384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

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384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Jonathan E. Brickman
Just happened to see this:


A USB stick with a 384kHz DAC in it. Headphone jack and small volume controls. Android compatible. Advertised as truly marvelous quality. Anyone tried anything like it?

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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Paul Davis
has anyone double blind tested anything like it?

On Mon, Apr 2, 2018 at 6:26 PM, Jonathan E. Brickman <[hidden email]> wrote:
Just happened to see this:


A USB stick with a 384kHz DAC in it. Headphone jack and small volume controls. Android compatible. Advertised as truly marvelous quality. Anyone tried anything like it?

-- 
Jonathan E. Brickman   [hidden email]   <a href="tel:(785)%20233-9977" value="+17852339977" target="_blank">(785)233-9977
Hear us at ponderworthy.com -- CDs and MP3 now available!
Music of compassion; fire, and life!!!
---
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Brent Busby
In reply to this post by Jonathan E. Brickman
At my age, I fondly remember the days when I could hear up to 384kHz...
Now bats and dolphins think I'm pretty ordinary.

--
- Brent Busby + ===============================================
                + With the rise of social networking
--  Studio   -- + sites, computers are making people
--  Amadeus  -- + easier to use every day.
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

David W. Jones


On April 2, 2018 2:29:36 PM HST, Brent Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
> At my age, I fondly remember the days when I could hear up to
> 384kHz...
> Now bats and dolphins think I'm pretty ordinary.

I think my hearing dies at about 12-15K and has for decades now. Bats and dolphins ignore me entirely.

--
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http://dancingtreefrog.com

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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Chris Chronopoulos
controversial claims by audiophiles notwithstanding... i'm somewhat interested in high-samplerate DAC's for the possibility of time domain multiplexing of multiple channels. 2 channels @ 384 kHz = 16 channels @ 48 kHz if you had a driver + external hardware to do the muxing/demuxing. of course you'd need some sort of "word select" embedded in the signal - perhaps you could do this with GPIO, or maybe use part of the 32 bits samples as metadata. wouldn't be easy, but i wonder if it's possible. anyway the first step would be getting a DAC like this to work with the host at these high sample rates, so if anyone has experience with that, i'd be curious to know.

On Mon, Apr 2, 2018 at 10:10 PM, David W. Jones <[hidden email]> wrote:


On April 2, 2018 2:29:36 PM HST, Brent Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
> At my age, I fondly remember the days when I could hear up to
> 384kHz...
> Now bats and dolphins think I'm pretty ordinary.

I think my hearing dies at about 12-15K and has for decades now. Bats and dolphins ignore me entirely.

--
David W. Jones
[hidden email]
authenticity, honesty, community
http://dancingtreefrog.com

Sent from my Android device with F/LOSS K-9 Mail.
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Ralf Mardorf
On Tue, 3 Apr 2018 00:03:08 -0400, Chris Chronopoulos wrote:

>controversial claims by audiophiles notwithstanding... i'm somewhat
>interested in high-samplerate DAC's for the possibility of time domain
>multiplexing of multiple channels. 2 channels @ 384 kHz = 16 channels
>@ 48 kHz if you had a driver + external hardware to do the
>muxing/demuxing. of course you'd need some sort of "word select"
>embedded in the signal - perhaps you could do this with GPIO, or maybe
>use part of the 32 bits samples as metadata. wouldn't be easy, but i
>wonder if it's possible. anyway the first step would be getting a DAC
>like this to work with the host at these high sample rates, so if
>anyone has experience with that, i'd be curious to know.

There are far better ways to get 16 channels at 48 KHz via USB ;).
Consider to get one of those 8 channel USB devices + additional 8
channels by their ADAT and BNC sync features.

Btw. "With the Monolith USB DAC, you can turn any computer or laptop
into an audiophile playback device!" This could be done by 2 channels @
48 KHz and for doing this not only the DAC is important, also very
important is the analog headphone amp. "Improve your playback sound
quality from YouTube™", this says it all. YouTube uploads are known for
their high end audio quality ;). I don't know how good YouTube audio
could be, but the majority of uploads sounds like two supermarket
microphones were in front of the kitchen radio's speakers, to record
audio.

--
pacman -Q linux{,-rt{-securityink,-cornflower,,-pussytoes}}|cut -d\  -f2
4.15.15-1
4.14.29_rt25-1
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Moshe Werner

On Tue, Apr 3, 2018, 08:47 Ralf Mardorf <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, 3 Apr 2018 00:03:08 -0400, Chris Chronopoulos wrote:
>controversial claims by audiophiles notwithstanding... i'm somewhat
>interested in high-samplerate DAC's for the possibility of time domain
>multiplexing of multiple channels. 2 channels @ 384 kHz = 16 channels
>@ 48 kHz if you had a driver + external hardware to do the
>muxing/demuxing. of course you'd need some sort of "word select"
>embedded in the signal - perhaps you could do this with GPIO, or maybe
>use part of the 32 bits samples as metadata. wouldn't be easy, but i
>wonder if it's possible. anyway the first step would be getting a DAC
>like this to work with the host at these high sample rates, so if
>anyone has experience with that, i'd be curious to know.

There are far better ways to get 16 channels at 48 KHz via USB ;).
Consider to get one of those 8 channel USB devices + additional 8
channels by their ADAT and BNC sync features.

Btw. "With the Monolith USB DAC, you can turn any computer or laptop
into an audiophile playback device!" This could be done by 2 channels @
48 KHz and for doing this not only the DAC is important, also very
important is the analog headphone amp. "Improve your playback sound
quality from YouTube™", this says it all. YouTube uploads are known for
their high end audio quality ;). I don't know how good YouTube audio
could be, but the majority of uploads sounds like two supermarket
microphones were in front of the kitchen radio's speakers, to record
audio.

--
pacman -Q linux{,-rt{-securityink,-cornflower,,-pussytoes}}|cut -d\  -f2
4.15.15-1
4.14.29_rt25-1
4.14.28_rt23-1
4.14.24_rt19-1
4.14.8_rt9-2
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Ralf Mardorf
On Tue, 03 Apr 2018 06:54:25 +0000, Moshe Werner wrote:
>In not everyone read it already:
>http://www.lavryengineering.com/pdfs/lavry-white-paper-the_optimal_sample_rate_for_quality_audio.pdf

I've got a few concerns regarding this paper, however, I like the
following claim a lot "It is always unwise and potentially harmful to
include signals that are not needed". Indeed, the noise flour of my RME
card does increase rapidly, if I switch from 48 to 192 KHz, without
gaining better quality for the hearable audio signal.

"However, even after adding an extra 10 KHz, we are talking about
bandwidth no higher than 40 KHz. That is why 88.2 or 96 KHz are
preferred rates for audio quality." I stopped reading here.

We had this already a few times on this list. What we need is 48 KHz,
but some audio interfaces sound better at 96 KHz, regarding the used
filters.
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Ralf Mardorf
In reply to this post by Moshe Werner
On Tue, 03 Apr 2018 06:54:25 +0000, Moshe Werner wrote:
>In not everyone read it already:
>http://www.lavryengineering.com/pdfs/lavry-white-paper-the_optimal_sample_rate_for_quality_audio.pdf

I also like the analogy at the beginning of the paper, however,
analogies tend to "hinken"[1] a little bit.

[1]"inappropriate" seems to be the right translation, but actually
"hinken" is a German idiom, word for word it's translated "hobble". IOW
technically it's not correct, but metaphorical it describes the issue
quite good, so it is some kind of appropriate.
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Moshe Werner
In reply to this post by Ralf Mardorf
Yeah I have reservations too in this regard.
Actually last time I tested my hearing everything above 18k is dead, and I believe that this is still quite good.
But a lot of myths were debunked in this paper nevertheless. And that by one of the most respected ADC designers in the industry.



On Tue, Apr 3, 2018, 10:21 Ralf Mardorf <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, 03 Apr 2018 06:54:25 +0000, Moshe Werner wrote:
>In not everyone read it already:
>http://www.lavryengineering.com/pdfs/lavry-white-paper-the_optimal_sample_rate_for_quality_audio.pdf

I've got a few concerns regarding this paper, however, I like the
following claim a lot "It is always unwise and potentially harmful to
include signals that are not needed". Indeed, the noise flour of my RME
card does increase rapidly, if I switch from 48 to 192 KHz, without
gaining better quality for the hearable audio signal.

"However, even after adding an extra 10 KHz, we are talking about
bandwidth no higher than 40 KHz. That is why 88.2 or 96 KHz are
preferred rates for audio quality." I stopped reading here.

We had this already a few times on this list. What we need is 48 KHz,
but some audio interfaces sound better at 96 KHz, regarding the used
filters.
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Ralf Mardorf
In reply to this post by Moshe Werner
Why do we use passfilters for signals of the anaog domain that are
anyway inaudible? For example, speaker could get stressed by
inaudible signales and the output could cause unwanted side effects.

Or just imagine another issue, direct current.

Direct current is inaudible, but direct current of high enough energy
could burn the speakers, so we also need a protection to prevent against
this issue.
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Peter-2
In reply to this post by Brent Busby
Dear Brent,

Am 03.04.2018 um 02:29 schrieb Brent Busby:
> At my age, I fondly remember the days when I could hear up to 384kHz...
> Now bats and dolphins think I'm pretty ordinary.

just ask your bats to use AM modulated ultra sound to talk to you.
There's actually lots of fun one can do with ultra sound.

E.g., search for Sennheiser and audio beam in your favorite search engine.
In short, while you can't hear the ultra sound, non linear effects allow you
to hear an audio signal that is modulated on top of an ultra sound carrier sound.
The reason for doing so is that ultra sound can be directed. Therefore you could
provide the people sitting in the left a different sound compared to those sitting
in the right.

Best regards,
Peter
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Ralf Mardorf
In reply to this post by Moshe Werner
On Tue, 03 Apr 2018 07:47:15 +0000, Moshe Werner wrote:
>Actually last time I tested my hearing everything above 18k is dead

That's no problem at all for an audo engineer, medical test don't care
about that frequencies at all ;).

When we get old, we usually suffer from sinks/gaps far below 16 KHz,
different for the left and the right ear and/or we suffer from "funny"
ear noises. Even a harmless tinnitus, depending on our daily physical
condition, sometimes could be an issue.
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Lorenzo Sutton
In reply to this post by Jonathan E. Brickman
On 03/04/2018 00:26, Jonathan E. Brickman wrote:
> Just happened to see this:
>
> https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=120&cp_id=12008&cs_id=1200801&p_id=29512&seq=1&format=2
>
> A USB stick with a 384kHz DAC in it. Headphone jack and small volume
> controls. Android compatible. Advertised as truly marvelous quality.
> Anyone tried anything like it?

No, but I bet this does the job just as well :P
http://amzn.eu/0Zqtvw0

Plus they should be praised for the effort of putting "Linux" in the
title (albeit only *after* "windows" and "mac")

>
> --
>
> Jonathan E. Brickman [hidden email]   (785)233-9977
> Hear us at ponderworthy.com <http://ponderworthy.com/> -- CDs and MP3
> now available! <http://ponderworthy.com/ad-astra/ad-astra.html>
> Music of compassion; fire, and life!!!
> ---
> New Internet radio being built -- fireandliferadio.ponderworthy.com
> <https://fireandliferadio.ponderworthy.com>!!!!
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> https://lists.linuxaudio.org/listinfo/linux-audio-user
>
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Paul Davis
In reply to this post by Chris Chronopoulos
the ADAT protocol has done done this a couple of decades.

i fail to see the benefit over a straightforward design with as many channels as you actually want.

On Tue, Apr 3, 2018 at 12:03 AM, Chris Chronopoulos <[hidden email]> wrote:
controversial claims by audiophiles notwithstanding... i'm somewhat interested in high-samplerate DAC's for the possibility of time domain multiplexing of multiple channels. 2 channels @ 384 kHz = 16 channels @ 48 kHz if you had a driver + external hardware to do the muxing/demuxing. of course you'd need some sort of "word select" embedded in the signal - perhaps you could do this with GPIO, or maybe use part of the 32 bits samples as metadata. wouldn't be easy, but i wonder if it's possible. anyway the first step would be getting a DAC like this to work with the host at these high sample rates, so if anyone has experience with that, i'd be curious to know.

On Mon, Apr 2, 2018 at 10:10 PM, David W. Jones <[hidden email]> wrote:


On April 2, 2018 2:29:36 PM HST, Brent Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
> At my age, I fondly remember the days when I could hear up to
> 384kHz...
> Now bats and dolphins think I'm pretty ordinary.

I think my hearing dies at about 12-15K and has for decades now. Bats and dolphins ignore me entirely.

--
David W. Jones
[hidden email]
authenticity, honesty, community
http://dancingtreefrog.com

Sent from my Android device with F/LOSS K-9 Mail.
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Chris Chronopoulos
i'm aware of ADAT, but the motivator here is cost/scalability. most ADAT interfaces are optimized for input with preamps, etc. plus it's limited to 8 channels per link, so there's recurring overhead if you want to scale higher. imagine trying to do high channel count (e.g. spatial audio) on a budget. i'm not aware of any configuration that will get you >16 channels analog for <$1k.

On Tue, Apr 3, 2018 at 8:01 AM, Paul Davis <[hidden email]> wrote:
the ADAT protocol has done done this a couple of decades.

i fail to see the benefit over a straightforward design with as many channels as you actually want.

On Tue, Apr 3, 2018 at 12:03 AM, Chris Chronopoulos <[hidden email]> wrote:
controversial claims by audiophiles notwithstanding... i'm somewhat interested in high-samplerate DAC's for the possibility of time domain multiplexing of multiple channels. 2 channels @ 384 kHz = 16 channels @ 48 kHz if you had a driver + external hardware to do the muxing/demuxing. of course you'd need some sort of "word select" embedded in the signal - perhaps you could do this with GPIO, or maybe use part of the 32 bits samples as metadata. wouldn't be easy, but i wonder if it's possible. anyway the first step would be getting a DAC like this to work with the host at these high sample rates, so if anyone has experience with that, i'd be curious to know.

On Mon, Apr 2, 2018 at 10:10 PM, David W. Jones <[hidden email]> wrote:


On April 2, 2018 2:29:36 PM HST, Brent Busby <[hidden email]> wrote:
> At my age, I fondly remember the days when I could hear up to
> 384kHz...
> Now bats and dolphins think I'm pretty ordinary.

I think my hearing dies at about 12-15K and has for decades now. Bats and dolphins ignore me entirely.

--
David W. Jones
[hidden email]
authenticity, honesty, community
http://dancingtreefrog.com

Sent from my Android device with F/LOSS K-9 Mail.
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Ralf Mardorf
It was my reply, recommending an USB interface + ADAT.

Paul's reply is not recommending ADAT as an alternative, he mentions,
that ADAT already provided the technology you pointed out.

"Lightpipe can carry eight channels of uncompressed digital audio at 24
bit resolution at 48,000 samples or four channels at 96,000 samples per
second." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADAT_Lightpipe
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Ralf Mardorf
In reply to this post by Chris Chronopoulos
On Tue, 3 Apr 2018 14:34:54 -0400, Chris Chronopoulos wrote:
>i'm not aware of any configuration that will get you >16 channels
>analog for <$1k.

How about the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20? I own one, it provides 18 input
and 20 output channels for less than USD 1000.00, including an
additional required ADAT deviceand and S/PDIF device.

It works OTTB with Linux.
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Ralf Mardorf
On Tue, 2018-04-03 at 20:56 +0200, Ralf Mardorf wrote:
> On Tue, 3 Apr 2018 14:34:54 -0400, Chris Chronopoulos wrote:
> > i'm not aware of any configuration that will get you >16 channels
> > analog for <$1k.
>
> How about the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20? I own one, it provides 18 input
> and 20 output channels for less than USD 1000.00, including an
> additional required ADAT deviceand and S/PDIF device.
>
> It works OTTB with Linux.

Sure, the audio quality of the I/Os of this Focusrite setup can't hold a
candle to the audio quality of my RME gear, which provides less I/Os by
a completely different price range. However, do you think you could
build professional audio quality circuits at home, by less costs, than a
vendor such as  RME could build, by a larger scale production, than you
do at home?
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Re: 384kHz DAC - Monolith USB?

Fons Adriaensen-3
In reply to this post by Chris Chronopoulos
On Tue, Apr 03, 2018 at 02:34:54PM -0400, Chris Chronopoulos wrote:

> i'm aware of ADAT, but the motivator here is cost/scalability. most ADAT
> interfaces are optimized for input with preamps, etc. plus it's limited to
> 8 channels per link, so there's recurring overhead if you want to scale
> higher. imagine trying to do high channel count (e.g. spatial audio) on a
> budget. i'm not aware of any configuration that will get you >16 channels
> analog for <$1k.

Having a 384 kHz DAC is not going to help you getting 8 analog channels.
Unless you want to do the demultiplexing in the analog domain, which
will require quite complicated and expensive analog hardware. And that's
assuming that the DAC has indeed an analog bandwidth of 192 kHz, which
it very probably doesn't have.

--
FA

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