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SPDIF Implementation Quality Differences Between Soundcards? Audio Interfaces
Old 2nd September 2011
  #1
Gear Addict
 

SPDIF Implementation Quality Differences Between Soundcards?

Hey guys, I'd like to throw out this question to you geeks out there. I use a Mytek Stereo96 ADC that goes via SPDIF to a Delta 1010. I know the Delta 1010 is old and not a high end unit. Is there any reason to worry about its SPDIF implementation that it might not be as good as that of other soundcards? I wonder if there's any difference between going SPDIF to a better soundcard such as Fireface 400 vs going SPDIF to a Delta 1010. I guess there shouldn't be any difference bits wise (the exact same bits are transmitted) since it's a digital connection, but what about jitter wise? Is SPDIF a tricky matter that some soundcards can do it better than others? Do some soundcards have a crappy SPDIF implementation? Or is SPDIF circuitry/implementation something that is standard and pretty much the same in most if not all soundcards?

Any comments or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Old 2nd September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

there is something slightly non-standard about a delta 1010 SPDIF , a word or bit set incorrectly .

sorry i can't give you any details, I just remember it from a long time ago trying to get it to interface with an akai s3000xl. it worked one way, but not the other? I think delta 1010 -> akai worked, but akai -> delta 1010 didn't work.

there was a web page about, and the mod involved modding the akai not the m-audio so it may have been the akai's fault.

there was a webpage about it but i haven't seen it for years.#


EDIT: appears the akai was at fault.

http://akaifix.tripod.com/
Old 2nd September 2011
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtl777 View Post
Hey guys, I'd like to throw out this question to you geeks out there. I use a Mytek Stereo96 ADC that goes via SPDIF to a Delta 1010. I know the Delta 1010 is old and not a high end unit. Is there any reason to worry about its SPDIF implementation that it might not be as good as that of other soundcards? I wonder if there's any difference between going SPDIF to a better soundcard such as Fireface 400 vs going SPDIF to a Delta 1010. I guess there shouldn't be any difference bits wise (the exact same bits are transmitted) since it's a digital connection, but what about jitter wise? Is SPDIF a tricky matter that some soundcards can do it better than others? Do some soundcards have a crappy SPDIF implementation? Or is SPDIF circuitry/implementation something that is standard and pretty much the same in most if not all soundcards?

Any comments or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
There will certainly be differences in clocking...
Old 2nd September 2011
  #4
Most now use Crystal 84xx digital transciever chips to transfer SPDIF and AES digital audio. Even the cheapo M-audio audiophile 2496 card has them and works very well. I bought one for $80 new. It works as well as my $500 RME card.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
There will certainly be differences in clocking...
In the Delta Control Panel (the driver's Hardware Settings page) I select SPDIF In as the master clock source (the other options are Internal Crystal and Word Clock). Does this mean it is using the Mytek's clock? I hope so, because the Mytek's clock is very good.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Most now use Crystal 84xx digital transciever chips to transfer SPDIF and AES digital audio. Even the cheapo M-audio audiophile 2496 card has them and works very well. I bought one for $80 new. It works as well as my $500 RME card.
Thanks! That's really good to know. The 1010 being higher in the ladder of M-Audio's products, I guess then that its SPDIF implementation is as good.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Most now use Crystal 84xx digital transciever chips to transfer SPDIF and AES digital audio. Even the cheapo M-audio audiophile 2496 card has them and works very well. I bought one for $80 new. It works as well as my $500 RME card.

Hi Jim, just curious, what tests did you do to arrive at this conclusion? I would like to test mine but I don't have an Audio Precision. Would an SPDIF loopback test using RMAA be a reliable gauge of the quality of the 1010's SPDIF implementation?

Also, how do you find the AD/DA conversion of the Audiophile 2496 compared to the RME? Night and day difference or not really?

Thanks!
Old 5th September 2011
  #8
The RME card is digital I/O only. That's the only way a soundcard should be used, never use the analog sections. None are worthy.

The digital I/O is bit accurate so no testing is needed. Always use a quality outboard converter with these.
Old 7th September 2011
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
The RME card is digital I/O only. That's the only way a soundcard should be used, never use the analog sections. None are worthy.

The digital I/O is bit accurate so no testing is needed. Always use a quality outboard converter with these.
Thanks. I use the Mytek as much as possible. I only use the 1010 if I run out of inputs.

Something's weird though. I ran the following RMAA loopback tests:

1. Delta Analog Out 7/8 to Delta Analog In 7/8 with master clock set to Delta's Internal Clock;

2. Delta Analog Out 7/8 to Mytek Analog In L/R to Mytek SPDIF Out L/R to Delta SPDIF In L/R with master clock set to SPDIF (Mytek).

I am getting better results in RMAA with loopback #1. This is what makes me wonder about the quality of the 1010's SPDIF implementation. Theoretically I should be getting better results with loopback #2. Though I read somewhere (from a not necessarily reliable source ) that Mytek and other high end converters do not lend themselves well to RMAA testing, and using RMAA to test them can be misleading. Is that true?
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