USB Bridge

Discussion in 'DACs' started by stoutblock, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it is good... Subscriber

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    USB audio is evolving so quickly in the last year that it has become difficult when to decide to jump in and try one of these new products.

    These are the popular contenders these days:

    https://kitsunehifi.com/product/singxer-f1-digital-interface-board/
    uses newer XMOS xCORE-200. Requires USB power or (external PS to get best performance) but is a highly respected device.

    http://www.diyinhk.com/shop/audio-k...noise-1uv-regulator-wmanual-power-switch.html
    Uses the latest XMOS xCORE-X216. Requires USB power or (external PS to get best performance) but is a highly respected device.

    http://matrix-digi-usa.com/x-series/x-spdif_2
    Uses the newer XMOS xCORE-X208. Requires USB power or (external PS to get best performance) but is a highly respected device.

    But his one came out just a few weeks ago. I choose it as it has a decent internal PS and it is stupid cheap.
    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Bre...-cd77-4ee2-9d7a-133a59ff17a2&rmStoreLevelAB=0

    Uses the newer XMOS xCORE-X208. It works perfect with the default xCore Wasapi drivers as loaded by Windows 10. My Modwright Elyse DAC has an internal Optoma NuForce USB board which is a pretty darn good performer but about 3 year old technology. The rest of the Elyse DAC is stellar IMHO and I thought one of these new bridges could take it to the next level of USB performance. I was right, the new XMOS chips really adds an additional sense of reality to the musical tracks. More detail, separation of sources with absolutely no edge or brittleness. It clearly adds all this without removing any of the musical quality I enjoy so much with this DAC. Granted the Elyse uses the PCM1794 chip that cannot process I2s so I have to use the SPDIF input from the bridge but I really don't think that is a detriment as I don't use DSD files in any case.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  2. Poinzy

    Poinzy Super Member

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    Thanks for posting.
     
  3. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Well-Known Member

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    long island NY
    I was very impressed with the u208 based singxer SU-1. It's essentially the f-1 with a robust power supply, better clocks. I used it on AES and spdif into both a yggy and pcm1704 based dac, it was superior to my u8 based gustard u12

    the last interface you posted is interesting- it seems to be the new version of the old breeze audio u8 which was king of budget interfaces for a long time. If budget is a main issue I would go for the breeze audio solution, as the f-1 will need it's own clean 5v and will end up being about double the u208 breeze audio
     
  4. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Why use fiber optic as the output? if you are using a CCA, then THAT is your DAC and the rest is wasted. The idea is, these are YOUR full DAC.
     
  5. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    785
    I had hopes for the CCA I got during the most recent sale to be used as a Spotify Client through Toslink to an external DAC but it didn't live up to my expectations. I didn't expect much from its onboard DAC but given many positive reviews here I thought using its optical digital output should be pretty good. To my surprise it wasn't, it is not bad but it sounds somewhat compressed and congested. Using the same optical cable and input on my DAC the sound is much more open and airy when playing Spotify from my laptop, so it is a CCA issue. I suspect its mp3 decoder or the Toslink interface are not up to snuff. Oh well, it's more then adequate for my patio speakers connected to Zone 2 of a Denon receiver and that's where it will be now used.
     
  6. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    CCA is mediocre at best. When you have all functions integrated on one chip, what do you expect?

    People on this forum will spend 1000's of dollars on TT Cartridges, roll tubes, etc. and they won't spend more than 50 bucks on a DAC. And then people complain that Digital sounds crappy, What do they expect?
     
    ben_, JoeESP9 and enginedr like this.
  7. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    785
    Yes, I didn't expect much from it being used as a DAC but I thought it could at least pass the digital signal through w/o degradation especially considering many happy reports here. Perhaps there is something wrong with the CCA I received but I kind of doubt that.
     
  8. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    I think people, on this forum, don't expect much from Digital. They really don't understand how it can sound, done well.
     
    ldatlof, nyhifihead and enginedr like this.
  9. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    785
    That is too broad of a statement I think, but I found it surprising some posters who I thought were knowledgeable on the subject praised the CCA and I found it just meh. I'll probably do more experiments just to make sure I'm not missing something but I'm not very optimistic there is anything new to be found.
     
    ben_ and stoutblock like this.
  10. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    It is not too broad for this forum. So many people spend hundreds if not thousands on cartridges, needles, etc. but won't spend anything on digital. It is really mind blowing. I have a CCA, it is MEH - more like a Behringer UCA202. It is a start but spending a little more gets you so much more.
     
  11. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    785
    Apart from the CCA I've just received a new to me Parasaond D/AC-1000 and in need for a USB DDC so it is a timely thread. Anyone ordered from aliexpress before? How long does it take to get something in the US from them? Ideally I would probably want something like Mutec MC 1.2 but can't justify spending 3x more on it than I spent on the DAC it would be used with.
     
  12. enginedr

    enginedr Well-Known Member

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    You are so right Bot . The fact that digital media is so easy to access and cheap spending funds to get the best SQ from digital is a no brainer .
     
    ldatlof likes this.
  13. xero-D-hero

    xero-D-hero Super Member

    Messages:
    2,115
    I'm a big fan of those Parasound D/AC-1000.

    Anyhow I've recently been looking at the Schiit Eitr to use with my two D/AC-1000.
    I'm currently using the optical out from my PC and wanna get away from that for the Parasound D/AC in my headphone/nearfield rig.

    Nothing really wrong with things as they are mind you,,,but this change would simplfy things just a bit...

    What I wanna do is use the optical out on the PC just to feed the Optimodi for the main BR 2.1 system.
    And then I'll use the USB outta the PC (via the Eitr) to supply the D/AC-1000 in the headphone/nearfield system via the coax input.

    If the Eitr works good there I'll probably do the same in my big rack enclosure rig that also has a D/AC-1000.

    Anyhow just some food for thought...

    Bret P.
     
  14. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    785
    Yup, there's a lot to like in those Parasound units. I've been curious about them for some time and finally pulled the trigger on one. I'm using an old laptop in my main system with a Creative PCMCIA card that has optical output and "bit -accurate" mode. It sounds fine but I can detect some small differences between a flac rip and the original CD. Plus I want to use coax, my CDP has both optical and coax and the coax sounds a tiny bit clearer than Toslink through the Parasound. I'm thinking about the Eitr as well but that latest XMOS solution above at half the price certainly looks tempting, plus it has a built in PSU, one fewer wallwart in a power strip is a good thing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  15. xero-D-hero

    xero-D-hero Super Member

    Messages:
    2,115
    I'm using a desktop PC here so I have one less expensive option I was gonna try out before commiting to any more expensive solutions.
    That option is an OEM style ASUS SPDIF optical/coax rear panel bracket for the desktop PC.

    My MOBO has the SPDIF out header so that's the cheap & easy thing I'm gonna try first.

    And it would definitely be my cheapest & easiest option if the SQ is at least on-par with the optical in use now (bonus points if it sounds better).
    But for some reason it just seems like it's altogether too easy and too cheap for that to happen,LOL.

    Main reason I'm using optical now is for the isolation factor,as I was picking up some PC noise using my soundcards analog outs.
    That's one thing I liked about the Eitr is how they approached the USB isolation side of things.

    But I digress for now.

    Bret P.
     
  16. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it is good... Subscriber

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    Location:
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    I have ordered through AliExpress a few times with no issues. This new Breeze bridge took less than two weeks to the west coast. I’ve been letting it break in now for several days with absolulty no issues. Great little product that works just fine with my netbook running windows 10 and JRiver.
     
  17. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    785
    Did you get silver or black? Not sure if silver is worth the extra 15 bucks for a "better" transformer.
     
  18. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it is good... Subscriber

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    I decided to splurge and bought the silver version.
     
  19. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it is good... Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Not sure who you are asking and what you are asking? I don’t use fiber optic? I use SPDIF RCA (Avanti) from Breeze to Elyse. Don’t know what CCA acronym stands for?
     
  20. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Chrome Cast Audio. SPDIF is Fiber Optic also.
     

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