GeerFab Audio - D.BOB Digital Breakout Box- Maybe I Need To Read More Audio Mags

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
Talk about a totally cool device that was completely off my radar -

GeerFab Audio - D.BOB Digital Breakout Box​


Send the DSD Signal from SACDs and PCM from Blu-ray/DVD Discs to an Outboard DAC: Pioneering GeerFab Audio D.BOB Digital BreakOut Box Unlocks the Potential of Your Discs​

Freedom: The blue-ocean GeerFab Audio D.BOB Digital BreakOut Box extracts the DSD signal from your SACDs and high-res PCM data from your Blu-ray, DVD-A, DAD, or DVD discs so it can be sent to your outboard DAC. While the Stereophile Class A Recommended D.BOB only has an HDMI input, meaning you will need a universal player with an HDMI output to use it, never before have music lovers and cinephiles had such an opportunity to hear so much from their previously locked-down physical media. You won't believe the sound quality that has been buried in your collection of SACDs, Blu-rays, and DVD-based discs. We're talking staggering improvements in clarity, dynamics, focus, presence, definition, soundstaging, and more. Practically any audiophile trait you can imagine gets elevated with D.BOB in the chain. You need to experience it for yourself, and with a risk-free in-home audition, you can.

From a technical perspective, D.BOB is a breeze to use. It outputs DSD64 via the DoP protocol and PCM up to 24-bit/192Hz through S/PDIF coax (and up to 24-bit/176kHz through S/PDIF Toslink outputs) to your external DAC. What's more, D.BOB is fully HDCP and copy-protection compliant, and comes with a mini-USB port for firmware updates. Its HDMI pass-through allows for player menu settings and other video uses.

We all know the performance of built-in DACs on years-old universal players is very dated. D.BOB ends the limitations and opens up what's really embedded on your discs. 100% Music Direct Guaranteed.

Disc-player compatibility note:
D.BOB only works with universal disc players with an HDMI output. D.BOB only accepts HDMI signals.

DAC compatibility note: D.BOB works with most DACs. For DSD, the DAC must accept DoP via S/PDIF Coax and/or Toslink.

"Many [readers] will pounce, knowing that the D.BOB can assure continued access, into the indefinite future, to the SACDs in their collection via the DAC of their choice. You know which group you're in."
– Kalman Rubinson, Stereophile


"The D.BOB fills a void that desperately needed filling. It not only simplifies source selection when playing higher-resolution discs, but also delivers consistently high-quality audio when attached to a current-generation DAC or DAC/preamplifier."
– Steven Stone, The Absolute Sound

"For many old school audiophiles (like myself) who prefer curating their own music collection and listening with album notes in hand, the improvement in sound quality the D.BOB provides is rationale enough-why rely on the player's outmoded DAC?"
– Brian Kinch, Positive Feedback

"It not only simplifies source selection when playing higher-resolution discs, but also delivers consistently high-quality audio when attached to a current-generation DAC or DAC/preamplifier."
– The Absolute Sound, 2020 Product of the Year Award
 

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
Fair enough, and it should be noted the one big caveat with this device is DAC compatibility... this bit:

DAC compatibility note: D.BOB works with most DACs. For DSD, the DAC must accept DoP via S/PDIF Coax and/or Toslink.

At one time DACs that accepted DoP via S/PDIF were very few and far between, and while that situation has improved somewhat, it's still not exactly common or standard.

Also maybe a bit of irony in their example use case with a Universal Player, as many universal players are now SACD rip compatible (though no longer current production), somewhat obviating the need for this box except for instances of one already owning a really great "legacy" DAC that lacks a proper USB input. In those cases, the rips would be useless.

I think the true target market for this box is the owner of such a legacy DAC, and/or the owner of a high-end SACD player that has unfortunately given up the ghost and is either unrepairable or too costly to repair. In those cases this box can be a godsend, just grab a decent quality Universal disc player with HDMI output and you'd be right back in business.

Owners of large collections of DVD or Blu-ray-based audio discs can also benefit from this box in similar fashion as SACD owners.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Funny, I just saw this thing at B&H as I was looking for an audio-extractor to take the audio stream off of an HDMI output. (If you remember @prime minister we went to microcenter to buy one but I lost it in the moving boxes).

I had no idea what it does ....now I sort of know? Could you rip SACD dsd files with it?
 
I had no idea what it does ....now I sort of know? Could you rip SACD dsd files with it?
It doesn't do much beyond taking the DSD stream and converting it to DoP (DSD over PCM) so DACs can play it back. It won't do anything with ripping. (I still have my Oppo 105 that I use for ripping.) I mean, I don't see how this is too much advanced beyond those digital audio extractors that get the PCM audio from an HDMI port and send it out via optical Toslink for $20 or so. I guess compatible SACD-capable players and some digital receivers could receive the DSD via the HDMI cable, as the receiver had its own built-in DSD DAC, which is how this company is able to "extract" it (and I can't help but think it isn't all that difficult).

It's not related in any way, but there are a small number of DACs that can take an I²S input from a transport. Apparently I²S is the "raw" digital data coming off of the disc, or something like that. There's a board for the Oppo 103 and 203 that adds an I²S output. Similar idea though--it can send DSD from SACDs or PCM from CD, DVD-Audio, BluRay Audio, etc. to the attached DAC, but works solely as a transport.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
It doesn't do much beyond taking the DSD stream and converting it to DoP (DSD over PCM) so DACs can play it back. It won't do anything with ripping. (I still have my Oppo 105 that I use for ripping.) I mean, I don't see how this is too much advanced beyond those digital audio extractors that get the PCM audio from an HDMI port and send it out via optical Toslink for $20 or so. I guess compatible SACD-capable players and some digital receivers could receive the DSD via the HDMI cable, as the receiver had its own built-in DSD DAC, which is how this company is able to "extract" it (and I can't help but think it isn't all that difficult).

It's not related in any way, but there are a small number of DACs that can take an I²S input from a transport. Apparently I²S is the "raw" digital data coming off of the disc, or something like that. There's a board for the Oppo 103 and 203 that adds an I²S output. Similar idea though--it can send DSD from SACDs or PCM from CD, DVD-Audio, BluRay Audio, etc. to the attached DAC, but works solely as a transport.
It came up when I was looking at a $50 HDMI audio extractor.... seems quite the premium for it.

I think I have an I²S input on my topping DAC but no transport to connect it to.
 
It came up when I was looking at a $50 HDMI audio extractor.... seems quite the premium for it.
Agreed. I think part of it is the Audiophile Tax, unfortunately. All it really has to do is pull out the DSD data from the HDMI stream, and send it precisely and bit-perfect to the DAC. (A good clock, solid connection, etc.) Unless there's something else going on, or a licensing fee to pay that I'm unaware of.

I think I have an I²S input on my topping DAC but no transport to connect it to.
If it says I²S and looks like an HDMI port, then you likely do have that input.
 
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