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Minidsp U-DIO8 USB to AES Converter Review

BDWoody

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#81
So, it looks like I jumped the gun based on this comment.
Can anyone confirm that UDIO8 does support 8ch analog inputs?
There is no indication from their specs or user manual that it does.
<Sigh.>
Corrected...my mistake on that.
Cheers
 

Neddy

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#82
Thanks all!!
So, just to be clear, I'm just looking for a fairly inexpensive way to convert 8ch analog to AES to feed the OktoDAC for HT/Bluray, and saw the post from @BDWoody and got excited:)

@da Choge - thanks for the quick response!
But I must not have been clear; I'm looking to convert 8ch analog to AES inputs to the OktoDAC (which is a GREAT bit of gear, BTW).
I use the AES outputs from the OktoDAC, so am familiar with it.

Not terribly concerned about SINAD etc performance, though of course better is... better.

(The source would be Oppo 103 analog outputs, which aren't all that great anyway, but it does do the DTS/HD decoding, which can't be done on a PC..affordably, or legally; this is the known 'catch 22' for PC/HT systems.)

95% of my use is audio only via USB (PC/NUC+ JRiver), but since the OktoDAC supports switching between USB and AES inputs, an analog to AES converter would be a very slick solution. (NUC eliminates any PC card options.)

Oh well.
Back to trudging through the plethora of multichannel USB mixer workstations - I may just have to bite the bullet and go with a USB device; more dang software to figure out, and an 'off-spec' use for them, worse yet.
At least there are lots of choices, not terribly expensive, but.....
Currently considering
https://www.roland.com/us/products/octa-capture/

Thanks again!!
 
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#83
Thanks all!!
So, just to be clear, I'm just looking for a fairly inexpensive way to convert 8ch analog to AES to feed the OktoDAC for HT/Bluray, and saw the post from @BDWoody and got excited:)

@da Choge - thanks for the quick response!
But I must not have been clear; I'm looking to convert 8ch analog to AES inputs to the OktoDAC (which is a GREAT bit of gear, BTW).
I use the AES outputs from the OktoDAC, so am familiar with it.

Not terribly concerned about SINAD etc performance, though of course better is... better.

(The source would be Oppo 103 analog outputs, which aren't all that great anyway, but it does do the DTS/HD decoding, which can't be done on a PC..affordably, or legally; this is the known 'catch 22' for PC/HT systems.)

95% of my use is audio only via USB (PC/NUC+ JRiver), but since the OktoDAC supports switching between USB and AES inputs, an analog to AES converter would be a very slick solution. (NUC eliminates any PC card options.)

Oh well.
Back to trudging through the plethora of multichannel USB mixer workstations - I may just have to bite the bullet and go with a USB device; more dang software to figure out, and an 'off-spec' use for them, worse yet.
At least there are lots of choices, not terribly expensive, but.....
Currently considering
https://www.roland.com/us/products/octa-capture/

Thanks again!!
Jriver mediaplayer does decoding of all multichannels codecs except the object based ones like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It can read rips of bluray with DTS-MA, Dolby TrueHD or DTS/Dolby Digital. And you can send the multichannels streams to a multichannels interface like oktodac8pro.
 

Neddy

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#84
Yes, that is correct about JR, but I doubt I'll ever bother with ripping my 'legacy' collection of BR movies, or not at least until I have more (cheaper) solid state storage - already have about 3TB of music alone.
BTW, an ADC update (as I've posted elsewhere): I ended up with a Motu 8Pre USB as an ADC from the Oppo, which, with an A/B box, also serves as a way to get my phono input into the JR/OktoDAC system. It was a small investment, which nicely matches the (very) small amount of usage either of them will get (will probably use more for Roku/HDMI sources than anything else).
Thanks!
 
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#85
Yes, that is correct about JR, but I doubt I'll ever bother with ripping my 'legacy' collection of BR movies, or not at least until I have more (cheaper) solid state storage - already have about 3TB of music alone.
BTW, an ADC update (as I've posted elsewhere): I ended up with a Motu 8Pre USB as an ADC from the Oppo, which, with an A/B box, also serves as a way to get my phono input into the JR/OktoDAC system. It was a small investment, which nicely matches the (very) small amount of usage either of them will get (will probably use more for Roku/HDMI sources than anything else).
Thanks!
Adding an ADC / DAC in the chain is sad, knowing BR have lossless multichannels tracks.
For less than the cost of an Motu8, you can also buy a BR Player for your PC and Jriver will read it.
You don't need solid state to store AV contents.
AV contents have a few MB/s requirement, any HDD can sustain at least 10x of it. AV content does not require low latency random access, their workload is sequential read.
All internet streaming companies uses HDDs to store their contents, significantly cheaper than SSDs. SSDs make sense for the boot and application storage plus the metadata index of your player, because those do random IOs.
 

Neddy

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#86
Not trying to argue - just stating my requirements/decision points.

Totally agree on Oppo/ADC/USB/OktoDAC being a sad peformance compromise, but better alternatives are above my budget reach, and way out fo whack for the small usage I have for BR movies.
It was a very close thing between OktoDAC vs. Oppo-205 (which would have nearly matched the Okto in performance, and met ALL the other needs), and should have snagged one when they were still new. But the current gouging prices for them were double what the Okto+ADC cost was, so ended up as a bit of a no-brainer.
(Plus the Okto is far less likely to need repair/replacement down the road, while I could drop any bluray player with analog outs in place of the Oppo103 should it fail.)

I have a USB BR player for my NUC. But as you stated, it doesn't 'do' Atmos/DTS.
It's also a PITA to use, but can, and have. (Mostly a location-of-NUC-in-my-rack thing.)

My HT projector (via wireless HDMI) is 1080i, which I cannot seem to get the NUC video card to output, so keeping the Oppo in play for vintage BR movies (and a few new ones), is simple and convenient, since it works fine at 1080i.

The ADC + Oppo solution, at under $200, plus keeping all the 'legacy' stuff at chest height in a separate (hidden) compartment near the rack is just a nice, convenient 'old school' solution.

(On a strictly personal only note, I spent 20+ years leading large software development teams, and evolved an intense dislike of poorly documented and complex (U-boat level control panels!) software. And rarely - in my experience to date - is JR a One and Done thing.

I'm fine with ongoing fiddling with JR for the 95% of my main music listening - it usually pays dividends - but NOT for fairly rare usage for BR and Roku playback (and use with the projector system).)

On the HDD topic, yes, in fact I'm currently using an inexpensive 4TB USB HD with the NUC for my JR library.

But w/just JR running, it sometimes seems a bit slow to access that library (esp when I compare it to MusicBee, also on that machine, for comparisons sake), and since it already has a 1T SSD in it, and room for one more, it'd be pretty sweet to replace that USB HD with an equivalent SSD when they come further down in price. That'd free up a USB port and eliminate one more goofy box from the equation.

To each their own - there is no "right" solution as there are about as many Use Cases as their are people.
 

Trdat

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#89
Finally, I have been experimenting with the UDIO-8 and I can say that the sound degradation is quit audible. I can understand you have put something in between your DAC and computer but should be transparent. How much of it is placebo I don't know but it was noticeable.

How do others feel?
 
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#90
Finally, I have been experimenting with the UDIO-8 and I can say that the sound degradation is quit audible. I can understand you have put something in between your DAC and computer but should be transparent. How much of it is placebo I don't know but it was noticeable.

How do others feel?
I have one with Nvidia shield -> UDIO-8 -> Okto Dac8 -> amps. The shield only does 16bit/48khz over usb when using 5.1. I have also tried Shield into USB of Okto. I hear no degradation through use of the UDIO-8, for what it is worth :).
 

Trdat

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#93
Under what conditions?
I am using my main system(which I am more than happy with) as my front left/right in a surround setup. The UDIO-8 1/2 out connects into my main DAC and amp and another left/right out 5/6 into my Marantz to provide me surrounds and rear surrounds(obviously no mains). Perhaps the surround information is not allowing me to feel the front mains as per normal.

It just feels something isn't right but then again it could be that I just didn't like the surrounds.
 

Trdat

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#94
I use the U-DIO8 with 4 TacT M/S2150 amps connectec by AES/EBU in a 4-way active horn speaker setup. There is no problem at all.
That's what Ill be using it for very soon exactly same set up as you mentioned and if its already 3 people saying that there is no difference then I must try again.

I mean i get the 48k drop down to 44.1k when I use the coaxial into the DAC instead of the USB but I can't imagine that would do audible damage.
 

Trdat

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#96
What do you mean by "i get the 48k drop down to 44.1k" ?
On my DAC I got a reading of what the bit rate(I think its bit rate) is and usually it reads 48k as soon as I put in the coaxial it reads 44.1k. I thought this had something to do with the quality of my music but its the first time I've seen it change.
 

UliBru

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#97
Usually a music player reads the samplerate of the music track and sends an according samplerate command to the soundcard. The U-DIO8 behaves the same way on AsioSetSamplerate like other soundcards.
 

pos

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#98
Finally, I have been experimenting with the UDIO-8 and I can say that the sound degradation is quit audible. I can understand you have put something in between your DAC and computer but should be transparent. How much of it is placebo I don't know but it was noticeable.

How do others feel?
Nocebo effect most probably.
Most good DACs will take care of that jitter.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...aes-converter-review.10919/page-3#post-307611

I am using mine with SMSL M8 DACs and have zero problem to report, under any condition.
 

Trdat

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#99

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