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USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

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USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:42 pm

Hello,

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

I need a USB interface to feed my Benchmark DAC1. I have been using an Echo MIA Midi, but my new computer doesn't have PCI slots, and Echo doesn't have Windows 10 drivers... though I have not had any problems using the Windows 7 drivers, eventually I'm sure this won't work.

So, I need a USB audio interface with SPDIF out, optical or coaxial, and an ASIO driver.

Right now I'm using a Sound Devices USBPre 2, but this is serious overkill, and I need to use it for remote recordings, repatching is getting bothersome.

Thanks kindly,

Peter
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Re: USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:09 pm

Lots of options available. So it really depends on your budget and whether you need some, all, or none of the facilities included in most USB audio interfaces.

The Native Instruments KA6 seems to get good reviews here. Or there's the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6. Both around £160/ $250

Or there's the cheap and cheerful solution of a simple USB-optical SPDIF adapter from CPC for £75:

Image

https://cpc.farnell.com/cyp/au-d6-384/usb-dac-384khz-24-bit/dp/AV27094?mckv=sBvDSns2M_dc|pcrid|224635168920|kword||match||plid||slid||product|AV27094|pgrid|46533246385|ptaid|pla-426338467408|&CMP=KNC-GUK-CPC-SHOPPING&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjOr10duT4QIVzbDtCh2QvAu_EAQYAiABEgKDW_D_BwE

No idea of the quality, or compatibility, but an interesting option since the benchmark should be able to resolve any jitter issues very well.

There's lots of much more expensive options too, of course... like the Lynx Hilo... or, alternatively, you could trade in the Benchmark DAC1 and upgrade to a used DAC2 or a new DAC3 which have native USB connectivity.

H
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Re: USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby James Perrett » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:19 pm

Take a look at the Zoom U-44. It has optical and co-axial S/PDIF and seems to work fine at sample rates up to 96kHz. I bought mine for £79 last year.
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Re: USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby twotoedsloth » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:49 pm

Hello,

Thanks for your replies.

The Zoom U-44 looks interesting at the price ($189 CAD). What are the drivers like? Latency is not too much of an issue as I'll just be mixing and editing classical and jazz recordings on this computer.

For $50 more I could get the Native KA 6. Is it worth the extra cash? This is shallow but I prefer the look of the KA 6....

This is probably stupid, but I'm also considering buying the Focusrite Clarett 8Pre, and using that for remote recordings, and permanently using my Sound Devices USBPre-2 to drive the Benchmark DAC1. Is the Clarett (at $800) significantly better than the Presonus offerings (Studio 1824c at $500 or Studio 192 at $800)?

Sorry for blathering...
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Re: USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby James Perrett » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:24 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:The Zoom U-44 looks interesting at the price ($189 CAD). What are the drivers like? Latency is not too much of an issue as I'll just be mixing and editing classical and jazz recordings on this computer.

I'm using it on a computer that isn't particularly optimised for audio so any interface that I've used on this machine is used with fairly large buffers although it seemed pretty reliable at 128 samples with just the very occasional click. I use mine mainly for editing and tweaking audio although I also use it to pitch and catch audio that is going through a Dolby decoder (or any other analogue processor) via an external DAC/ADC. Having 4 channels is useful as I can also monitor the output of the DAW at the same time using the U-44's internal DAC (which seems pretty respectable).
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Re: USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby twotoedsloth » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:16 pm

Well, I bought the KA6. Open box and no software for $200 CAD.

Anyone else have one of these? Will I miss the bundled software?

Thanks,

Peter
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Re: USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby ronmac » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:06 pm

When registering products there is often a download section that includes driver updates and bundled software.
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Re: USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby ef37a » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:23 pm

twotoedsloth wrote:Well, I bought the KA6. Open box and no software for $200 CAD.

Anyone else have one of these? Will I miss the bundled software?

Thanks,

Peter

Probably not. You would get Cubase lite and Kontact player and the ability to download about 3G of samples. If the previous owner just lost the discs and didn't register them you might get lucky with NI? An email cannot hurt and you should be able to get any firmware updates anyway.
A few years ago I bought a Tascam 144 from Cash Gens and the previous owner had never registered the bundled Cubase. Result!

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Re: USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby johannrenck » Sun Apr 11, 2021 3:35 pm

James Perrett wrote:
twotoedsloth wrote:The Zoom U-44 looks interesting at the price ($189 CAD). What are the drivers like? Latency is not too much of an issue as I'll just be mixing and editing classical and jazz recordings on this computer.

I'm using it on a computer that isn't particularly optimised for audio so any interface that I've used on this machine is used with fairly large buffers although it seemed pretty reliable at 128 samples with just the very occasional click. I use mine mainly for editing and tweaking audio although I also use it to pitch and catch audio that is going through a Dolby decoder (or any other analogue processor) via an external DAC/ADC. Having 4 channels is useful as I can also monitor the output of the DAW at the same time using the U-44's internal DAC (which seems pretty respectable).
Hi, wondering if for the Zoom U-44 the spdif ins/out only work when in standalone mode and in that case the usb connection its disabled? Thanks!
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Re: USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby James Perrett » Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:09 pm

The Zoom U44 has a specific stand-alone mode where it works as an A-D and D-A convertor. The only problem is that you are limited to 48kHz maximum sampling frequency in stand-alone mode (though I'm not sure if this applies when clocked from S/PDIF as I've never tried it).

The S/PDIF works as expected with USB connected although you need to remember that the inputs appear as channels 3 and 4 while the outputs come from output channels 1 and 2.
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Re: USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby johannrenck » Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:13 pm

James Perrett wrote:The Zoom U44 has a specific stand-alone mode where it works as an A-D and D-A convertor. The only problem is that you are limited to 48kHz maximum sampling frequency in stand-alone mode (though I'm not sure if this applies when clocked from S/PDIF as I've never tried it).

The S/PDIF works as expected with USB connected although you need to remember that the inputs appear as channels 3 and 4 while the outputs come from output channels 1 and 2.
Thanks!, I was looking for a solution to connect 2 audio interfaces to the same PC without the noise when connected using the RCA outputs and inputs, so spdif sounded like an alternative, so I bought 2 U44

DAW->U44->spdif->U44->Zoom
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Re: USB Interface with coaxial or optical SPDIF output

Postby James Perrett » Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:02 pm

I've not tried using the S/PDIF input with Zoom but I know that some software will only see the first input and I can't see where you would select the S/PDIF input in Zoom so you may have problems doing this.

Our lad often goes Reaper -> Skype (and vice versa) with no extra hardware/software when he's collaborating on his video project with his friends but I don't know if Zoom works in the same way.
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