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Best DAC for I2S input

MacCali

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My next upgrade will be a similar setup. Pi2AES (or Mercury) to a DAC with I2S such as D70s, DX7, M400... still trying to figure out the best value DAC with I2S.
Yea, youre actually right. LOL this video was the reason why I bought the Pi2AES, I am super out of it. But I think I watched this around when the video actually dropped. I just got my pi2aes.

So I understand what that guy is mentioning at the top. Maxbuck.

Well that was simple. Now I can save my money and not waste it on bs. Much appreciated for bringing that to my attention, much easier to understand with something behind just a dont do that :D

So I dont really understand I2S, can I just use any hdmi cable or does it have to be specific? fairly confused on that matter. That was my next question, but I didn't want to introduce that as I am sure that is much more simple to resolve.

Back to your topic, I am not very sure man I really love AKM dacs, so far I have tried the variety of dacs; I am very new to audio and I just passed a year of being in this. It's not fair to say since different iterations of a dacs have different performance/sound. But so far I really strongly prefer AKM. Prior to this I was really into bb chips, the bad thing is my entire system is on the warm side, but the topping pre90 which they say has a more analytical sound does bring some balance to it all. I was on wild goose chase seeking the 4499 akm chip, but honestly the D70s is exactly where I want to be and performs better than most of the 4499 chips that are out there. You can definitely check it out man, but I was going nuts and I totally forgot the d70s existed. Go figure when topping has so many dacs on the market, I was going to get the Gustard A22, which was appealing but not sure exactly what they did or didn't do that made it a lower performer to the same version ESS chip X26 I believe.

I believe somewhere here on the forums it mentions if you do some upgrades the m400 it outperforms the A22 for nearly the same price. Youre possibly familiar with what to upgrade to make this happen, I cant say or do I know.
 

Willem

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What a lot of overexcited language in this thread. And overexcited expectations. Decent DACs are already completely transparent so upgrading is nothing other than chasing an illusion. If you are happy to spend money, and if your power amplifier is already beefy enough, spend on speakers/subwoofers and on integration with the listening room. If that still leaves you with spare money, buy a bicycle and go for the long ride to calm down.
 

MacCali

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Should be a killer setup, curious which mono blocks and speakers?
I got two HCA-1500a with THX Ultra certification, they measure the same thx certified, however they are newer models/less old. I bought an HCA-1000 for 300 and I really liked it. Used the[1000] on my Uni-fi 2.0's towers and honestly they sounded great. Right now I am exactly where I want to be with sound profile.

I just got the HCA-1500, as with the 1000's you can basically run any load speaker and do it bi-amping I guess would the term. No clue if that's accurate, but the amp itself has loop feedback, and I am going to run RCA to the channel and feed the single speaker two channels of power.

To where if I run bridged mono I dont think i can use speakers that are below 8 ohms.

The speakers I got are Elac Adante, AF61's I believe. I demo'd those speakers with a full mcintosh setup a while back and I was actually quite impressed, then again anything impresses me, but it was far better than the unifi 2.0 which I demo'd at the same time. I have no foundation to compare so anything will blow my socks off. I got them for an amazing deal on offer up, because I couldn't actually afford them at retail or even discountinued price which was 2500 for the pair. Some old dude couldn't handle them anymore cause they actually weigh almost a 100lbs with the base each. They're pretty beefy man

The unifi's I could afford and I actually use it for my home theater, 5 channels unifi 2.0 I purchased last black friday and a pair of svs dolby atmos speakers.
 

MacCali

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What a lot of overexcited language in this thread. And overexcited expectations. Decent DACs are already completely transparent so upgrading is nothing other than chasing an illusion. If you are happy to spend money, and if your power amplifier is already beefy enough, spend on speakers/subwoofers and on integration with the listening room. If that still leaves you with spare money, buy a bicycle and go for the long ride to calm down.
I strongly agree with you, but again you must consider for me being so new to audio and trying to put this whole thing together is really tough. There are far too many variables. As mentioned in my post the irony is the same video that got me to purchase the pi2aes and the eitr to be frank, I've had the eitr much longer. Is the same thing that fixed this entire problem.

Honestly man, I cant get any better. But my hopes and aspirations are directly related to the fact I own speakers I couldn't have previously. I can clearly say that for a fact the Elac Adantes are far superior than the Uni-fi 2.0 line which run 600 vs the original msrp of 2500 for each speaker.

I am just trying to reach audio nirvana on a budget man. If you think that's a budget man, with merely being in this for a single year I have probably spent nearly 20,000 dollars on audio without sales and discounts I would have easily reached 28,000. I am far blessed than most people and I am not rich or wealthy by any means. However, I have saved a lot of money man over 5/6 years and I am a very diligent worker.

When this pandemic happened worked stopped and I am back at home. Obviously at the beginning I started watching TV and Movies about 100x more than I used too. So a home theater and theaters being closed seemed ideal, on top of that I invested in headphones, HA, dacs.

Then I started listening to music on my AVR, and that drove this further that like a dummy. I should of just opted out of headphones and went straight home theater and stereo. However, I did do a very large portion of headphone listening throughout the day.

Now I am cracked out on stereo listening, I love it far more than anything else. I listen to music roughly 6-10 hours per day, via stereo. So I am definitely a lot more hardcore than the average person. If you just take in the 18 months of corona and 6 hours per day of listening I have literally put in nearly 3250 hours of music and that's low balling, so my invest has by now definitely paid off and was worth it.

Excuse the length of my posts, but I am just trying to get my point across.
 

AudioArchitech

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I got two HCA-1500a with THX Ultra certification, they measure the same thx certified, however they are newer models/less old. I bought an HCA-1000 for 300 and I really liked it. Used the[1000] on my Uni-fi 2.0's towers and honestly they sounded great. Right now I am exactly where I want to be with sound profile.

I just got the HCA-1500, as with the 1000's you can basically run any load speaker and do it bi-amping I guess would the term. No clue if that's accurate, but the amp itself has loop feedback, and I am going to run RCA to the channel and feed the single speaker two channels of power.

To where if I run bridged mono I dont think i can use speakers that are below 8 ohms.

The speakers I got are Elac Adante, AF61's I believe. I demo'd those speakers with a full mcintosh setup a while back and I was actually quite impressed, then again anything impresses me, but it was far better than the unifi 2.0 which I demo'd at the same time. I have no foundation to compare so anything will blow my socks off. I got them for an amazing deal on offer up, because I couldn't actually afford them at retail or even discountinued price which was 2500 for the pair. Some old dude couldn't handle them anymore cause they actually weigh almost a 100lbs with the base each. They're pretty beefy man

The unifi's I could afford and I actually use it for my home theater, 5 channels unifi 2.0 I purchased last black friday and a pair of svs dolby atmos speakers.

Cool, should sound excellent.
 

AudioArchitech

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Cool, should sound excellent.

FYI, do not bi-wire or bi-amp your speakers. They are rated 6ohm 160w , That Parasound HCA-1500A has loads of power at 205 per channel x 2 (8ohm) Plenty plenty of power for those speakers, and it will be much happier driving a 6 ohm load in Stereo mode. Parasound: "The HCA-1500A run in stereo should sound better since it has MOSFETs in the driver stage. Better parts, smoother sound, more detail, etc." Hook them up Stereo from your HCA-1500 to your speakers using 12 awg wire and you'll be set. Extremely rare that speakers ever benefit from bi-amping, tweeters don't use tons of power, it's typically just a marketing gimmick.
 

MacCali

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FYI, do not bi-wire or bi-amp your speakers. They are rated 6ohm 160w , That Parasound HCA-1500A has loads of power at 205 per channel x 2 (8ohm) Plenty plenty of power for those speakers, and it will be much happier driving a 6 ohm load in Stereo mode. Parasound: "The HCA-1500A run in stereo should sound better since it has MOSFETs in the driver stage. Better parts, smoother sound, more detail, etc." Hook them up Stereo from your HCA-1500 to your speakers using 12 awg wire and you'll be set. Extremely rare that speakers ever benefit from bi-amping, tweeters don't use tons of power, it's typically just a marketing gimmick.
But do you understand what I am saying? The amplifier has a loop function, so I can feed the right channel a signal; then loop that right channel to the left channel input. Producing the same output. Isn't that virtually the same thing as running two speakers that are 6 ohms on one amp? The unit has a power rating down to 4 ohms when operating two speakers. I am not running the amplifier in bridged mono, in bridged mono you must use a minimum of 8 ohms.

I spoke to parasound, and they told me that is the better way to use the amps. If I use half stereo mode I will get about 15-20% more power than the amp is rated.

Plus you must remember that the unit has a gain control on both channels. So for the tweeter and mid I would basically lower the gain.

Am I getting something wrong here? Otherwise what is the loop function for?
 

AudioArchitech

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But do you understand what I am saying? The amplifier has a loop function, so I can feed the right channel a signal; then loop that right channel to the left channel input. Producing the same output. Isn't that virtually the same thing as running two speakers that are 6 ohms on one amp? The unit has a power rating down to 4 ohms when operating two speakers. I am not running the amplifier in bridged mono, in bridged mono you must use a minimum of 8 ohms.

I spoke to parasound, and they told me that is the better way to use the amps. If I use half stereo mode I will get about 15-20% more power than the amp is rated.

Plus you must remember that the unit has a gain control on both channels. So for the tweeter and mid I would basically lower the gain.

Am I getting something wrong here? Otherwise what is the loop function for?
Oh I see, ya that should work great
 

Gradius

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Btw, avoid i2s/i2c.

It was never meant to be used as an external transmitter/emitter.

I will not answer why anymore, as it was done more than a couple times. Search on this very forum. Search IS your friend.

Consider i2s stuff as another MYTH on audiophile.
 

JayGilb

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Btw, avoid i2s/i2c.

It was never meant to be used as an external transmitter/emitter.

I will not answer why anymore, as it was done more than a couple times. Search on this very forum. Search IS your friend.

Consider i2s stuff as another MYTH on audiophile.
But, but, but Steve Guttenberg says it sounds best. :confused: Am I being subconsciously hypnotized by his horribly loud Hawaiian shirts ?
 

MacCali

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For 1st affirmation: "Well, he isn't an electronic engineering, is he?"

For the other part about the shirt... "That could be right".
I totally respect that, I saw your discussion above all my nonsense posts.

Can you direct me towards the posts that may give more feedback and also what is the best then? AES?

I actually prefer coaxial
 

Gradius

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I totally respect that, I saw your discussion above all my nonsense posts.

Can you direct me towards the posts that may give more feedback and also what is the best then? AES?

I actually prefer coaxial
About i2s:

About AES, that's the correct one to use (instead of i2s).

Edit: But you will hear NO difference really (from optical or USB), unless you got a bionic ear.
 
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BDWoody

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I totally respect that, I saw your discussion above all my nonsense posts.

Can you direct me towards the posts that may give more feedback and also what is the best then? AES?

I actually prefer coaxial

As long as you hear music with no drops, digital is digital (roughly speaking).
 

MacCali

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About i2s:

About AES, that's the correct one to use (instead of i2s).

Edit: But you will hear NO difference really (from optical or USB), unless you got a bionic ear.
Oh that's sick, appreciate that too. Honestly, it may just be placebo, I got no clue. But ever since I started using coaxial, prior to my eitr honestly everything sounded better. I did get a 100 dollar msrp coaxial cable which is fairly old, I think maybe 5-10 years or so from a garage sale for 10 dollars. It just looked nice, and possibly had the hope it would be far more expensive. Regardless I feel like it has brought improvement, prior to that I was using a monster coaxial cable which I bought from walmart for like 10 dollars as well. I mean, that may be it, since monster is trash.

I will go back to that golden sound video and see if that bitperfect crap is available on other outputs. Honestly dont understand what that means, but I assume it's good.
 

MacCali

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Now I got another question, I dont know if anyone is willing to give advice on it or not. Either way appreciate all the help thus far, it has been very beneficial to my pocket.

But I see that Gustard X26 pro, and of course other units have it as well, the denafrips brought it to my attention. What is that clock signal? or what is a masterclock? Does it have sonic benefits?

I see the golden sound guy had his x26 pro connected kte su2 and he's feeding it with a usb, so that's clear, but that unit itself has a 10 mhz clock input. Saying it sounds amazing, this and that.. any truth behind it? People rave about the M scaler and any dac. Pattern is starting to confuse me.

Most important to that, I do not understand why you would want to bypass the internal clock on unit like the X26 pro. I am guessing it cant be complete garbage. Also I do not see many streamers with clocking outputs, so I do not get it, how would you feed a masterclock? I did see some talk about clocks being used in professional audio, but clearly it's used in personal audio as well.
 

Gradius

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Master clock, aka 10MHz, also is placebo (if I recall correctly), you can see here:

It was mentioned years ago, you'll need to SEARCH more for it.

Digital signal can be degraded too, isn't as simple as "digital is digital". A good example:
 
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mete

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When I2S input is used, the internal clock circuitry of DAC is not used at all ? So I2S can/should provide a better clock than internal one ?
 

MacCali

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When I2S input is used, the internal clock circuitry of DAC is not used at all ? So I2S can/should provide a better clock than internal one ?
I believe, far from an expert here, but the only time for certain is if you use external clocks from like a ddc. It's just that I2S is supposedly sending all that information unpacked or idk what in gods name. Certain digital inputs send info that needs to be messed with prior to playing which I dont know the hardcorest of hardcore may say degrades the sound.

I honestly dont know what to say, I think it all comes down to the main components themselves like the streamer, I am using I2S and I sure as heck didn't dish out 300 dollars for a cable. Found a specific i2s cable which has exact pin out as my streamer with an hdmi equivalent. Based on the information above it's not i2s that is actually making everything sound better it is the streamer. Dont have AES to test between the two, dont care.

I am virtually done chasing anything any more, I would suggest the same unless your pockets are deep.
 
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