♦️ Request for Surround Sound Decoders (DAC-Bypass Processors)

HELLO!! The video below is the LONG winded version explaining what I want. I am asking the industry to create a surround sound “UNIT” that gives me at least 4 Digital Coax (SPDIF) outputs for the basic channels used in Surround Sound instead of 8 Analog outputs found in processors and pre-outs on Receivers.





The Basic argument is that I want to use my own high quality DAC(s) to the system instead of whatever Cirrus Logic poorly implemented and cheap dacs MOST surround processors and receivers use.

I am aware of the miniDSP U-DIO8 https://www.minidsp.com/products/usb-audio-interface/u-dio8 which CAN be used to create several SPDIF channels out via USB and PC levels of Dolby/DTS decoding. This is not what I am looking for, but I bought one anyway for SCIENCE!

I hope I explain what I want and why in the video and if anyone would like to throw ideas around oh how to do what I want or to support the idea maybe we can get some attention from a company or the industry.



I was thinking about this recently as well, in my case I wanted 2 spdif/aes out, to do a proper low pass for a sub in the digital domain.
I don’t think you can do it much cheaper than that miniDSP, the issue is the cost of the AES/Spdif drivers, there’s also a secondary issue with clock quality which could push the price a lot higher.

That is my concern. With 4 digital outputs - or more if you’re running a full-blown Dolby Atmos/DTS:X system, you need that same number of DACs all clocked the same. If the time domain gets messed up then the whole sound environment could get wonky. However, I suppose it’s possible that good room correction done in the digital domain could put in time delays accounting for those clocking differences.

That’s the point of using SPDIF/AES, unlike USB they have the clock in the signal on the wire, but that means that the box has to generate a high quality clock to make it worthwhile.
What’s being asked for it a D2D converter (and we can see how expensive some of those get), with potentially some processing and multiple outputs.

I might be wrong, but this kind of device would be nieche of the nieche. Before you kick me out, hear me out!

Full on cinema is what? Think balls to the wall budget over 9000 crazy. In my mind, this should be it:

  • Center
  • Front R&L
  • Surround R&L
  • Back R&L
  • Ceiling 1, 2, 3, 4
  • 2 subwoofers
    Grand total: 7.2.4 = 13

The biggest example setup DBX has in the manual for their DriveRack 360 (which is INSANE-sized) runs 12 speakers (on a concert, each “speaker” is probably 5) (and relies on Dante for timing reasons).

The setup in question:

All this is to say: When sound engineers recommending to sound engineers is “run Dante” (the Venu360 supports 2x AES + 1x analog = 5 channels), what do you think the timing nightmare a SPDIF/Toslink outputting processor would be?

Word from the insane scientist in me: Dolby IMS3000 ?

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@ZeosPantera A couple of responses to your video as requested.

If such a thing were to exist, I would buy it too. I love being able to create my own customized setups in all areas of my life (that’s why I love Linux).

Also, I like these rant videos of yours! New YouTube channel idea, Z Rants. -> Subscribed.


That is known.

2 down, 2 million to go

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to be fair any one who cannot have a full 7.1 surround would also get good use out of it as it would let you make best use out of limited 3.1 options.

Following, although I really just want a processor for powered monitors, looks like Emotiva or Outlaw at the moment

Maybe an add on component to the AVR or like what zeos mention SPDIF out for L/R or L/C/R and market it as an “evolution in digital stereo high fidelity” the new yamaha AVRs have L/R preouts on the entry level units. Gene from audioholics got denon to include amp disconnect and center spread. Im down but the HT crowd seem to be interested in HDMI more surround channels multiple subs and room correction.

I mean guess if you get the flagship pre/pro trinnov guy to buy in.

Like MazeFrame informed, there are ways to do it.
There are also digital surround processors what you are not wanting that sends surround digital signals forward, to what ever you want for like 64 channels and etc.
Any DAC of digital signal handling speakers or amps etc.

None of them are cheap, what you also are looking. Something in low 1-2 thousands but those devices that actually send’s surround signal forwards. Do cost from low 10k’s -> all the way tons of tons more.
More in Professional world and none really for the “cheap” HT use.

Yeah there are a lot of pro audio pc oriented multichannel digital out stuff but they’re like 3500 cad

Hope this leads to a full on commerical system upstairs.

Wouldn’t this work?

Then since it’s digital outputs are in rj45 (but carry aes/ebu)

Also dataset makes something nice that would work well too

And for this one you would just need a db25 breakout cable

Another one that would require a similar breakout cable


Found this here:

Edit: And this one:


I know that if you have to ask how much it costs then its to expensive, but out of morbid curiosity. How many organs would one need to part with to get one?

Most of what I linked are above 10k, but that’s generally the price you will pay for such a niche device like this in a simple format

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Given that it’s an ISP Mk II you can probably find a used Mk I for sale on ebay. lol

Problem solved.

The mk1 doesn’t have digital output from what I know. Also yes look used for these as that will bring a heavy discount

with how many inputs and out puts those models had. I feel like they are over kill for anything not professional work. which is a shame cus being able to pick and choose your own dac/amps sound like a fun home theater advencher