I have an Eastern Electric Minimax DAC that has a USB Type B input. I experimented and used my computer cable to go from a Gateway Laptop to the DAC that is input to a Modwright SWL 9.0SE. I was sending HD Tracks FLAC files playing through the MediaMonkey player. Low and behold, I got music through my system. Since I am quite new to the HiRes world I am curious about what's happening. First off, let's not even discuss the limitations or degradation of the signal due to my use of a cheapo printer cable. I am just experimenting at this point. What I am not sure of is what data is actually flowing through the USB cable? I am pretty sure the Minimax does not take FLAC, so that means it must be getting PCM. But what sample rate and bit depth of PCM is it getting, and how do I determine that? I did find a controllable setting in the Gateway's audio settings for the Audio Manager where I can adjust the default format and have set it to 24bit/192kHz. I think the file I was sending was purchased as a 24/96. Also, if PCM is going out the USB where does the FLAC get converted, MediaMonkey or the internal soundcard and am I missing out on the full potential of HiRes with low quality hardware?
I'd really appreciate some education along these queries. I want to take advantage of the Minimax's capabilities and get more involved with HiRes, but make sure I'm getting the most out of it. My previous experiment involved burning a DVD-A disc using a trial version of Cirlinca's authoring software, but I think there were some minor errors in the transfer as I noticed some slight audio drops. Oddly enough, the drops were not heard on every playback and I was not sure if it was my Oppo-83 having reading issues, or if it was the Minmax, but that would be a new topic to discuss. Suffice it to say, I was not pleased with that method of getting my HiRes files through my system.
Thanks so much for bearing with my first post and offering any info out there.