Taiko Audio SGM Extreme : the Crème de la Crème

With respect to the Taiko Extreme how do you connect it to your DAC

  • USB

    Votes: 52 64.2%
  • Ethernet

    Votes: 14 17.3%
  • Both USB and Ethernet

    Votes: 8 9.9%
  • AES/EBU

    Votes: 10 12.3%
  • Dual AES/EBU

    Votes: 2 2.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 5 6.2%

  • Total voters
    81

kswanson27

Active Member
Nov 22, 2018
132
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I’ve played 32f recordings on two different Playback Designs DACs without issue and as far as I know my current dCS Vivaldi Upsampler/DAC combo will do the same. I just took a peek at the settings of the JPlay driver I’m using and Max Bits Per Sample (PCM) is set to 32.

Now, I can’t say that some kind of bit-depth conversion isn’t occurring somewhere, but the files do play.

Steve Z
If f sounds better than i maybe it's playing f.
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
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IMHO the biggest advantage of 32-bit float is in digital processing / digital mastering of recordings. You can basically get around (nasty) digital clipping with peaks greater then 0dBFS as the whole file can be scaled / attenuated without additional noise or distortion. See here for example:
https://www.sounddevices.com/32-bit-float-files-explained/

Windows always processes audio at 32 bit float native. The output bit depth is determined by what the DAC firmware reports as supported to the audio driver on the server. So if the DAC supports 32-bit float and reports that to the audio driver it could pass 32 bit float directly to the DAC. We are talking about the actual D to A conversion stage here and it may not be supported by many DACS, except for DSP powered DACs which tend to operate at 32-bit float (or even higher) in their DSP section. If it does you could skip a few float to integer conversions. I think MSB is actually DSP powered, the T+A 3000 series surely are, the Chord Dave probably too, just to name a few examples. This still does not guarantee they support 32-bit float, from what @Kingsrule reported it appears the MSB firmware is reporting 24bit fixed as the maximum capability to the audio driver resulting in 24/352 playback. 32-bit float to 24 or 32 bit integer conversion is considered to be fully transparent btw.
 
Likes: oldmustang

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
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I had a phonecall today with Thesycon, they develop and maintain the drivers for XMOS interfaces (the vast mayority). They’re not aware of any DAC chips supporting 32 bit float. The DSP section of the T+A 3000 series runs at 32 bit float to perform upsampling, but direct 32 bit float transfer is not enabled. Enabling it could save 2 conversions, float to int and int to float leaving only the final float to int conversion for the DAC section, are you reading this T+A? :)
 

austinpop

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2017
55
92
83
Austin, TX
I had a phonecall today with Thesycon, they develop and maintain the drivers for XMOS interfaces (the vast mayority). They’re not aware of any DAC chips supporting 32 bit float. The DSP section of the T+A 3000 series runs at 32 bit float to perform upsampling, but direct 32 bit float transfer is not enabled. Enabling it could save 2 conversions, float to int and int to float leaving only the final float to int conversion for the DAC section, are you reading this T+A? :)
Clearly, Jussi knew what he was talking about!
 

Taiko Audio

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Feb 10, 2017
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Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
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Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
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From that link:

but the biggest benefit to be had is by playing them back on DACs that have a floating point internal architecture, mostly because of an internal DSP (digital signal processor), which are pretty much always (32bit) floating point.
I do wonder if that list is accurate, it might just be limited to the DSP section, and the float transfer functionality may not even be enabled.
 

matthias

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
370
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Germany
I had a phonecall today with Thesycon, they develop and maintain the drivers for XMOS interfaces (the vast mayority). They’re not aware of any DAC chips supporting 32 bit float. The DSP section of the T+A 3000 series runs at 32 bit float to perform upsampling, but direct 32 bit float transfer is not enabled. Enabling it could save 2 conversions, float to int and int to float leaving only the final float to int conversion for the DAC section, are you reading this T+A? :)
Exactly what I thought, I suppose it is the same with USB interfaces as Jussi mentioned.

Matt
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
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I missed that, just read up, that explains most except according to Thesycon their ASIO drivers for the XMOS controller support 32 bit float, however they’re not aware of any DAC manufacturers using it. The Chord Dave uses the Amanero, no idea about that. What @austinpop describes there is interesting though!
 

matthias

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
370
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Germany

oldmustang

Well-Known Member
Dec 2, 2012
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From that link:



I do wonder if that list is accurate, it might just be limited to the DSP section, and the float transfer functionality may not even be enabled.
Well, the part listing the Innuos streamers is not correct, at least as far as being DACs.
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
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Well, the part listing the Innuos streamers is not correct, at least as far as being DACs.
I think we can safely assume none of the DACs we are typically using support 32bit float. The big advantage to me looks to be in the digital mastering processes.
 
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Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
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As you all may have noticed I've been less active on the forum lately, for very good reasons though. We are actively working on several projects in parallel.

First of all we have finalised our new USB card design, the final (still prototype) PCB's are now on order and are expected to arrive in about 4 weeks. These will need final data integrity checks (and listening tests) performed after which we will have a production batch made. As a sneak preview I have attached the bare PCB top assembly below. This will be a PCIe plug in card which can be plugged into a free PCIe slot in the Extreme.

USB.JPG

The switch is not far behind, the first data integrity checks and analysis are being performed now, I expect to order the final (also still prototype) PCB's in about 2 weeks. If it doesn't give away too much design details I will share it's top assembly by that time.

We are making good progress on TAS too, the IOS app is about finished, so is the control interface to the Extreme (without sonic negatives!). I will ask Chris to take/post a few screenshots of the app later today. What we are working on now and what is causing some delays is native DSD playback, especially higher DSD sampling rates are causing us some headaches. We are also working on an interface to HQPlayer. That would give us instant (any rate) native DSD playback capability of course but at a Euro 199 VAT exclusive up price. It's important regardless as we have an increasing number of Chord Dave customers using HQPlayer to replace the Chord Mscaler and/or to be able to use even higher TAP filters then the Chord Dave uses natively.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
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E. England
Emile, can you see the TAS being offered on other, non-Taiko servers? Or are you gonna be selfish? Lol
 

Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
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Emile, can you see the TAS being offered on other, non-Taiko servers? Or are you gonna be selfish? Lol
Well, we're developing it for our servers. In fact we will have our own USB DAC driver which can be controlled from the TAS remote app which is going to be hardware locked to each individual Extreme as there is an annual license fee involved for each server (we will absorb those for Extreme owners). We could and might consider developing a "light" version to be used by others, this will lack hardware parameter tuning options specific to the Extreme, but it's not a priority at this time.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
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'Nuff said.
 

matthias

Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2019
370
118
48
Germany
First of all we have finalised our new USB card design, the final (still prototype) PCB's are now on order and are expected to arrive in about 4 weeks. These will need final data integrity checks (and listening tests) performed after which we will have a production batch made. As a sneak preview I have attached the bare PCB top assembly below. This will be a PCIe plug in card which can be plugged into a free PCIe slot in the Extreme.
Out of curiousity do you use in your USB card also an ASMedia controller chip?
Thanks

Matt
 

rando

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2019
280
214
45
What we are working on now and what is causing some delays is native DSD playback, especially higher DSD sampling rates are causing us some headaches.We are also working on an interface to HQPlayer.
I'm sure many await Taiko's answer to the ($64K) xxGHz HQP question.
 
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Taiko Audio

Industry Expert
Feb 10, 2017
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Out of curiousity do you use in your USB card also an ASMedia controller chip?
Thanks

Matt
We were designing around the ASM3242 (successor to the ASM3142 which is in the Extreme now). But while designing the switch we noticed the significant SQ improvement associated with using industrial wide temperature range Ethernet Phys. Probably not a big surprise that we got a similar delta from industrial USB controllers. Asmedia does not carry those so we switched to a different vendor.
 
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