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post #721 of 1846 Old 01-04-2013, 11:50 PM
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bbear,
I can't comment on the sound quality of usb-dac as I have nothing to compare to. However, one thing you might want to check is under the Playback device propertise for usb-dac you can define things like 16bits or 24 bitts, 44.1kHz or 96kHz, etc. I don't have different source files to test but I won't be surprised if it would automatically match the input quality.

escapre,
Not sure how cubase or wavelab would fit with usb-dac, but the usb-dac driver I believe is for playback only. It's not an input device that you can use for recording. I've checked my audacity, sony sound forge and Ableton Live and none of them shows usb-dac as an (input) interface.
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post #722 of 1846 Old 01-05-2013, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by soniky View Post

bbear,
I can't comment on the sound quality of usb-dac as I have nothing to compare to

same here plus I admit, I'm not really "into" computer-based audio. I tried it the USB-DAC out but have no basis of comparison other than listening to a docked & un-docked ipod & windows media player.

for me, audio has been about hard media. I do intend to buy some hi-rez audio flac files but that'll be the planned extent of my incursion into computer audio. I have to defer to some of you who really have made the switch from discs to files for advice redface.gif

Steve
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post #723 of 1846 Old 01-05-2013, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by soniky View Post

bbear,
I can't comment on the sound quality of usb-dac as I have nothing to compare to. However, one thing you might want to check is under the Playback device propertise for usb-dac you can define things like 16bits or 24 bitts, 44.1kHz or 96kHz, etc. I don't have different source files to test but I won't be surprised if it would automatically match the input quality.
escapre,
Not sure how cubase or wavelab would fit with usb-dac, but the usb-dac driver I believe is for playback only. It's not an input device that you can use for recording. I've checked my audacity, sony sound forge and Ableton Live and none of them shows usb-dac as an (input) interface.


If it works for playback that would be fine. Both apps (Wavelab and Cubase) have options to change driver for playback and recording separately
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post #724 of 1846 Old 01-05-2013, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

I do intend to buy some hi-rez audio flac files but that'll be the planned extent of my incursion into computer audio. I have to defer to some of you who really have made the switch from discs to files for advice redface.gif

I don't have a habit to buy media as I may only occasionall found a piece here and there that I want but I can't buy them all. I started listen to Spotify most of the time and only listen to my own for specific moments. I can't repeatedly isten to all the same music no matter how much I like them. The ones that I own have to be listened to at the right time at right situations. I highly recommend you Spotify. You can pick your own songs and have your playlists or set up radio stations of your likes. I use a laptop for usb-dac and I listen to it whenever I want some music.

I also use jRiver (or any kind of media center that supports DLNA) on my other PC where I keep all my music files. I don't use CD at all anymore. You can rip them to flac and listen to them via DLNA anytime. You can set up playlist and launch the music you want to listen to from your PC. It's like you push the music to sc-68 from the PC instead of the other way around. sc-68 can talk to more than one PC on the network via DLNA. It means that you can choose to play music from any PC you have at home if you have the music files on a shared folder or on a network storage.

You can use Airplay as well. It works fine and you can choose to control it from sc-68 or from the i device you have if you have your music on those devices.

I am sure you know them well than I do, but I thought other people may want to know what are the ways to use sc-68 from a PC.
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post #725 of 1846 Old 01-06-2013, 10:00 AM
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Hi all, was wondering if anyone has set up IR control of their Pioneer Elite (mine is the SC-68) using IR repeaters? This may be old school, but it seems to be my best solution since my equipment is set up in my HT equipment closet. I am currently using HDMI control via a Pioneer PDP-5080HD TV for volume and ON/Off, but would like to set up IR control to have full use of the SC-68 IR controller from my seat. My problem is locating the best position/location for the repeater on the SC-68 IR sensor. Can anybody provide help with this and/or a photo of their setup? Any help is greatly appreciated.
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post #726 of 1846 Old 01-06-2013, 10:26 AM
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I'm having a problem finding a good listening mode for football games. I have a 5.1 Aperion setup, SC-67, DTV sending Dolby Digital. My problem is that I much of the time the announcer's dialog is drowned out by a loud crowd or the sound effects. What is everybody else using?
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post #727 of 1846 Old 01-06-2013, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jbwitt View Post

I'm having a problem finding a good listening mode for football games. I have a 5.1 Aperion setup, SC-67, DTV sending Dolby Digital. My problem is that I much of the time the announcer's dialog is drowned out by a loud crowd or the sound effects. What is everybody else using?

have you tried Optimum Surround surround mode or ALC mode to see if either one improves the balance?
also you can try out the dialog enhance adjustment in audio parameters.

or copy your main MCACC preset (assume it's Symmetry) into a new preset and customize the copy by bumping up the center channel level a couple dB to taste.

if you add PLIIx processing you can also go into the menu and adjust the center channel "width"; the default is 3. going one way sends more of the center to the fronts, the other way makes it more isolated to the center speaker. there's a similar adjustment for Neo

there's a few suggestions.

another one that just occurred is to the icontrol app. there's a balance control, I think acts somewhat like the old joystick balance controls, to shift the sound one way or another. I haven't tried it myself, not wanting to change something in the setup without the channel levels displayed in front of me to know what I was doing so I could un-do it back to the original levels. maybe sometime I'll get adventurous but I haven't had the need so far wink.gif my own center dialog has been OK for vast majority of sources, especially cable channels.
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post #728 of 1846 Old 01-06-2013, 12:39 PM
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I need some help understanding how the PIoneer's internal USB-DAC is superior to simply using the DACs in any receiver like an Arcam or Anthem. I have a HTPC with an ATI 5670 card, and listen to lossless files over HDMI passtrhu to a Denon 4308 receiver - would the Pioneers Internal DAC represent an upgrade for me, or would it mainly be an upgrade for someone listening from a Laptop with a soundcard? I have read extensively on the subject, and still don't quite understand whether someone with a HTPC really needs an external DAC.
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post #729 of 1846 Old 01-06-2013, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

same here plus I admit, I'm not really "into" computer-based audio. I tried it the USB-DAC out but have no basis of comparison other than listening to a docked & un-docked ipod & windows media player.
for me, audio has been about hard media. I do intend to buy some hi-rez audio flac files but that'll be the planned extent of my incursion into computer audio. I have to defer to some of you who really have made the switch from discs to files for advice redface.gif

I have not tried with my iPod yet, but I have tried playing songs from my iPad using airplay and it worked straight away, I was surprised how easy it was to use. The easy of use was great but the sound quality was average, but this was what I would expect with playing compressed audio files.

However, I have been really impressed with the sound quality of some of the Internet radio stations played through the SC-68. Classic FM and Radio Paradise sound very good, even through the bitrate is not all that high.

I have not tried DLNA with the SC-68 yet but definitely plan to. Previously I have used a DLNA server on my PC to play movies on my Sony BDP S570 Blu Ray player so are familiar with the technology.

As regards hard media, I plan to get the multichannel SACD of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. I already have Dark Side of the Moon on SACD and that sounds fantastic, and a lot of that I imagine is due to having set up my system using MCACC. (Actually, I still have some tweaks to do as the Auto MCACC keeps thinking one of my speakers is out of phase, so I think I may need to reposition to reduce the refections)
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post #730 of 1846 Old 01-06-2013, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bbear View Post


I am still trying to get hold of someone at Pioneer. but I suspect they will just tell me to use Media Player. I will definitely have a go at this, but will probably have to convert my FLAC files to WAV first

I wanted to report that I have tried using Media Player 11 but the sound using the USB-DAC is not improved (when compared to using Foobar2000). I converted my lossless FLAC files to lossless Windows Media Audio (.wma) as Media Player wasn't able to play the FLAC and I couldn't be bothered to track down a codec.

Until Pioneer get back to me and tell me what I am doing wrong, I will stick to using my Mapleshade adapter. In my opinion, the USB-DAC has so far, not lived up to all the hype. I still hold out hope that Pioneer can improve it, maybe with a better driver.
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post #731 of 1846 Old 01-06-2013, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by moooog View Post

I need some help understanding how the PIoneer's internal USB-DAC is superior to simply using the DACs in any receiver like an Arcam or Anthem. I have a HTPC with an ATI 5670 card, and listen to lossless files over HDMI passtrhu to a Denon 4308 receiver - would the Pioneers Internal DAC represent an upgrade for me, or would it mainly be an upgrade for someone listening from a Laptop with a soundcard? I have read extensively on the subject, and still don't quite understand whether someone with a HTPC really needs an external DAC.

I am yet to be impressed with the USB-DAC, I don't think that Pioneer have it working optimally yet. It may still sound better than your setup with sound card though due to the issues with playing digital audio through a regular PC audio card.

I don't know if it helps or not, but I would like to mention what I found out when researching computer audio and how I ended up with the adapter which I am using. Sorry if it is a bit long and reads like a volume of War and Peace smile.gif

I have been playing around with computer audio with my old Denon AVR for about a year. I also did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that to give me the best possible audio I needed to achieve the following:

1. Bit perfect reproduction
2. Low latency
3. lowest possible clock jitter
4. Bypass the Windows mixer

I read that by default PC audio cards and on board audio devices have problems with all of the above. (Macs less so). I came to the conclusion that I needed an adapter, and found there were two possible approaches:

a) USB to S/PDIF adapter
b) USB DAC ( I.e. with analogue output)

Since the vast majority of the time my equipment was being used for watching movies, it made sense to go with option a). The only thing I was concerned about at that time was whether the DAC in my Denon was up to snuff. All I knew about it was that it could handle up to 24bit at 96Khz. Option a) also gave me the option to upgrade to an external DAC if the one in my Denon proved inadequate.

So I set out to find an affordable USB to S/PDIF adapter. I had read about M2Tech's HiFace adapter and almost went for that, but stumbled across a review of the Mapleshade adapter, on which it is based. The Mapleshade adapter utilizes asynchronous USB, which apparently is preferred way of transferring digital audio from a computer. Even with asynchronous USB the jitter can still be pretty bad and so adapters like the Mapleshade employ re-clocking circuitry to further reduce the jitter. Mapleshade claimed to have put a lot of work into improving the clock jitter from the original HIFace. The review was very positive and talked about how 'musical' it sounded.

BTW, I have no idea what is an acceptable number for the clock jitter critical jitter is, all I knew from my research was that clock jitter can be a major contributor to computer audio sounding 'digital' and tiring to listen to over extended periods.

As to the latency concerns, why does it matter if audio takes 10ms or 500ms to arrive? To be honest I am not sure, maybe if it is not fixed and changes it becomes a problem? Anyway, I set about finding adapter which would work with ASIO as I read that was the way to get very low latency and bit perfect reproduction. I slipped up a little when I bought the Mapleshade adapter as I thought it was supported under ASIO but was wrong. However, I discovered ASIO4ALL as a way of getting ASIO like latency but using WDM. ASIO4ALL is a wrapper for WDM which achieves very low latency and bypasses the Windows Mixer. ASIO4ALL has been working great for me, and has the added benefit that I don't get the Windows system sounds going through it.

From what I read the Pioneer USB-DAC uses asynchronous USB and performs re-clocking, and it is capable of going to 32bit at 192Khz. If done right, it should sound really good but I have not found this to be the case yet. I suspect that Pioneers driver needs note work, possibly to make it work with ASIO.

I remember finding a really good article on the problems with computer audio, I will try to find it and post a link to it in this thread.
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post #732 of 1846 Old 01-06-2013, 06:24 PM
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I converted my lossless FLAC files to lossless Windows Media Audio (.wma) as Media Player wasn't able to play the FLAC and I couldn't be bothered to track down a codec.

Try Combined Community Codec Pack at http://www.cccp-project.net/. Besides FLAC support, you'll also get MKV support in Windows Media Player.

--Steve Fintel
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post #733 of 1846 Old 01-06-2013, 07:08 PM
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Try Combined Community Codec Pack at http://www.cccp-project.net/. Besides FLAC support, you'll also get MKV support in Windows Media Player.
--Steve Fintel

Thanks, if I do further testing of the USB-DAC, and have to use media Player then I will definitely try that codec. I am hoping that Pioneer get back to me eventually and have a 'fix' to improve the USB-DAC, or point out what I am doing wrong, until then I continue to use FLAC with Foobar and my Mapleshade adapter.
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post #734 of 1846 Old 01-07-2013, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bbear View Post

I remember finding a really good article on the problems with computer audio, I will try to find it and post a link to it in this thread.

As promised, here is a link to the article I mentioned on the problems with 'computer audio':

http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/jitter1_e.html
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post #735 of 1846 Old 01-07-2013, 10:44 AM
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Well, I am a proud owner of a Pioneer Elite SC-67! Huge thanks to ss9001 and iceman81 for whom I had some PM questions for that helped immensely with regards to pricing questions. Went out and then got a good deal from an authorized dealer.
Anway, I have to say, I am loving this thing so far. I am going from a Pio VSX-D811S (part of a HTiB circa 2003) to now a SC-67 and wow, what a difference! From a visual stand point, the AVR is quite a looker. I don't think the online photos do it justice. Very classic design, sturdy!
The sound right away is great! Amazing seperation and cohesion but I felt the top end was a bit bright. Almost immediately I adjusted the X-curve. In fact I adjusted it as far as it would go (-3). That seemed to help a lot.
I did run the full auto MCACC. It saw my 5.1 Aperion 6T/5C/5B (12D) set up as all large. I changed the 5C and 5B to small but am debating on what to do with the 6T. I do Music/Movies 50/50 on my rig. My initial thought was to keep the 6T as large (SW at plus) but the more I read on here the more it seems people recommend all small with 80 Xover.
(complete random question, how can the system have an option of all small and still have the SW be able to use the "plus" option. Or does it just treat that as "yes"?)
I was mostly happy with my inital MCACC run (and my center channel was AMAZING!) but I think I am missing some mid/low end thump. I had my sub volume turned up a bit initially for the first MCACC run and now I am thinking I should have had it leveled out? Should I leave the X-curve at 0 before the MCACC and then adjust after?
Should I run "Full Auto" first, re-set the speakers to all small and then run regular "Auto" overtop of it? I don't mind doing some adjusting here or there but some of the technical aspects (eq etc) are a bit over my head.
Any other suggestions?
Worth noting also, my preceived lack of bass might be in my own mind as my previous system didn't have any of these calibrations and hence the bass was booming and thick and perhaps the lack of "boom" is more of a result in a system that is finely tuned and I never knew what that sounded like until now. LOL Still I am looking to add a little more punch.
I have scoured the MCACC thread on AVS but if anyone has any recommendations I would love to hear them.

When I first finished setting up my SC-67 I also felt that my system was lacking that punch of bass so I broke out my sound meter and ran though the channel levels. Everything was dead on except the sub was reading about 7 decibels lower than the rest of my speakers. I adjusted set the sub level on the receiver to 0 and adjusted the volume on my sub until it was +1 decibels over the rest of my speakers. Then I set my x-over at 80 and all speakers to small. It sounds great now and has the low end punch I was expecting.
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post #736 of 1846 Old 01-07-2013, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bbear View Post

I wanted to report that I have tried using Media Player 11 but the sound using the USB-DAC is not improved (when compared to using Foobar2000). I converted my lossless FLAC files to lossless Windows Media Audio (.wma) as Media Player wasn't able to play the FLAC and I couldn't be bothered to track down a codec.
Until Pioneer get back to me and tell me what I am doing wrong, I will stick to using my Mapleshade adapter. In my opinion, the USB-DAC has so far, not lived up to all the hype. I still hold out hope that Pioneer can improve it, maybe with a better driver.

Is it because you are running Windows XP such that Pioneer says you have to use Media Player? I am puzzled because I am running with Windows 7 and it doesn't matter what player software I use. In any case, I don't think the player software should matter as it is just pipeing digital information to the receiver. Clock synchronization can be an issue on a digital interface and hence sc-68 supports asynchronus USB with its own clocks. I don't think there is any sonic differences a player software can make to the digital format of the sound (if you keep other things the same such as sampling frequency, bit resolution, cable, power supply, etc). What matters are the D to A conversion and any interference that happen in an external DAC, sound card or a receiver.

ASIO or not, I only know latency can be an issue only when you are trying to mix audio that come from multiple sources (such as vocal and instruments). Since we are only talking about playing back from a single source here, I can't understand latency can possibly be an issue.
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post #737 of 1846 Old 01-07-2013, 12:16 PM
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^^^
As a follow up to my previous post, I did some research about Windows XP and bit-perfect audio. The Kmixer on XP may be the culprit (instead of usb-dac) which re-samples all audio to 16bit/48khz and a quick google will advice you to bypass it for bit-perfect audio output. One easy way to bypass kmixer is to switch to asio. If that's not available (such as in the case of Windows Media Player) there is a program called Re-Clock.

Here is an article with that information. Read through part I and II on the bottom.
http://www.hi-fi-insight.com/bit-perfect-audio.html

BTW, this is not an issue with Windows 7 which supports the new WASAPI API. Maybe this is what sc-68 usb-dac driver uses on Windows 7 but I am just guessing.
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post #738 of 1846 Old 01-07-2013, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by soniky View Post

^^^
As a follow up to my previous post, I did some research about Windows XP and bit-perfect audio. The Kmixer on XP may be the culprit (instead of usb-dac) which re-samples all audio to 16bit/48khz and a quick google will advice you to bypass it for bit-perfect audio output. One easy way to bypass kmixer is to switch to asio. If that's not available (such as in the case of Windows Media Player) there is a program called Re-Clock.
Here is an article with that information. Read through part I and II on the bottom.
http://www.hi-fi-insight.com/bit-perfect-audio.html
BTW, this is not an issue with Windows 7 which supports the new WASAPI API. Maybe this is what sc-68 usb-dac driver uses on Windows 7 but I am just guessing.

Yes, that is why I use ASIO4ALL as it enables non-ASIO devices to bypass kmixer. However, whether I use ASIO4ALL or not, the sound using the USB-DAC is inferior (to my Mapleshade adapter). Anyway, I will read up about Re-Clock in case it offers some advantage over ASIO4ALL.

As regards Media Player, I agree it *should* not matter, but I tried it only because I suspect that this is what the first tier of Pioneer support are going to suggest. From my experiments, it makes no difference whether I used Media Player 11 or Foobar, I get the same (inferior) sound quality.
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post #739 of 1846 Old 01-07-2013, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by soniky View Post

^^^
BTW, this is not an issue with Windows 7 which supports the new WASAPI API. Maybe this is what sc-68 usb-dac driver uses on Windows 7 but I am just guessing.

From what I have read, you can still use ASIO on Win7, and I have read of some users who prefer WASAPI and some who say ASIO is still the best. However, I don't currently have a Win7 machine.

My son has a Windows 7 laptop, so I may be able to borrow that for a short while to test the USB-DAC with WASAPI.

Do you know if there is anything I need to do to configure Win 7 to use WASAPI or do I just need to connect the SC-68, switch to USB-DAC input and install the driver?
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post #740 of 1846 Old 01-07-2013, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by moooog View Post

I need some help understanding how the PIoneer's internal USB-DAC is superior to simply using the DACs in any receiver like an Arcam or Anthem. I have a HTPC with an ATI 5670 card, and listen to lossless files over HDMI passtrhu to a Denon 4308 receiver - would the Pioneers Internal DAC represent an upgrade for me, or would it mainly be an upgrade for someone listening from a Laptop with a soundcard? I have read extensively on the subject, and still don't quite understand whether someone with a HTPC really needs an external DAC.

I have no idea about your HTPC and ATI 5670. However, in general, PC has issues with jitters on digital interfaces (affects digital section), noises from power supply and anything that moves such as your harddisk and fan (affects analog section), sharing system interrupts among different devices (affects playback), etc. You'd also need to make sure all your software are configured correctly for a bit-perfect audio output. Many sound cards also do audio re-sampling which degrades sound quality. They can be resolved, but it's not easy. http://www.computeraudiophile.com/ is a good source. In a nutshell, there can be many issues on a PC before considering which DAC is better.
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post #741 of 1846 Old 01-07-2013, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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wow...you guys are teaching old dog new tricks wink.gif I didn't know these things about WMP or the other things you 1 are discussing. my experience is limited to just using WMP & itunes for casual listening of some ripped CD's & getting tunes into an ipod.

that's why I have to defer to folks like you on how well the USB-DAC feature helps. I installed the driver, tried it with WMP11 & itunes on an XP laptop and that's the extent of it.

mine may be a dumb question but did either of you try it with itunes? if so, was there or can there be a benefit?

I think you guys will be the gurus of computer audio in this thread smile.gif

I also learned about the mapleshade..seen the M2B version on sites like musicdirect.

Steve
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post #742 of 1846 Old 01-07-2013, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bbear View Post

Do you know if there is anything I need to do to configure Win 7 to use WASAPI or do I just need to connect the SC-68, switch to USB-DAC input and install the driver?

I did the driver install from the sc-68 CD first and then the rest is as you described, nothing special. The last step "install the driver" happens automatically when I select usb-dac on sc-68 after I made the usb connection. Again, I am running Wins 7.

Not sure if this helps. "For XP. Some people think that better than ASIO is to un-map the USB DAC device from the KMIXER. This is done as follows:"
http://www.usbdacs.com/Windows/Windows.html

I use jRiver and it supports WASAPI. But I havn't changed any settings, so I think I am using the default Direct Sound mode. I'll see tonight if I can change it to WASAPI with the sc-68 driver.
http://wiki.jriver.com/index.php/Audio_Output_Modes
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post #743 of 1846 Old 01-07-2013, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

have you tried Optimum Surround surround mode or ALC mode to see if either one improves the balance?

Good call. Optimum Surround mode sounds good.
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Steve - You may just compare by playing the same audio file with Quicktime and iTunes and see if you hear any difference. iTunes has a lot of features to "alter" the audio, but for those who connecting it to a good sound system all those things that somehow modifies the audio, eg, volume levelling, EQ, pre-amp, frequency range, etc. should be disabled (some are on by default)... I don't use iTunes but there are a lof of discussions with iTunes 10 in those areas but not 9. Not sure about 11.
iTunes uses the system audio output mode, whatever it's set to, so it's not selectable on iTunes.
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post #745 of 1846 Old 01-07-2013, 09:51 PM
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Just checked with jRiver and set audio mode to WASAPI and it works fine with the sc-68 usb-dac driver on Win 7.
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post #746 of 1846 Old 01-08-2013, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jbwitt View Post

Good call. Optimum Surround mode sounds good.

I've come to like Optimum Surround for plain-jane Dolby Surround, not necessarily true 5.1 but for sure matrixed surround. seems to somewhat increase separation to my ears; let's put it this way, I'm not sure I can describe the effect but it does alter the soundfield in some way.

Steve
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post #747 of 1846 Old 01-08-2013, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bbear View Post

Hello,
I was wondering if anyone has an opinion on the USB-DAC in the SC-68?
I have been playing a selection of ripped CD's (16/44.1) and 24/96 tracks, both are in lossless FLAC Format. The CD's were ripped to lossless FLAC using dbpoweramp cdripper. For playback I am using Foobar2000 on a 32bit Windows XP Pro SP3 machine.
Prior to purchasing the SC-68 I had been using a Mapleshade USB-to-S/PDIF adapter. This is a modded HiFace adapter (the original HiFace 'One', not the 'Two' which came out recently).
I was not particularly enjoying the sound from the USB-DAC so I decided to compare against my Mapleshade adapter (connected via the Coax1 input of the SC-68).
To my ears, the Mapleshade sounds far better. For example, female voices are much clearer and when the music gets very 'busy' the Mapleshade seems to be able to keep the soundstage much tighter.
Sorry if my terminology is not proper, but hopefully those reading this will know what I am trying to describe.
Anyway, I decided to check if I had configured Foobar to use the USB-DAC optimally. I made sure that I had installed the Pioneer driver from the AVNavigator cd. In Foobar I selected 'DS: Pioneer USB Device'.
I was surprised to only see DS being offered as this means it is using Direct Sound. I was hoping that this being a high-end device from Pioneer that they would have chosen to use kernel streaming, i.e. ASIO. Note, before I purchased the SC-68 I asked Pioneer of they were using ASIO but could not get an answer on this.
I realized that I was not comparing apples to apples as I had always used ASIO4ALL with my Mapleshade adapter, so I decided to set up the Pioneer USB-DAC to also use ASIO4ALL. Unfortunately this has not helped as the USB-DAC still sounds inferior to the Mapleshade adapter.
Is anyone else having issues with the USB-DAC or am I the only one to have noticed this?

bbear

I s/w Pierre yesterday at Mapleshade and he said his digital cable makes up about half the sound improvement when used with the their USB adapter. I also s/w with Jeff from Kaplan HT Designs that sells the m2tech Hiface2 and he said the same thing about his digital cable. I decided to order a m2tech Hiface2 USB to SPDIF adapter to demo / try out and was wondering did you also get a digital cable from Mapleshade and if so did you try the adapter with their expensive cable and then with a "cheap one" to see if the cable really makes a difference as they claim. I'm all for getting better cables over cheap ones to a point. If the cable that they say makes about half the sound improvemnet then maye I should just get the cable. I currently have a very good 75 ohm digital cable that I plan to use with the m2tech Hiface2 USB adapter and then try a cheap one. If this adapter makes an improvement for me like it has for you then I may just get the SC-67 over the SC-68 and save $500. I can test the m2tech adapter out and if no improvemt I can send back. I'm only out a few bucks in shipping which is well worth the risk. I'm also going to try tonight installing the "ReClock DirectShow Filter" to bypass Windows kmixer and send digital audio directly to the sound card preserving the 44.1hz original signal and see if I get any sound improvent. I should get the m2tech hiface2 adater on Friday so I will try the ReClock Filter first and then I can compare it to the USB adapter when I get it on Friday and see if any improvement or none at all
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post #748 of 1846 Old 01-08-2013, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escape View Post

bbear
I s/w Pierre yesterday at Mapleshade and he said his digital cable makes up about half the sound improvement when used with the their USB adapter. I also s/w with Jeff from Kaplan HT Designs that sells the m2tech Hiface2 and he said the same thing about his digital cable. I decided to order a m2tech Hiface2 USB to SPDIF adapter to demo / try out and was wondering did you also get a digital cable from Mapleshade and if so did you try the adapter with their expensive cable and then with a "cheap one" to see if the cable really makes a difference as they claim. I'm all for getting better cables over cheap ones to a point. If the cable that they say makes about half the sound improvemnet then maye I should just get the cable. I currently have a very good 75 ohm digital cable that I plan to use with the m2tech Hiface2 USB adapter and then try a cheap one. If this adapter makes an improvement for me like it has for you then I may just get the SC-67 over the SC-68 and save $500. I can test the m2tech adapter out and if no improvemt I can send back. I'm only out a few bucks in shipping which is well worth the risk. I'm also going to try tonight installing the "ReClock DirectShow Filter" to bypass Windows kmixer and send digital audio directly to the sound card preserving the 44.1hz original signal and see if I get any sound improvent. I should get the m2tech hiface2 adater on Friday so I will try the ReClock Filter first and then I can compare it to the USB adapter when I get it on Friday and see if any improvement or none at all

I suspect bypassing K-mixer will be your most notable improvement in sound.
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post #749 of 1846 Old 01-08-2013, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Escape View Post

bbear
I s/w Pierre yesterday at Mapleshade and he said his digital cable makes up about half the sound improvement when used with the their USB adapter. I also s/w with Jeff from Kaplan HT Designs that sells the m2tech Hiface2 and he said the same thing about his digital cable. I decided to order a m2tech Hiface2 USB to SPDIF adapter to demo / try out and was wondering did you also get a digital cable from Mapleshade and if so did you try the adapter with their expensive cable and then with a "cheap one" to see if the cable really makes a difference as they claim. I'm all for getting better cables over cheap ones to a point. If the cable that they say makes about half the sound improvemnet then maye I should just get the cable. I currently have a very good 75 ohm digital cable that I plan to use with the m2tech Hiface2 USB adapter and then try a cheap one. If this adapter makes an improvement for me like it has for you then I may just get the SC-67 over the SC-68 and save $500. I can test the m2tech adapter out and if no improvemt I can send back. I'm only out a few bucks in shipping which is well worth the risk. I'm also going to try tonight installing the "ReClock DirectShow Filter" to bypass Windows kmixer and send digital audio directly to the sound card preserving the 44.1hz original signal and see if I get any sound improvent. I should get the m2tech hiface2 adater on Friday so I will try the ReClock Filter first and then I can compare it to the USB adapter when I get it on Friday and see if any improvement or none at all

I am in envy that you are able to drop in and seen these guys, I am in Canada and have to rely solely on reviews and advice in places like the AVS forums before making a decision. I wasn't even able to listen to the SC-68 before I made the purchase, it seems dealers are not really set up to do serious listening tests in their stores theses days. I remember years ago when I liked in the UK, that a HiFi dealer would let me take equipment home and try it first!

Pierre has been very helpful to me, and has strongly recommended his cables to me before. To be honest, I am just using a high quality, very short computer grade cable at the moment. Maybe updating to one of Pierre's cables will be the next step. I will be really interested to hear how you get on with the new cables.

To be honest, I was skeptical, and as I get older I question how good my hearing is and whether I would be able to tell the difference when doing upgrades for things such as the cables. However, I have read a number of reviews of the Mapleshade cables but they apparently do make a noticeable improvement. I think that as I get older, I hear less detail at the top end, but maybe get pickier about the mid-range smile.gif This is probably why I took to the Viennas as the mid-range is fantastic (well to me ears, anyway)

Pierre told me that they will be releasing a modded HiFace Two in a few months, and that it will sound noticeably better than their original adapter (a modded HiFace One). However, Pierre thought their original adapter still sounds slightly better than the Hiface Two, so I am happy at that. In the future, depending on whether I can get the USB-DAC in the SC-68 to sound better, I might upgrade to the new Mapleshade adapter when it comes out.

Note that the HiFace Two is supposed to work properly under ASIO. I read that at one point the HiFace One also worked with ASIO but at some point the drivers were updated and since then it has not been able to work with ASIO. I checked with M2Tech in Italy and they said that the HiFace Two works properly with ASIO.
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post #750 of 1846 Old 01-08-2013, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by oztech View Post

I suspect bypassing K-mixer will be your most notable improvement in sound.

I agree, think this likely the problem too.

Interestingly, I spoke to the area rep for Pioneer yesterday. He is going to chase tech support and get some answers for me. He said that the fact that when I am using the USB-DAC that I get the Windows system sounds, in his opinion means that the Pioneer driver is not bypassing the kmixer and may explain why it doesn't sound too good. It is very frustrating that I haven't had a single reply from Pioneer (email) support so far, and the people on the phone are not knowledgeable enough about the product to be able to help.

Anyway, I wonder if Pioneer have done all their testing with Window7 and not realized there might be a problem if the USB-DAC is used under Windows XP

For those who are using the USB-DAC, would you mind reporting here if you are able to hear the Windows system sounds through your speakers, or do you only hear the music which you are playing?
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