USB card vs Sound card in a htpc .. a choice ?

Maro73

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Hello Folks

The question of the SOTM USB card in a home made HTPC with an inteldj945 atom base arises , the actual output being the Asus Xonar Essence ST PCI sound card.

I would like to have your feedback on this subject.

I noticed a huge difference when I shifted from the brick power supply to a linear power supply.

Why am I thinking about the USB card then ?

Well for 2 reasons :

--- firstly , my Eastern Electric Dac plus has a nice usb input (I believe the Hifacce interface inside)

-- Secondly , the gain with a dedicated power supply for the SOTM card appeals to me ..

But will I gain something , for the 300 pounds upgrade ?

Cheers

 

AmDismal

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I don't understand - if your DAC has a great USB input, with a built-in Hiface, why would you want to do anything more? That should be async and well isolated, and give you better sound than using the Asus soundcard as a digi out. Just use one of the USB outs into the DAC...

 

Maro73

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I tried the asus usb from the mothercard .. the sound card's output is in a different league ..

The explanation found on the web , says that the usb output from the mother card is not clean electrically

Cheers

 

pluto

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Be careful , this might not work...
I wonder why a stereo DAC should need to operate at USB high speed. A 24/192 stream audio only needs a data rate of about 6Mbit/sec, which is half of the capability of USB full speed.

Some designers really do like to make it difficult for themselves!

 

Man in a van

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I wonder why a stereo DAC should need to operate at USB high speed. A 24/192 stream audio only needs a data rate of about 6Mbit/sec, which is half of the capability of USB full speed.Some designers really do like to make it difficult for themselves!
Not to mention making it difficult for us punters:doh:

atb

Ronnie.

 

Maro73

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On the computer audio phile site , usb 2 or 3 are mentionned , and of course no advantage of the usb2 over the usb 3 .. Yes practically no use ..

Cheers

 
V

Voice_Coil

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ive just grabbed a new mobo, with an optical output, ill use that straight into my dac, it will be good enough, and after using my 3.5mm into 2x rca, im willing to bet itll sound LOTS better too.

 

Crom

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I've tried the sotm card and it was a huge improvement over motherboard usb sockets, which was a huge improvement over motherboard optical / digital out.

But, take a look here: http://ppastudio.blogspot.co.uk/

This guy sells his souped up usb cards (basically new clock and improvements to poser supply). I bought one and it proved to be the best thing I've tried.

Bits are bits...but this makes them sound better (go figure). No affiliations etc...just a happy customer. If you can't find Pang's contact details on the site then pm me.

Cheers'

Crom

PS having seen the work tht pang did to this USB card, I've got a couple of clocks on order and I'm going to see if replacing moth board clocks improves the sound!?!?!?

 

Maro73

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Hello

I had some browsing today and my computer system has evolved since the last post

I'll start another thread for the new computer , but just for the sake of completing the thread ... yes the USB cards deliver FAR BETTER MUSIC than the SOUNDARD I possess

I'll try to post a total review tonight

Cheers

 

Thetiminator

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I have an Adnaco outboard USB stage which is truly superb. Quite expensive but well worth IMO. You can also upgrade the power supply for it (either powered or battery) which gives you another significant step in performance. Item Audio sells them.

We're used to (in the audiophile world) with "the simplest path, the best", but with a PC as a source, you have to adjust your perceptions. You have to find the best way to address the problem of noise that is also propagated through the signal itself and it can alter either the dac clocks and pass through up to the analogue output of the dac. The Adnaco uses a 10m fibre optic cable so you can have your server/source (and the noise it creates) up to 10m away from your dac if you wish.

 

Maro73

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Feb 10, 2010
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Hello

That's an old thread .. and since the start , I have gone to the PaulPang and the SOTM usb cards , with linear psu on the SOTM

Great upgrade when compared to the Asus Xonar ST essence ..

Some day I'll try the Adnaco , but it remains quite expensive

Cheers

 

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