V3 will probably be my Christmas project. Hopefully the ideal mobo choice will be clearer by then.
What I do not understand is how good DAC we have and if it is worth to upgrade?
I have not found any audio specs for either V1 and V2, which is a little suspicious. Googling Attero Tech Matchbox did not help either.
A new Attero product has these specs: "44.1/48kHz sample rates are supported on the USB input, and 48kHz sample rate on the Dante input. Bit depth is 16 bits, with full asynchronous sample rate conversion between USB and the Dante network"
Autonomic specify the following output:
- MMS-2: Processor Realtek ALC662 5.1 Channel HD Digital-to-Analog Conversion 24-bit / 96kHz
- MMS-5: Intel 82801JR high-definition audio Digital-to-Analog Conversion 24-bit / 192kHz
- MMS-2A: Processor Realtek ALC662 5.1 Channel HD Digital-to-Analog Conversion 24-bit / 96kHz
- MMS-5A: ALC892 high-definition audio Digital-to-Analog Conversion High Resolution 24-bit/192 kHz
- MMS-1e: 44.1/48/96/192 kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit resolution
Those specifications are also confusing as some appear to mix codecs with main board processors, etc...
Most interesting was to read this in a MMS manual:
"Bit Depth And Sample Rate Resolution: You can set the bit depth and sample rate of the digital audio outputs to values from 16-bit/44 kHz, all the way up to 24-bit/192 kHz on the MMS·5A and 24-bit/96kHz on the MMS·2. You should set this value to the highest setting that your amplifier or AV receiver can support. If you’re unsure of the highest supported bit depth and sample rate on your equipment, the MMS will play a sample sound in each speaker whenever you change this setting. If you hear the test tone, your amplifier supports that setting. If you do not hear a test tone, lower this setting until you can hear the test signal."
Going back to Windows playback device sound configuration, I could see that the the Attero was set to 16 bit @ 48 kHz (V1 and V2). No possibility to change it.
The question remains if it is worth while to add a new USB DAC output to the existing Attero outputs?
1) Will our GC digital amplifier be able to handle higher precision?
- I have found no specs for the Nuvo GC, but FLAC files are max 24bit @ 192kHz and the Nuvo MPS4 is specified for them.
2) Pragmatically, my main source is Spotify with 320kb/s.
- This is not my turf, but 16*48*2 = 1536 > 320: not worth to change?
My conclusion at this point is:
- Our 5.3 sw will be able to provide high resolution audio to any DAC if necessary (max 24bit @ 192kHz)
- Tidal is apparently at 1411kb/s (16*44*2) and still within our limits
- MPS4 specification for FLAC seems a bit shaky as the Attero can only deliver 16bits @ 48kHz, well below what is assumed to be FLAC today. (I never tried reducing the number of outputs to see if it made a difference.)
=> I don't need a new DAC for now.
Any thoughts? Am I missing something?