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Multichannel DAC lobby!

Dichotome

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With Okto unable to keep up with demand we need more high quality multi channel DACs to come to market. I’ve suggested to SMSL that they should make one and Kelly has replied that they will consider it. The chances of them doing it will be increased if others make the same suggestion to them . . .
 

Kal Rubinson

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With Okto unable to keep up with demand we need more high quality multi channel DACs to come to market. I’ve suggested to SMSL that they should make one and Kelly has replied that they will consider it. The chances of them doing it will be increased if others make the same suggestion to them . . .
I had the same exchange with them a couple of years back. Let's hope they will re-consider it.
 

Honken

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Considering that the purchase numbers for the dac8 PRO are still in the hundreds over a year after its launch I wonder if the market really is there.

Still, I think Topping & Co. ought to explore the market for a very simple reason - these companies have already conquered the 2ch market. If you already have one of their existing products with the inputs, outputs and features you want, customers have zero reason to buy another DAC from them (other than audiophile nevrosa).

I would sadly not be one of their customers as I'm already very happy with my Okto, but if someone else would have released something cheaper than the Okto last year I would not have opted for the Okto.
 
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Dichotome

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The demand for multi channel DACs is only going to go one way IMHO and that’s up. As well as the home theatre crowd more and more audiophiles are beginning to appreciate what an active system can achieve. I predict that software like Audiolense and Acourate will eventually become de rigueur in high end systems.
 

Kal Rubinson

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The demand for multi channel DACs is only going to go one way IMHO and that’s up.
True but the issue is how far. I do not see an explosion of interest.

What I think would be more practical for the manufacturers is to add clock links to their stereo DACs to allow synch among multiple stereo DACs.
 
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Dichotome

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What I think would be more practical for the manufacturers is to add clock links to their stereo DACs to allow synch among multiple stereo DACs.
Lets say your source is an audio PC and it is generating the multi channels that are combined into a single data stream over USB. How would route the different channels to the separate DACs?
 

somebodyelse

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Lets say your source is an audio PC and it is generating the multi channels that are combined into a single data stream over USB. How would route the different channels to the separate DACs?
It's not uncommon in the pro/semi-pro audio interface world, although the details vary. Some devices have a dedicated clock sync connection, usually on a BNC connector, while others can use an SPDIF input as an external clock source. This should give you an idea:
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/using-multiple-audio-interfaces-together
For linux the alsa documentation is here:
https://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Asoundrc#Virtual_multi_channel_devices
 

andymok

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the thing about the use of multi-ch DAC in consumer market is, multi-ch DAC does not contain any audio codec to decode Dolby/DTS/Auro3D signal.

And since SACD is not available on PC, nor as bit-stream for external processors, multi-ch DAC has very limited use in LPCM, file-based DSD/DXD.
This market is already saturated by interfaces, that is harder to use, requires routing, relies on even more advanced connection and engineering such as AoIP and thus will not work out of the box.

Multi-ch DAC will not be a thing as long as codecs remain closed and proprietary. MPEG-H could be a game-changer though.
 

somebodyelse

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@andymok that's not the use case I have in mind. Several of us have been looking for DACs that can be used for the output of software based active crossovers. Something like the D10b but with 8 channels would be ideal, at least to my way of thinking.
 

andymok

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@andymok that's not the use case I have in mind. Several of us have been looking for DACs that can be used for the output of software based active crossovers. Something like the D10b but with 8 channels would be ideal, at least to my way of thinking.

If that's the case, the best solution to my knowledge would be Merging Anubis + Hapi w/ DA8 or ADA8 card. Anubis has all the crossover, bass management and monitor control solution in it, all processed in FPGA.
 

Honken

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That sounds like a much more expensive solution than the Okto... Besides, it's liberating not being locked into a specific hardware family. I could swap out my Okto tomorrow for another MCH DAC and have my setup work just fine without fiddling with the settings of my XO / room EQ.
 

somebodyelse

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If that's the case, the best solution to my knowledge would be Merging Anubis + Hapi w/ DA8 or ADA8 card. Anubis has all the crossover, bass management and monitor control solution in it, all processed in FPGA.
And no linux support, and not in a remotely comparable price range.
 

somebodyelse

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I was under the impression it needed ANEMAN too for control/configuration, which is only available for Windows and MacOS - is that not the case? You've not addressed the massive price differential either. There are audio interfaces that can be made to work, but they tend to have complications due to all the functionality that we don't need, which also pushes the price up. A good chunk of the ASR Open Source Streamer Project thread has covered the currently available options for active crossover use, and why they're less than ideal, so I don't plan to rehash it here.
 

andymok

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Well good things cost, best thing doesn’t come easy and focusrite works too. There’s really nothing I need to address about the price difference, options are well presented and the choice is yours.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Lets say your source is an audio PC and it is generating the multi channels that are combined into a single data stream over USB. How would route the different channels to the separate DACs?
Any Mac can do it with a USB hub.
 

Kal Rubinson

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And since SACD is not available on PC, nor as bit-stream for external processors, multi-ch DAC has very limited use in LPCM, file-based DSD/DXD.
Just rip the SACDs, as you say.
 
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