• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM?

Easy EMI Options at HiFiMART.com

santosh4

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
255
Points
18
Location
Bangalore
I am wondering is there are any dac available which accepts bitstream over optical for flac 192, all the Dac I came accross are accepting only PCM.

Whats the point of accepting PCM and then amplifying it, when the source is decoding the file. I have bdp 440 pioneer player and looking for a decent DAC that accepts the bitstream and then decodes instead of me sending the PCM.
 

sound_cycle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
1,123
Points
83
Location
Hyderabad
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

Interesting.

I've thought that PCM was lossless and "good" quality. Other options of representing an audio waveform are HT stuff (which I don't read up on) Dolby and DTS and such like which are lossy.

The other options which are on the-learn-about-someday list are stuff like SACD and DSD (In my limited reading I recollect noting that many DSD dacs convert to PCM or something !)

I don't have much 192 material (just some stuff from that linn christmas giveaway) but I could play it over SPDIF optical.

What do you want your BD player to do ? Why do you believe that PCM is bad ?

A hasty search got me here http://everythingaudionetwork.blogspot.in/2013/04/audiophile-review-hdmi-de-embedder.html are you looking for something like this ???

ciao
gr
 
Last edited:

santosh4

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
255
Points
18
Location
Bangalore
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

I am streaming LPCM from my bluray player bdp-440 since the cambridge dacmagic does not support bitstream. I belive he decoding is happening in the bdp-440, which I dont think is good. I wish I could stream the bitstream to external dac that can do the decode. I am talking about the stereo only not multichannel. I dont listen to multichannel.

so again the question is why external dac need LPCM? why cant they take bitstream so that the audio quality is pure.

dacmagic is just adding external flavours to the incoming LPCM,
 

sound_cycle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
1,123
Points
83
Location
Hyderabad
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

so again the question is why external dac need LPCM? why cant they take bitstream so that the audio quality is pure.

My chain

flac -> fb2k -> bitstream ie digital over spdif optical -> DAC - >amp analog input

you have (I assume)

Pioneer BDP -> bitstream ie digital over spdif optical -> DAC -> Amp

As I interpret it you are dealing with a bit perfect unaltered digital stream to the DAC.

Confused as to your question. Why does your outboard DAC need a non digital input ? Could you please explain better ?

ciao
gr
 

santosh4

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
255
Points
18
Location
Bangalore
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

Existing:

Pioneer BDP -> LPCM over spdif optical -> DAC -> Amp

what I need

Pioneer BDP -> bitstream over spdif optical -> DAC -> Amp


Case 1: decoding happeing at BDP

Case 2: Decoding happeningn in DAC


I am looking for the seccond option, which dac supports that?
 

sound_cycle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
1,123
Points
83
Location
Hyderabad
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

Existing:

Pioneer BDP -> LPCM over spdif optical -> DAC -> Amp ..... [1]

what I need

Pioneer BDP -> bitstream over spdif optical -> DAC -> Amp .....[2]


Case 1: decoding happeing at BDP

Case 2: Decoding happeningn in DAC


I am looking for the seccond option, which dac supports that?

Help me out please.

PCM is a digital way of representing an analog audio signal.

You are feeding your DAC a digital input.

Therefore, IMHO [1] = [2]

How can case 1 possibly exist in your chain ?

What is the problem that you are really trying to solve ?

ps: saw your post in wanted. AFAIK flac is a storage format.

ciao
gr
 

santosh4

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
255
Points
18
Location
Bangalore
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

Thank you for your reply, Please update me if I am loosing anything on the quality If I am sending LPCM instead of bitstream? Thats all I need to know.
 

manniraj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,772
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

Thank you for your reply, Please update me if I am loosing anything on the quality If I am sending LPCM instead of bitstream? Thats all I need to know.

I think bitstream as a concept/word mostly associated with audio signals like in a movie/tv file which normally can happen either over SPDIF/Coaxial for DTS/DD and DTS-HD/Dolby Tru-HD over HDMI ports. As far as music is concerned as sound_cycle mentioned when you send the signal over SPDIF or USB (in case of a PC) it is nothing but unaltered source "PCM" signal which your DAC can recognize and decode it. So your source player is just being a transport and all the decoding happens at the external DAC end.
 

Nishanth

Active Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
202
Points
28
Location
Chennai
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

Please update me if I am loosing anything on the quality If I am sending LPCM instead of bitstream? Thats all I need to know.

There is no loss of quality in your current setup.

Decoding a FLAC file to PCM is like unzipping a zipped file, when you unzip a zipped file the output you get is always the same. Unzipping a file in your desktop PC or a laptop or any other system will always give the same output file. Similarly decoding a FLAC in a DVD player or in a DAC will not affect the quality of output.

Just make sure that your DAC shows the incoming sample rate as 192 while playing FLAC 192kHz files. If it does then there should be no problem with the sound quality, if your DAC shows something lower than 192 while playing 192kHz files then your player is downsampling the output. Your can change the downsampling rate in your DVD players settings, it should be set to match the input file (192k for a 192 FLAC file)
 

santosh4

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
255
Points
18
Location
Bangalore
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

Wonderful Nishanth, thanks for your reply.
 

srisaikat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2010
Messages
560
Points
63
Location
KOLKATA
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

Something went wrong. Please see the next post........
 
Last edited:

srisaikat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2010
Messages
560
Points
63
Location
KOLKATA
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

Existing:

Pioneer BDP -> LPCM over spdif optical -> DAC -> Amp

what I need

Pioneer BDP -> bitstream over spdif optical -> DAC -> Amp


Case 1: decoding happeing at BDP

Case 2: Decoding happeningn in DAC


I am looking for the seccond option, which dac supports that?


Please read these carefully- B&O Tech: Where should I decode? ? earfluff and eyecandy

and

Connectivity Today RamElectronics.Net: Bitstream vs PCM (LPCM) when using a DAC or in your Home Theater Setup

In a nutshell, there are 2 separate process involved. Decoding to PCM (which is basic digital format for audio, still in digital domain) and then Converting that PCM to Analog Signal. First part done by a decoder (for most of the cases done by bdp or av receiver) which also involved various licensing for various codecs. No so called DAC (just any pure stand alone dac) can do the 1st part. But the 2nd Part (PCM to Analog) done by those commercially available DACs like Schiit Bifrost, Audiolab, Metrum octave, Chordette Qute, Audio-gd etc. etc. For example when you are using any bdp to play movie or music directly connecting it's analog out to an amp then both process (decoding and DAC work) is furnished (for sound) by the bdp.

Now for external decoding/DAC

1)If you have AVR then you can instruct the bdp either (through menu) not to intervene with any of the process, just to read and send the bitstream to the AVR for both processing (decoding and DAC work).

or

2) instruct the bdp to send the decoded pcm to AVR (now you can use a stand alone DAC with separate amp at downstream instead of AVR) just to complete DAC process.

For case no.1 The AVR will show the format type of the signal (Dolby, DTS etc. etc...)

For case no.2 The AVR with show just PCM (some may show also incoming sample frequency like 44.1 or 48.0 or 88.2 or 96 KHz etc. etc.....). In this case you can use a DAC instead of AVR. If that DAC has display or indicator then it also will show the incoming sample frequencies.
 
Last edited:

santosh4

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2010
Messages
255
Points
18
Location
Bangalore
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

All things makes sense now.. so I am not worried about bitsream anymore,
for the stereo.

I would go for the dac and send pcm to dac, thank you.
 

srisaikat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2010
Messages
560
Points
63
Location
KOLKATA
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

The real question you should ask, are all digital transport are same when you taking the spdif out? I mean, would a Rs.2000 worth DVD player and a Rs.1 lakh worth CDP or a Rs.25k worth media player (like popcorn hour or mede8er) sound same through an external DAC when you are just taking the COAX out from the respective players? You should hunt down this question yourself.
 
Last edited:

Biswarup

New Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
5
Points
0
Location
Kolkata
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

Connecting a good DAC ( Cambridge Audio Magic DAC 100 / Topping ) with Pioneer Bluray Player BDP 170 and then to Denon AVR 2100W - My query is whether insertion of DAC will improve the audio quality of music ? Whether a dedicated CD Player like Marantz CD 5005 is a better option by connecting through RCA with the Denon AVR ? Which one is the better option for better sound optimization ? Please guide.
 

jls001

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
6,206
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

I would go for the dac and send pcm to dac, thank you.

To clarify an important point here: DACs will recognise and process audio data in one of two formats, namely Microsoft .wav (which continues to be the most widely used standard) and/or Sony's DSD.

So when your source play flac, etc, the source (software or hardware based player) will decompress and decode the flac to wav (PCM), which it then sends to the DAC. flac is a compression algorithm and also a container, and the DAC will not be able recognise it till it is decoded and decompressed into a native audio file format.

Same applies to DSD.
 
Last edited:

srisaikat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2010
Messages
560
Points
63
Location
KOLKATA
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

In one word if you want to play just CDs (ACD) then a dedicated CDP will be better option for stereo playback. If you want to use low end to mid budget bdp then a dedicated DAC will be more precise option again for stereo playback. DAC will add versatility to your system as in that case you can use your pc also as a playback source (assumed that you choose the DAC with usb connectivity or using a pc or mac with spdif connectivity).

I forget to mention to my early post (as said by jls001) when you are using ACD or WAV files there will be no decoding as they are already basically in pcm format. DAC will do it's job straight wise.
 
Last edited:

sound_cycle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
1,123
Points
83
Location
Hyderabad
Re: Dac which support bitstream and flac 192? whats the point if dacs accept only PCM

DAC will add versatility to your system as in that case you can use your pc also as a playback source (assumed that you choose the DAC with usb connectivity or using a pc or mac with spdif connectivity)

Just to add and expand

record players used an electromagnetic devices to convert sound vibrations from the record into electrical signals, the magic device which "actually" reconstructed the sound wave which went on to an amplifier.

The DAC does just that bit of magic. It ofc does more "magic" than a cartridge could and can get its inputs from a variety of sources and means.

The biggest, most startlingly different improvements in my experience have come from a) the room b) the DAC c) the power I fed my source d) my mood e) all other things.

ciao
gr
 
Top