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Best DDC to Get Parametric EQ Working with Floorstanding Speaker System

HapaxLegomenon

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Hi All,

It's my first time posting, so apologies if I violate any forum rules.

As I wrote in the title, I'm trying to figure out the best way to get parametric EQ working with my floorstanding speaker system. I use a discrete DAC, preamp, and amp.

Initially I thought the fastest way was to use UAPP on my LG V40, which I thought has a pretty good DAC, and then connect its headphone output to my preamp using a 3.5mm to RCA cable. But then I thought this was a bad idea since the V40's headphone jack wasn't designed to serve as a line-out, and was also designed to power headphones, not speakers. I thought this would cause soundstage to suffer, and I had some worries about impedance mismatches. Also, I'd have to forego my existing DAC which I possibly like better than the V40's ESS DAC.

Then I thought, okay, I'll just buy a USB to optical converter and connect it to my phone for use with UAPP (my DAC only has optical and coaxial input, and I assumed optical was preferable since it breaks ground loops). Since this is a digital to digital conversion, I figured that price of component doesn't matter; it either works or it doesn't. But I'm actually not sure of this assumption, which is why I'm asking you guys whether a cheap DDC would produce identical results as a more expensive DDC.

I found these 3 on Amazon:

1. https://www.amazon.com/Cubilux-TOSL...7649218&sprefix=usb+to+optical,aps,207&sr=8-7

2. https://www.amazon.com/Reiyin-Digit...7649200&sprefix=usb+to+optical,aps,207&sr=8-4

3. https://www.amazon.com/Douk-Audio-C...7649200&sprefix=usb+to+optical,aps,207&sr=8-3


I'm sure #3 (Douk U2 or U2 Pro) is the highest quality option and Douk is a known manufacturer, but would the other 2 options produce an inferior sound?

I'm thinking #2 (Reiyin) might produce a worse sound since it mentions a DAC and has analog out, which to me is undesirable because it potentially adds more to the chain of transmission (e.g., a DAC + ADC instead of just a DDC alone). Its optical out doubles as a 3.5mm analog out, so I'm worried that it's actually doing a digital -> analog -> digital conversion as opposed to a direct digital -> digital conversion, which is what I assume the Douk model is doing.

I like the size, price, and simplicity (potentially reducing extraneous components in chain of transmission) of #1 (Cubilux), but became somewhat concerned since it mentions a "DAC" in its title, which is extremely silly since there's no analog conversion taking place and the product doesn't have any analog outputs. So either the manufacturer mislabeled DDC as DAC for marketing purposes, or the person who made the listing doesn't know the difference between a DAC and DDC. Or worst-case scenario, the product is doing a digital -> analog -> digital conversion.

So I guess overall, I like the Cubilux and the Douk but I'm not sure if they would produce identical results. I'm thinking theoretically they should since this is just a digital -> digital conversion. But I can't be sure since I don't know what happens when music is converted from USB to SPDIF. Worst-case scenario is the Reiyin and Cubilux are performing digital -> analog -> digital conversions instead of digital -> digital conversions. I assume the Douk is performing a direct digital -> digital conversion since Douk knows what they're talking about and its XMOS processor is well-known.



TL;DR - I want a USB -> optical DDC to add parametric EQ to my floor-standing speaker system, found the Douk U2/U2 Pro on Amazon; am wondering if generic USB -> optical DDCs on Amazon would produce identical results as the Douk, or if they're doing shady digital -> analog -> digital conversions instead of direct digital -> digital conversions. Am also wondering if all USB -> optical conversions produce identical results since it's digital -> digital, or if they differ in some way I don't yet understand.



Thanks in advance!
 

dfuller

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Why not just do all in one and just use a MiniDSP Flex?
 

Doodski

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Initially I thought the fastest way was to use UAPP on my LG V40, which I thought has a pretty good DAC, and then connect its headphone output to my preamp using a 3.5mm to RCA cable. But then I thought this was a bad idea since the V40's headphone jack wasn't designed to serve as a line-out, and was also designed to power headphones, not speakers. I thought this would cause soundstage to suffer, and I had some worries about impedance mismatches.
The LG V40 headphone-out would work OK when input to a high impedance pre-amp input.
 
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HapaxLegomenon

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Why not just do all in one and just use a MiniDSP Flex?
The MiniDSP Flex looks great, it's like a Swiss army knife. But it seems like it's out of stock everywhere currently, including on MiniDSP's website

The LG V40 headphone-out would work OK when input to a high impedance pre-amp input.
Okay great, I'll try this first as one of my options. So there'll be no problems connecting the LG V40's headphone out to a pre-amp's input designed for CD players?
 

Doodski

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The MiniDSP Flex looks great, it's like a Swiss army knife. But it seems like it's out of stock everywhere currently, including on MiniDSP's website


Okay great, I'll try this first as one of my options. So there'll be no problems connecting the LG V40's headphone out to a pre-amp's input designed for CD players?
No issues there at all. That will work just fine. :D
 
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