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SilverStone Ensemble EB01-E USB DAC Review

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SilverStone EB01-E Amplifier Specifications

The USB digital audio sent from a computer to the EB01-E will go through three internal signal processing blocks before being output to the destination device.

First, the USB audio data must be extracted from the USB frames and presented to the digital to analog converter with perfect timing. There are a number of methods to perform this extraction, but the most important objective is to prevent any interruption of the incoming audio data. The EB01–E uses the XMOS XS1 to decode the audio data asynchronously. Asynchronous extraction is considered to be the most reliable way to ensure that no audio data is corrupted due to small timing differences between the host PC and the USB destination.

The extracted data is then converted to an analog signal by the TI PCM1798 DAC chipset, which has excellent jitter tolerance to further reduce the possibility of timing errors.

The final audio output needs to be buffered and amplified for delivery to the destination. The op amps used in the EB01–E are the NE5532s, which have been the go-to choice for op-amps for over 35 years in professional and high end audio equipment.

The output impedance of the NE5532 op amps is less than 1 ohm, and they are rated to drive a 600 ohm load directly. SilverStone includes a RCA to mini adapter to allow headphones to be connected directly to the EB01-E audio output.


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2 comments

  1. Johnniedoo

    Very good and interesting points with lots of examples and details for this device.
    It seems that the ‘audiophiles’ are looking for the 2 channel or stereo for the perfect sound at 24/192,000
    yet, I am happy with the surround sound 5.1 or 7.1 which is usually at 24/48,000 or 24/96,000
    I get absolutely no significant differences though between the 16/41.1k and 24/48k. I liked the reference to the test or study done as well. I cant seem to notice much difference,but shop for the high numbers, still, for some reasons
    My motherboard digiital/analogue output is supposed to support 24/192k output through the standard hdmi, spdif /toslink cables. I have a number of headphones from my older AKG240s which were the benchmark studio tools at one time and sennheiser 180 wireless as well as some good bud type with tiny little speakers. I hear the smaller in the ear ones best, most detail-less ambient noise intrusion, i guess.
    Good review, though. thanks
    John

  2. Aidan Moore

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Some people record live audio at a very high sample rate and bit depth because they are multi-tracking many different live instruments in a digital audio workstation like Cubase or Pro Tools. Having a high sample rate reduces latency, which affects the musicians performance.

    But for most folks 16 or 24 bits at 41.1 or 48kHz will sound great if the DAC is well designed.

    Aidan

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