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Outputting Laptop to Digital Input


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Was at my father in-laws yesterday, installed JRiver on a new laptop for him. Currently running the HDMI into his TV and the headphone output into his Onkyo A-9070. Now , the Onkyo has digital inputs on the back and I'm assuming the DAC would have to be better than the laptop.

 

The question, is there a cable that can go from USB, directly into the optical or digital coax input on the amp amp? 

 

I'm searched with no success and don't want to add an external DAC, just see if the one in the amp makes a noticeable difference.

 

Cheers.

 

 

Onkyo.jpg

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30 minutes ago, sakabatou said:

Or I suspect @Spider27 would be faster

 

 

 

Sorry. It has recently gone to @scumbag  

 

Found this one on ebay and it is shipping from NSW so can be fast...

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/USB-to-SPDIF-Audio-Converter-Interface-Digital-Recording-Coaxial-Optical-192K/253674151293?hash=item3b10285d7d%3Ag%3A3r4AAOSwvjBbGJmX&_sacat=0&_nkw=usb+to+coax+converter&_from=R40&rt=nc&LH_TitleDesc=0

 

 

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Guest scumbag
27 minutes ago, Spider27 said:

I'll sell it you for $10 including postage. With Paypal as a friend.

 

Mark

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Your other choice would have been optical out from the laptop to the Onkyo optical SPDIF in. That's of course if the headphone socket on the laptop is one of those dual output jobbies. Some are and some aren't.

And you could have saved yourself $10 ?

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Guest scumbag
4 minutes ago, a.dent said:

Your other choice would have been optical out from the laptop to the Onkyo optical SPDIF in. That's of course if the headphone socket on the laptop is one of those dual output jobbies. Some are and some aren't.

And you could have saved yourself $10 ?

Jitter on optical can be quite massive in lower-end applications. Trust me, it will be $10 well spent. 

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4 hours ago, a.dent said:

Your other choice would have been optical out from the laptop to the Onkyo optical SPDIF in. That's of course if the headphone socket on the laptop is one of those dual output jobbies. Some are and some aren't.

And you could have saved yourself $10 ?

I read about the dual output ones, but even with research on HP's website, couldn't confirm if it had it.

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5 hours ago, scumbag said:

Jitter on optical can be quite massive in lower-end applications. Trust me, it will be $10 well spent. 

I know but I couldn't find the "tongue in cheek" emoji.

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12 minutes ago, JamesMay said:

@scumbag

 

So, with this magic box thing and the amp both having coax and optical input, is there a preference on which one to use? Or is digital, digital?

suck it and see. In most applications people swear by the coax output/input but small number of devices optical outputs are known to be superior.

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Guest scumbag
6 minutes ago, JamesMay said:

@scumbag

 

So, with this magic box thing and the amp both having coax and optical input, is there a preference on which one to use? Or is digital, digital?

Digital (in an optical or coaxial SPDIF cable) is a series of analogue pulses representing a "digital" state of off or on. The ability of the receiving device to adjust for jitter is a factor but it cannot accurately reconstruct the analogue signal if the definition between the "on" and "off" is poor. EE's argue that if a digital feed is poor then the receiving device is bad then there will be no sound but this ignores the fact that receiving devices are designed to accommodate dropped packets or data or corruption and will attempt to reconstruct an analogue waveform with the given data. Another souce of error is a poor eye pattern whereby the rise / fall of the steps are not "clear" enough for the receiving device to read accurately. Again, the receiving device will attempt to reconstruct a waveform up to the point where the errors are outside of tolerance.  Errors in the digital domain most frequently result in jitter.

So no, digital isn't digital. Cables, DACs and sources create jitter and/or incorrect eye patterns.

In the scheme of things, are far as I have read, it goes optical SPDIF, coaxial SPDIF, USB and then I2S in terms of accuracy. I2S, if properly implemented is the only format that has the potential to have "zero" error. 

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Guest scumbag
1 minute ago, scumbag said:

Digital (in an optical or coaxial SPDIF cable) is a series of analogue pulses representing a "digital" state of off or on. The ability of the receiving device to adjust for jitter is a factor but it cannot accurately reconstruct the analogue signal if the definition between the "on" and "off" is poor. EE's argue that if a digital feed is poor then the receiving device is bad then there will be no sound but this ignores the fact that receiving devices are designed to accommodate dropped packets or data or corruption and will attempt to reconstruct an analogue waveform with the given data. Another souce of error is a poor eye pattern whereby the rise / fall of the steps are not "clear" enough for the receiving device to read accurately. Again, the receiving device will attempt to reconstruct a waveform up to the point where the errors are outside of tolerance.  Errors in the digital domain most frequently result in jitter.

So no, digital isn't digital. Cables, DACs and sources create jitter and/or incorrect eye patterns.

In the scheme of things, are far as I have read, it goes optical SPDIF, coaxial SPDIF, USB and then I2S in terms of accuracy. I2S, if properly implemented is the only format that has the potential to have "zero" error. 

Discuss....

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So, plugged in the magic box, using a new USB cable and new optical cable. Laptop seemed to recognise straight away (Win 10) and installed drivers.

 

Tried to play music through JRiver and it wouldn't work. Best I can explain it, sounded like playing on an old computer with no memory. There were quick, (maybe 1/10 sec) bursts where noise came out, but these were only every 20 seconds apart. Seemed to also cause an issue with laptop as when you pushed stop, it took upto a minute to work.

 

Switch the audio output back to the laptop speakers and works perfect.

 

Went on Youtube to test with something other than Jriver, same result (without having issues stopping the video) as I switch between audio outputs, the laptop speakers are fine, but the magic box just makes very brief, sporadic bursts every now and then.

 

At this point, I'm hoping it's the cheap USB cable I got from Officeworks, or the optical cable.

 

I'm going to go back tonight with a coax and one of my USB's from home and see if that works.

 

Anything else obvious stand out to anyone?

 

Thoughts please @scumbag ?

 

Thanks.

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Guest scumbag

I have to admit I never tested the unit. I got it the other week as part of a bundle here on stereonet. The gent was selling it with a set of headphones. 

First to trouble shoot the device, try setting it as the windows default audio device and then play some audio from another Windows music player like the generic Windows media player. Make sure you set the audio settings in the control panel to 192khz. If the audio is garbled then Houston we have a problem. 

Otherwise... 

Try adjusting the resampling rate in jriver to 192khz. In the output settings for jriver you can adjust the type of output to the device. Turn off ASIO if that is selected and try again. You might have to just use the windows generic output if the exists as an option. Jriver has lots of options re output streams and its easy to screw up the sound! 

And as you say try different cables.  it's extremely rare but I guess you might have a dud cable. 

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Copy, did the first one, set as default devise and used youtube, same issue. Admittedly, didn't check the settings, but came up saying 192khz when you selected it as the audio device. Will double check this arvo.

 

Changed the output in JRiver to the device, but will double check that today also, when I take my cables to test.

 

As always, thanks for your advice. 

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On 25/07/2018 at 7:23 AM, scumbag said:

I have to admit I never tested the unit. I got it the other week as part of a bundle here on stereonet. The gent was selling it with a set of headphones. 

First to trouble shoot the device, try setting it as the windows default audio device and then play some audio from another Windows music player like the generic Windows media player. Make sure you set the audio settings in the control panel to 192khz. If the audio is garbled then Houston we have a problem. 

Otherwise... 

Try adjusting the resampling rate in jriver to 192khz. In the output settings for jriver you can adjust the type of output to the device. Turn off ASIO if that is selected and try again. You might have to just use the windows generic output if the exists as an option. Jriver has lots of options re output streams and its easy to screw up the sound! 

And as you say try different cables.  it's extremely rare but I guess you might have a dud cable. 

Believe it or not, brand new USB cable was the issue. Now all working fine, thanks again.

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