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Thread: Maximising sound quality from USB

  1. #11
    Join Date: Oct 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stratmangler View Post
    Why?
    Do you have a shitload of DSD files?
    USB is only a default interface if you have DSD, because they do not transfer over S/PDIF.
    Everything else is quite happily transferred over S/PDIF.

    USB is not a great audio interface.
    The possibility of ground plane noise and interference transfer is immense, and the device you've linked to is powered over USB, which is a poor starting point.
    Been around the doors a couple of times and have to agree with Chris, USB would probably not be my first choice.
    You really need to "fix" it before it sounds good as a digital connection, very sensitive to hash on the 5V mains line and prone to timing errors.

    Most effective quick fix I remember was converting it to SPDIF at source, best sounding way to do this was using a Musical Fidelity V-Link 192 converter.

    By the way You don't need USB to listen to DSD (sorry Chris ) as it can be done over PCM based connections like SPDIF, AES if the dac or software uses the DoP protocol to package DSD inside PCM.

    http://dsd-guide.com/dop-open-standard#.W0Lvybgo8uU
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  2. #12
    Join Date: May 2012

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    So the best budget option currently available is probably the Allo DigiOne player?
    I don’t see an easy way out getting SPDIF out of the server, as it only takes half height cards, so an Asus Essence sound card will not fit.
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  3. #13
    Join Date: Apr 2008

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    You could use Allo USBridge which I finds sounds slighly better than a Pi. USBridge is USB only. https://www.allo.com/sparky/usbridge.html
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  4. #14
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    A Halide Bridge USB-coax converter does it for me. A real step up from straight to a USB input on a DAC imo.

    I've one available with a bit of a tricksy/dodgy connection I'd be happy to loan to you (yes, I know you're in France but it won't cost much to send, it's not much more than a fat cable.).
    If it works for you I'm sure we can agree a suitably knocked down price!

    See full details here http://theartofsound.net/forum/showt...=halide+bridge
    Jerry

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  5. #15
    Join Date: May 2012

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    Jerry,

    That would be great. I will PM you with my address.
    It will be interesting to see if it works.

    Thanks.
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  6. #16
    Join Date: Mar 2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by CageyH View Post
    As a computer audio newbie, I am wondering how best to maximise the sound quality from my HP Proliant N36L (no sound outputs) to my Caiman SEG DAC.
    Thanks to Stryder5 (Gary) I have a decent USB cable, which is connected directly to my DAC.

    Would I be better off getting an internal sound card (needs to be low profile to fit the PC) or a USB device before the DAC?
    So far I have used HP ProLiant Microservers 3 times for audio work and mostly used USB. One of the servers now being used by Adam of this parish. He ain't complaining (so far).

    Couple of times I've used a dac without USB so used a Vlink 192 to make the connection.

    All sounded just great.

    Clearly the quality of the Dac will have the greatest impact on Sq. A well shielded USB cable able will also help things.

    So long as your Caiman has asynchronous USB input I'm sure you will be very pleased with the Sq. Ask Stanley which USB yours has.

    What software are you using on the Microserver? There may well be useful things to do on the computer to optimise things (mainly to ensure there are minimal other background processes happening).

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  7. #17
    Join Date: Mar 2017

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    And another useful thing to do on the Micro is to replace the fans with noise blocker fans. Almost silent operation.

    Via Tapatalk
    Source: Tidal/Roon
    DAC: Metrum HEX NOS

    Amp: Sugden Masterclass 2018 spec, Radford Revival STA25,
    Speakers: Tannoy Eaton


  8. #18
    Join Date: May 2012

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    I am currently running WHS 2011 (2008 R2), Logitech media server and soft squeeze.
    Playback is controlled by iPeng.

    I have been looking at a quieter fan, and at the moment I am not disappointed with the sound quality, but if for a small outlay I can dramatically improve it, then I figured it would be a shame not to do so.
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  9. #19
    Join Date: Mar 2017

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    Quote Originally Posted by CageyH View Post
    I am currently running WHS 2011 (2008 R2), Logitech media server and soft squeeze.
    Playback is controlled by iPeng.

    I have been looking at a quieter fan, and at the moment I am not disappointed with the sound quality, but if for a small outlay I can dramatically improve it, then I figured it would be a shame not to do so.
    The replacements fans I got were Noiseblocker Black Silent Pro. I got the 140mm for the main fan and the 40mm (for the PSU).

    WHS2011. Hmm, that is getting rather long in the tooth now. I'd look at changing the operating system for more responsiveness etc.

    How much RAM do you have on board? Suggest minimum 3gb or 4gb. Also an SSD to hold the operating system will make the system fly (comparatively speaking) and quieter. Dirt cheap these days. All you need is a 120gb drive.

    Just some ideas for improvement - what you already have may well be perfectly acceptable to kick off with.
    Source: Tidal/Roon
    DAC: Metrum HEX NOS

    Amp: Sugden Masterclass 2018 spec, Radford Revival STA25,
    Speakers: Tannoy Eaton


  10. #20
    Join Date: May 2012

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    I know WHS2011 is long in the tooth, but everything seems to work. What would you suggest I replace it with?

    8Gb of ram fitted.
    I thought about an SSD as I can probably free one up from my other PC.

    I shall look into the fans. Thanks.
    Contemplating life, the universe and use of HiFi forums.

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