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Thread: Caiman and Laptop

  1. #1
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Colwyn Bay, North Wales

    Posts: 53

    Default Caiman and Laptop

    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

    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
    Nad C315,Nad C515.Tannoy F1s,Pro-ject-USB Dac

    Pro-ject headamp ,Chord Crimson/Cobra2

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 96,347
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Mark,

    Just a quick one....

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

    Cheers!

    Marco.
    "Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.Ē - John Lennon

    Protect your CIVIL RIGHTS and REFUSE ANY *MANDATORY* VACCINE INTRODUCED FOR COVID-19!

  3. #3
    Join Date: Mar 2009

    Location: Glastonbury, UK

    Posts: 1,102
    I'm Chris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marktdac View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marktdac View Post
    Also whats all this 16 bit 24 bit 32 44.1 48 KHz stuff actually mean
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marktdac View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marktdac View Post
    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_...uter_audio.pdf
    Chris

    QuietPC > iGalvanic3.0 > iPurifier3 > ADI2-DAC > EDGE A2-300 > Cesti MB

  4. #4
    Join Date: Aug 2010

    Location: Montseny National Park, Catalonia

    Posts: 3,254
    I'm John.

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    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.
    Single spur balanced Mains. Self built music server with 3 seperate linear PSU, Intel i5, 16 GB RAM no hard drive (various Linux OS). Benchmark Dac2 HGC, single ended XLR interconnects/Belkin cable. Exposure 21RC Pre, Super 18 Power (recap & modified). Modded World Audio HD83 HP amp. Hand built Monitors with external crossovers , Volt 250 bass & ABR, Scanspeak 13M8621 Mid & Scanspeak D2905/9300 Hi. HD595 & Beyer 880 (600 ohm) cans.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
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    John.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Colwyn Bay, North Wales

    Posts: 53

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    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
    Nad C315,Nad C515.Tannoy F1s,Pro-ject-USB Dac

    Pro-ject headamp ,Chord Crimson/Cobra2

  6. #6
    Join Date: Mar 2009

    Location: Glastonbury, UK

    Posts: 1,102
    I'm Chris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marktdac View Post
    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.
    Chris

    QuietPC > iGalvanic3.0 > iPurifier3 > ADI2-DAC > EDGE A2-300 > Cesti MB

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: North Cambs UK, Earth, Sol, Orion - Cygnus arm of galaxy

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    I'm MadeOfDeadGiantStarsThatExplodedEonsAgo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by technobear View Post
    FYI, CDs have a bitrate of about 1400 kbps (vs 320 for the best MP3s).
    Apologies for the slight 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
    Bests, Mark



    "We must believe in free will. We have no choice" Isaac Bashevis Singer

  8. #8
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: Cricklewood

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    I'm ILOB.

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    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
    Loves anything from Pain of Salvation to Jeff Buckley to Django to Sarasate to Surinder Sandhu to Shawn Lane to Nick Drake to Rush to Beth Hart to Kate Bush to Rodrigo Y Gabriela to The Hellecasters to Dark Sanctury to Ben Harper to Karicus to Dream Theater to Zero Hour to Al DiMeola to Larry Carlton to Derek Trucks to Govt Mule to?

    Humour: One of the few things worth taking seriously

  9. #9
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Colwyn Bay, North Wales

    Posts: 53

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    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
    Nad C315,Nad C515.Tannoy F1s,Pro-ject-USB Dac

    Pro-ject headamp ,Chord Crimson/Cobra2

  10. #10
    Join Date: Mar 2009

    Location: Glastonbury, UK

    Posts: 1,102
    I'm Chris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid Malenfant View Post
    Apologies for the slight 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
    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.
    Chris

    QuietPC > iGalvanic3.0 > iPurifier3 > ADI2-DAC > EDGE A2-300 > Cesti MB

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