low cost analog-to-digital converter?

Discussion in 'DACs' started by brillcat, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. brillcat

    brillcat Active Member

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    Has anyone had experience with the Monoprice #8127 ADC? I need coax and optical output, and this looks like it fits the bill. I've had good experience with Monoprice but it sure is inexpensive... https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=8127
     

     

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  2. Goodwill_HiFi

    Goodwill_HiFi Super Member

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    That looks like it's to convert to digital, not from digital..... is that what you're after? I'm just trying to learn about this stuff, so my apologies if I'm totally off the wall.
     
  3. brillcat

    brillcat Active Member

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    Yes exactly -- analog to digital. I've got a vintage reel-to-reel deck and an FM tuner and I want to take their analog signals and run them into my DAC for sound processing before sending the digital signal to my amp. (Not unlike folks who want to convert their LPs to digital files.)
     
  4. Goodwill_HiFi

    Goodwill_HiFi Super Member

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    I guess I don't see the point, unless you go to file.... why convert twice?
     
  5. brillcat

    brillcat Active Member

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    It's true I do have some R2R tapes I would like to digitize.
     
  6. abpeep

    abpeep OU Sucks!! Subscriber

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    That looks very similar to the FiiO D3 that I have used for TV output to DAC. The FiiO worked well.
     

     

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  7. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    sound cards, internal or external will have analog inputs (connect to your deck's outputs)

    you get can reasonable (24/96) units like soundblaster (about a zillion models for cheap)

    this allows you to use your computer as an amp, and be able to digitize for recording
    and do these 2 things at the same time.

    This is my current setup for digitizing LPs.
     
  8. brillcat

    brillcat Active Member

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    The reason to process the analog twice is to compare the SQ between the native analog coming out of the R2R and FM tuner with the digital sound processed by the Benchmark DAC, which is really good when processing my CD and Apple Express signals. It may be a waste of time but my curiosity has got the better of me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  9. Final_Baton

    Final_Baton Member

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    For what it's worth : I have my eye on the Soundblaster X-Fi HD for digitizing my vinyl records. But I haven't tried it yet so I can't comment on the performance. It's priced reasonably at $100 if the performance ends up being good. Really tempted by it.

    It even has a ground clip and integrated phono preamp, for recording turntables direct. And it can also act as a DAC? if I understood the descrition correctly. There's also one in a pci-e configuration, for installing in your pc

    https://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-digital-music-premium-hd
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  10. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    download user manual and check. the presumption is yes due to line outs. but
    trying it or reading the manual will confirm.
     
  11. dewdude

    dewdude I fix stuff.

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    If you want good solid quality analog-to-digital conversion, I highly suggest getting away from the computer entirely. It's ok for playback or editing, but for capture, it can cause a number of problems.

    Go on eBay and find a Korg MR-1. It's a portable HDD based recorder that does up to 192khz/24-bit as well as DSD64. I started digitizing my LP's with this and never looked back. I avoid the "clock sync" issues you get with recording, it eliminates the possibility of any software error ruining a transfer, and it also means I can keep my turntable in a nice relatively quiet/still environment with just a little device doing the capture.
     

     

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  12. Final_Baton

    Final_Baton Member

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    I'm also not a fan of installing a card on the PC. I prefer to have a standalone capture device that I can move around the house easily. Which is why I suggested the Soundbalster X-Fi HD(it's a capture device, not a pc card). I also use a standalone capture device for capturing my videogame footage (a Startech USB3HDCAP). I know a shit ton about video(+audio) capture devices, but nothing about audio-only capture devices, unfortunately :^(

    I guess the video ones can also be used for audio only. But an audio-only one should be cheaper at equal performance, than a video+audio one.

    OP, does the capture device need to have toslink or coax? can it be just USB?

    Some older DVR were very good at capture, and had an HDD too. That could be a good cheap option. I know some gamers use mid 2000s Pioneer DVRs. Some like the DVR-640H/543H/540H even take a USB stick for file transfer

    I'm sure the Monoprice one is okay too for the price. Manual says it captures at 48kHz, which is fine really. No word on bit depth though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  13. 59volvo

    59volvo Well-Known Member

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    behringer u-control uca222 is good for recording analog to 16/44 with good SQ for cheap
     
  14. JoeESP9

    JoeESP9 ESL's & tubes since 83

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    The Behringer UCA-202/222 does 16/44 and 16/48.
     
  15. brillcat

    brillcat Active Member

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    Update on OP: The Monoprice 8127 arrived today, described as an "Analog to Digital Coaxial and Digital Optical Audio Converter." I routed analog from the fixed RCA output jacks on the back of the Pioneer TX-9500II to the Monoprice RCA inputs, then ran a digital coax to the Benchmark DAC1. From there, the analog RCA outputs of the Benchmark go straight to my Sony amp. I also connected the Pioneer TX-9500II analog variable outputs straight into the Sony amp to compare SQ (that is actually how I have regularly connected the tuner to the amp). Switching between inputs on the amp provides a means of subjective comparison, but that process is hindered by a change in volume between the two signals. Somewhat surprising to me is the the fixed output signal from the TX tuner, once it is processed by the Benchmark, is noticeably louder than any of the other signals processed by the Benchmark (CD, Airport Express and USB from my MBP). I realize the Monoprice may be the culprit here and I can almost correct for the discrepancy by increasing the volume on the "Output Level" knob on the front the tuner. Anyway, after a brief number of trials listening to classical and jazz FM broadcasts (and making volume adjustments between the listening tests) the FM signal digitized by the Benchmark has more pronounced base. It is subtle but noticeable. And overall it is pleasant to listen to. There are other qualities I hesitate to qualify until I have done more listening, which I will do in the coming days. So I may have different impressions a week from now. Stay tuned...
     
  16. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

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    I do all my digitizing of analog sources with a behringer u-phoria umc202hd. It's also a top notch DAC for playback purposes.
     

     

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  17. brillcat

    brillcat Active Member

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    Update #2 on OP: I've spent the better part of a week listening to the digitized audio output (using the Monoprice 8127 ADC) of the Pioneer TX-9500II -- mostly jazz and classical stations near and far -- and I've come to the conclusion that, at least to my ears, the SQ is not substantially different. Yes, there does seem to be a slight bump in the bass signal, but that is about it. And that bass bump might be occurring in the downstream processing by the Benchmark DAC. Full disclosure, I am 63 and I can't hear past 14khz anyway, so if there is any improvement in the upper reaches I would not be able to tell. The little Monoprice does a good job for what it is and it did not cost much ($15 + shipping), and I can still use its signal to digitally record FM analog, so I don't feel like this exercise was a total waste.
     

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