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  1. #1

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    Default Bel Canto's USB > SPDIF Converters

    Anyone have any experience with Bel Canto's new USB > SPDIF converters???

    They offer (3) levels:

    - mLink: $400: http://www.belcantodesign.com/Belcanto_mLink.html
    - uLink: $700: http://www.belcantodesign.com/Belcanto_uLink.html
    - REFLink: $1500: http://www.belcantodesign.com/Belcanto_REFLink.html


    Wondering if any of these would be an upgrade to my Audio GD Digital Interface. Gotta have a good source!
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    Anyone have any experience with Bel Canto's new USB > SPDIF converters???

    They offer (3) levels:

    - mLink: $400: http://www.belcantodesign.com/Belcanto_mLink.html
    - uLink: $700: http://www.belcantodesign.com/Belcanto_uLink.html
    - REFLink: $1500: http://www.belcantodesign.com/Belcanto_REFLink.html


    Wondering if any of these would be an upgrade to my Audio GD Digital Interface. Gotta have a good source!
    The source is everything...

    One important thing with USB to SPDIF/I2S interfaces is to maintain galvanic isolation between the PC and destination via transformer coupling. IIRC all the Bel Canto's you linked do that. Gotta isolate that harsh 'putie environment to get the best SQ.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
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    Krell Class A KSA-250
    Harmonic Technology Pro 9+
    Squeezebox Touch / Welborne Labs PS / I2S Out Mod
    Denon 3910 w/I2S/DSD Out
    Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC
    Sennheiser HD650
    Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive
    AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm
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  3. #3

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    Default

    Also consider Empirical Audio Off Ramp 5. This USB converter has transformed my PC audio rig so that it is outperforming my cd player. It sounds very natural and realistic.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ern Dog View Post
    Also consider Empirical Audio Off Ramp 5. This USB converter has transformed my PC audio rig so that it is outperforming my cd player. It sounds very natural and realistic.
    The Off Ramp is high on my list as well.
    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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    I received the Amanero usb to i2s converter and find the pc sounds better than ever. Will your Audio GD NFB-7 accept i2s?
    D: SDTrans384 via I2S Teleporter-> Twisted Pear Audio Buffalo III DAC w Legato III I/V via XLR to Relaixed2 Preamp via XLR to Parasound A-21-> SDA-2.3 w/ RDO, Soniccrafts caps, Larry's Rings;
    A:Dynavector DV-10x5-> Nothingham Spacedeck-> TPA Retro via XLR to Relaixed2;

    C: Flac with Mediamonkey4 via coax SPDIF from Juli@24/192 -> Buffalo III
    V: Vinyl rips-> ESI Juli@24/192-> SPDIF-> Buffalo III

    SACD: Sony 333es via RCA

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy View Post
    I received the Amanero usb to i2s converter and find the pc sounds better than ever. Will your Audio GD NFB-7 accept i2s?
    No i2s. Only AES/EBU, BNC coax, RCA coax, and Toslink.

    Don't get me wrong, my Audio GD Digital Interface sounds great... I'm just always questioning whether it's a bottleneck, given that it ran 200 bucks, whereas all the other components in that system retailed for a few k when new.

    The DI sounds as good as the CD transports I've compared it to, but I'm wondering if a better converter will be even better...
    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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    Can't for crap for reviews on these converters... must be real new. That also means they won't showing up on the used market for a while. I don't want to be a guinea pig for the $1500 reflink, but damn it's tempting!
    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

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    I don't want to be a guinea pig for the $1500 reflink, but damn it's tempting!
    I hate the depreciation aspect of buying new myself.... If it becomes as popular as the Wyred DAC's, resale could be high.

    I like that they have a BNC coax input on your Audio GD....a true 75 Ohm connector. Best way to reduce chances of reflection in that SPDIF signal compared to RCA in. With digital, you have to look at all ways to get best possible sound.
    Make yourself necessary to someone. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Salk SoundScape 8's
    Krell KSL Class A Pre w/ KSL Phono
    Krell Class A KSA-250
    Harmonic Technology Pro 9+
    Squeezebox Touch / Welborne Labs PS / I2S Out Mod
    Denon 3910 w/I2S/DSD Out
    Twisted Pear Buffalo III Dual Mono ESS Sabre32 DAC
    Sennheiser HD650
    Heavy Plinth Lenco L75 Idler Drive
    AA MG-1 Linear Air Bearing Arm
    AT33PTG/II & Denon 103R
    Shunyata Hydra (Original)
    NHT B-12d subs
    GIK Acoustic Treatments


    CP Showcase

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by SCompRacer View Post
    I hate the depreciation aspect of buying new myself.... If it becomes as popular as the Wyred DAC's, resale could be high.

    I like that they have a BNC coax input on your Audio GD....a true 75 Ohm connector. Best way to reduce chances of reflection in that SPDIF signal compared to RCA in. With digital, you have to look at all ways to get best possible sound.
    On the NFB7, I've been using the BNC input for my DI and the AES/EBU for my ARC CD-1. The RefLink has both AES and BNC out, so I'd probably try both.
    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

  10. #10

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    We used the brand new BelCanto DAC with SPDIF at CAF2012 and have nothing but high reviews for them. We had a BLACK BOX uLink version direct from Engineering so not sure what has changed to production but it was awesome. We did have to reset it a number of times for whatever reason but this went back to them as a downside comment.

    Our iTunes interface was Pure Music. I was told by BC that they preferred that connectio(SPDIF) over optical and digital output anyways....take that for what its worth.

    Mark
    Last edited by dorokusai; 11-08-2012 at 03:37 PM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorokusai View Post
    We used the brand new BelCanto DAC with SPDIF at CAF2012 and have nothing but high reviews for them. We had a BLACK BOX uLink version direct from Engineering so not sure what has changed to production but it was awesome. We did have to reset it a number of times for whatever reason but this went back to them as a downside comment.

    Our iTunes interface was Pure Music. I was told by BC that they preferred that connectio(SPDIF) over optical and digital output anyways....take that for what its worth.

    Mark
    Very cool. Does Polk work with BC a lot? Which model DAC was it? That's encouraging that your ulink prototype performed well... makes me even more tempted by the reflink...
    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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