Many USB DACs limited to 96kHz - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-18-2011, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Why is it that so many USB DACs only go up to 96kHz instead of 192kHz? For example I'm very interested in the Classé Audio CP-800 Stereo Preamp Processor but the USB input only supports up to 96kHz. My 192 collection is very limited, but having made the investment and considering the costs of a high-end DAC/Preamp I want the best. Is it a cost issue or some other technical issue?
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-18-2011, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by gimp View Post
Why is it that so many USB DACs only go up to 96kHz instead of 192kHz? For example I'm very interested in the Classé Audio CP-800 Stereo Preamp Processor but the USB input only supports up to 96kHz. My 192 collection is very limited, but having made the investment and considering the costs of a high-end DAC/Preamp I want the best. Is it a cost issue or some other technical issue?
Many of DACs (mostly older ones) use USB 1.1. There is not enough throughput to reliably transfer bitstream for 192/24 stereo. Newer DACs use USB 2.0, but sometimes DSP used for processing is too slow too.

But if we talk about new designs, there is no technical reason do not support 192kHz streams.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-18-2011, 10:29 AM
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Some even only go up to 48kHz. Then they upsample to 192kHz. The popular DacMagic is like this.

Analog: Pioneer SX-950, CT-F9191, AD797MCPS, PL-707, RH-65, RG-1, SR-202, Monitor 10/HE-500 hp's
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-18-2011, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-18-2011, 10:19 PM
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buy a hiface they dont cost much
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-19-2011, 04:32 AM
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1. As noted, much older less expensive USB hardware doesn't support hi-res.

2. There aren't native Windows drivers for resolutions above 96k on USB; so drivers have to either be written (expensive and difficult) or licensed (expensive).

As a result, most manufacturers have not felt the need to include a hi-res USB solution till recently. Only recently with the beginnings of a real market for hi-res music, and with new USB hardware designed for hi-res, are DACs starting to be made with this in mind.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-25-2011, 11:16 AM
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Would someone be kind enough to post an example of a currently available "Hi-Res" DAC that doesn't up-sample?
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-25-2011, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by oneway23 View Post

Would someone be kind enough to post an example of a currently available "Hi-Res" DAC that doesn't up-sample?

The ASUS Xonar Essence One allows you to disable its DSP's up-sampling. This DAC is currently available outside of the US, but should be here soon enough. It also appears to handle sample rates over 96kHz via USB.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-25-2011, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

The ASUS Xonar Essence One allows you to disable its DSP's up-sampling. This DAC is currently available outside of the US, but should be here soon enough. It also appears to handle sample rates over 96kHz via USB.

The product info does explicitly mention a different method of upsampling when compared to similar products, though I'm hoping that the section about the AISO driver indicates that you will be able to not only bypass Windows' processing, but also the DAC's own upsampling.

Anyway, i really appreciate the post, as I now have yet another item to keep an eye on!
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-25-2011, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneway23 View Post

The product info does explicitly mention a different method of upsampling when compared to similar products, though I'm hoping that the section about the AISO driver indicates that you will be able to not only bypass Windows' processing, but also the DAC's own upsampling.

There is a button on the front to enable or disable up-sampling.
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-25-2011, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

There is a button on the front to enable or disable up-sampling.

Just saw that in the pics...Thanks for the heads up..This piece looks like a winner.
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-26-2011, 10:52 PM
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Just saw that in the pics...Thanks for the heads up..This piece looks like a winner.

It does look very good spec-wise, and it should be reasonably priced.

The headphone output is driven by very high quality op-amps and buffers. One Burr-Brown 1795 DAC chip per channel and Alps volume potentiometers are certain to make tech heads happy.
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