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View Full Version : Touch with USB Output? Anybody do it yet?



kgturner
2010-09-16, 17:01
I remember somebody saying that the Touch could be modified via software/firmware changes to output from the USB. Anybody do it yet and have step by step directions?

I'm not programming proficient at all, but I can follow directions. Like I tell the IT guy at work, I'm just good enough with computers to be dangerous. :)

Kevin T

iPhone
2010-09-16, 20:24
I remember somebody saying that the Touch could be modified via software/firmware changes to output from the USB. Anybody do it yet and have step by step directions?

I'm not programming proficient at all, but I can follow directions. Like I tell the IT guy at work, I'm just good enough with computers to be dangerous. :)

Kevin T

I believe that John S has been able to get USB output. IIRC he said it was going to take a hardware hack though if one wanted to disable the Analog and Digital outputs though.

I still don't think it will be better then Coax Digital out though. There are so many issues with USB to DAC that I don't even consider it worth fooling with. And I know of only two companies that are even remotely dealing properly with the issues. And if one can afford their DAC, one can afford to buy different equipment so one doesn't have to depend on the USB for digital output.

JohnSwenson
2010-09-17, 13:30
Give me a day or two and I'll post the instructions. There are some caveats, its NOT plug ang and play, if you make the file modification to use a USB DAC you can't get output from any other output, it will JUST play to the USB DAC. You also loose the UI sounds (beeps etc when you touch the screen).

You cannot use a USB DAC that requires a custom driver, it must be one that can work with a generic USB driver.

If you can live with these it works well.

John S.

ralphpnj
2010-09-17, 14:04
I believe that John S has been able to get USB output. IIRC he said it was going to take a hardware hack though if one wanted to disable the Analog and Digital outputs though.

I still don't think it will be better then Coax Digital out though. There are so many issues with USB to DAC that I don't even consider it worth fooling with. And I know of only two companies that are even remotely dealing properly with the issues. And if one can afford their DAC, one can afford to buy different equipment so one doesn't have to depend on the USB for digital output.

I agree with iPhone. Maybe I somehow missed it but when did a USB connection become the most desirable one? Last thing I recall was reading about what big pain in the neck USB connections where and how much better it was to transmit the data via a network connection, something about jitter and bit perfect but who knows. My feeling is that JS did it just to see if it could be done and in an honest effort to explore all possible ways of connecting a Touch.

OGS
2010-09-17, 16:10
If you can live with these it works well.

John S.

Yes, certainly! I've tried to make this work with my Touch, but no sucess... Does this include support for async USB mode?

.... ralphpnj and iPhone, have you actually listened to a Music Streamer USB DAC, the Ayre or one of the other asynchronous USB dacs? You should before you state things like this....

adamdea
2010-09-17, 16:22
I agree with iPhone. Maybe I somehow missed it but when did a USB connection become the most desirable one? Last thing I recall was reading about what big pain in the neck USB connections where and how much better it was to transmit the data via a network connection, something about jitter and bit perfect but who knows. My feeling is that JS did it just to see if it could be done and in an honest effort to explore all possible ways of connecting a Touch.
Sometime imbetween stereophile getting excitable about that ayre dac, dcs adding a USB input and KR saying in his touch review that via the USB out to the ayre it gave the best digital 2 channel sound he had heard, I'm guessing.

ralphpnj
2010-09-18, 04:57
I agree with iPhone. Maybe I somehow missed it but when did a USB connection become the most desirable one? Last thing I recall was reading about what big pain in the neck USB connections where and how much better it was to transmit the data via a network connection, something about jitter and bit perfect but who knows. My feeling is that JS did it just to see if it could be done and in an honest effort to explore all possible ways of connecting a Touch.


Yes, certainly! I've tried to make this work with my Touch, but no sucess... Does this include support for async USB mode?

.... ralphpnj and iPhone, have you actually listened to a Music Streamer USB DAC, the Ayre or one of the other asynchronous USB dacs? You should before you state things like this....

Sorry to have to quote myself but exactly where did I say anything about the sound of a USB connection? I'm fairly certain that a USB connection can be made to work as well as a SPDIF connection but as iPhione correctly points out why bother? It's not as if the Touch only has a USB connection.

However now I guess we're going a long round of posts claiming that using the Touch with a USB connection is superior to using the SPDIF connection. Oh well, have fun.

Kal Rubinson
2010-09-18, 07:00
..............and KR saying in his touch review that via the USB out to the ayre it gave the best digital 2 channel sound he had heard, I'm guessing.But I didn't say that USB was the critical element. Some of it has to be due to the quality of the Ayre DAC. ;-)

Kal

OGS
2010-09-18, 08:41
However now I guess we're going a long round of posts claiming that using the Touch with a USB connection is superior to using the SPDIF connection. Oh well, have fun.

No, not from me.
I am using Touch with S/PDIF coax to my Tact, sounds very nice. I also have a Music Streamer II+. This is a much better DAC than the one in the Tact. When I get the Touch USB output to work with the Music Streamer I'll have much better sound, with all the benefits of the Touch. I use the Music Streamer with Vortexbox Player now. That sounds great. The down side is that I loose the Tact room correction in this configuration so I'm testing BrutefirDRC at the moment.

ralphpnj
2010-09-18, 08:54
No, not from me.
I am using Touch with S/PDIF coax to my Tact, sounds very nice. I also have a Music Streamer II+. This is a much better DAC than the one in the Tact. When I get the Touch USB output to work with the Music Streamer I'll have much better sound, with all the benefits of the Touch. I use the Music Streamer with Vortexbox Player now. That sounds great. The down side is that I loose the Tact room correction in this configuration so I'm testing BrutefirDRC at the moment.

Using a Tact for room correction is definitely not an "audiophile approved" configuration but since this is not the "Audiophiles" section I guess that it is allowable and forgivable:)

OGS
2010-09-18, 09:23
Using a Tact for room correction is definitely not an "audiophile approved" configuration but since this is not the "Audiophiles" section I guess that it is allowable and forgivable:)

Oh I could just as well posted it in "Audiophiles". I have not read any definitive definitions of "audiophile", but I doubt yours would qualify. If you like to talk rubbish I'll leave you to it...

ralphpnj
2010-09-18, 09:42
Oh I could just as well posted it in "Audiophiles". I have not read any definitive definitions of "audiophile", but I doubt yours would qualify. If you like to talk rubbish I'll leave you to it...

Funny I wasn't trying to "talk rubbish" rather I was trying to be funny. Many audiophiles believe in maintaining a system as free as possible from "tampering" with the signal, such as pre-amps with no tone controls or loudness circuits and of course any type of DSP, which is exactly what the Tact does.

While I used hold to much "purer" audiophile beliefs as I've grown older my attitude has moved steadily in the direction of "if it makes you happy and by being happy you enjoy the music more, than by all means go for it".

And so if you like the way the Tact sounds and you enjoy listening to music using it who am I tell you it's bad.

adamdea
2010-09-18, 11:58
But I didn't say that USB was the critical element. Some of it has to be due to the quality of the Ayre DAC. ;-)

Kal
Well quite. But then equally there is (as I recall) a reason why the ayre dac has a USB input and a USB input only.

ralphpnj
2010-09-18, 12:48
Well quite. But then equally there is (as I recall) a reason why the ayre dac has a USB input and a USB input only.

Sure there is:

To sell to all the audiophiles who have been led to believe that only way to get music form their computer is via iTunes and a USB connection.

One step forward and two steps backward!!!

Phil Leigh
2010-09-19, 07:28
Using a Tact for room correction is definitely not an "audiophile approved" configuration but since this is not the "Audiophiles" section I guess that it is allowable and forgivable:)

Bull.
:-)
IF you've seen and heard what goes on in a recording/mastering studio you'd appreciate just how crazy that statement is :-)

By your definition (?) , "audiophiles" are folks who masochistically like listening to crap sound because their room messes up their speakers but they won't fix the problem because that's not the purist way. Sticking bits of foam or Helmholz resonators around won't fix it (sorry).

ROTFLMAO.
:-)

ralphpnj
2010-09-19, 07:47
Bull.
:-)
IF you've seen and heard what goes on in a recording/mastering studio you'd appreciate just how crazy that statement is :-)

By your definition (?) , "audiophiles" are folks who masochistically like listening to crap sound because their room messes up their speakers but they won't fix the problem because that's not the purist way. Sticking bits of foam or Helmholz resonators around won't fix it (sorry).

ROTFLMAO.
:-)

Phil,

As usual:

1) You didn't fail to disappoint
2) Provided a good reason why so many audiophiles have their stuck someplace where the sun doesn't shine.

However, one important thing that you failed to mention is how many of audiophiles are being led astray by the reviews in the audiophile magazines. What I mean is, for example, the stunning review of the new $45,000 Vandersteen Model 7 speakers in the latest TAS. Why would one possibly need DRC when Richard Vandersteen, along with all his expensive measuring tools, comes to your house to set up the speakers and makes quite sure that set up is as close to perfect as humanly possible.

While I'm not in position to purchase a pair of speakers costing $5,000, let alone $45,000, if a I was thinking of purchasing the Model 7s I won't do so unless Mr. Vandersteen promised to afford me the same level of personal attention.

Just one of my many pet peeves with the high end audio press.

Oh I almost forgot: "Sticking bits of foam or Helmholz resonators around won't fix it" but many a well place rock or exotic piece of wood will do the trick!

Mnyb
2010-09-19, 07:54
Bull.
:-)
IF you've seen and heard what goes on in a recording/mastering studio you'd appreciate just how crazy that statement is :-)

By your definition (?) , "audiophiles" are folks who masochistically like listening to crap sound because their room messes up their speakers but they won't fix the problem because that's not the purist way. Sticking bits of foam or Helmholz resonators around won't fix it (sorry).

ROTFLMAO.
:-)

Hmm a lot of foam and helmholz resonators and difractions panels and false iner ceilings and walls that breaks right angles etc, opps did i just build recording studio :)

Bu tobe fair there are some solutions thats not to bad, in aestethic fabrics and colors, but the companies delivering this stuff would also have a measuring service so that they know what they are doing not just sticking random panels here and there .

I'm no pro so I have an hybrid solution (not as good as it could be) random acoustical panels ;) to get rid of a flutter garage type echo, very carefull sub placement and the room corection bellow 300Hz meridian offers it also works in the time domain so that you can get an even response to that.

As to why Ayre only has usb ?

Do everyone expect audiphile brands to behave rational , when audiphiles in general are not (you get the products you deserve, expensive and weird)? they might have a very fine dac I've never heard it, but this kind of products (high end audiophile stuff) does exhibit a varying % of strange believes and cargo cult science .
Ayre seems to have a very high % real science but anyway, they do not make supernatural claims on their web pages etc, but usb only does fit the weird catagory.
Do they also want you to buy their disc spinners for disc and connect by analog means to their analog preamp ?

Personally I do want flexible products with a lot of inputs and outputs and other options, I don't want to be "painted into a corner" if you get me.
A stable brand with good quality does a lot to entice me to, my next amp will probably be a bryston for that reason.

Ayre has been around a while to so they seems to have a steady base of returning customers, maybe i take a peek if i can find a dealer next time i need something they make.

Kal Rubinson
2010-09-19, 10:22
Bull.
:-)
IF you've seen and heard what goes on in a recording/mastering studio you'd appreciate just how crazy that statement is :-)

By your definition (?) , "audiophiles" are folks who masochistically like listening to crap sound because their room messes up their speakers but they won't fix the problem because that's not the purist way. Sticking bits of foam or Helmholz resonators around won't fix it (sorry).

ROTFLMAO.
:-)Amen. Many audiophiles are stuck with outdated assumptions and even the definition of "purist" needs to be updated for the digital age.

Kal

ralphpnj
2010-09-19, 11:40
Amen. Many audiophiles are stuck with outdated assumptions and even the definition of "purist" needs to be updated for the digital age.

Kal

Kal,

You are getting dangerously close to be outcast from the audiophile community for heresy.

If the cable manufacturers can't sell outrageously priced USB, CAT 5 and other digital cables what will happen to Stereophile's advertising revenue stream?

Kal Rubinson
2010-09-19, 13:18
Kal,

You are getting dangerously close to be outcast from the audiophile community for heresy.

If the cable manufacturers can't sell outrageously priced USB, CAT 5 and other digital cables what will happen to Stereophile's advertising revenue stream?I might worry if I believed my comments have a significant influence.

Kal

ralphpnj
2010-09-19, 14:28
I might worry if I believed my comments have a significant influence.

Kal

Okay Kal that does it - by not thinking that every audiophile hangs on each of your written words you have violated one the of the most basic of all audiophile laws - the infallibility of the golden eared professional reviewer.

Now because I enjoy your writing and since you appear to be one of the good guys I will not post a link to this thread on the Stereophile forum and your heresy will remain our little secret;)

And thanks for having such a good sense of humor!

iPhone
2010-09-19, 15:13
Yes, certainly! I've tried to make this work with my Touch, but no sucess... Does this include support for async USB mode?

.... ralphpnj and iPhone, have you actually listened to a Music Streamer USB DAC, the Ayre or one of the other asynchronous USB dacs? You should before you state things like this....

Yes I have, even the Ayre. As you can see from my signature, I am a big fan of Ayre. Did you read my full post is my question for you? I have seen only two worthwhile attempts at ALL the problems USB DAC brings to the game. One I was speaking of is the Ayre and at $2500 plus having to modify a Touch ($300), I would own a Transporter every day of the week and twice on Sunday!

There are a ton of USB DACs on the market, some even act like a Squeezebox by taking files from the PC to play directly, but almost everyone of them suffers from all the issues and problems that are related to USB DACs.

So I will close with why buy a USB DAC if one is going to use a Squeezebox? To me it makes no sense and if one already owns a USB DAC and wants to use a Squeezebox, it makes much more sense to ditch the USB DAC and use the Squeezebox or get a Touch and a new non-USB DAC.

Gazjam
2010-09-20, 06:05
This trick might work with the new Arcam RDac.

Also has asyncronous USB.
Any thoughts?

Just a thought as its a helluva lot cheaper than the Ayre!

iPhone
2010-09-20, 08:10
This trick might work with the new Arcam RDac.

Also has asyncronous USB.
Any thoughts?

Just a thought as its a helluva lot cheaper than the Ayre!

Do you already own one? If the answer is NO, stay away from USB DACs. Use the Coax Digital out on the Touch!

If one just has to use a DAC with the Touch, use a DAC with Coax S/PDIF input with the Touch.

With both Toslink and COAX S/PDIF output available on all late model Squeezeboxes without speakers, my advice is to stay away from USB DACs IE why go there?

OGS
2010-09-20, 10:09
Do you already own one? If the answer is NO, stay away from USB DACs. Use the Coax Digital out on the Touch!

If one just has to use a DAC with the Touch, use a DAC with Coax S/PDIF input with the Touch.

With both Toslink and COAX S/PDIF output available on all late model Squeezeboxes without speakers, my advice is to stay away from USB DACs IE why go there?

I really do not understand what this campaign is all about. You talk about all the evils of audio via USB, but you do not explain why. You say you have tried the Ayre QB-9. Sounds like you had computer trouble if the experience was that bad. I use Coax S/PDIF from Touch to my Tact and it sounds as good as the Tact permits. The Touch analog out is better, but a Music Streamer II+ connected to my PC's USB port sounds even better. So what is wrong with wanting this sound quality via the Touch??

iPhone
2010-09-20, 13:18
I really do not understand what this campaign is all about.

What campaign, there is no campaign, but there is a question? Why buy or bother with a USB DAC when Squeezeboxes are not designed to use this inferior output connection?


You talk about all the evils of audio via USB, but you do not explain why.

That is not what the thread is about and anybody that knows about USB DACs already knows all the drawbacks (and new efforts to get around them) and if they don't they need only to check the Internet.


You say you have tried the Ayre QB-9. Sounds like you had computer trouble if the experience was that bad.

Don't put words in my mouth or my posts for that matter. Where did I say it was bad? With all the help I hope I have been to Forum Members, I would think it more then obvious that I just might happen to already know what I am doing when using digital files. I had no computer problems or problems using the Ayre. What I did say was it doesn't make any sense to me to use a USB DAC with a Squeezebox no matter how good it is and how expensive it is when using the COAX Digital out on the Touch will do a better job at way less expense. The Ayre sounded very good for what it is and what it does, but again at $2500 and no design specific USB digital output on the Touch, I am just asking why go that route?


I use Coax S/PDIF from Touch to my Tact and it sounds as good as the Tact permits. The Touch analog out is better, but a Music Streamer II+ connected to my PC's USB port sounds even better. So what is wrong with wanting this sound quality via the Touch??

Where is all this coming from? You yourself are using Digital COAX. As to your setup, you like what you hear and that is all that counts. If it sounds better to you then use it, but that doesn't mean its the most nature, neutral, or bit perfect setup. And depending on what PC OS one uses and whether one as disabled all the WIndows interference on the handling of USB outputted files, things could be even worse.

COAX S/PDIF is not a perfect format but its way above any USB format. If there were no major issues with USB DACs, Ayre would not bother licensing Streamlength to improve their USB DAC's function!

Maybe its just me, but the only reason I can think of using a USB DAC for is if one wants to stream directly from a PC via the USB port. Yes it works and can be done. In my opinion, we are still miles away from this being anything near optimal. Even if one is using the Ayre QB-9, because again the Transporter for hundreds of dollars less is currently a better solution IMHO.

Andy8421
2010-09-20, 13:41
Iphone,

By using the flow control capabilities of USB, the clock in the DAC can be completely isolated from the rest of the data delivery chain. In principle, this would allow a local low jitter clock to be used in the DAC instead of the compromise of using a clock derived from the S/PDIF bitstream.

I would therefore challenge your statement that "COAX S/PDIF is not a perfect format but its way above any USB format".

A properly implemented asynchronous USB link should have none of the vices of S/PDIF, at the expense of greater complexity in hardware and software.

OGS
2010-09-20, 13:55
With all the help I hope I have been to Forum Members, I would think it more then obvious that I just might happen to already know what I am doing when using digital files.

Snip...

Maybe its just me, but the only reason I can think of using a USB DAC for is if one wants to stream directly from a PC via the USB port. Yes it works and can be done. In my opinion, we are still miles away from this being anything near optimal. Even if one is using the Ayre QB-9, because again the Transporter for hundreds of dollars less is currently a better solution IMHO.

I have read many of your post over the years and found them constructive, insightful and indeed helpful. That is why I am puzzeled at the current outbursts towards connecting audio devices via USB.
I can not see that the analog output stage of the Transporter is anywhere near the QB-9's, but I have not heard any of then so couldn't tell. What I do know is that a Touch and a Music Streamer II+ is only $600 retail for both.

metronet
2010-09-29, 23:17
Do you already own one? If the answer is NO, stay away from USB DACs. Use the Coax Digital out on the Touch!

If one just has to use a DAC with the Touch, use a DAC with Coax S/PDIF input with the Touch.

With both Toslink and COAX S/PDIF output available on all late model Squeezeboxes without speakers, my advice is to stay away from USB DACs IE why go there?

For the DAC I have and the USB receiver chip it uses I'd have to agree with iPhone.

I have tested the Touch with the ALSA USB out mod to a Mhdt Havana USB and I must say that I like the coax spdif from the Touch much better.

If I understand it correct, the Mhdt Havana DAC uses a C-media receiver which than converts USB (adaptive mode) to spdif format for process.

Perhaps it depends on your DAC and it's design... (?)

JohnSwenson
2010-09-30, 06:10
The C-media USB receivers are some of the worst ones ever made, their sole redeeming feature is that they are dirt cheap. No wonder you like the S/PDIF better.

John S.

metronet
2011-02-19, 00:37
The C-media USB receivers are some of the worst ones ever made, their sole redeeming feature is that they are dirt cheap. No wonder you like the S/PDIF better.

John S.

Hi John, do you think the CM6631 would be a better choice?

I am now thinking of getting the Asynchronous Mhdt USBridge to try with your mod :)
>> http://dhost.info/mhdtlab/USBridge.htm

Thanks,