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Okto Dac8 Pro alternative?

ARNiTECT

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Hi all,

Like many, I missed out on getting an Okto DAC8 Pro, and I suspect it will be 6 months to a year before I could receive one - once they allow orders again.

Is there an alternative device, or perhaps using multiple devices?
This would be for use in a 7.1 surround sound system, using XLR or SPDIF digital outputs.

For the DACs I could use 4x Topping E30 and for the 12V trigger, I could use a Bobwire DAT1. The tricky part is the master volume control, with remote and a level display. This could be either digital before the DACs, or analogue after.

Any suggestions appreciated.
 

devink

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I'm in the same boat. Would love a balanced output 8ch DAC / interface that can beat even 115dB SINAD.

The Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II 2×6 SE does but unfortunately is only 6 channels.

I've also considered multiple 2 channel units but it feels a little kludgy and am worried about the possibility of clock/sync issues, even if they're very unlikely.
 
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ARNiTECT

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I'm in the same boat. Would love a balanced output 8ch DAC / interface that can beat even 115dB SINAD.
The Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II 2×6 SE does but unfortunately is only 6 channels.
I've also considered multiple 2 channel units but it feels a little kludgy and am worried about the possibility of clock/sync issues, even if they're very unlikely.
Gosh, the Symphony is quite a bit over my budget.
I have Dirac up the chain, I wonder if this would correct such issues?
 

mdsimon2

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What is your 7.1 source? By "XLR or SPDIF digital outputs" are you saying your source is 8 channels of AES (XLR) or SPDIF?

Michael
 
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ARNiTECT

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ARNiTECT

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What is your 7.1 source? By "XLR or SPDIF digital outputs" are you saying your source is 8 channels of AES (XLR) or SPDIF?
Michael
Meridian HD621 HDMI switcher, extracts 8 digital channels (limited to 24bit/48Khz) from either the 4x balanced XLR AES, or 4x unbalanced RCA SPDIF. The HDMI input will be from: < nanoAVR DL (Dirac) < nanoAVR HD (BM) input 1 < CXUHD (LPCM) < Switch < HDMI Sources and a Squeezbox Touch into nanoAVR HD input 2.

I'm looking for an 8-channel DAC/pre that is as good as my 2 channel Audiolab 8200 CDQ DAC/Pre. I've been searching a while, perhaps I should just buy an E30 and do an A-B test. If this is successful, then hopefully the volume control doesn't degrade it too much.
 
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ARNiTECT

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Motu Ultralite Mk5. No remote, though.
I came across this on my searches, its a good price, but I do need a remote.
 

mdsimon2

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Meridian HD621 HDMI switcher, extracts 8 digital channels (limited to 24bit/48Khz) from either the 4x balanced XLR AES, or 4x unbalanced RCA SPDIF. The HDMI input will be from: < nanoAVR DL (Dirac) < nanoAVR HD (BM) input 1 < CXUHD (LPCM) < Switch < HDMI Sources and a Squeezbox Touch into nanoAVR HD input 2.

I'm looking for an 8-channel DAC/pre that is as good as my 2 channel Audiolab 8200 CDQ DAC/Pre. I've been searching a while, perhaps I should just buy an E30 and do an A-B test. If this is successful, then hopefully the volume control doesn't degrade it too much.

Sounds like a nice setup.

I would just do volume control in the nanoAVR, it is 32 bit floating point volume control (implemented in the SHARC) so you really can't do much better from a digital volume control standpoint. I realize it doesn't have a screen but take a look at the minidsp-rs project, you should be able to DIY a screen with volume indication.

https://github.com/mrene/minidsp-rs

I think you are probably on the right path with considering several high performance stereo DACs. There are no clock issues to worry about although using identical DACs will make this setup easier.

Michael
 
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ARNiTECT

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Sounds like a nice setup.
I would just do volume control in the nanoAVR, it is 32 bit floating point volume control (implemented in the SHARC) so you really can't do much better from a digital volume control standpoint. I realize it doesn't have a screen but take a look at the minidsp-rs project, you should be able to DIY a screen with volume indication.
https://github.com/mrene/minidsp-rs
I think you are probably on the right path with considering several high performance stereo DACs.
Michael
Thanks for the link - I'll look into this.
Using the nanoAVR, I was concerned about accidental speaker damage from any rogue pops and clicks, or it unexpectedly resets to full volume (software/user error). Perhaps I could first set each DAC to a fixed max listenable volume, but would this noticeably affect the sound quality.
 

Daverz

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I came across this on my searches, its a good price, but I do need a remote.

Well, that's the holy grail right now with the Okto unavailable. The best canned alternatives I've been able to come up with so far are

* software volume control on the server side
* miniDSP offers a wireless connector accessory and an app for their devices

Then use some kind of cheap tablet or phone that is always on and connected at the listening position. If you set it to never sleep, it's not too bad as a remote.

I use a custom RPi setup with a FLIRC USB IR receiver.
 
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ARNiTECT

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Well, that's the holy grail right now with the Okto unavailable. The best canned alternatives I've been able to come up with so far are
* software volume control on the server side
* miniDSP offers a wireless connector accessory and an app for their devices
Then use some kind of cheap tablet or phone that is always on and connected at the listening position. If you set it to never sleep, it's not too bad as a remote.
I use a custom RPi setup with a FLIRC USB IR receiver.
My nanoAVRs have an app that 'usually' connects ok. Its a bit slow to get into, as it has to search my network each time I use the app. I turn the nanoAVRs off when I'm not using them (Philips Hue socket connected to logitech remote).
 

Ron Texas

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I had this Denon AVR for a short while, I didn't like the sound, either as amplified, or as pre/pro, so I returned it.

What a pity you did not keep it to compare whatever collection of boxes you wind up with, especially since our host recommended it. It's your money and your hobby.
 
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ARNiTECT

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What a pity you did not keep it to compare whatever collection of boxes you wind up with, especially since our host recommended it. It's your money and your hobby.
Its been an iterative process. I bought the x4700h because of its recommendation here and I spent as long as I could with it, before my returns window closed. I tried all sorts of combinations in my system; but ultimately, I found it difficult to listen to and my Audiolab 8200AP was more natural with better separation. I can't remember if I tried it as a preamp only though (using external DAC), as at the time I hadn't considered HD621/8chDAC.

I have only just purchased the HD621, so I must first test the kit I have. I'll try my Audiolab 8200CDQ and M-DAC as pre/DAC; as line level DACs with my Audiolab 8200AP (8x RCA analogue inputs in 'Direct mode'); as line level DACs with nanoAVR volume control (my assumed best bet). I think I would then grab a Topping E30 for some more testing.
...if successful, this setup would remove a lot of my 8200AP HDMI related quirks in my system.
 

phoenixdogfan

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Motu Ultralite Mk5. No remote, though. You'll need TRS to XLR adapters or cables. I've been using these:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081CCVJDC

Though only 2 of them so far, and with the M4, not the Ultralite.
The Ultralite MK5 will yield even more channels than the Octo, and do other things like high quality A to D conversion, for around $800 less.

You will, however, miss out on the AES/USB mode which allows a two channel PCM digital signal to be sent to the Octo via AES/EBU. then be routed by USB to a PC or work station processor for DSP/Room Correction/Software based crossover, and then be re-routed back to the Octo via USB for D to A conversion. A unique feature. I think.
 
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mdsimon2

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The Ultralite MK5 will yield even more channels than the Octo, and do other things like high quality A to D conversion, for around $800 less.

You will, however, miss out on the AES/USB mode which allows a two channel PCM digital signal to be sent to the Octo via AES/EBU. then be routed by USB to a PC or work station processor for DSP/Room Correction/Software based crossover, and then be re-routed back to the Octo via USB for D to A conversion. A unique feature. I think.

The MOTU can this with the SPDIF and TOSLINK inputs although if you want 8 channels on input you need you use ADAT.

Michael
 

devink

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The MOTU can this with the SPDIF and TOSLINK inputs although if you want 8 channels on input you need you use ADAT.

Michael

Worth noting that with ADAT you're limited to 48k sample rate if you want 8 channels (unlike AES/EBU)
 

mdsimon2

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Worth noting that with ADAT you're limited to 48k sample rate if you want 8 channels (unlike AES/EBU)

Yes this is true, although you can do 88.2/96 at 4 channels for each coaxial and optical input to get 8 channels at higher sample rates but this is obviously a bit of a pain.

Michael
 
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