Digital / Computer Audio Starter Guide

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  • drgalexodrgalexo Posts: 159
    edited January 2013
    Thanks doctorcilantro, I am a bit confused however, my preamp has a builtin DAC, it's a Mcintosh C50, will I get an improvement using Asio and is that a download or do I need to upgrade my computer? Sorry but I'm kind of new to the digital audio.
  • drgalexodrgalexo Posts: 159
    edited February 2013
    Downloaded Asio4all, completely reconfigured my laptop, I had to pay $75.00 to get back all my files. I'm thinking of a dedicated music server, any suggestions? I don't need a DAC as one is built in to my preamp. I looking for something without a fan so as to not introduce any noise. Perhaps all I need is something to get music from my computer which is in another room to my preamp., maybe wireless like a sonos. Anybody have any suggestions?
    Gary
  • drgalexodrgalexo Posts: 159
    edited February 2013
    Downloaded Asio4all, completely reconfigured my laptop, I had to pay $75.00 to get back all my files. I'm thinking of a dedicated music server, any suggestions? I don't need a DAC as one is built in to my preamp. I looking for something without a fan so as to not introduce any noise. Perhaps all I need is something to get music from my computer which is in another room to my preamp., maybe wireless like a sonos. Anybody have any suggestions?
    Gary
  • AsSiMiLaTeDAsSiMiLaTeD Posts: 11,717
    edited February 2014
    We've been seeing more and more questions from people wanting to get started in digital audio lately, so figured I'd bump this as a refresher.
  • CuchulainCuchulain Posts: 66
    edited February 2014
    drgalexo wrote: »
    Downloaded Asio4all, completely reconfigured my laptop, I had to pay $75.00 to get back all my files. I'm thinking of a dedicated music server, any suggestions? I don't need a DAC as one is built in to my preamp. I looking for something without a fan so as to not introduce any noise. Perhaps all I need is something to get music from my computer which is in another room to my preamp., maybe wireless like a sonos. Anybody have any suggestions?
    Gary

    I understand this is a year ago but since this thread has been bumped up I thought I'd throw in this piece I came across lately when looking for the same thing. This NAD M50 Digital Music Player, NAD M52 Digital Music Vault seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. A little pricey though. HDMI right to your receiver.



    Support for 24/96 and 24/192 Studio Master audio
    Plays Digital Music from Both Network and Compact Disc
    Wireless (Wi-Fi) and Ethernet Inputs
    Automatic Ripping of CD to M52 Digital Music Vault
    Real Time Playback of CDs
    Decodes FLAC, ALAC, MP3, WMA, AAC, Ogg
    SPDIF Outputs; AES/EBU, Coaxial, Optical
    HDMI Output
    USB Output (Mass Storage Mode)
    USB Inputs, 1 Front (Host), 1 Rear (Device)
    RS-232 for External Control
    IR In/Out
    12V Trigger In/Out
    IR Remote Control
    4 Line Graphic VFD Display
    Software Defined Product with Upgrade Path
    <1W Standby Power Consumption

    Processing Power to Support Years of Future Software Upgrades

    AMX Cortec A8

    Designed for Lowest Jitter for Best Audio Performance

    Universal low noise power supply with separate regulation for the critical digital audio circuit

    Fully Asynchronous Audio Playback from All Media Sources

    CD-Rip, Traditional CD-Playback, WiFi, Ethernet, USB HDDs & Sticks

    No Fans!!
    AVR: Integra DTR-50.4
    TV: LG 50PS70
    DVD/CD/BR: OPPO BDP 93
    MAINS: Polk RTiA7
    CENTER: Polk CSiA6
    Heights: Polk VS 625RT (in wall)
    SURROUNDS: Polk TC60i (in ceiling)
    REARS: Polk R1
    SUB: Polk PSW 125
  • On3s&amp;Z3r0sOn3s&amp;Z3r0s Posts: 1,013
    edited February 2014
    That depends really on the card. I've found that the quality of the spdif output on sound cards varies greatly. Some still allow a great deal of jitter to get through while others perform fairly well. I found a good USB Dac or USB to spdif converter in front of a DAC both performed better when compared to the spdif output on even my expensive Asus Xonar card.

    True pearl of wisdom here. I've convinced myself that jitter is the silent killer of audio quality. I've done SPDIF (optical) out from my PC to a $1000 Benchmark DAC and had it sound muddy (whatever people say about the Benchmarks, they don't say muddy) compared to the same PC and source material connected via USB to a $150 HRT Music Streamer II. Even a good DAC can't undo what your computer has mucked up.

    When it comes to digital audio I think the wave of the future is DACs that work from asynchronous USB or HDMI instead of SPDIF. And one that does DSD will probably position you well on the cutting edge of audiophile geekery.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,667
    edited February 2014
    The wave of the future is streaming brother.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • StantonZStantonZ Posts: 393
    edited February 2014
    DSkip wrote: »
    The wave of the future is streaming brother.

    How does that satisfy those who want/need to play their own source material? I for one have a huge media library that I either won't (or can't) duplicate.
    Yamaha RX-A2050 AVR (5.0.2)
    (4) Polk Monitor 10B's w/SoniCaps, Mills, and RDO-194 tweets (R/L F/R)
    (2) Polk Monitor 4's w/peerless tweets (Top Middle)
    Polk CS300 center channel
    Analog: B&O TX2 Turntable, Nakamichi Cassette Deck 1
    Digital: Pioneer CLD-99 Elite LD, Panasonic DMP-UB900 UHD Blu-Ray
    LG 65EF9500 4K OLED
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 10,293
    edited February 2014
    StantonZ wrote: »
    How does that satisfy those who want/need to play their own source material? I for one have a huge media library that I either won't (or can't) duplicate.

    He is including streaming from home media library
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • VCoakVCoak Posts: 200
    edited February 2014
    Thank you for reposting.

    I am in the learning phase of going all digital and have many questions that have been answered just by reading these posts. And big thanks to all the CP'ers who have taken the time to answer my pm's.

    mco
    W4S SX-1000, Adcom gfp-750, Polk 1.2tl, W4S DAC 2 DSDse, 2012 mac mini (mod), JRivers ver. 19, WD Cloud NAS 2 t.b., Monster Cable AVS-2000 signature, Doug's Alpha I/C & Doug's biwire 6' speaker cables
  • On3s&amp;Z3r0sOn3s&amp;Z3r0s Posts: 1,013
    edited February 2014
    DSkip wrote: »
    The wave of the future is streaming brother.

    LOL... you mean like the Squeezebox Touch? Funny how they already stopped selling the wave of the future a couple years ago.

    J/K. I don't disagree, and I assume you mean streaming over Ethernet/wifi. It's cool to see folks like Oppo playing with that. Someone will get it figured out soon enough in a package that sounds good and has decent usability. Until then I can stream from my media server to my laptop if I want, which plugs into my DAC with a good ol USB.
  • PycroftPycroft Posts: 1,957
    edited March 2014
    Okay, I feel like an idiot with this question :)

    I have it all setup (I think). I have a laptop. I have been ripping CD's using EAC to lossless wave audio. I have media monkey (The free version) to play it. Today, finally, I grabbed a cord that is one side a USB to go from my computer into the other side (more squarish and smaller) to go into my integrated - Musical Fidelity M6I with a built in DAC. I plugged it in, put it on the 'USB' input on the amp, went to media monkey, hit play, and it was SO SOFT. The volume was to 100% on the computer, and I had to jack it to 12:00 (As if on a clock) to even get a sound. If I put it there with my CD player, I'd make my wife cry it would be so loud.

    Is there something I'm missing?

    James
    2 Channel/HT:
    Sony SS-M9 P's (ES version)
    Sony SS-M1CN Center Channel
    Polk RT800 Surround Speakers
    Odyssey Stratos Dual Mono Amplifiers
    TAD 150 Signature Tube Preamp
    Harman Kardon HK354
    Sony SACD Player
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,902
    edited March 2014
    Did you set the volume when you burned the cd's into the computer ?
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 30,902
    edited March 2014
    OOPS....double post.
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • PycroftPycroft Posts: 1,957
    edited March 2014
    Tony,

    I got it working after a while. It seemed that I had the integrated amp on, then plugged the computer in, and it didn't work. Out of frustration I unplugged, turned the machine off and ripped some more. Then, with the amp off, I plugged the computer in, and then turned the amp on and it worked. I was told it may have taken some time for the computer to get the necessary drivers etc. that it needed to play. I only had a chance to listen for a few minutes befroe bed, but it sounded quite good. I haven't been able to do a direct comparison with the CD player yet.

    Thanks,

    James
    2 Channel/HT:
    Sony SS-M9 P's (ES version)
    Sony SS-M1CN Center Channel
    Polk RT800 Surround Speakers
    Odyssey Stratos Dual Mono Amplifiers
    TAD 150 Signature Tube Preamp
    Harman Kardon HK354
    Sony SACD Player
  • doctorcilantrodoctorcilantro Posts: 2,033
    edited March 2014
    DSkip wrote: »
    The wave of the future is streaming brother.

    Depending out which country you live in...depending on Internet access. Unlimited Internet streaming does not exist. These Telecoms are so damn cheap, and are not meeting bandwidth needs. Where I live Unlimited means 2GB per day max.

    Also, look at MOG.

    I'd rather put my time into tagging my own archives of FLAC and SACD ISO, rather than have to depend on a company to provide me a service to which I am bound by a service agreement, which could end at any time...
    For Sale 2019:
    Tortuga Audio LDR passive preamp
    Decware EL34 amp
    Allnic H-1201 phono
    Zu Union Cubes
    iFi iDSD DAC, .5m UBS, iFI Gemini cable, Oyaide Tunami XLR 1.3M, Oyaide Tunami Speaker wire 1.5M, Beyerdynamic DT1990 headphones, PS Audio P3 power center

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