Computer to Marantz Receiver -- Is there a better DAC solution? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-14-2013, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I run FLAC digital music files via USB1 (24 bit) to an EDIROL (M-100FX) mixer. From the mixer, which outputs only digital (Optical or Coaxial), the digital signal runs to an older model Marantz (SR780) receiver. The mixer exists because of the need to also process audio from another computer which is a video editor. The mixer also serves as a voice recorder to the video editor. Both computers share the Marantz for audio monitoring.
Here is the question: The Marantz is obviously playing the role of a DAC, but is there a more elegant DAC solution that could be inserted between the mixer and the Marantz? I am only concerned with optimizing the FLAC files for music playback.
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-14-2013, 12:32 PM
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These specs are not complete, but 0.05% distortion including the power amps is excellent:

http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers/marantz-sr-780-av/4507-6466_7-30100415.html

It seems unlikely that a new DAC is likely to make much improvement. There are surely better things to invest in.

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post #3 of 12 Old 08-14-2013, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Ethan
I was actually more concerned with timing errors and jitter. I am told that most USB connections compromise quality because they cant control the streaming rate. I was investigating the use of the asynchronous Dragonfly solution to avoid any clock errors. I would like to be able to feed the Marantz an error-free stream.

What do you think?
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-14-2013, 03:14 PM
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You could investigate any number of USB --> SPDIF converters to process the USB out from the computer. Not sure if you can connect the resultant SPDIF signal to the Marantz directly of if it first needs to go to the M-100FX mixer? Does the mixer accept SPDIF input?
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-14-2013, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardcurley View Post

Ethan
I was actually more concerned with timing errors and jitter. I am told that most USB connections compromise quality because they can't control the streaming rate.

Measurements and blind listening tests show this to be a false concern.

Don't be led astray by the asynch USB marketing bandwagon. It turned out to be solution looking for a problem.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-14-2013, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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USB only. I would likely have to bi-pass the mixer. I use it for a video editor anyway. I had wanted to have a single output to the receiver but I could live without that.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-14-2013, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I trust you on that. Maybe my concern is that I keep getting a skip every so often where the music seems to hiccup / pause for a split second. What is that symptom if not a timing issue?
Eddie
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-14-2013, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardcurley View Post

I trust you on that. Maybe my concern is that I keep getting a skip every so often where the music seems to hiccup / pause for a split second. What is that symptom if not a timing issue?
Eddie

Sounds like a computer problem. Maybe the hard disc is being accessed by other programs at the same time as the music program needs to refill its buffer.

When all else fails - RTFM!

♫♫♫ Two Channel Rules! ♫♫♫

GO SEAHAWKS!!!
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-15-2013, 02:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardcurley View Post

I trust you on that. Maybe my concern is that I keep getting a skip every so often where the music seems to hiccup / pause for a split second. What is that symptom if not a timing issue?

Download and run this diagnostic tool...

http://www.resplendence.com/latencymon

It's an extremely useful programme for sorting out PC audio playback performance.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-15-2013, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

Sounds like a computer problem. Maybe the hard disc is being accessed by other programs at the same time as the music program needs to refill its buffer.

Makes sense. Jitter is measured in nano seconds (milion millionths of a second) and is not audible.
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-15-2013, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardcurley View Post

I trust you on that. Maybe my concern is that I keep getting a skip every so often where the music seems to hiccup / pause for a split second. What is that symptom if not a timing issue?

Yes, its a timing problem, but stuff like that is not the rule on computers, and probably represents some kind of moemetary total bottleneck in the computer. Even an Asynch DAC will stop working if the host computer locks up long enough, and by long enough I'm talking as little as a fraction of s second.

Jillions of people are using computers with streaming USB DACs and not experiencing such things, including me. My favorite USB DAC is Behringer's UCA 202 which runs about $30. But, my computer runs cleanly for both streaming and local audio and video.
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-15-2013, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardcurley View Post

I was actually more concerned with timing errors and jitter.

You already got good answers about that. When you find an extra hour to kill, I promise this video will be very enlightening:

AES Audio Myths

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