Computer audio with AES/EBU

Diapason

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Mar 26, 2014
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I'm thinking ahead here, but if the Kii Three delivers, I might soon be turning my back on my CD player and embracing computer audio. The main digital input option on the Kii speakers would seem to be an AES/EBU connection via xlr. Is this possible/advisable from a computer source?
 

Fitzcaraldo215

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Nov 3, 2014
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I'm thinking ahead here, but if the Kii Three delivers, I might soon be turning my back on my CD player and embracing computer audio. The main digital input option on the Kii speakers would seem to be an AES/EBU connection via xlr. Is this possible/advisable from a computer source?

The pricey Baetis music PC has AES/EBU out, as well as coax SPDIF, USB and HDMI. I have never investigated AES/EBU PC Cards. There must be some available from pro audio sources, like Lynx Studio, though.
 

amirm

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The Berkeley USB bridge has both AES/EBU and S/PDIF. I use the former with my Mark Levinson DAC all the time:

 

Drikus

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Sep 28, 2012
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Used the AES/EBU on my Stello U3 when I didn't had a usb-dac;

U3.jpg
 

asiufy

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Jul 8, 2011
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almaaudio.com
A lot of streamers have AES/EBU (as well as coax, USB, etc.) The Auralic Aries, and some Aurender models, do.
 

nicoludio

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Apr 15, 2014
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I'm thinking ahead here, but if the Kii Three delivers, I might soon be turning my back on my CD player and embracing computer audio. The main digital input option on the Kii speakers would seem to be an AES/EBU connection via xlr. Is this possible/advisable from a computer source?

I am in a similar boat, if the Kii Three sounds as good as it is supposed to.

Unless your CD player has a digital out with digital volume control, you might want to consider the following suggestion from Kii:

1. PC/MAC with Audirvana (or JPlay or similar) for instance that will control volume in the software - connection done with any third party USB/AES/SPDIF interface.
2. Streamer that has its own Volume control like the ARIES. No need for USB interface here - just direct digital connection via AES.

There are many USB/SPDIF converters out there but not many USB/AES ones. For option 1, the cost of the USB to AES converter will be a factor. The Berkeley Alpha USB converter is highly regarded but will cost similar to or more than the Kii remote (assuming that it is priced along the lines of the Grimm Audio remote), which will offer more functionality (rather similar to the Grimm Audio remote).

Once the Kii remote is out, it is unlikely that you be using the AES input on the Kii. Instead, it will probably be PC/MAC > USB cable > Kii Remote > Cat5/LAN cable > Kii Three Kiilink input. A streamer with USB output may also work in place of the PC/MAC but we will need to what further details Kii reveals about the remote.

Besides what Purite Audio has said above, I suspect that the Boundary and Contour functions can also be controlled via the PC/MAC.

A short term solution may be to get the Auralic ARIES or even the Lumin D1 (using a BNC/AES converter - US$50 +/-) until the Kii remote is out in Q1 2016 and sell the streamer. Or, go the PC/MAC route and sell the USB/AES converter later.
 

Diapason

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Mar 26, 2014
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Dublin, Ireland
Great responses here from everybody, thank you very much.

It's such a pain that my CD player doesn't include the digital ins and outs board, especially since it has a volume control, but in fairness it's probably time I moved on from it anyway. IF the Kii sounds good to my ears in my room then I'll almost certainly wait for the controller and take the USB from PC/Mac route. Until then, I may have to connect to them via analogue XLR, which feels all kinds of dirty...
 

lydon

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Jul 10, 2011
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Hello,
I'd check out Baetisaudio.com for a perspective on what's possible with a "media server" plus a great quality DAC and that 5 Volt 110 Ohm, AES-EBU connection which from what I understood is quite important. There are so many considerations when it comes to not just crunching numbers for DSD transcoding to PCM. A solid powerful computer with all of the appropriate programs for media management. JRiver, dbPowerAmp, etc; for ripping CD's, DVD's, Blu-ray movies/music/concerts both 2 channel and multi-channel surround, and of course backing up of those digital files possibly with a "network attached storage"device (NAS) no matter how big they get. Cheers
 
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microstrip

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Last time I read about ripping CDs to FLAC dbPowerAmp was considered one of the best programs to do it. Does it still keep such status?
 

microstrip

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IMHO yes.
Accuraterip of course (it is dBpoweramps own invention)
Meta data from AMG, GD3, MusicBrainz and FreeDB
Fast and stable
Also a reliable format converter

Thanks. I will upgrade for the current version.
 

amirm

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Apr 3, 2010
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Last time I read about ripping CDs to FLAC dbPowerAmp was considered one of the best programs to do it. Does it still keep such status?
That's what I use. Occasionally it will go nuts re-reading every bit and can take a day ripping one CD! And last night it kept failing on the last track of the CDs I was ripping but in the second (manual) pass it would rip them with no problem. Outside of that it is very nice. It is multi-threaded so will rip and encode in parallel.
 

microstrip

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That's what I use. Occasionally it will go nuts re-reading every bit and can take a day ripping one CD! And last night it kept failing on the last track of the CDs I was ripping but in the second (manual) pass it would rip them with no problem. Outside of that it is very nice. It is multi-threaded so will rip and encode in parallel.

Are you sure it is not an hardware problem of the CD reader?
 

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