BusinessEvolution wrote:Does the dacmagic require a driver for the usb to go to full 24/192mhz?
IIRC you can't get 24/192 from USB due to bandwidth restrictions - only from optical?
Most optical controllers are limited to 24/96, only in the past five years or so have better optical controllers come out that support 24/192mhz, mainly due to advancements in clock control and jitter correction in the past few years.
USB2 has between 1-2 times the bandwidth of optical. The problem for a long time, until the past few years, was that there was no hardware standalone solution that do more than 24/96 for USB for a long time, largely because it doesn't actually make that much of difference to the human ear after that point. Its the current popular marketing trend to allow higher rates through asynchronous usb connections which currently require drivers on the computer, is less prone to jitter BUT has less ability to correct for jitter. There is a new dac that is coming out that claims to offer 24/192mhz via usb without using asynchronous communication however it also could/is be a gimick. Quite a few just have a spdif to usb converter installed.
From all the reading I have done, high end optical such as high end toslink, is marginally ahead of USB connections, or in blind tests no different. USB can be worse in particular with laptops with poor power supplies, there was an article I read recently where there was crazy amounts of jitter being introduced. These days jitter doesn't really matter except when there is a huge problem. In blind tests from early in 00s they found people could only hear jitter when it was around 10-20ns, these days even cheap equipment may only produce 2-4ns of jitter and good equipment >1ns.
I've only seen one dac coming out that claimed to use usb-3 and it was uber expensive like >4k USD, and it was probably just a gimick too.
Jan Meier explained why the stagedac only had 24/96mhz via usb, and that was because it would cost thousands of dollars to licence drivers ($10k min) and a couple of thousand more to hire a technician to tune the drivers to produce good sound at 24/192mhz, also even then it wouldn't improve what we can actually hear. Ouch I just had a look at dacs support 24/192mhz usb input, the prices are not cheap.
Does the ASUS essence one support real 24/192mhz usb input? Their website sort of implies it does but it doesn't mention it directly. That could make it one of the cheapest USB 24/192mhz solutions available?