SPDIF 24/192 optical output needed for new Windows 10 desktop

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Doctor Fine, Feb 10, 2019 at 5:20 PM.

  1. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    I have a SPDIF-only Benchmark DAC1 and needed a new computer badly so I said goodbye to Windows 7 desktop that had a SPDIF 24/192 output jack and bought a top of the line new desktop which like all the new ones no longer comes with a SPDIF output jack.
    I thought I could buy a soundcard with SPDIF so no big deal---ha!
    I have had nothing but grief trying to get a soundcard add-on with SPDIF 24/192 that will WORK.
    I bought two different cards that do the same thing----first the sound gets garbled, scratchy and like "marbles in their mouths" then the sound drags then it freezes the computer up.
    Tech support sent another card---same thing.
    We tried disabling the built in "conexant" software provided with the computer which feeds the existing el-cheapo built-in audio analog output jacks. Thought it might just be a conflict.
    Also tried disabling the built in "conexant" sound in Bios setting only to find that Bios no longer provides sound settings.
    Tried reinstalling driver software for Windows 10 directly from card manufacturers but same thing.
    Reset computer to remove any duplicate sound card settings.
    Reinstalled over and over.
    I am beginning to think that Windows 10 won't support SPDIF!
    I have no desire to chuck my DAC1 as it is a great DAC.
    Anybody have a solution to get a new Windows 10 computer to accept a soundcard with SPDIF 24/192?


    Here is a list of what the computer comes with and it is certainly a capable unit.
    The computer manufacturer wants me to pack it up and ship it back so they can check the soundcard plugs for a defect.
    I doubt that will help as I have tried different slots and they all don't work.
    I really think there must be a conflict somewhere but I am not bright enough to know where to look...

    HP ENVY 795qd Desktop PC
    Product number: 4AB22AV
    Winddows 10 Advanced
    8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8700
    16 GB memory
    No Optane
    256 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
    2 TB HDD storage
    Natural silver aluminum diamond front bezel, brushed hairline pattern
    NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 6G
    400W internal Power supply
     
  2. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    Oh the two cards I bought were a Star Tech Pexsound7ch which is supposed to be 24/192 SPDIF output and Windows 10 compatible (but no new Windows 10 drivers are listed on their site, only goes up to Windows 8!).
    Then I bought a Sound Blaster Audigy Rx which is also supposed to be Windows 10 and it has the correct updated Windows 10 drivers on their website.
    BUT I notice in the computer card setting that the Audigy Rx won't output above 24/96---which it would be nice if they listed this fact on the sales sheets!
    But never matter---neither work anyway...
     
  3. Dan Loretangeli

    Dan Loretangeli Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    somnar and LeeS like this.
  4. Vincent Kars

    Vincent Kars Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Europa
    An obvious first is 24/ 192 OPTICAL SPDIF
    SPDIF over optical is called Toslink and this standard is limited to 24/96 kHz
    Modern hardware can do better but 192 kHz over Toslink might stretch either the sender or the receiver a bit to much.

    It is possible that your desktop does have a SPDIF header but not a receptacle: The Well-Tempered Computer
    An alternative , if all cards fail you, is a USB to SPDIF converter: The Well-Tempered Computer
    The electrical ones do support 24/192 kHz
     
    Doctor Fine likes this.
  5. GreenDrazi

    GreenDrazi Truth is beauty

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Just to clarify for you, W10 does support SPDIF output, as I'm using it on a few setups.
     
  6. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    I understood that SPDIF was entirely capable of 24/192 over optical given a good cable.
    I have several older Windows 7 computers that output 24/192 over SPDIF optical.
    I have SPDIF input DACs (including a Bryston BDA-1) that show they are working with this format already over Window 7 and the SPDIF output jacks those older computers came with.
    My ten year old $300 mini desktop has SPDIF and outputs 24/192 over Realtek optical if you believe the settings menu.
    The problem that is blowing my mind is that the newer Windows 10 computer I have is apparently NOT capable of outputting SPDIF period over a SPDIF output sound card and will in fact lock up if you try.
    Yet the ten year old computers I have are doing swell at 24/192.
    The USB to SPDIF converters I see on the market are all well and good.
    But what happened to the simple idea of outputting 24/192 over SPDIF in the first place?
    I can appreciate that standards do in fact change over time.
    But since we audiophiles are interested in streaming 24/192 from Qobuz and many of us already HAVE 24/192 SPDIF DACs with no USB inputs, I am surprised nobody but me is having problems doing so using Window 10.
    USB to SPDIF converters as I understand it are overly complex beasts that take a noisey USB environment and try to filter out the 5volt power noise and all the other noise that comes over USB and THEN re-clock it and convert it back to SPDIF.
    This drives me crazy as ten year old computers HAD a SPDIF jack on the back and a SPDIF header plug on the mother board and none of the noise of frequency aberrations reported over USB are present AND they don't have to re-clock anything.
    It's like the entire industry has lost its mind and is following a bad audio format (USB) even though it now takes converters to try to somewhat successfully implement what is already THERE on your motherboard in its natural state.
    Am I over simplifying things and out of touch?
    I keep seeing ads for new sound cards that clearly state that they output SPDIF on their output jacks and that they support 24/192 over SPDIF and that they are great using Windows 10.
    It seems to me that this is all lies.
    I have tried three of them and done all the driver updates and checked all the device manager settings ad nauseum and STILL can't get anything to work.
    Am I the only person that can't get this technology to work?
    Are we at the point where none of you know how to get 24/192 SPDIF out of a modern Windows 10 computer?
    If so then we are all doomed as the sending format of Qobuz is 24/192 and I for one would like to hear it.
     
  7. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    How?
    What computer?
    Sound card?
    You have a desktop with a SPDIF output this late in the game with Windows 10?
    How did you get 24/192 to work over optical with a new Windows 10 computer.
    Honestly I will give this one to my wife who uses hers for video and go buy another computer if necessary...
     
  8. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    As I stated SPDIF over optical is able to carry 24/192 according to many many reports on the net.
    My own Bryston says it recieves 192 over a ten year old computer mini desktop that cost $300 new.
    And I don't WANT to go out and buy a "convertor' to change USB back to SPDIF as the only good ones are from Berkeley Audio and cost $2000.
    It seems ridiculous to have to fight this hard to simply get SPDIF out of a new computer when ten year old ones did 24/192 all day long.
    Anybody?
     
  9. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Did you try one of these?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    ?
     
  11. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    OK, maybe this has been covered and I'm out of touch.
    I'm beginning now to believe the only practical way to get a Windows 10 non-SPDIF plug equipped computer (i.e. a NEW computer) to work with an outboard SPDIF DAC is to use a USB to SPDIF converter.
    Native SPDIF has apparently been omitted from all new Windows 10 computers.
    As a result a Windows 10 SPDIF equipped soundcard doesn't then exist even if they claim it does...
    Because apparently soundcards got left behind when Windows 10 came out.
    Now if you want a DAC you either buy a USB DAC or you spend money to buy a USB to SPDIF convertor which in most cases is a lot more money than a cheap soundcard with a SPDIF plug on it.
    Is THIS correct?
    Should I just give up and buy a Schiit Eitr (USB-SPDIF outboard converter) and be done with it?
    Hey whatever works right is fine with me.
    I was simply sticking with SPDIF and avoiding the USB connection due to complaints that USB is not so good with audio.
    I understand that Berkeley makes a USB to SPDIF converter that is real nice for two grand.
    Seems a shame that it used to come "for free" on the back of your computer and had none of the USB degradation.
    Oh well.
     
  12. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    I don't know what life is like with an HP computer, but the MSI motherboard in my custom computer has a 3-pin header for digital audio output. To get a SPDIF output I installed that ASUS bracket with the optical and coax. It sits in a slot like a sound card.
     
  13. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    Yup. That used to be possible.
    I can't find any SPDIF header on my HP, darnit.
    Tell me, was that a NEW Windows 10 computer?
    I have ordered a new Schiit Eitr USB/SPDIF converter for a couple hundred bucks and will see if it works and sounds anywhere close to what I already had ten years ago.
    Oh well.
    Here we are with a de-facto new standard of streaming 24/192 over Qobuz and the darn computers probably all require new DACs that work with great USB implementation.
    Maybe I will HAVE to break down and buy an MQA/USB DAC in the end!
    Which ticks me off since my old DACs are superb and easily handle 24/192!
     
  14. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    OK. I just bought a Schitt Eitr USB/SPDIF converter and will try installing it this week.
    By the way just to clarify----did yours work well with a new Windows 10 computer?
    I know they say it does but excuse me if I feel slightly gun shy after buying three soundcards that apparently do NOT work with Windows 10.
     
  15. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    Sounds great.
    How?
    Did you buy a sound card and get one that works with Windows 10 and outputs 24/192?
     
  16. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    Thank you so much for THIS.
    You will notice the USB/SPDIF converters listed on that site range in price from around $500 up to $2000.
    The new Schiit Eitr is supposed to be pretty good according to the internet---AND it costs less than $200.
    All of this is annoying considering they used to give away SPDIF 24/192 for FREE before USB/Windows 10 came on the scene.
    Oh well.
     
  17. GreenDrazi

    GreenDrazi Truth is beauty

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Your SPDIF issues are due to the hardware limitations of the sound cards that you have purchased and not W10. The motherboard has no SPDIF (uses HDMI instead, apparently) and the add-on cards that you've purchased are all limited to 2 channel 24B/96kHz via either hardware (Sound Blaster has Toslink out) or lack of driver support (Star Tech).

    I suggest that you focus your efforts on finding an add-on sound card that supports 2 channel 24B/192kHz SPDIF coaxial (not Toslink) OUTPUT in W10 instead of blaming the OS. I know that ASUS and M-Audio have made cards that support this, but I have no idea if these cards are still being made and if they have W10 support. I also suggest that you contact Benchmark for their input on current sound cards that support their DAC at that rate.
     
  18. Bob_in_OKC

    Bob_in_OKC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    This was a separate motherboard, not specifically a Windows computer. That's probably the difference.
     
  19. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    Like WHAT card?
    Look all I am trying to do is run Windows 10 and avoid using an expensive outboard USB to SPDIF converter box and instead get by using a cheap SPDIF equipped soundcard to get my signal and avoid USB and its accompanying noise issues.
    The outboard USB SPDIF converter boxes and outboard USB DACs use in many cases very expensive isolation transformers to keep the USB power noise from corrupting your audio.
    Native SPDIF has NONE of those problems in the first place.
    As for SPDIF connect ability it runs fine at 24/192 either coax or optical if both devices are so rated and you use good cables.
    This has been covered many many times right here on this forum.
    I am asking you guys instead of bugging Benchmark as Benchmark left SPDIF as a legacy format years ago and all their current DACs are USB using various USB tricks to try to get good audio over USB.
    The $2000 Berkeley Audio USB/SPDIF outboard converter box probably is pretty quiet and would work plugged into my Benchmark DAC1 or my Bryston BDA-1 but it gripes me to pay two thousand bucks for a problem that doesn't even exist under native SPDIF!
    So here I am trying to learn if clarity can be brought to bear on this subject.
    I just spent another two full hours with Sound Blaster and they could NOT answer simply that they KNOW their card will output SPDIF AT ALL under Windows 10!
    So far it is looking like USB=10, SPDIF=0.
    I love knowing exactly what we are getting into with high performance streaming as...well it costs several hundred bucks a year AND I would like for it to WORK!
    My two cents.
     
  20. daglesj

    daglesj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    I can't remember the last time I saw a SPDIF equipped PC or motherboard from the past 5 or 6 years.

    Obsolete I would say.

    You could try building a new pc with older used parts. Off the shelf machines from HP and Dell have very limited Bios configs and hardware customisation
     
  21. Vincent Kars

    Vincent Kars Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Europa
    It is.
    Its main disadvantage is that the sample rate is derived from the send-rate of the bus.
    The average mobo doesn't have a pristine clock generating the sample rate so do expect some substantial input jitter.
    A asynchronous protocol like async USB doesn't have this problem.

    It isn't
    It is still very popular in AV.
    A lot of multi media PC's still support Toslink/SPDIF
    Even modern platforms like NUC: Forums
     
  22. The Schiit Eitr will work in Windows 10. The Eitr is also USB Audio Class 2 compliant. Current releases of Windows 10 are also now automatically have a native USB Audio Class 2 driver. So theoretically you can plug in the Eitr and not have to install any drivers to get it working.

    The Eitr works well. I've been using one. The downside is that it only has a coax RCA SPDIF output. No other output options like AES. The advantage of the Eitr is that it is only $180 while good alternatives are several hundred to a thousand dollars more. If I had a Berkeley DAC I'd use the Eitr to get USB input rather than spending the crazy money for the Berkeley USB to SPDIF converter.
     
  23. daglesj

    daglesj Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norfolk, UK

    Oh Toslink is still very popular. I was referring to the old RCA phono socket type output.
     
  24. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lewes, DE
    Glad that you like your Eitr.
    Are you successfully using 24/192 over coax SPDIF with the Schiit unit?
    Just curious how high you have run with success as I believe 24/192 is a worthwhile rate to use considering what HiPo streaming will cost you.
     
  25. I've used it at 24/192 with no problems. Using a budget generic 75 ohm coax cable I had on hand. Connected to a Schiit Gungnir and other DACs.
     

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