Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by RobS, Aug 28, 2019.
Bob my boy, I love ya. (Not just the bourbon talking)
My experience using the Oppo BDP103 is that the Toslink is much worse than coax. The Oppo outputs both and it's very easy to switch back and forth; what I noticed was that Toslink was clearly less focused and clean.
I'm not sure if that's a side effect of the Oppo's own internal shortcomings, or the Bifrost receiver, but given the jitter test results, I'm leaning towards blaming the Oppo. I recall the xDuoo X10TII toslink output was more closely matched (but still inferior) to its coax, but that was a while ago and I wasn't taking notes.
Oh, I'm sure it's the oppo.
Good toslink interfaces do exist, it's just that the spec allows for a rather large amount of jitter in order for the cheapest interfaces to be very cheap indeed (back when it was made accurate clocks expensive, especially on portable devices like the Sony discman and MD players) and the advantages of toslink - mainly, absolutely no ground loops or cable em interference - only matter for pro setup bird nests and basic consumer plug-n-play.
As a result, in general, toslink sources are either very good (pro), utter trash (consumer gear), or absent (audiofool).
There's very few things in the middle - strangely the spdif outs on the better gaming sound cards are fairly legit for non-pro gear.
I guess when you put all that processing into time-domain stuff like virtual 3d audio it's a short step to stick a decent clock source to your optical out.
Conversely anything for home theater dvd/br is usually absolute bottom of the barrel, since they're outputting compressed audio to an av receiver/amp anyway 99.9% of the time.
So after months of using the Bifrost 2 its safe to say I'm still as happy as I was in my original post.
I have repurposed it to a near-field setup with studio monitors. iMac - Bifrost - JBL305P mk2's
Does anyone know a method of digital volume control on Mac OSX? or do I have to get an XLR volume control (would rather not take up any more desk space)
You can use the player to control digital volume unless you want volume control outside of digital domain, in that case you have to use any preamp, am I missing something? You can do setting inside your media player like Roon or Audirvana and Enable "allow media player to control volume"
In my understanding this degrades the signal by altering it from "bit perfect". My policy is "friends don't let friends use digital attenuation". I mostly listen to albums and adjust at each monitor/sub with the indents its easy to match them. If I get the first song right I am generally good for the album. I will use digital volume if I am using a browser to watch a youtube vid but I think that is already going through the stack.
To avoid losing resolution, your software player should be set to max volume, and you can use a passive volume control (such as JBL Nano Patch) between the DAC and powered monitors. It won't take up any more space if you can put it on top of the Bifrost.
He asked for digital volume control and hence my reply. Otherwise we have preamp to do this job.
Thanks for the input - I was hoping the Mac could do a master volume control, separate from the software players. For now the player volume works, its just that my keyboard controls try to control the Mac volume instead the player volume. I often switch between music players, web players, production software, video software etc. I could be wrong - but windows does this i think?
i.e. my lazy ass wants one volume wheel to rule them all - a physical overall volume control and leave all players at max vol. I hate scrambling to find the mouse to adjust each software's volume. This way I could use keyboard volume buttons or one of those lil USB rotary volume controllers (which still use desk space, just less than an XLR in/out device).
Used Emotiva Control Freak XLR if you can find one. Pretty sure there are pro monitor controllers that are similar as well, just a knob and XLR cables going in/out.
It’s been a while but the Audio Midi Setup app might have what you want. Be aware though that unless the player itself has an “exclusive access mode” to the dac all sound will be going through the system mixer and not be bit perfect. If it does have an exclusive access setting iirc you can set the bit depth higher than the audio file (e.g. 24-bit for redbook) and that will let you adjust the volume in software without mangling the data.
You can use a software mixer like Soundflower to route the audio to the DAC and have volume control. You can take it up a notch and get this Droking USB volume controller which then gives you a system wide digital volume knob for the routed audio. I've done this and it works fine
That would explain at least in part why my airport express sucked as a toslink source to my Bifrost 2.
I am complete newbie to the audiophile world. I have recently purchased the Dynaudio Emit M20 and Rega Elex R and as a source I a am using my PC motherboard DAC ... To be honest I am pretty happy with my system it sounds quite good, but after reading all the audiophile forums, I have decided to further improve the sound quality and buy an outboard DAC and I am thinking to buy the B2. What kind of improvements should I expect? and if anyone have similar speaker amps can you suggest if B2 is good match for above?
P.S. Apologies for my English, it is not my native language.
Can anyone do me a solid and do a quick comparison between BF2 with Matrix X-Sabre Pro? I believe @purr1n has had a chance to try both but if more people have heard both that would help a good friend of mine.
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