Poll

Does your C&C DAC have USB or SPDIF input?

USB only, or USB is easily the best input
1 (5%)
SPDIF only, or SPDIF is easily the best input
4 (20%)
Both USB and SPDIF and they're both great
12 (60%)
My DAC/system is not C&C
3 (15%)
I don't have a DAC
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 20

USB or SPDIF?

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JohnR

USB or SPDIF?
« on: 8 Feb 2018, 03:09 pm »
I was thinking about another C&C tour, this time of a music server. However, an endpoint (player) would probably need to be sent along with it. I'm thinking maybe a digital one this time. Hence the question/poll.

Please note that the question says "C&C DAC". I'd sorta like to keep poll responses for systems that are within the general area of C&C i.e. not skew the responses with systems that are out of C&C territory. 

flavo

Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #1 on: 8 Feb 2018, 11:10 pm »
Any idea what you're thinking of sending? I've been wanting to dip my toes in the music server realm, but like every other aspect of this hobby. It's a little daunting for and my lack of knowledge/experience.
Both of my dacs have both inputs FWIW.

dflee

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Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #2 on: 8 Feb 2018, 11:23 pm »
John:
Which do you prefer? Is one better than the other (in C&C territory)?

Don

zoom25

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Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #3 on: 8 Feb 2018, 11:48 pm »
I almost always prefer optical with devices at this level.

JohnR

Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #4 on: 9 Feb 2018, 01:11 am »
Hi zoom, interesting... I may send a card with optical but the one I was interested in doesn't have one.

Which do you prefer? Is one better than the other (in C&C territory)?

Hi Don, I don't have a preference. It used to be that the USB input on inexpensive DACS was not very good (IME) but these days even cheap DACs have XMOS chips in them. However the add-on card for the player is either SPDIF or USB, so I just wanted to get a survey to avoid sending out something that wouldn't be useful for most people.

SPDIF still has the advanatge that it's more likely to be galvanically isolated.

With that said, it's occurred to me if I put an SPDIF card on it, the player will still have a USB output, just "not very good."

JohnR

Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #5 on: 9 Feb 2018, 01:32 am »
Any idea what you're thinking of sending?

Hi, the server will be one of these, probably with a 1 TB (2.5") drive in it.



Software is MinimServer and BubbleUPnPServer. In combination you can either stream files or Tidal. Control will be by an app you install on your tablet, or on your phone or computer.



For the player I'm thinking of going "high end" and getting one of these: https://allo.com/sparky/digione.html which will be attached to a Raspberry Pi. Or maybe a cheaper board like Hifiberry or IQaudio. (the price of the "expen$ive" board is half/double, but as a proportion of the total it's not all that much.... but perhaps I am not thinking C&C enough here?  :lol: )



Adding the player as well as the server kinda ups the cost a bit but I'm hoping more people will get into the network aspect of it this way.

No, Roon will not be supported (Roon server/ROCK will not run on an ARM processor like that one). If somebody wanted to donate a NUC, however...

What you would need that would not be shipped (unless someone early in the tour wants to put them in the box) is 2 x IEC power cables and 1x or 2x Ethernet cables. Two power supplies will be shipped, SMPS but decent quality (MeanWell). No linear supply this time :-P

I have this same server running now in my home but will need to order and "build" another for the tour. However it won't happen quickly, figure a couple/three months. The time-consuming part is writing the instructions :(

Hope that covers it :)

JohnR

Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #6 on: 9 Feb 2018, 01:44 am »
Also this year it will have Wifi as that was a complaint last year  :P

WC

Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #7 on: 9 Feb 2018, 03:15 am »
I have the DigiOne board, but I still haven't tried it out since I haven't finished building my DAC (Soekris Dam-1021) yet. Wil fall outside C&C by the time I am done with it. I was going to compare the SPDIF input to the I2S from a Pi/Kali combo. I already have a NUC I am using as a server. I guess I am not the best candidate for this tour.

JohnR

Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #8 on: 9 Feb 2018, 03:28 am »
Sounds like you're pretty sorted  :thumb:

On the tour, no problem to use with/compare non-C&C stuff, but I want to make sure that what I send works for C&C. I haven't added up the total cost but guessing about $350. To that add DAC/amp/speakers.

flavo

Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #9 on: 14 Feb 2018, 01:16 am »
John, it's likely of no help, but I can ship my Piano 2.1 to you if you want to build on to the idea of the Digione board.
I purchased a Allo Volt with the stepped attenuator. The 1st one had an issue so when they sent the replacement they sent along a piano 2.1 dac as well. I'm not set up with all this Pi stuff so it's useless to me at this point.

https://www.allo.com/sparky/piano-dac-2-1.html

otto802

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Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #10 on: 14 Feb 2018, 03:03 am »
I'm currently running a Xindak Dac5, only has spdif and toslink. I would be very interested in the music server, and have been eyeing up the Digione. I am natively a Mac user, but the linux realm seems really good for the music server world, especially for affordable software options!

Letitroll98

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Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #11 on: 14 Feb 2018, 05:33 pm »
Sounds like a great project John, looking forward to its completion.

audioengr

Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #12 on: 14 Feb 2018, 06:57 pm »
For the player I'm thinking of going "high end" and getting one of these: https://allo.com/sparky/digione.html which will be attached to a Raspberry Pi. Or maybe a cheaper board like Hifiberry or IQaudio. (the price of the "expen$ive" board is half/double, but as a proportion of the total it's not all that much.... but perhaps I am not thinking C&C enough here?  :lol: )



I have the RPi and Digione as well as the Digi Pro HAT boards.  The jitter of the Digione is lower, but if you mod the Digi Pro, I think it might actually sound better. I did a few mods and the Pro seems to sound really good. There is a slight darkness to the Digione, although very detailed.

I have had problems getting 176.4 and 192 to work with the RPi.  I am using DietPi, which makes it easy to change HATs.  Niether HAT does 192 reliably, even after power mods to the RPi board.  Seems like the voltage is drooping less though because red LED is flashing less.

Either way you go, you will need a really good cable to get low-jitter results:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=154425.0

The real difference between USB output and S/PDIF output is that the master clock will be on the HAT board for S/PDIF and the master clock will be in the USB DAC interface for USB.  The question will be whether the customers DAC has a better clock implementation than the HAT board.

S/PDIF will probably get a more uniform result, although the S/PDIF receiver in each DAC will be different.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio

noway

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Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #13 on: 14 Feb 2018, 07:15 pm »
USB for Foobar2000 then switch input to coaxial digital for everything else (media player, browser video, etc.)

JohnR

Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #14 on: 15 Feb 2018, 01:47 am »
Well, I think a $275 digital cable never mind $499 is well out of the realm of Cheap and Cheerful.

charmerci

Re: USB or SPDIF?
« Reply #15 on: 16 Feb 2018, 09:18 am »
One answer not in the poll is - USB only because the DAC is C&C! lol