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  1. #1

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    Default W4S DAC-2 & Squeezebox: USB vs. SPDIF

    I haven't been able to find anything that specifically addresses this question:

    For those of you who own a Wyred for Sound DAC-2 and use a Squeezebox for your PC playback, what sounds better: the Squeezebox to the W4S's SPDIF input or you PC directly to the W4S's USB input?

    Thanks for any input.


    edit:

    I think what I'm getting at is this:

    Can the USB input on the W4S DAC-2, when setup properly, sound as good as the SPDIF input with a high quality CD transport?
    Last edited by falconcry72; 08-25-2011 at 07:50 PM.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  2. #2

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    You're aware that there are variables such as having the computer set up correctly, but I would assume that given a correct setup the two would sound very similar.

    I've not compared on that dac, but my v-dac sounds exactly the same via optical out of the touch as it does via optical out of the v-LINK

    That being said though, your dac is superior and may reveal a difference
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  3. #3

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    Going deeper into the issue , From what I have learned USB out is a better alternative to Optical out due to jitter and bandwidth restrictions. I have also learned Firewire is the preferred connection between a DAC and a Computer media server.

    I'm starting to get into this game , from what I understand and please correct me if I'm wrong , the files you use will also play a huge factor in the clarity of which output type you use.

    Now the Squeezebox I have used but not in a High Rez system , just in a distributed audio system. I have had them matched with Dac Magic's and Digital into receiver based DAC conversion. No comparable situations to even to properly evaluate the possible output vs a pc output of the same file.

    This sounds like an interesting start to a really good informational thread.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    ... from what I understand and please correct me if I'm wrong , the files you use will also play a huge factor in the clarity..
    Yes. Lossless is lossless; lossy is not. Popular lossless formats include: FLAC, SHN, WAV, WMA, OGG, AIFF, ALAC, and others. MP3's are lossy.

    In my original post, when I said "setup properly", I'm talking about playing lossless files that were ripped correctly (with EAC or something comparable) with a media player using ASIO, WASAPI, kernal streaming, or any other type of bit-transparent-windows-defeating playback method.
    Last edited by falconcry72; 08-25-2011 at 07:59 PM.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    ...my v-dac sounds exactly the same via optical out of the touch as it does via optical out of the v-LINK...
    Nice, that helps. I'm using a VLink now, as well as an Audio GD Digital Interface.

    What about the PC > VLink > VDAC vs. a good CD transport > VDAC???
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  6. #6

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    See part of me wonders if the USB input on the W4S is better than the VLink, in that USB direct to the W4S would sound better than the VLink > the W4S's SPDIF input.

    If somebody chimes in and says that their Squeezbox > the W4S's SPDIF input sounds better than their PC > the W4S's USB input, then I'll know that the above is not true and that I could stick with the VLink and look at any number of non-USB DAC's.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  7. #7

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    Having compared coax, optical(glass), and USB from a PC into a DAC-2, I will say they all sound very similar. IMO, it would come down to personal preference as to which sounds best. Between coax and glass, I preferred glass, but would take USB over both. YMMV.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  8. #8

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    I don't really have a high end CDP. I suppose my Oppo 83 SE is a decent transport, so I can hook the V-DAC up to that and see how it sounds.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  9. #9

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    I think you're running into the same situation I am. My goal is to get the best sound possible when playing files on my PC, whether it be via USB or Squeezebox. I already have a Touch in the Living Room and Bedroom to get playback in those rooms, and considered getting one for the PC rig itself as well. Ultimately I decided against it because a) thats just one more device in the chain and b) I don't like the Squeezebox interface on the computer for playing files and I wanted to use something like iTunes.

    Then my goal became more targeted, get the best sound that I can by using USB from the PC. The bottom line is that you can drive yourself crazy with the quest for ultimate sound if you're not careful, thinking I could upgrade this and change that, ooowhat if I got one of these, which is better.........

    I started with the V-DAC, then added in the V-LINK thinking it would improve the sound, and it did. How much did it improve it? I don't know, I don't even know if it was worth the $170 that I spent on it to be honest. I 'think' it sounds better, but have not done any blind testing so I don't know 'if' it sounds better. Is the 'peace of mind' in thinking that it sounds better worth the $170 that I paid? Well obviously I think so since I bought it, but its so easy to get caught up in tinkering mode.

    Now I'm in headphone amp search mode. My Minimax sounds great, but I 'know' there's better sound out there so I'm looking at amps 5x the price.

    At some point it's gotta stop though, I mean jeezus! I am going to go ahead and grab a new headphone amp, then I'm calling it quits for a while. At some point I've just gotta stop and keep something long enough to enjoy what I have.

    Falcon, I mention the above because I know you've been testing out various models and trying to figure things out on your end, and hopefully you're not caught in the same upgrade hell that I'm in right now.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Having compared coax, optical(glass), and USB from a PC into a DAC-2, I will say they all sound very similar....
    Were the coax and glass connections coming from a squeezebox or the PC or a CD transport?
    Last edited by falconcry72; 08-25-2011 at 09:29 PM.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

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