kars
09-10-2010, 16:11
Hello Marktdac

Laptops with SPDIF are relatively rare.

Adding 8 bits to 16 bit sound files is unlikely to do any harm and may even give you a bit more headroom for noise. I use 24 bit replay for some 16 bit files in foobar2000 and ASIO4all. I can’t hear any difference.

SPDIF
I thought so too but a lot of multi media models do have a SPDIF out.

24
There is even a slight advantage playing 16 bits at 24.
You can use digital volume control and chop of 8x6=48 dB without loss of resolution

Vincent Kars
09-10-2010, 16:16
Personally I’m not in favor of generalizations like SPDIF sounds better/worse than USB.
We talk about 2 different communication protocols but what we hear will never be the protocol but the implementation at sender and receiver.
The result will vary with the combination of boxes used.

http://thewelltemperedcomputer.com/Intro/SQ/USB_SPDIF.htm

dave2010
11-10-2010, 09:52
SPDIF
24
There is even a slight advantage playing 16 bits at 24.
You can use digital volume control and chop of 8x6=48 dB without loss of resolutionDoesn't that depend on how the digital volume control works?
If it's an integer one, simply multiplying/dividing by 2, then the control will be in steps of about 3db/6dB (voltage/power), but do they all work that way? Some might use a more continuous approach, multiplying by different factors, or even using floating point arithmetic.

There could be a very slight loss in multiplying/dividing by factors other than integral powers of 2.

I write out of ignorance here - as I don't know what goes on in all volume controls in all the kit available.

Vincent Kars
11-10-2010, 10:16
I write out of ignorance here - as I don't know what goes on in all volume controls in all the kit available.

Me too.
Cmedia had some nice audio drivers, working in 14 bits mode!

If we assume 24 bit integer, the quantization error is in the LSB, 24x6=-144 dbfs down so ways below the noise floor.
The good ones probably use float and dither the result
But indeed I don't know them all.
It is probably very much like analogue volume control, you have good and bad implementations