M-Audio Super DAC, TC9820PHI User's manual

M-Audio Super DAC, TC9820PHI User's manual
Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Panel Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Typical Setup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Typical Setup Figure 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Typical Setup Figure 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Typical Setup Figure 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Typical Setup Figure 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Lifetime Limited Warranty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
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INTRODUCTION
Thank you for choosing the SUPER DAC 2496. The Super DAC is a
professional external digital-to-analog (D/A) audio converter, conveniently
packaged in a "half-rack" chassis. The SUPER DAC supports multiple digital
audio formats, all bit widths from 16 to 24, and all sampling rates from 22kHz
to 100kHz while outputting to balanced (XLR) or unbalanced (1⁄4") analog
outs.
Connect the SUPER DAC 2496 to the digital outputs of computer digital I/O
cards, digital mixers, DAT decks, MiniDiscs, DVDs or CD players. Your analog
sound will receive an instant upgrade to professional, audiophile quality.
This manual assumes that you have a basic understanding of D/A conversion
and digital audio. If after reading this manual you need additional technical
support, or if you have comments or suggestions, we invite you to contact us
by any of the following methods:
For additional help, technical support is available on our website at
www.m-audio.com, where you can fill out our technical support form.
Alternatively, you can email us at [email protected], or contact us by
phone at: (626) 633-9055. Technical support is available by telephone from
7am - 7pm PST.
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FEATURES
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High-performance stereo D/A converter in a standard half-rack
package.
D/A converter: 24-bit, 96kHz, 128x oversampling.
Dynamic Range: 115 dB (A-weighted).
Supports 16-, 18-, 20- and 24-bit data widths.
Supports sample rates from 22kHz to over 100kHz.
Front panel Format button selects between three rear inputs: TOSLINK
optical, S/PDIF on RCA, or AES/EBU on XLR.
Audio outputs: balanced on XLR, unbalanced on 1⁄4” (Tip-Sleeve)
connectors. Both outputs are always active.
Nominal output levels: +4dBu balanced, -10dBV unbalanced.
Peak output levels: +20dBu balanced, +6dBV unbalanced.
Sample rate automatically locks to that of incoming digital data.
Front panel LEDs indicate current digital input selection.
"D/A Valid" LED indicates valid incoming digital data.
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➋
➌
➍
PANEL DESCRIPTION
Front Panel
1.
2.
3.
4.
Data Valid LED: This LED indicates valid incoming digital data at the
currently selected digital input (TOSLINK optical, S/PDIF or
AES/EBU). This LED lights whenever the Super DAC recognizes and
is locked to that data.
Format Button: This pushbutton selects which digital input (TOSLINK
optical, S/PDIF or AES/EBU) is the input source to the D/A. Pressing
this button cycles through the three options.
Format LEDs: These LEDs indicate which digital input has been
selected by the Format button: TOSLINK optical, S/PDIF or AES/EBU.
Power Switch: When this button is pressed in (and the power adapter
is properly plugged in), power is applied to the unit. When the switch
is in the out position, power is switched off.
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➀
➁
➂
➃
➄
Back Panel
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
9V AC Jack: This jack provides connection to the Super DAC’s external
"wall wart" power supply. The Super DAC uses a 9 Volt AC, 500 mA
(or more) power supply.
Analog Out Left: The XLR (3 conductor) male connector outputs a
balanced, +4 dB (professional) level signal. The 1⁄4” jacks output an
unbalanced, -10 dB (semi-pro or consumer) line-level signal. Both
signals are output simultaneously.
Analog Out Right: These XLR and 1⁄4” connectors output the right
side of the stereo signal in the same fashion as the Analog Out Left
connectors.
Digital In: Three digital inputs are present. AES/EBU is accepted at
the single male XLR connector, S/PDIF at the RCA jack, and optical
S/PDIF at the TOSLINK connector.
AES/EBU GND lift: This switch is used to lift the digital ground
connection between the Super DAC and another AES/EBU device.
Typically the AES/EBU cable is connected to ground at the source end,
not the Super DAC end -- this prevents potential system ground loops;
therefore the factory default position is with ground lifted, with the
switch set to the left. Depending on the grounding configuration of
the connected device, sometimes you may get better performance by
not lifting the ground. The switch set to the right is the grounded
setting, with a diagram of the signal being sent to ground.
INSTALLATION
Along with this manual, your SUPER DAC 2496 contains a "wall wart" power
adapter with the specific voltage requirements needed to power the unit.
Using a different power adapter with different ratings could damage the unit
and void your warranty.
Plug the appropriate end of the power adapter into the Super DAC’s power
jack and the other end into a wall socket or power strip. Check to make sure
that the Super DAC and any other devices that you are about to connect are
turned off until all connections are made.
Now take the digital outputs of your sound "source" and plug them into the
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digital inputs of your SUPER DAC 2496. Take the analog outputs of the Super
DAC and plug them into the analog inputs of your "target" device. For more
information or suggestions for use, see the next section, "Typical Setup."
NOTE: For best results, use good quality digital cable. Digital AES/EBU
cable should be purchased in a professional audio store and has
110-ohm characteristic impedance. Good quality 75-ohm video cable will
work for coaxial S/PDIF.
After all connections are made, power up your equipment. Start with your
sound source, then the Super DAC, and then your audio target or sound
system.
TYPICAL SETUP
Your SUPER DAC 2496 is capable of receiving digital audio in three different
formats, AES/EBU on an XLR connector, S/PDIF on coaxial (RCA), and
TOSLINK on an optical connector. The source of this digital audio could be a
professional DAT deck, a computer digital I/O card, digital mixer, hard disk
recorder, consumer DATs, Mini Disc, DVD or CD player.
Typical Setup Fig. 1 shows any of these devices monitored through a sound
system.
Typical Setup Fig. 1
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Now let’s go a little deeper. What if you have a few different pieces of digital
audio gear? Let’s say you have a pro DAT machine with AES/EBU digital out,
a computer sound card with S/PDIF. Your CD Player actually has a TOSLINK
optical out, and you think you could improve its sound quality by replacing its
built-in D/A converters with something more "high end." The solution is to
hook all three to the Super DAC’s inputs, and use the front panel Format
button as a convenient source selector.
Typical Setup Fig. 2
Then there are the outputs. Both the balanced and unbalanced outs are always
active, so let’s use them. Perhaps you have a power amp with balanced inputs,
and then a cassette recorder that you’d rather send a signal to directly.
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Typical Setup Fig. 3
… or an analog mixdown deck with balanced ins, and a sound system that
accepts _ inch or RCA jacks. You could use this setup to "A/B" the mix deck
with the source.
Typical Setup Fig. 4
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OPERATION
The SUPER DAC 2496 is compatible with 24-bit, 20-bit, 18-bit, and 16-bit data.
The more bits per data word, the better the dynamic range. Better dynamic
range translates into higher audio quality.
The term "sampling rate" means the number of times that digital audio takes a
"picture" of the analog signal. The more times per second you take a picture of
the analog signal, the more accurate the digital representation is. Therefore,
higher sample rates equate to better audio quality. Whichever sampling rate
you send to the Super DAC, from 22 kHz to 100 kHz, the Super DAC
automatically detects the sample rate and synchronizes to it. Once locked to
the sample rate, the front panel "Data Valid" LED will light.
The Super DAC has three digital inputs. AES/EBU is regarded as a
professional digital transmission protocol. Utilizing a three-conductor
balanced "XLR" type cable, this transmission method is considered the most
stable and runs the longest distances. S/PDIF and TOSLINK are essentially the
same transmission protocol, one using a two-conductor "coaxial" cable with
RCA connectors as the standard and the other a special "TOSLINK" type
optical cable. S/PDIF and TOSLINK are used in many professional situations
but are much more common in consumer equipment.
The front panel Format pushbutton selects the digital input that will feed the
D/A converter. Only one digital input may be selected at a time. When the
Super DAC recognizes valid data at the selected input, it decodes it to and
converts it to stereo audio which goes to the internal output amplifiers that
drive the balanced and unbalanced analog outputs.
The Super DAC balanced XLR outputs carry a professional-level audio signal
(+4 dBu nominally) across a pair of conductors surrounded by a ground shield
conductor. The two signal conductors are opposite polarity from each other
and at the receiving end are subtracted from each other. This results in a signal
that is twice as hot. More importantly though, any noise that is common to
both signal conductors gets cancelled during the subtraction! This makes
balanced signals more noise-immune than unbalanced signals. The noise
immunity and "voltage doubling" help to make balanced signals run further
distances than unbalanced ones.
The Super DAC 1⁄4” unbalanced outputs carry a consumer-level audio signal (10 dBV nominally) across a single conductor surrounded by a ground shield
conductor. Most consumer equipment operates with unbalanced connections.
Although by definition not as quiet as the balanced signals, the unbalanced
signals are still extremely quiet when used in a properly grounded system with
short cable runs.
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TROUBLESHOOTING
Symptom: When power is applied, there are no LED's lit on the Super
DAC's front panel.
Solution:
Make sure the correct power supply is properly plugged into
the unit and also into a live wall source or power strip. Also make sure the
unit’s Power button is pushed (and latched) in.
Symptom: When the digital audio source changes sample rates, or I select
a different digital input using the Format button, the audio is muted for a short
period of time.
Solution:
This is normal as it takes a small amount of time for a digital
audio receiver to lock onto a digital audio source. In order to prevent spurious
noise, the Super DAC mutes its analog outputs until it sees a valid digital
signal for 200 milliseconds.
Symptom: When applying a digital signal to the Super DAC, the DAC's
"Data Valid" LED lights erratically or not at all.
Solution:
The digital signal being input may be invalid or the digital
cable may be faulty.
Symptom: Valid digital data is coming into the Super DAC (the D/A
Valid LED is lit), but there is no audible analog audio output.
Solution 1: Check your analog output connections from the Super DAC.
Solution 2: The digital data source may be sending valid data, but the data
could be static (non-changing or DC). Verify that digital source material is
actually valid.
Solution 3: The digital data source may be sending valid data, but the data
could represent an extremely small waveform (one with very low volume) that
you are unable to hear.
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SPECIFICATIONS:
D/A CONVERTER:
Dynamic Range: 115.5 dB (A-weighted)
THD+N @ 0dBFS: -100 dB (A-weighted)
SNR (idle channel noise): 117 dB (A-weighted)
Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz, -0.1, -0.18 dB
Balanced Outputs: +4 dBu nominal, +20 dBu peak
Unbalanced Outputs: -10 dBV nominal, +6 dBV peak
PHYSICAL SPECS:
Size: 8.5”W X 1.7”H X 4.5”D.
Power Supply: 9 volt AC, 500 mA or larger.
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Warranty Terms and Registration
Warranty Terms
M-Audio warrants products to be free from defects in materials and
workmanship, under normal use and provided that the product is owned by
the original, registered user. Visit www.m-audio.com/warranty for terms and
limitations applying to your specific product.
Warranty Registration
Thank you for registering your new M-Audio product. Doing so immediately
both entitles you to full warranty coverage and helps M-Audio develop and
manufacture the finest quality products available. Register online at www.maudio.com/register to receive FREE product updates and for the chance to win
FREE M-Audio gear.
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