Control Optical Output

I would like to ditch the noisy/thin USB sound, and run optical to my DAC. However, Audirvana does not allow me to pick what is being output, unless I use the USB, and even then the DAC specs it detects are NOT correct. Is there a way to just control the output when using optical?

What computer do you use? There are options, like RPi with a hat with a digital interface.

Thanks for the response. I use a Mac Mini, so I cant really solder anything into it.

Have you considered something like Micca OriGen G2? It has an optical out among all the features.

The infuriating part is that Audirvana and my DAC can do exactly what I want. I shouldn’t have to buy more hardware because Audirvana wants to be a nanny- just output WTF I tell you to! Let me deal with whether it’s compatible with my DAC.

Seems like that would be easier to program Audirvana to let us select the sound options manually, vs setting up a back and forth communication that doesn’t even work properly (It doesn’t detect my DAC’s DSD capabilities accurately).

Older Mac Minis have the optical output integrated in the headphone jack. You just need the adapter.

Correct. I have that. Audirvana is just not giving me max output on the files I’m trying to play over Toslink. Local file that is 192 is being played at 44.1 over Toslink, but USB plays the full 192.

I am also suspicious that I am not bypassing as much of the Apple processing, via Toslink, as it shows that it is using the onboard output.

I specifically bought this Mac Mini because it’s capable of hi-res audio video Toslink (although with Bypassing some of the onboard audio, I might have been able to buy and older Mac Mini).

Check in the Audio MIDI setup, you should be able to increase the data rate. The max supported though is 24/96. To go beyond that you’ll need an external USB to SPDIF converter. For DSD you’ll need USB anyway.

I will do that…BUT I thought the point of Audirvana was to quiet the computer, bypass MIDI and Core audio and just send the purest data possible to the DAC.

Well, there is a hack to enable direct mode on more recent MacOS releases. Search the forums. Not sure if this applies to the old TOSLINK though.

USB will definitely give you the best sound quality over toslink or SPDIF

I have been working on this issue for a while. As was stated, USB is a superior method. However, it was NOT on my old setup, and it was not the USB’s fault. Sparing you all journey- at the end of the day, the USB issue lay with my DAC’s method of being powered. On Toslink, the sound was superior in dynamics because the DAC was running on wall power. However, once it was hooked up via USB, the DAC automatically switched to USB power. Unfortunately, USB power just was not enough to fully power the DAC to it’s full potential. So, I purchased the next level up, with a superior power supply fed only from wall power. I also have 2 other DAC’s en route to compare.

So, this knowledge negates my need for SPDIF. Thank you to all who took the time to respond to my issue- it is greatly appreciated!