USB DAC using long 50' cable, possible? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-16-2013, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,
I have a new Parasound zdac on order to replace my ps audio DAC III. I will be connecting it via USB from my htpc in the basement to the DAC in my first floor living room. The run requires 50' so I purchased the mono price active USB cable that boosts the signal beyond the normal limits
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10303&cs_id=1030301&p_id=7643&seq=1&format=2

I will try this after everything arrives. Will the long run cause audio issues...sound degradation? I can also grab a powered USB hub to put on one of the ends which I understand helps boost the signal as well.

I have to imagine people out there have USB Dacs that are no where near there HTPC's.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Brandon
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-21-2013, 07:24 AM
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I expect that most likely problem (besides a fact that USB standard limits length of cable) could be a ground loop. USB is not an isolated inte
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-22-2013, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

I expect that most likely problem (besides a fact that USB standard limits length of cable) could be a ground loop. USB is not an isolated inte

The more research I did the more I realized this wont work. I've decided to go another route.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-25-2013, 02:16 PM
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How about a USB over cat5/6 converter?
I'm using one from ebay for a different setup, but it works great. No hub or power problems yet.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-25-2013, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrymaid520 View Post

The more research I did the more I realized this wont work. I've decided to go another route.

Why not? Try it first as Monoprice has a gracious return policy. 50feet is well beyond the USB length limit but you said your cable has a booster inside it. That might work. Barring that a CAT5 solution will be needed.

But you can be sure none of these USB extenders will slightly degrade the audio quality. If there are errors you will get dropouts or it won't work at all. A bad USB cable will not add distortion, increase noise, reduce highs, weaken bass, or any of the popular audiophile myths. It's a computer data stream no different than your ethernet or WiFi connection in that respect. Does a poor WiFi or Ethernet connection soften text, add grain to pictures? Same thing!

Now the ground loop could be an issue that could cause HUM on the analog amplifier but I doub't it will be a problem. In any case try it first before going to more expensive solutions.

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post #6 of 10 Old 08-26-2013, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Why not? Try it first as Monoprice has a gracious return policy. 50feet is well beyond the USB length limit but you said your cable has a booster inside it. That might work. Barring that a CAT5 solution will be needed.

But you can be sure none of these USB extenders will slightly degrade the audio quality. If there are errors you will get dropouts or it won't work at all. A bad USB cable will not add distortion, increase noise, reduce highs, weaken bass, or any of the popular audiophile myths. It's a computer data stream no different than your ethernet or WiFi connection in that respect. Does a poor WiFi or Ethernet connection soften text, add grain to pictures? Same thing!

Now the ground loop could be an issue that could cause HUM on the analog amplifier but I doub't it will be a problem. In any case try it first before going to more expensive solutions.


I agree, its probably worth a try but what I decided is to build a CAPS music server to place next to the DAC as my source. This negates the use of my current pc in the basement that I stream movies on.

Oh well.

smile.gif
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-26-2013, 04:10 PM
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I was in the same predicament a few months ago and also decided against running a 50ft cable. I realized I had an old laptop and built a dedicated music server. That ended up the right choice for simply for the better organization and separation. I keep the lossless and perfectly organized and manicured music on that machine and I can have the random podcasts, impulse mp3s, videos, etc on my main computer that isn't plugged into the "serious listening" rig. With remote control applications, it's not a hassle to maintain 2 computers
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-27-2013, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merrymaid520 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Why not? Try it first as Monoprice has a gracious return policy. 50feet is well beyond the USB length limit but you said your cable has a booster inside it. That might work. Barring that a CAT5 solution will be needed.

But you can be sure none of these USB extenders will slightly degrade the audio quality. If there are errors you will get dropouts or it won't work at all. A bad USB cable will not add distortion, increase noise, reduce highs, weaken bass, or any of the popular audiophile myths. It's a computer data stream no different than your ethernet or WiFi connection in that respect. Does a poor WiFi or Ethernet connection soften text, add grain to pictures? Same thing!

Now the ground loop could be an issue that could cause HUM on the analog amplifier but I doub't it will be a problem. In any case try it first before going to more expensive solutions.


I agree, its probably worth a try but what I decided is to build a CAPS music server to place next to the DAC as my source. This negates the use of my current pc in the basement that I stream movies on.

Oh well.

smile.gif

You do not need PC near your music system. Get one of network players which can do DLNA. Keep all your music library on PC acting as a server. That way you will only need CAT5/6 network connection between them.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-28-2013, 06:56 PM
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I definitely third the music server idea. I'm using a Raspberry Pi with piCorePlayer in my living room, but that took some computer knowledge to set up. It is handy though as everyone in the house has an iPhone or iPad we can use any of them to control it.


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post #10 of 10 Old 08-29-2013, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I am definitely going with the media pc as a server.

in the process of building a CAPS Topanga from computeraudiophile.com

The Jriver software and corresponding remote apps are slick!
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