The ***Unofficial*** Multichannel DAC Thread

Ron Party

WBF Founding Member
Apr 30, 2010
2,457
0
0
Oakland, CA
#1
Who currently makes multichannel DACS? Are they hi-rez capable and, if so, to what degree (e.g., 24/192, DSD, etc.)? Anyone have personal experience with any such DAC? In what manner is the connection made from the DAC to the pre?

Same questions for any multichannel DACS coming down the pipeline.

Bruce? Gary? Amir?
 

dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
2,090
0
0
Dallas, Texas
#6
I wish the exasound e28 had a mic input. I've always wanted to do a killer multi-channel system with multiple subs. It would be so much easier to measure if all outs and in were the same device like pro audio gear. Pro audio gear can sound really great but usability doesn't work for home; eg. TRS outs, no IR remote control and usually ugly.
 

Nyal Mellor

Industry Expert
Jul 14, 2010
591
0
0
SF Bay Area, CA, USA
#7
I wish the exasound e28 had a mic input. I've always wanted to do a killer multi-channel system with multiple subs. It would be so much easier to measure if all outs and in were the same device like pro audio gear. Pro audio gear can sound really great but usability doesn't work for home; eg. TRS outs, no IR remote control and usually ugly.
I thought you hated multi-channel?
 

Nyal Mellor

Industry Expert
Jul 14, 2010
591
0
0
SF Bay Area, CA, USA
#8
Who currently makes multichannel DACS? Are they hi-rez capable and, if so, to what degree (e.g., 24/192, DSD, etc.)? Anyone have personal experience with any such DAC? In what manner is the connection made from the DAC to the pre?

Same questions for any multichannel DACS coming down the pipeline.

Bruce? Gary? Amir?
Consumer or Pro? Pro units have their own ergonomic issues. For example I have used a Metric Halo LIO8...nice sounding unit but requires set up using a Mac and grappling with the complex (and I'm sure very powerful) mixing console software. Also does not have any muting during switch on / off so expect some nasty transients. After living with a pro interface it's not something I'd recommend to most people. Consumer wise I can only think of three units: ExaSound E28 (8 channel), a cobbled together system using three Myteks and one 6 channel unit made by Meitner/EMM Labs (which I think is discontinued).

What application? Music, movies?

I'm not sure what you mean 'connection made from DAC to pre'? I presume you are feeding it a multichannel signal? From what? A music server or a disc player? You can get a digital output board for the Oppos that puts out multiple SPDIF (two channel) streams. But I don't know of any DACs with multiple SPDIF inputs. There are a few DACs with multichannel AES inputs, again all Pro units, most of which use a DB25 connector, just for fun! For music server there are more options...you can use USB into an ExaSound or pro interface such as a Lynx Aurora, or you can use an internal soundcard such as a Lynx AES16e to spit out multiple AES to a pro dac like the aforementioned Metric Halo, or you could use a Weiss AF1 and then a lot of 2 channel DACs.

FWIW I have a multichannel system up and running. Music server running JRiver via a Lynx AES16e to a couple of DACs. This feeds a 12 channel system..I created this monster as a side project, HTPC as pre-pro. I also have a demo ExaSound E28 unit or can give you an explanation in my showroom in Fairfax, Marin County (SF Bay Area).
 

dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
2,090
0
0
Dallas, Texas
#9
I thought you hated multi-channel?
How would I know? :) I've never had a multi-channel system. I pre-maturely killed my last attempt at it because it was too complex. Since then, I've found I like DIRAC's approach to DSP. So, I am very interested in their new way of doing active room correction using 8 channels. I sent you some stuff yesterday.

I like the shots of your room.
 

Kal Rubinson

Active Member
May 5, 2010
1,437
0
36
NYC/CT
www.stereophile.com
#11
Since then, I've found I like DIRAC's approach to DSP. So, I am very interested in their new way of doing active room correction using 8 channels.
You can run Dirac through the exaSound via jRiver.
 

dallasjustice

Member Sponsor
Apr 12, 2011
2,090
0
0
Dallas, Texas
#12
You can run Dirac through the exaSound via jRiver.
I think you are saying I can run the sweep through Jriver using the Jriver output device? I've thought about that too. But DIRAC will only see the outs and ins via kernel. I would prefer to measure in and out from same device. I know DIRAC has a way to get around clock drift but I wouldn't want to rely on that. If I measured with the exa, I would go out Exa and in my RME soundcard. Even if the exa had a word clock input or output, that would work too.
 
May 25, 2010
747
8
18
SF Bay Area
#14
I'm using an E28 just for mch. I only have a 5.1 so it is working fine playing DSD files ripped from my SACD's. No processing, however. Just straight through my CJ MET-1. I have a custom switch that allows me to use my LR speakers and their amps both in my stereo configuration and in my 5.1. The advantage of my 5.1 is that I have the same brand of speaker all around - Avantgarde Duos for LR and Avantgarde Solos (which are self powered for C and LR, RR). The .1 is a Velodyne DD-18. I have about 2TB of mch files. So far they sound very nice. I have most all of the SACD BIS Suzuki Bach Cantatas which are a real treat in mch.

I am using A+ through my Mac Mini. The main pain is resetting the preferences when I go back to play my stereo digital files through my BADA2 and BA USB. I have it down to about 20 seconds, so it isn't too bad. No integer mode for mch for the E28 yet on A+ however.

Larry
 

mojave

New Member
Oct 29, 2010
251
0
0
Elkhorn, NE
#15
The Lynx Hilo is a 6 channel DAC. I've only tested it with 4 channels, but Mitchco is using all 6 channels for active 3-way speakers.

I currently own a Steinberg MR816x (Firewire 8 channel), Steinberg UR824 (USB 8 channel), Ross Martin Audio AES Eight (AES 8 channel via Lynx AES16e), and a Tascam US-366 (USB 4 channel).

Yesterday I received a Solid State Logic Alpha Link MX 4-16 and a MadiXtreme Card for testing. The PCIe card outputs MADI via fiber optic and the DAC is 16 channels at 24 bit 192 kHz.
 

Nyal Mellor

Industry Expert
Jul 14, 2010
591
0
0
SF Bay Area, CA, USA
#16
The Lynx Hilo is a 6 channel DAC. I've only tested it with 4 channels, but Mitchco is using all 6 channels for active 3-way speakers.

I currently own a Steinberg MR816x (Firewire 8 channel), Steinberg UR824 (USB 8 channel), Ross Martin Audio AES Eight (AES 8 channel via Lynx AES16e), and a Tascam US-366 (USB 4 channel).

Yesterday I received a Solid State Logic Alpha Link MX 4-16 and a MadiXtreme Card for testing. The PCIe card outputs MADI via fiber optic and the DAC is 16 channels at 24 bit 192 kHz.
How do you get 6 outputs out of the Lynx? Use the headphone output?
 

Nyal Mellor

Industry Expert
Jul 14, 2010
591
0
0
SF Bay Area, CA, USA
#17
I'm using an E28 just for mch. I only have a 5.1 so it is working fine playing DSD files ripped from my SACD's. No processing, however. Just straight through my CJ MET-1. I have a custom switch that allows me to use my LR speakers and their amps both in my stereo configuration and in my 5.1. The advantage of my 5.1 is that I have the same brand of speaker all around - Avantgarde Duos for LR and Avantgarde Solos (which are self powered for C and LR, RR). The .1 is a Velodyne DD-18. I have about 2TB of mch files. So far they sound very nice. I have most all of the SACD BIS Suzuki Bach Cantatas which are a real treat in mch.

I am using A+ through my Mac Mini. The main pain is resetting the preferences when I go back to play my stereo digital files through my BADA2 and BA USB. I have it down to about 20 seconds, so it isn't too bad. No integer mode for mch for the E28 yet on A+ however.

Larry
If you went over to JRiver (at least on Windows) you could use ZoneSwitch to automatically change between a configuration for 2 channel and a different one for multi-channel.
 

Nyal Mellor

Industry Expert
Jul 14, 2010
591
0
0
SF Bay Area, CA, USA
#18
I think you are saying I can run the sweep through Jriver using the Jriver output device? I've thought about that too. But DIRAC will only see the outs and ins via kernel. I would prefer to measure in and out from same device. I know DIRAC has a way to get around clock drift but I wouldn't want to rely on that. If I measured with the exa, I would go out Exa and in my RME soundcard. Even if the exa had a word clock input or output, that would work too.
Why do you think it is important to have Dirac measure through the playback soundcard / device? Couldn't you just use a completely separate soundcard for Dirac measurements and then apply the filters to the normal playback chain?
 

Nyal Mellor

Industry Expert
Jul 14, 2010
591
0
0
SF Bay Area, CA, USA
#19
How would I know? :) I've never had a multi-channel system. I pre-maturely killed my last attempt at it because it was too complex. Since then, I've found I like DIRAC's approach to DSP. So, I am very interested in their new way of doing active room correction using 8 channels. I sent you some stuff yesterday.

I like the shots of your room.
Yes, very interesting stuff from Dirac. Will be keen to see if any OEM partners include that form of processing in their product. I can't see it at the moment, even from DataSat.
 

edorr

WBF Founding Member
May 11, 2010
3,151
0
36
Smyrna, GA
#20
I'm fudging a MCH DAC, by using 2 channels of a MSB DAC, one channel of Trinnov D/A conversion, and 2 channels NAD M51. Volume control is synched up with macros over RS232. I will likely lose the Trinnov soon (swap out for Dirac on server) and use a "virtual MCH DAC" using 1 x MSB and 2 x NAD M51 with iRule / RS232 integration.
 

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