M2Tech Hiface USB to SPDIF converter

reignofchaos

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I'm ordering an M2Tech HiFace USB->SPDIF converter for myself. Right now this is probably the lowest jitter and best sounding converter you can get for reasonable amounts of money and if you use an external DAC with a computer transport it doesn't get any better. I'm placing the order tomorrow. Is anyone else interested in it? If so, we may order together. Please PM me if you are interested.

It costs 99 euro + shipping (40 euro through UPS) from Italy. The shipping can be split if multiple people are ordering. Here is the link to the product and reviews:

M2Tech

Usb 24 192khz M2tech Hiface - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-source/153191-m2tech-hiface-usb-spdif-24-192khz-asynch.html
Just received: M2Tech Hiface USB interface | Computer Audiophile

PS: There is a 10 euro shipping option thru normal post but I'd not touch that option with a bargepole considering how bad the post office chaps are in handling international consignments. We might not even receive it!
 
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sachi

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This may actually be the best solution. I just received my Musiland USD 01 USB to SPDIF converter. ANother async USB solution but half the price of the M2Tech..But i guess you get what you pay for. There was a noticeable decrease in sound quality compared to my onboard Spdif out which i wasn't expecting at all. Am gonna get rid of it and will want to listen and evaluate the M2Tech before sinking money into it.

My onboard out isn't bit perfect though, while the musiland is.
Puzzling that the onboard out sounded better to my ears.
 

cooltoad

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Will connecting the optical out of creative Xfi usb from laptop to the optical in of the DAC(Caiman) reduce SQ ? or will i be better off using the usb directly.
 

reignofchaos

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The reason why this has better jitter performance than many top end CD players is two fold - first it is purely designed to be a USB -> SPDIF converter and nothing else. Inside they have their own custom firmware running on a Xilinx chip running async USB. Plus instead of a PLL that every single other solution uses for the SPDIF clock, they use a super stable crystal oscillator. More info here

http://www.m2tech.biz/public/pdf/White Paper on hiFace.pdf
 

grubyhalo

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OK, I just read about the device properly. All this time I was under the impression that it's a DAC, hence my question about the uDac. I get it now! :D
 

StanleyB

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The reason why this has better jitter performance than many top end CD players is two fold - first it is purely designed to be a USB -> SPDIF converter and nothing else. Inside they have their own custom firmware running on a Xilinx chip running async USB. Plus instead of a PLL that every single other solution uses for the SPDIF clock, they use a super stable crystal oscillator.
It is this sort of marketing lies that damages the confidence of buyers.
I can only speak about my own products, in the absence of confirmed information from other DAC manufacturers. And what I can say is that I use a USB to SPDIF converter in my TC-7520 and Caiman, which is controlled by a dedicated crystal oscillator.
So any marketing suggestion from M2Tech that they are the only ones using a crystal is completely false.
 

sachi

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It is this sort of marketing lies that damages the confidence of buyers.
I can only speak about my own products, in the absence of confirmed information from other DAC manufacturers. And what I can say is that I use a USB to SPDIF converter in my TC-7520 and Caiman, which is controlled by a dedicated crystal oscillator.
So any marketing suggestion from M2Tech that they are the only ones using a crystal is completely false.
But isn't the USB on the caiman or the 7210 based on the TI 29xx chips?
The M2Tech is supposedly an async USb which is far superior to any traditional 29xx solution.
 

StanleyB

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But isn't the USB on the caiman or the 7210 based on the TI 29xx chips?
The M2Tech is supposedly an async USb which is far superior to any traditional 29xx solution.
Have you got any further info to guide the rest of us on the supposedly superior performance of async USB? Maybe a technical explanation?
From my PC networking days with dial up modems I recall that async was far more error prone.
 

sachi

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Have you got any further info to guide the rest of us on the supposedly superior performance of async USB? Maybe a technical explanation?
From my PC networking days with dial up modems I recall that async was far more error prone.

I don't have any such technical explanation. I am not that well versed with USB specs apart from writing a couple of custom HID drivers.

The way i see it, Isochronous eats up more CPU cycles while async does not. Regarding superiority in audio playback, isochronous with an external clock might just as well be as good as async. I am still only exploring this area and so far I am not impressed...at least with the musiland which is supposedly async.

And the TI solutions that I have heard have been just average if that with clock being recovered from the data stream in most USB audio interface devices
 

sachi

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Actually, all the PCM27xx/29xx requires a crystal or crystal oscillator of some sort, for a local reference frequency of 12MHz. This is present on even the $40 Alien DACs. Without a clock reference, no digital data receiver can work out the timing of the incoming data stream. This extends well beyond just audio :) it's how digital circuits 'tell time'.

However, async USB is a big plus. It is one of the few factors that can be directly correlated to lower jitter performance. Any Plug-and-play USB audio solution is by necessity a slaved (sync) device, and thus is dependant on the vagaries of the master operating system to provide some level of performance.

The 29xx and 27xx are limited to 48KHz sampling frequency. It's the easiest way to tell which products are using which chips - the PCM 2xxx are indeed very popular (and can sound pretty good sometimes) but this limitation is pretty stone-age.

Edit: I did not see the question regarding async USB - I'll dig out my links. There's a pretty long thread on one of the two DIY sites about the findings of real jitter data on async vs. sync USB. In a nutshell, audio data needs to be transmitted async because host processes place USB devices on low priority, and not just on Windows. Or something similar. Gordon (rankin, aka Wavelength) has an interesting approach to solve this, but async USB is the only transmission format that the best pro-audio cards will use.


Well, what i mean is that that clock is internally divided within the USB chip and then sent down the chain to the filter and DAC chips. Not so in implementations such as a secondary PLL.
 

sachi

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sachi, the best receiver implementations are when the source and receiver are clocked from the same source. All this jiggery-pokery around sync and async USB and Firewire is, really speaking, a way to avoid that one extra cable... Basically async USB uses a device driver that talks to the PC, so the data transmission can synchronise itself to the state of the buffer. In sync mode the PC dumps packets continuously into the input buffer of the device, and the device has no choice but to keep up. Both assume that the other will be a perfect partner, but as we know, process priority and other operating system issues ensure this is far from being so. The bigger question is whether the jitter errors from these processes are actually audible, which is contentious. There is an interesting point of view that says that once you reach 20bits of reproduction, timing errors become a non-issue as the extra sensory information is redundant (though the same thing was said about 16-bit, 10 years ago).

Where it really counts, people just get a master clock and connect the clock inputs of all their hardware to the one master clock. This is how the best digital-enabled studios work, and it's not *that* tough to implement it for DIY guys like you and me.

I would simply get a nice low-jitter clock (~1ps) and use the output to feed both the receiver and the SPDIF input of the source, or hack open the player and feed the clock into the transmitter or demuxer. I'm just too lazy to work on something like this right now, so I prefer async resampling solutions that would be built into the ESS chips, or a AD hardware resampler.

Thanks for that explanation cranky. As you your suggestion for just using a low jitter clock to feed the receiver and the SPDIF (output i suppose) of the source (transport), I'm suggesting something like this, the clock output from the digital receiver is fed to a VCXO secondary PLL which then outputs an ultra low jitter clock (as the clock output from a digital receiver is prone to intrinsic jitter of atleast 100-200pS) which is fed to the digital filter and DAC chips directly. That is the best way to curb any jitter problems and I hope Viren is listening ;)
 

moktan

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I'm ordering an M2Tech HiFace USB->SPDIF converter for myself. Right now this is probably the lowest jitter and best sounding converter you can get for reasonable amounts of money and if you use an external DAC with a computer transport it doesn't get any better. I'm placing the order tomorrow. Is anyone else interested in it? If so, we may order together. Please PM me if you are interested.

It costs 99 euro + shipping (40 euro through UPS) from Italy. The shipping can be split if multiple people are ordering. Here is the link to the product and reviews:

M2Tech

Usb 24 192khz M2tech Hiface - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio
M2TECH Hiface USB->SPDIF 24/192Khz asynch - diyAudio
Just received: M2Tech Hiface USB interface | Computer Audiophile

PS: There is a 10 euro shipping option thru normal post but I'd not touch that option with a bargepole considering how bad the post office chaps are in handling international consignments. We might not even receive it!

wanted to share this info on the converter as was sent to me by Mr Prabhu Ganesh of Trident.....

Just to keep you updated we offering the HiFace in the Indian market for RS 6550.00, buyer pays local courier within India.

All items are warranted by M2tech and Trident.
 

arj

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wanted to share this info on the converter as was sent to me by Mr Prabhu Ganesh of Trident.....

Just to keep you updated we offering the HiFace in the Indian market for RS 6550.00, buyer pays local courier within India.

All items are warranted by M2tech and Trident.

is there any contact email/phone for trident ?
 
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