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I want to plug an external dac to my pc, but it doesn't work!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, so I have an old pc that I want to use as an HTPC"1" (media station for the living room) (ASUS M4A79 x-td evo, with toslink output)
And I have a california audio labs sigma 2 DAC that was plugged (via coaxial) to a california audio lab delta hd-cd transport.
Basicly, the DAC has 2 input option: toslink or coaxial... (with a switch to choose to whatever source you stream from)
So I've bought a toslink cable to plug the pc into that DAC, but I can't get it to work...

I've also tryed my main PC"2" with the DAC ( I have a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD sound card that normally work with RCA to an AMP), but even with coaxial (that I can surely know that the plug on the DAC works) it doesn't work either,


So, in order to plug the dac with the pc, is there any special that I don't know that I have to do? ( driver, codex, idk)

Audio VIA driver are install on the PC"1"
Also, i can see the red light coming out of the toslink before connecting it to the DAC

thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 8
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post #3 of 8
you might need to make sure the windows sound system is set to output to SPDIF for it to work. Also, just to check the daft stuff, you have got power going to the DAC? HAve you checked it's PSU?
post #4 of 8
Is there a way you can hook up another media device via coaxial to make sure it's not the unit itself. Maybe radio shack would have the right adapters.
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by latelesley View Post

you might need to make sure the windows sound system is set to output to SPDIF for it to work. Also, just to check the daft stuff, you have got power going to the DAC? HAve you checked it's PSU?

This. Audio output selection is important.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, I right click on the sound icon, then on playback device, and but S/PDIF as default device.
Is that the right procedure ?

I've try it one pc via coaxial, and via another pc via toslink
PSU should work, since the dac is working with the original cd transport
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post #7 of 8
yeah, that sounds right.......you said it was a VIA driver on PC 1..... do you have the VIA HD audio deck software installed? My machine has that, and I know there is an option on mine to switch the sound output between HDMI output and SPDIF output. Yours may not be the same, but it might be worth having a look.
post #8 of 8
It's important to narrow the issue down first.

When you say "it doesn't work", it really doesn't tell us anything.

You've made sure that the spdif connection is the default connection, but that's only the part of it. Let's examine:

Is your media/video player outputting the correct bit rate with the windows spdif connection, and is that format compatible with your external dac, and is that dac's analog signal connected to some sort of device (powered speakers, headphone/speaker amp, receiver etc) where you can tell for sure that it's working or not?

Let me give you an example, if you use a player like itunes or jrivr, and you want to use your dac's native 24/96, you'd then need to upsample your 41/48khz music files, and down sample your 192 to 96 in options in those players, make sure the output is correct, then make sure your windows sound has that as default bit rate selected. Otherwise, your player either won't play it, or would play the file, but won't actually have digital output, and therefore no analog output for you to hear. So just go step by step, find out what exactly you're trying to play, in which player, of what setting, etc. As you've said the lights go up in your dac indicating that it's working, thus it seems it might just be an incompatibility issue that you just need to configure.
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