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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Gerroa, Australia
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    107

    Sound card w Toslink for playing DTS FLAC files

    I'm a newbie to this forum, so forgive me if this topic has already been covered at length (please just direct me to the thread in that case).

    I recently acquired a couple of Squeezebox 3's, and have set up one with my Hi-Fi system, streaming the audio from my 'server' PC via a wireless router. The Squeezebox connects via Toslink to a surround receiver, and works perfectly playing DTS tracks from either WAV or FLAC ripped DTS files.

    But I also want to hear these same tracks on my second surround receiver connected to the SlimServer PC (in a different room), also via Toslink. Trouble is my present sound card (HDA Digital X-Mystique 7.1 Gold with X10 SPDIF Input Extension board), though connected via Toslink to my second DTS receiver, won't play DTS WAV/FLAC files correctly (I just get the usual analogue white noise).

    This board correctly plays DTS CDs & DVDs when the 'S/PDIF In Loopback' driver option is selected, provided the disc drive's digital output is plugged into the Mystique's (internal) digital input (the board is then simply passing-through the DTS bit-stream from the disc to the Toslink output). But playing a ripped DTS track (via any of several player applications, including SoftSqueeze) somehow corrupts the DTS stream. I'm guessing it's changing the gain via the board's software mixer, even if I disable all inputs other than 'WAV' and set its 'volume' to maximum.

    So what I'm looking for is a (preferably low-cost) sound card that allows playback of uncorrupted DTS WAV and FLAC files via a Toslink output to an external DTS surround receiver, using any common player software (but particularly SoftSqueeze and SqueezeSlave [now preferred over the flaky SoftSqueeze]). The board must also have a Toslink input, for digital recording.

    Anybody have experience with such a board? Recommendations? Preferably something available in Australia (the Audigy 2 Platinum eX Audio Cards currently being sold on eBay are not available to Australia).
    Incidentally, I'm running Windows 2000 in a PC with PCI slots and room on the front for a 5.25" module if required, if that's relevant.

  2. #2
    Senior Member radish's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Location
    Red Bank, NJ
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    5,052
    Windows & the card's drivers do a lot of processing to the sound before it gets out - mixing, eq etc and as you suspect this is killing the DTS bitstream. Try using ASIO drivers if you're not already, and look around the home theater forums (like avs) for tips on getting bitperfect output from that card.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2007
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    Gerroa, Australia
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    107

    Sound card w Toslink for playing DTS FLAC files

    Radish,
    Thanks for the tips - you got my hopes up for a while! But after an extensive search (and an unsuccessful play with ASIO4ALL), I eventually determined that there are no ASIO drivers for my card.
    But I've learned a few things from you already! I hadn't heard of ASIO drivers before (the only ASIO I knew is the secretive Australian Security Intelligence Organisation! :-) and now I know the 'feature' I need is 'bit-perfect' playback of WAV/FLAC files.
    So I'd still be pleased to hear from anyone with card recommendations (or even a suitable card to sell!).
    Regards, Daniel

  4. #4
    MrSinatra
    Guest
    the creative x fi elite pro has asio drivers and toslink, or so says their website, (i don't have one).

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2007
    Location
    Gerroa, Australia
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    107

    Sound card w Toslink for playing DTS FLAC files

    MrSinatra (Frank?),
    Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, apart from being a bit pricey, that model only appears to support WinXP, and I run Win2000, as mentioned.
    Rgds, Daniel

  6. #6
    MrSinatra
    Guest
    am i wrong in thinking that asio drivers would work with w2k?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Gerroa, Australia
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    107

    Sound card w Toslink for playing DTS FLAC files

    As mentioned earlier, there are no ASIO drivers (that I could find) for my sound card. But yes, if they existed they should work under Win2k.
    Daniel

  8. #8
    MrSinatra
    Guest
    well, i was talking about the card i suggested, not your card.

    and please drop the "as i mentioned earlier" bit, (i'm just trying to help).
    Last edited by MrSinatra; 2007-11-02 at 02:19.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2007
    Location
    Gerroa, Australia
    Posts
    107

    Sound card w Toslink for playing DTS FLAC files

    Sorry if I offended you; it was not my intention. I appreciate any help I can get.
    I've had no prior experience with ASIO drivers (they're a new concept to me), but from what I've read they need to be written by or specifically for the card vendor. There seems to be no such thing as a 'generic' ASIO driver (ASIO4ALL is apparently not a true ASIO driver, and certainly doesn't work with *every* sound card and player application).
    So I concluded that, since the Creative X-Fi Elite Pro lists only WinXP support, that their supplied ASIO drivers would only work under WinXP. Are you saying that they should probably work under Win2K too?
    Even so (and even if the price was reasonable), I would be reluctant to buy something specified to be only for WinXP, since I may miss out on other features/capabilities of the card that could be useful in different circumstances.
    Thanks again for your efforts.
    Daniel

  10. #10
    MrSinatra
    Guest
    i'm out of my depth on some of those questions...

    i'm not sure if the asio driver portion of a wxp driver would work with w2k, its probably a case by case basis. i know that sometimes an xp driver will work for 2k tho, but its certainly not guaranteed.

    personally, i think xp is better than 2k, and i used both for a long time. it would make finding an option for you easier to go to a more recent OS.

    a lot of mobo's come with options to add toslink via a hardware adapter, but i doubt they have asio drivers.

    if u find an answer, be sure to post it. -mdw

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