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Review and Measurements of Okto DAC8 8Ch DAC & Amp

Vincentponcet

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The only direct way would be via an Oppo mod'ed for AES outputs, which are long since unavailable (there are some modders still offering these features, I see, but not cheap, and who knows how reliable?)
I eventually gave up on that and just bought a USB ADC (Motu 8Pre USB) that takes the 8 analog outputs and feeds them via USB to my source PC, and from there (via JRIver, in my case) out to the OktoDAC via USB.
Not elegant, but it works, gets me the Mch decoding I wanted for Blurays and streamed content, and doesn't cost an arm and leg!
Or, just bite the bullet and spring for an Oppo 205 ($$$$) and switch outputs between that and the Okto for Mch movies..performance of both is pretty much the same.
:):eek:

What is the point of doing DAC -> ADC -> DAC ?
You are applying a transformation in the middle like EQ or room correction ?
 

Neddy

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It wasn't: but DAC (1, 2)->AES(1&2)->DAC(1-4) for just those two channels; the remaining channels were all analog direct to amps.
It was for bi-amping Ch1&2, so crossovers, and RoomEQ PEQs for those 2 channels done there.
 

SimonSambuca

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I ordered a Dac8 Pro in September, order #254. Today I sent my first request how long I will have to wait. I will report back.
 

SimonSambuca

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I have received a very friendly reply. The production will probably take another two, three weeks. The shipping will then also take a few more days. If it comes so, then 24 weeks have passed. So you have to wait probably 6 months from order.
 

Music1969

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Are there any owners of the DAC8 reading this thread ?

I get huge spikes between tracks when playing native DSD in Linux with different family rates, let's say playing one track in DSD128 and the next one in DSD128x48.

My setup: Ubuntu 20, Intel I9, RTX3070 ; player: HQplayer Embedded
Library management: Roon (on a different PC in my LAN)

Google says it seems to be a common design problem for dacs based on USB with XMOS. They way to solve it (according to Miska, developer of HQPlayer) is by muting the DAC 50ms at beginning of each track when playing DSD material. Pavel from OktoResearch says it might be a problem with my unit. Does anybody else have suffered from that ?

Are @Okto Research looking into your unit?

I guess you could force everything to only DSD128x44.1 rates but if it's supposed to handle both 44.1k and 48k base rates, it should work properly.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Are there any owners of the DAC8 reading this thread ?

I get huge spikes between tracks when playing native DSD in Linux with different family rates, let's say playing one track in DSD128 and the next one in DSD128x48.

My setup: Ubuntu 20, Intel I9, RTX3070 ; player: HQplayer Embedded
Library management: Roon (on a different PC in my LAN)

Google says it seems to be a common design problem for dacs based on USB with XMOS. They way to solve it (according to Miska, developer of HQPlayer) is by muting the DAC 50ms at beginning of each track when playing DSD material. Pavel from OktoResearch says it might be a problem with my unit. Does anybody else have suffered from that ?
When I was using the PF streamer (Linux), I had similar issues which were resolved by employing HQPe.
 

Snoozer

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Are @Okto Research looking into your unit?

I guess you could force everything to only DSD128x44.1 rates but if it's supposed to handle both 44.1k and 48k base rates, it should work properly.

The problem was reported many weeks ago, nothing came out of it. The communication with OKTO Research is terrible, it takes ages for them to answer any email. You see, the thing is that I do not want to force anything. The unit should work with the clock frequencies, and hence family rates, that is advertised to work with -- in both operating systems. I have received news from Miska (developer of HQPlayer) that mentions clearly the need of a "hardware mute" in the output, controlled by the XMOS. The OKTO DAC8 does not have that, as far as I know, and suffers from DC spikes at its output. That is not a well engineered product. It might damaged your twitters easily.

Thank you for your input anyways
 

Snoozer

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When I was using the PF streamer (Linux), I had similar issues which were resolved by employing HQPe.

Kal, it seems you have used HQPlayer. Did you try upsampling to native DSD ?, and if so, Did your setup HQP to integer upsampling ? (in order to respect the family rate). I ask you that because DoP (DSD over PCM) does not produce the spikes in my setup, neither PCM.

I have tested all version of HQPlayer (Desktop, Pro and embedded), all of them with the same result.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Kal, it seems you have used HQPlayer. Did you try upsampling to native DSD ?, and if so, Did your setup HQP to integer upsampling ? (in order to respect the family rate).
I think so because I am pretty observant of such things but I do not recall specifically.
I ask you that because DoP (DSD over PCM) does not produce the spikes in my setup, neither PCM.
I never used DoP.
 

Deribas

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Finally playing music with a newly received Okto Dac8 Pro in pure USB mode in a 5.1-channel system, with Jriver on a MacOS Mac mini as the playback software. Struggled for a week to get any playback, only to realize that I had to turn off the “integer mode” in JRiver for it to work at all. One simple question for the Mac users here: Mac mini can only send DSD music to Okto Dac8 in the DoP format, correct? And Okto DAC8 only accepts DOP up to DSD64? So it means that anything higher than DSD64 cannot be played from a Mac without converting to PCM, correct?
 

DWPress

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Ozymandias

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The only direct way would be via an Oppo mod'ed for AES outputs, which are long since unavailable (there are some modders still offering these features, I see, but not cheap, and who knows how reliable?)
I eventually gave up on that and just bought a USB ADC (Motu 8Pre USB) that takes the 8 analog outputs and feeds them via USB to my source PC, and from there (via JRIver, in my case) out to the OktoDAC via USB.
Not elegant, but it works, gets me the Mch decoding I wanted for Blurays and streamed content, and doesn't cost an arm and leg!
Or, just bite the bullet and spring for an Oppo 205 ($$$$) and switch outputs between that and the Okto for Mch movies..performance of both is pretty much the same.
:):eek:
Hi @Neddy . Did you have any lip sync issues with this setup when watching dvd/blu-ray discs on your Oppo?
 

Neddy

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Hi @Ozymandias , I have not done any specific testing for sync delays, but didn't notice anything significant.
Kind of makes sense, though, as both audio and video originate on the Oppo, and the audio delay is just via the Motu & USB (it's also an i7 cpu, maybe that would help?).
In any event, I was kind of expecting there to be some, but if so, it wasn't objectionable, so I just enjoyed da movies!!
:)
 

Ozymandias

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Hi @Ozymandias , I have not done any specific testing for sync delays, but didn't notice anything significant.
Kind of makes sense, though, as both audio and video originate on the Oppo, and the audio delay is just via the Motu & USB (it's also an i7 cpu, maybe that would help?).
In any event, I was kind of expecting there to be some, but if so, it wasn't objectionable, so I just enjoyed da movies!!
:)
Thanks for the detailed response @Neddy ! I've been trying to find a way to get my Oppo blu-ray player's multichannel digital output to my Okto DAC8 for movies but the solutions I've seen mentioned that wouldn't degrade the audio are no longer available (Arvus box or hardware mods that expose the Oppo's multichannel digital output). I like your idea and will give it a try. Now to find a cheap used Motu 8pre or similar interface with good specs and latency performance.
 

Zooqu1ko

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Thanks for the detailed response @Neddy ! I've been trying to find a way to get my Oppo blu-ray player's multichannel digital output to my Okto DAC8 for movies but the solutions I've seen mentioned that wouldn't degrade the audio are no longer available[...]
What's wrong with the Meridian HD621 and UHD722? Both are readily available in the second hand market, in the case of the HD621 significantly cheaper than the only Vanity HD that's being offered since months.
 

Vincentponcet

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What's wrong with the Meridian HD621 and UHD722? Both are readily available in the second hand market, in the case of the HD621 significantly cheaper than the only Vanity HD that's being offered since months.

I have meridian hd621 and dac8pro.
I use spdif meridian output to an spdif to xlr adapter to the dac8pro.
I have a dropout every 5-10 second or so. So it is not usable.
So I assume the spdif signal level of the meridian is not enough for the dac8pro AES input.
The meridian spdif output to another dac with an spdif input does not have dropout.
 

Zooqu1ko

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I have meridian hd621 and dac8pro.
I use spdif meridian output to an spdif to xlr adapter to the dac8pro.
I have a dropout every 5-10 second or so. So it is not usable.
So I assume the spdif signal level of the meridian is not enough for the dac8pro AES input.
The meridian spdif output to another dac with an spdif input does not have dropout.
Have you considered or even tried using Canare BCJ-XP-TR[ABC] or Neutrik NADITBNC converters?
 

Vincentponcet

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Have you considered or even tried using Canare BCJ-XP-TR[ABC] or Neutrik NADITBNC converters?

50 euros * 4 XLR = 200e just for an adapter to a 1200e machine, that sounds very prohibitive.
I understood the meridian have 4 AES on its RJ45 output, so I will try to solder my own cable.
But all of that takes time.
 

Neddy

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Thanks for the detailed response @Neddy ! I've been trying to find a way to get my Oppo blu-ray player's multichannel digital output to my Okto DAC8 for movies but the solutions I've seen mentioned that wouldn't degrade the audio are no longer available (Arvus box or hardware mods that expose the Oppo's multichannel digital output). I like your idea and will give it a try. Now to find a cheap used Motu 8pre or similar interface with good specs and latency performance.

Be sure to hunt for the 8 Pre USB version. I just looked, and seems prices have maybe gone up a little on those? Hard to say at a glance, but there are sure a lot of them available. I found one pretty quickly for ~$200, and have had zero problems with it.
The only issue I've had was with getting JRIver and/or W10 to recognize the darn thing (I disconnect it when not in use) on occaision - never figued out why, either (typical.) I think I mentioned that I wasted a bunch of time trying to DL some of the pro software before realizing that it works fine with just the basic Win10 audio drivers (at least, with JRiver.)

As for why not a used Meridian; just not something I was familiar with at the time, but they seem to go for quite a bit more than what I was able to buy the PreUSB for. And, I though the Meridian required somekind of options for 8channel full decoding - and that was to AES? or Analog?
I does have multiple HDMI inputs, which is a nice plus over the single (or two) on the Oppo103..but then, I only have one HDMI streamer anyway.

One of the things that kicked me over to Pre USB ADC (of some kind, anyway), was that the cost of buying or building my own 8ch analog switch gear would have been around the same as what I paid for the Pre ADC.

Finally, I have not yet tried it with my new Hypex main amp - will be curious to see if the perception of the 8Pre ADC being slightly less 'brilliant' still holds true or not:>

Best wishes in any event - crossing these 'decoding beams' is just not simple, given an OktoDAC.
 
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