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Dedicated PCI/PCIE digital audio transport

garbulky

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#1
Apologies if this is in the wrong section. I was wondering if y'all would be able to assist me. I've been searching for a long time and I simply cannot find what I'm looking for.
I have several inputs on my DC-1 DAC. One is BNC and the other is AES.
I am a 2 channel purist and I try to buy separates. My goal is to find a pretty PCI/PCI-expresssolid digital audio (only) transport. Preferrably one that does AES and/maybe BNC. Once again - PCI. And - TWO CHANNEL. Dedicated for stereo use.

Now here's somethings I don't want.
- No USB solutions. No USB to AES converters etc. I know, it sounds limiting.
- No DACs onboard (if possible)
- No super expensive cards. I'm hoping for between $100-200. I will consider if it is $500 but that's really stretching it for me.
- I would like to avoid professional RME type cards with huge 32 channel breakout cables. I want basically something meant for two channel audio. Not something meant for 500 channel audio.

After much searching I found a Musiland Digital Times PCI transport for $60 which gave me a BNC output which I'm using now. But considering it's already discontinued and I had to go through some janky websites to get the correct driver for it, I would prefer to see some more options.

So many DACs have AES and BNC inputs and I just don't udnerstand why I can't seem to find more PCI options that are not USB? Any help would be appreciated.


One AES output.
PCI/PCI-e connection for a PC
Preferrably high quality clocks etc
 

DonH56

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#2
These days finding a PCI anything will be hard; virtually everything moved to PCIe some time ago and most motherboards no longer even have a PCI slot.

I am not quite sure what you want; a PCIe card that outputs digital audio?

USB has become pretty universal and has more than enough bandwidth for audio. A number of consumer sound cards tie to the host via PCIe and provide a digital output that should work (usually S/PDIF, not AES, and some have optical), and there are pro audio cards with AES output.

Most folk seem to want analog outputs, and use external boxes to gain better performance (mainly shielding/isolation from the noisy EMI/RFI environment in a PC), though a few cards are very well shielded to provide good performance "in the box". They cost more, natch.

One last thought is that PCIe cards require opening the PC's box and a lot of audiophiles don't want to do that, easier to just plug something in. And the vast majority of PCs do not allow hot-swapping a PCIe card (most systems enumerate the PCIe bus at power-up and that's it; a PCIe device glitch will take down the system). Not a big deal since you have to open the box anyway and most of us power it off for that (though at my day job we have open and running PCs everywhere).

Not much help, I know, but you might try some of the pro audio sites like Sweetwater Sound and such. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=pcie+audio+interface
 
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garbulky

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Thread Starter #3
These days finding a PCI anything will be hard; virtually everything moved to PCIe some time ago and most motherboards no longer even have a PCI slot.

I am not quite sure what you want; a PCIe card that outputs digital audio?

USB has become pretty universal and has more than enough bandwidth for audio. A number of consumer sound cards tie to the host via PCIe and provide a digital output that should work (usually S/PDIF, not AES, and some have optical), and there are pro audio cards with AES output.

Most folk seem to want analog outputs, and use external boxes to gain better performance (mainly shielding/isolation from the noisy EMI/RFI environment in a PC), though a few cards are very well shielded to provide good performance "in the box". They cost more, natch.

One last thought is that PCIe cards require opening the PC's box and a lot of audiophiles don't want to do that, easier to just plug something in. And the vast majority of PCs do not allow hot-swapping a PCIe card (most systems enumerate the PCIe bus at power-up and that's it; a PCIe device glitch will take down the system). Not a big deal since you have to open the box anyway and most of us power it off for that (though at my day job we have open and running PCs everywhere).

Not much help, I know, but you might try some of the pro audio sites like Sweetwater Sound and such. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=pcie+audio+interface
Yes you got it.
"I am not quite sure what you want; a PCIe card that outputs digital audio?" But specifically two channel audio. I'm basically looking for something like this.

But preferrably with an AES output. And hopefully with higher quality everything.
For instance this (Musiland Digital Times) gains its power from the motherboard. My Asus Xonar ST has a power connector to get its power from the power supply. It also has an EMI shield on it.
I have no idea what kind of clocks the Digital Times has.

Your link to sweet water shows the kind of thing I am up against. Look at the prices on them. And not a single one has an AES output. They've got breakout AES cables. Their prices are meant for pro-oriented stuff with many channels and stuff.
I'm looking for something high quality for domestic audio. Something a step up from say any old soundcard with a digital output.

I don't want to go USB because I don't see the point. If I went USB, why bother with converting it in to a different connection? Why don't I just use an asynch usb connection? So though there are lots of pros for usb, it's just not what I'm looking for.

It's surprising though, isn't it. That there are no consumer oriented digital audio transports. Considering the huge amount of dacs on the market. You would think there would be something. There's a billion different sound cards and graphics cards. But here are the digital audio transports?
 

amirm

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#4
AES support is very hard to find even on USB. I was hunting for USB AES capture and even there, there was nothing but expensive solutions. Eventually someone (BE718?) suggested a cheap solution which I purchased.
 

March Audio

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#5
Yes you got it.
"I am not quite sure what you want; a PCIe card that outputs digital audio?" But specifically two channel audio. I'm basically looking for something like this.

But preferrably with an AES output. And hopefully with higher quality everything.
For instance this (Musiland Digital Times) gains its power from the motherboard. My Asus Xonar ST has a power connector to get its power from the power supply. It also has an EMI shield on it.
I have no idea what kind of clocks the Digital Times has.

Your link to sweet water shows the kind of thing I am up against. Look at the prices on them. And not a single one has an AES output. They've got breakout AES cables. Their prices are meant for pro-oriented stuff with many channels and stuff.
I'm looking for something high quality for domestic audio. Something a step up from say any old soundcard with a digital output.

I don't want to go USB because I don't see the point. If I went USB, why bother with converting it in to a different connection? Why don't I just use an asynch usb connection? So though there are lots of pros for usb, it's just not what I'm looking for.

It's surprising though, isn't it. That there are no consumer oriented digital audio transports. Considering the huge amount of dacs on the market. You would think there would be something. There's a billion different sound cards and graphics cards. But here are the digital audio transports?
With the greatest of respect, I think you are making your life unnecessarily difficult :) .

Firstly your DC1 has a USB input. Use it. All things being equal the USB connection will provide as good if not better performance than spdif as the audio word clock is local in the DAC. SPDIF and AES have to extract the clock from the signal. Whilst many DACs these days do this without issue, there is potential for problems with jitter. Also, well designed dacs simply dont suffer from problems of induced noise from PCs over USB.

If you really must have an AES input, which BTW is little different from SPDIF (mainly signal level - you can actually plug one into the other if you match the voltage levels) you could try this:

http://www.yellowtec.com/puc2.html#c1043

but whats the point, you may as well just connect USB straight to the DAC.

There are a plethora of cheap USB to spdif converters available, but whats the point, you may as well just connect USB straight to the DAC.
 
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Blumlein 88

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#6
I concur with Be718.

Why do you wish to avoid the perfectly good USB connection and make things so inconvenient for yourself? I am missing what you gain.
 
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garbulky

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Thread Starter #7
The suggestion of "just use USB darnit!" :D has come up before during my search. lol.
See:
http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/thread/44696/aes-bnc-connection-advice
and here
http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/thread/49897/channel-spdif-output-express-card

Hence the up front post post about I don't want USB. Inevitably those threads mainly becomes about me getting over my usb hangup rather than about finding a non usb solution!
"Hi everyone, I'm garbulky, and I'm a non USB user."
Everyone: "Hi gar, the first step is admitting you have a problem."

"Never!!"
:eek:
I don't like the sound of USB audio. I've listened to it on my DC-1 and a few other devices and didn't like it. So anyway, that's the reason. I know measurements and tech say otherwise. But I'm interested in something else. The heart wants what it wants!

Surely there must have been something made! As I mentioned I already have a dedicated PCI BNC digital audio transport card. (Musiland Digital Times). It works fine. Just looking for something a bit more upscale but more like "$200 and lower upscale" for consumer non-pro audio.
 
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Thomas savage

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#8
The suggestion of "just use USB darnit!" :D has come up before during my search. lol.
See:
http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/thread/44696/aes-bnc-connection-advice
and here
http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/thread/49897/channel-spdif-output-express-card

Hence the up front post post about I don't want USB. Inevitably those threads mainly becomes about me getting over my usb hangup rather than about finding a non usb solution!
"Hi everyone, I'm garbulky, and I'm a non USB user."
Everyone: "Hi gar, the first step is admitting you have a problem."

"Never!!"
:eek:
I don't like the sound of USB audio. I've listened to it on my DC-1 and a few other devices and didn't like it. So anyway, that's the reason. I know measurements and tech say otherwise. But I'm interested in something else. The heart wants what it wants!

Surely there must have been something made! As I mentioned I already have a dedicated PCI BNC digital audio transport card. (Musiland Digital Times). It works fine. Just looking for something a bit more upscale but more like "$200 and lower upscale" for consumer non-pro audio.
I don’t usb either, the power and signal together and those cheap looking cable ends it can’t be any good, plus there’s the evil spirits to consider..

I just stick to cd’s , not wanting to open a rift to the spirit world in my front room just because usb Audio is more ‘convenient ‘.. there’s nothing convenient about having to call the shaman out at all times of the day..
 
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garbulky

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Thread Starter #9
I don’t usb either, the power and signal together and those cheap looking cable ends it can’t be any good, plus there’s the evil spirits to consider..

I just stick to cd’s , not wanting to open a rift to the spirit world in my front room just because usb Audio is more ‘convenient ‘.. there’s nothing convenient about having to call the shaman out at all times of the day..
Those shamans are mad pricey these days.
 

March Audio

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#10
Everyone: "Hi gar, the first step is admitting you have a problem."

"Never!!"
:eek:
I don't like the sound of USB audio. I've listened to it on my DC-1 and a few other devices and didn't like it. So anyway, that's the reason. I know measurements and tech say otherwise. But I'm interested in something else. The heart wants what it wants!

Surely there must have been something made! As I mentioned I already have a dedicated PCI BNC digital audio transport card. (Musiland Digital Times). It works fine. Just looking for something a bit more upscale but more like "$200 and lower upscale" for consumer non-pro audio.
With respect, then you do have a problem. Under controlled blind conditions you would not hear a correctly functioning USB connection as having a "sound", one to like or dislike.

The reason you cant find products to do what you want (at least within a cheap price bracket) is because no-one else sees USB as a problem. There is no domestic market for the solution you seek.

I dont think I can help more than this. If you want to indulge this belief regarding USB then you are going to have to spend some money I'm afraid.
 

Blumlein 88

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#11
You could get the Mutec 3+ non USB format converter reclocker. It would accept Toslink from the PC and output reclocked aes/ebu digital or bnc. I think it'll run you $899 however. Might get one on eBay for $500.
 
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garbulky

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Thread Starter #12
With respect, then you do have a problem. Under controlled blind conditions you would not hear a correctly functioning USB connection as having a "sound", one to like or dislike.

The reason you cant find products to do what you want (at least within a cheap price bracket) is because no-one else sees USB as a problem. There is no domestic market for the solution you seek.

I dont think I can help more than this. If you want to indulge this belief regarding USB then you are going to have to spend some money I'm afraid.
I think the real issue is that the mainstream sees digital audio connections as any kind of thing to think about. It's all HDMI nowadays.
Most of the devices use HDMI nowadays sometimes foregoing optical and spdif!

Blind testing, well I don't really want to talk about blind testing. It's of little interest to me. You guys go ahead with it.

I've made no pretensions that I am pretty subjective in the way I listen and make decisions regarding audio.

So...anyway, cash. Yeah, that's unfortunately the impression I've been getting. It's going to take some cash.
But....if it took cash....what device is there that fits my description?
It's not a crazy complicated description but it must have these things.

Consumer level (one AES output - not break out cables with 8 snakes).
PCI/PCI-express
Good clocks or whatever is considered high quality in terms of a digital transport.
 

Wombat

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#13
I think the real issue is that the mainstream sees digital audio connections as any kind of thing to think about. It's all HDMI nowadays.
Most of the devices use HDMI nowadays sometimes foregoing optical and spdif!

Blind testing, well I don't really want to talk about blind testing. It's of little interest to me. You guys go ahead with it.

I've made no pretensions that I am pretty subjective in the way I listen and make decisions regarding audio.

So...anyway, cash. Yeah, that's unfortunately the impression I've been getting. It's going to take some cash.
But....if it took cash....what device is there that fits my description?
It's not a crazy complicated description but it must have these things.

Consumer level (one AES output - not break out cables with 8 snakes).
PCI/PCI-express
Good clocks or whatever is considered high quality in terms of a digital transport.

Why the heck are you here? You disagree with this forum's premise and you want guidance? Go elsewhere!
 
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garbulky

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Thread Starter #14
You could get the Mutec 3+ non USB format converter reclocker. It would accept Toslink from the PC and output reclocked aes/ebu digital or bnc. I think it'll run you $899 however. Might get one on eBay for $500.
Are you talking about this?
https://www.mutec-net.com/product_mc-3-plus.php#data
I'm having a hard time figuring out what it is. What I'm seeing is that it's a reclocker that takes a digital signal and then reclocks it and outputs it via AES. That's pretty cool. That's pretty new to me.

However, I'm more in the market for a transport.
I guess this would be something I may consider later on after I get a transport. Still a neat find. Thanks.
 
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garbulky

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Thread Starter #15
Why the heck are you here? You disagree with this forum's premise and you want guidance? Go elsewhere!
I don't know what to say to that. This is just rude.
 
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Blumlein 88

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#16
Are you talking about this?
https://www.mutec-net.com/product_mc-3-plus.php#data
I'm having a hard time figuring out what it is. What I'm seeing is that it's a reclocker that takes a digital signal and then reclocks it and outputs it via AES. That's pretty cool. That's pretty new to me.

However, I'm more in the market for a transport.
I guess this would be something I may consider later on after I get a transport. Still a neat find. Thanks.
It converts nearly any digital format to any other. Also reclocks while it does that.

Otherwise I think your asking for something there is no market for. So your unlikely to find it.

I'm also at a loss to what leads you to think this is a preferred method to use.
 
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garbulky

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Thread Starter #18
It converts nearly any digital format to any other. Also reclocks while it does that.

Otherwise I think your asking for something there is no market for. So your unlikely to find it unless it is expensive.

I'm also at a loss to what leads you to think this is a preferred method to use.
I'm not sure what you mean? You mean my "requirements". Simply that it's what I've wanted. Nothing much further than that. I haven't heard any deficiencies in my current digital transport if that's what you are wondering.
 
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