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Lets talk PC Audio

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by Mussels, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. trog69

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    Thanks, qubit. I already have a X-fi card installed. The receiver also has a DAC built-in, as most do nowadays. I cannot stress enough just how great this sounds in near-field. I'm planning on upgrading the sub to a SVS or Hsu brand 10", perhaps running both, though I have an idea that the Polk Audio may get its butt handed to it from either one of those other subs. I still am very pleased with the Polk's sound, at $150.

    I didn't mention it in the OP, but I tried the Klipsch Pro-media 2.1 system, and I have a friend that gave me his Klipsch 4.1 system since the speakers are the same. While it was an upgrade from teh Logitech cheapos, it left me wanting. The satellites sounded great, but the bass, even after replacing both 6.5" woofers, was muddy and weak for music, and underwhelming for gaming.

    I'm also now looking to replacing the receiver with a good 2 channel amp/pre-amp, and giving the receiver to the grandkids along with some bookshelf speakers I have laying around. Too many multi-channel options makes it difficult for me to bypass them, and the manual is less than helpful in that regard. It seems they just assume that the user is familiar with all the various means of multi-channel outputs, and other sound altering stuff. I just want a good amp that runs 2 channel sound, with none of the extras that I'd never use.
     
  2. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    One of my powered speakers died :cry: so at the moment i am using a sony ipod dock/radio that has aux in, wired to a pair of tannoy speakers.

    All i did was unplug one of the speakers while it was on, plugged it back in, and nothing, it would not power on.
     
  3. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i just want a HDMI receiver + 5.1 setup so i never have to buy a soundcard again, and can stay in the wonderful problem free world of HDMI audio... until they replace HDMI a week after i buy it all, anyway.
     
  4. trog69

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    Ouch. Sounds like you shorted it out. Any time you mess with speaker plugs while powered up has the chance of doing that. If they're older than 2 years, you might not have recourse via warrantee, since most powered speakers' warrantees are 2years electronics, and usually 5 years for the speaker itself.
     
  5. trog69

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    For 5.1, the world is your oyster. Just about any of the better known brands will work just fine. I forgot to mention this to qubit, but I did try the X-fi sound card and then on-board via the mobo, and I did not hear a difference. Now, I might have the cheaper X-fi card, but I did ask about it in a couple of high-end HT forums, and most agreed that on-board was just fine for stereo sound. The difference would only be in measurements too small for the human ear to detect. I'm listening to some blues via on-board sound right now, and it's crystal clear and lush.
     
  6. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    my headphones sound massively different between my various realtek onboards, and my Z5500s.

    my z5500's also sound crap on optical vs analogue (no bass at all), so there CAN be a large difference depending on your setup. headphones that need more power? onboard may not cut it. sound system without the ability to redirect bass on digital? same again.
     
  7. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    They are powered monitors, it was the mains plug i pulled out and replaced.
     
  8. Ferrum Master

    Ferrum Master

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    For that room size... those speakers are huge... And you could use some housewife tool also...

    My five cents... Modern receivers are nice indeed... But still I am an old school person I use dedicated amps via analogue sound route... And I do not use 5,1, coz in small rooms it is a waste honestly... you will hear mostly the first sound, then it will reflect from the small room etc...(like battle scene it will be a mishmash) surround needs a proper calibration and measuring, and sound deadening on the walls like in cinema - thick curtains...

    But For stereo, yeah thats a matter of taste... One always pair the amplifier with speakers for better performance, you must... :D, but if it is an active one... skip it all...

    Domestically SPDIF has only gains when fighting ground loops or similar problems, but driver wise, I haven't seen a fully working SPDIF out without some rare pops, cracks and other anomalies, I have build several DAC's myself and no matter what source I use from the PC - Realtek, Creative, CMI or Asus the damn digital signal acts bonkers on hardware interrupts, only working digital audio driver that is polished enough is in HDMI, so take that as a rule.

    Gain from X-Fi and some others are that they incorporate DTS neo and dolby THX bla bla bla licenses for sound processing via SPDIF, but those are for poor taste movie guys...

    Basing on old good math your dac inside there has a smaller output cap that limits subsonic freqs from passing through... its a simple DC protection well a bit overkill I guess and seconds the preamp probably is low voltage railed/thirsty. The Analogue signal just has its full voltage swing, that is already larger and thus kicks the end amp in the face better.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  9. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    my realtek onboard has DTS encoding (and with modded drivers, so can almost all of them) - works well enough for gaming, for music thats was a guaranteed bass killer.
     
  10. XSI

    XSI

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    you say digitall sounds the same. then i dont understand why my old realtek sounds worse on digital than my x-fi digital i use same receiver. And if i enable dts connect and dts neo encoder on x-fi the difference is huge.
     
  11. jcgeny

    jcgeny

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    a lot of electric things can do that too : monitors...
    it s better to do plugging when all is cold instead of after a full day of work .

    heat and dilatation make big changes in electronic components ...]"8

    receiver + hdmi are the top , big speakers can also be found for the same price as a [very expensive] headphone but quality is not the same .
    you can also have a little tv tuner hdmi or some tv internet box hdmi with the receiver
    and have a good sounds for music or movies .
    i took jamo and they are very good for very low price
    7.1 is also better than 5.1 because of sound from the sides , that is not so expensive but can be a very cool plus with movies like avatar or games
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
  12. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    I know what you mean about good bass. Speakers without sound really weak. As far as the other components go, it looks like you're seriously into your hi-fi and multichannel sound. For me, I've always been happy with a decent amp, decent eq options and great speakers or headphones.


    The difference you hear is from the output stage which is analog and different analog circuitry can sound very different indeed, with expensive components and good design making a big difference.

    EDIT

    Just reading your post again, it sounds like your using the digital output from your sound cards to your amp? In that case there will be zero difference between the two as the output data is the same. It sounds like some eq/processing options may be enabled on the X-Fi card which will change the sound noticeably.
     
  13. Kursah

    Kursah

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    I still enjoy my Auzen, but want to get rid of it. I like the Aune T1 for what it is but am considering selling it as it just doesn't fit my needs. I'm thinking of simplifying and going onboard digital to my Denon AVR. When I run RCA from my Aune T1 to my Denon I get a fuzzy power sucking distortion from the Aune's HP amp unless I power on the Denon. Then it goes away. Same thing happened when I had the FiiO E9 hooked up too. That and the Aune T1 gets pretty darn warm (the whole thing, not just the tube). While it does sound good, it's not quite suiting what I want. I wish my Denon AVR had some RCA outputs so I could run them to my FiiO E9....alas apparently those aren't common on the mid-range model for 2012-13 lol.

    I'm not sure what direction to go yet...part of me still wants to keep the T1, but I don't want to have it AND the Denon on all the time. Especially if I want to listen to speakers and no HP's. The Denon's HP out is pretty decent, but it does lack the overall lower end punch the E9 can provide with the same EQ from my X-Fi.

    I guess I need to decide what I wanna do. I'm kinda thinking find a USB DAC with spdif output? Thoughts?
    I wish I knew more about the DAC in my Denon...I think it's a CS but I am not sure..it's an AVR-1613. Overall I am soooo glad I purchased it!
     
  14. trog69

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    Hah. I ordered the FiiO E9, and they sent me the E17 Alpen instead, not that I'm complaining, since I planned on going with both of them eventually. That was before I went nuts and chucked the idea of a headphone amp and went with the A/V receiver and bookshelf speakers instead. The sound from the E17 is great, so I wonder if there would even be a need for the E9. Would it produce a louder output? That seems to be the only reason why I'd pair them. I admit that I'm fairly ignorant about DACs and all that.
     
  15. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    receivers are mass produced value boxes with cookie cutter designs.

    try moving the Denon receiver away, if that doesn't work try another pair of RCA interconnects.

    if you can fix that.. a Schiit Modi and pair of these will work

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002KRCUE/?tag=tec06d-20
     
  16. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    if I wasn't clear

    buy those RCA splitters and plug them into the back of the Aune T1/Schiit Modi analog output. run one pair of RCA interconnects to the Fiio E9 and the other to the Denon AVR-1613 analog inputs.

    try creating some distance between the Denon AVR-1613 and Headphone Amplifiers, try plugging them into different outlets. order a different brand of RCA interconnects.
     
  17. trog69

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    That's a very handy little gadget, BumbleBee. I bookmarked it in case I or someone I know find a need for it, like running two subs with one LFE input or output, depending on the source. Thanks.
     
  18. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    my setup:

    Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 with a Fiio E7

    IMG_20140207_162600.jpg
     
  19. XSI

    XSI

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    Nope, same receiver, same audio player, no e/q setting changed. Only difference one is spdif another is toslink.
    realtek digital--> to receiver
    or x-fi digital connection to receiver.
    its sounds louder and better on default.
    as i said if i check xfi crystaliser and dts encoding its absolutely different sound, but i understand this part.
    i don't get why the difference is on default :(
     
  20. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    if you were using SPDIF passthrough from existing media (which will never get touched), then they'd sound the same. stuff like pre-set equaliser settings can still adjust SPDIF, for non pre-encoded audio.
     
  21. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    there are three types of chips

    1) digital transmitters - encodes and transmits digital data
    2) digital receivers - handles incoming digital data
    3) digital converters - converts digital data to analog signal

    there are any number of explanations why it could sound different. maybe the sound card is using a different digital transmitter or the sound card is doing some kind of reclocking.

    in any case it's more complicated than "all digital is the same"
     
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  22. Frag Maniac

    Frag Maniac

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    I have (and have discussed in a few threads), the common problem of not being able to get 5.1 pass through to my AVR from my HDMI port on my HD7970. That is to say I CAN get the AVR recognized as an HDMI device, but it won't actually pass the 5.1 signal through to the speakers when originating from my video card's HDMI port.

    Last it was discussed it was left at someone's assumption that the AVR does not support 5.1 pass through. I get 6 instances of AMD 5.1 HDMI Audio showing up in my sound devices panel, but none ever show as ready for use. I can use either my AVR or TV as HDMI devices, but they're only configurable for stereo.

    Quite an annoying dilemma. I'd accept that my entry level Yamaha AVR doesn't support 5.1 pass through (if that indeed IS the case), if AVR manufacturers just told us which of their AVRs DO, but they don't seem to. Thus I've been settling with DPL II for gaming via an optical audio cable.

    One person here said he got HDMI 5.1 to work with his AVR, but went to using DTS with a sound card because the multi channel PCM from his GPU resulted in unacceptable flaws in the positional audio. So it appears getting acceptable multi channel PCM from a GPU is very hit and miss.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  23. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    it needs to support LPCM lossless 5.1

    i nearly bought a 5.1 HDMI sound system the other day from sony, only to find bured in the manual that the 'blu ray' internal channel supports it, and the HDMI inputs do not.


    pretty much all the cheap ones are on par with SPDIF - stereo only unless its compressed dolby.
     
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  24. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    Frag Maniac and Mussels say thanks.
  25. Frag Maniac

    Frag Maniac

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    Thanks guys, at least that helps reassure me I've not botched the setup. Going forward though, how does one come up with info on whether AVRs, new ones we shop for, support multi LPCM?

    I assume the list you posted tigger was made by amassing info from people whom owned and used those AVRs for said purpose?

    It seems the only way to tell if a current or recently made model of AVR supports multi LPCM is to ask people that are presently using them that way, or buy from a store that has 30 day return privileged with no restocking fee that allows that type of return.
     

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