Can't find a 2-ch solution for mp3 from PC

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Joshua H, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Joshua H

    Joshua H Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi all, this is about playing stereo mp3 from a pc. Posted this in Rec/Seps/Amps but didn't get all I hoped for... this might be the proper place. I've just gotta replace the old Kenwood VR-357 receiver I bought refurb'd 8ish years ago.

    My Question: Would an integrated amp like a Marantz PM7200 or Rotel 1062 taking analog from my SoundBlaster Live still outperform say, a Marantz 5600 using its own DACs?

    Presently I'm in a studio house. I thought to get an integrated amp/stereo receiver (i do listen to FM) with A/B, for PC-mp3 (97%) & TV-DVD (3%, and 2ch for now). But I've not found an option that takes Coax/Optical digital in. So I'm thinking a Marantz 5600 might make more sense, and be future-proof. I'd like to cap this at $600, and spending less is always nice [​IMG]

    A pair of JBL S38's are used for music flanking the PC (fed digi-coax). I also have a mind to put a pair of JBL Arc-30's (older 6.5" bookshelf) flanking my TV since DVD bass tends to bottom out the built-ins. $100 Dvd player is also digi-coax. Sub is 12" 150W Cerwin Vega. I have a 2nd pair of S38's and an S-Center I plan to keep for if I move somewhere with a full living room.

    I previously got a nice Pioneer Elite receiver 2 yrs ago in college but returned it shortly after because my car got stolen (doh). But I loved the fuller more powerful sound, and I don't want to listen to this damn overrated mass market piece anymore.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Personally I've found that computers tend to be "noisy" devices electrically. The best way to hook one up to a sound system in my opinion would be optical digital. That will at least keep any electrical interference away from the receiver. A normal SPDIF would work just fine too, since soundcards with optical outs aren't thick on the ground, as far as I know.

    Preferrably a better sound card than a Soundblaster would help too, something like an M-Audio Audiophile 2496, you'd probably be happy about spending the $100+ on it in the long run. Granted, you'll be playing MP3's, so ultra-hifi it won't be, in any case. [​IMG]

    Marantz makes good gear, so I don't personally see a problem with a 5600 used for two-channel sound. I'd definitely go for a surround device of some sort with plenty of digital inputs, in any event. To go full-on 5.1 at a later date, just add a few speakers (preferrably something tonally similar to the existing ones.)

    In the unlikely event that the built-in amplification doesn't do it for you (highly unlikely unless you wind up using it in a massive room at crazy volumes, I'd say) it seems to have all 8 channels from the pre-amp available on the receivers rear connectors, so you could conceivably splurge a bit later on on some power amp(s) to place between the receiver and your speakers and keep the Marantz in its role as preprocessor and to feed your surrounds.

    My two european cents worth. [​IMG]
     
  3. Rommel_L

    Rommel_L Second Unit

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    There is no soundcard that will outperform a a/v receiver / pre-pro with its own DACs... That said, it's better to connect the sound card (SPDIF out) to the digital input of the receiver (Kenwood) and let it do all the decoding...
     
  4. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    I agree with the above, also take a look at HDA mystique and Xplosion sound cards.
     
  5. Joshua H

    Joshua H Stunt Coordinator

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    This is sounding like what I expected, that using the DAC in the sound card output to an integrated amp won't outperform digital out to an AVR (what I presently have running to the Kenwood). If I'm doing digital out, there's no real reason to upgrade the sound card right?
     
  6. Rommel_L

    Rommel_L Second Unit

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    Not really, if the current sound card can pass through the digital signal. But the others have suggested very sound cards...
     

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