The M Scaler and reclocking in the K50 basically both do reclocking, albeit the K50 also converts to SPDIF and the M Scaler does sample rate conversion.
There is probably not a best theoretical answer. It depends which you prefer:
K50 > SPDIF > DAVE (single reclocking K50 only)
K50 > USB > M Scaler > dual BNC > DAVE (single reclocking M Scaler only + upsampling)
K50 > toslink > M Scaler > toslink or coax > DAVE (ie. 2 x reclocking + upsample)
Also bear in mind roon can do upsampling instead of M Scaler, up to the limit of whatever output you choose.
I gather most people prefer the K50 AES, which is not an option for M Scaler. K50 USB tends to be the least preferred, but that may be because people prefer the reclocking and converted format … whereas with M Scaler you may prefer its reclocking and upscaling. Also, people seem to prefer the sound of cable rather than optical, but that might matter less with M Scaler’s galvanic isolation.
This seems to be an example of comparing different reclocking filter algorithms (the code that puts the data back together) and the quality of the clocks they rely on.
If you get the K 50 you are in for some fun experimenting. The alternative is K41 + 21 for a bit less cost if you like/prefer the M Scaler.
In any event I’d guess the K50 or even any other Antipodes current offerings is likely to be a considerable improvement over the gaming PC.
I’m sure @NickBacon will chime in as he has both a K50 and a DAVE. His preference was for USB into the MScaler.
I sold my MScaler to help pay for my K30. I haven’t missed it one bit. I use PGGB to scale my favorite albums and I find that the result is far superior to MScaler. For streaming, I had been using HQPlayer to scale using the sinc-L filter. This provides some of the benefit of MScaler but MScaler does provide a greater benefit.
Hi Kenny, I had the Gen1 K50 and then the Gen2 K50. You are right that I used to like using the usb output from the K50 but I used to take that through a PhoenixUSB and then used the output from that into a SRC.DX usb to bnc convertor. However when I got the Gen2 K50 I spent quite some time comparing all the outputs including optical and came to the conclusion that the best output from the K50 to either the Mscaler or Dave direct with no Mscaler is BNC. I did try AES from the K50 to Dave (the Mscaler does not have AES input) and I found the sound broadly similar to BNC but BNC beat AES when using my own WAVE Storm BNC spdif cable.
@sa11297 My view is that I much prefer using the Mscaler with Dave rather than solo Dave when connected via BNC to the K50 but beating my own drum, that partly depends on whether or not one is using my WAVE Storm cables firstly to connect the K50 to the Mscaler and also for the dual BNC connection to the Dave.
I am very sure you will love the K50. Many on here like using it with Roon server and the Squeezelite player but I think the K50 sound is maximised by using the pre installed Squueze server and Squeezelite player.
I mentioned that when I compared USB to IIS that I thought the cable mattered more than the interface. It sounds like your preference for BNC could very well have to do with the cable choice.
I made a big bet on USB when I purchased the Shunyata Omega. At the time, it was my most expensive cable. I was fortunate that I was able to get there in steps. I started with Alpha then about a year later traded for Sigma then about a year later traded for Omega. This all occurred before the K30 landed. I’m thus really happy to see an upgraded USB output coming from Antipodes. That will level the playing field as far as the outputs. And while some DACs will have inputs the vary, I still think one should worry more about the cable choice than the interface.