connecting a soundcard directly to an amp, possible without a receiver???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Salvador, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2001
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Would it be possible to connect my soundcard using a minijack to stereo cable to an amp like an oddysey stratos or parasound?
     
  2. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2001
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i'm asking cause now i'm thinking that i wasted my money on a denon 3802. If you could connect the soundcard directly to an amp, that negates the purpose of my receiver since i don't use it for hometheater so i don't need DTS, DD, etc. I only have 1 pair of Studio 20's and a two channel amp connected to my receiver would be enough. Should i trade in my denon 3802 for a high quality three channel amp since it will be used primarily for music?

    I don'nt know why i didn't think of this before. Must have been the excitement but now i feel pretty stupid.

    I'm planning to add a sub later on so i'm thinking, would a three channel amp connected to my soundcard be enough?? I also feel that i'm missing something important here that i can't seem to put my finger on. Can someone please enlighten me?

    confused,

    Salvador
     
  3. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2000
    Messages:
    2,149
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  4. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2001
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    hmmm, this is really bad. How could i have overlooked that simple fact? Truth be told, i don't need all the features of the denon 3802 except for the amp to drive my speakers. I really feel that i just screwed myself over. My audigy has a subwoofer preout so connecting a sub wouldn't be a problem. Now i'm really depressed. I feel like i ignorantly spent a wadload of hard earned money into something i don't need.
    I'll probably try to unload this receiver and get a nice 3-channel amp. Now is there any reason NOT to do this for my needs??? My room is pretty small so extra speakers aren't really an option. This audio system will be used only for my computer, no home theater at all.
    Should i just keep the denon 3802 since buying a Parasound 1500A, to drive my Studio 20's, would be probably be the same price?
    Man, i feel like Sh!t[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Don't feel bad, man [​IMG]
    If I were doing what you're trying to do, I think I would have opted for a receiver anyway. It gives you more control rather than just adjusting levels from your computer.
    I would just keep the 3802 and add a sub later. Much less headache. Plus, who knows what you'll be doing in the future; a full DD/DTS receiver may come in real handy....
     
  6. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2001
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i understand that the receiver might come in handy, but any video upgrades that i'll make would probably be 5 or ten years down the road. DD and DTS can easily be done by powerDVD on my computer so there is really no need for it on the receiver.

    I'm really feeling a lot of buyers remorse right now. Just as i was finally getting satisfied with my system this thought all of a sudden hits me.

    From what i've been hearing in this forum, separates is generally the way to go for better sound. Now the question i'm asking myself is would it be logical to unload the receiver and just get an amp. These are the pros and cons i could think of:

    pros:

    1.) separate amp wihin the price range of the 3802 would drive the Studio 20's better. So i'm assuming it would improve sonically over what i'm hearing now.

    2.) With my computer sering as a pre/pro obsolescence wouldn't be as much of an issue since software updates of programs like powerDVD XP can be easily upgraded to support the newer formats.

    Cons:

    1.) i will lose all the other features that the denon 3802 offers. All i really need right now is an amp to drive the speakers but you never know when the 'other' features might come in handy.

    2.) If it turns out that separate amplification won't warrant enough sonic enhancement to give up all the extra features the denon has. I doubt this would be but this is a possibility.

    3.) I would lose money since I would have to trade/sell my 3802 at a lower price than what i got it for.

    ----------------------

    please share your thoughts on this, it would be much appreciated
     
  7. peter_anderson

    peter_anderson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2001
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    considering the quality of the source (your computer's sound card), a dedicated amp/monoblock like a Parasound really won't give you much more in the way of quality sound.

    If you have really bad remorse, return/sell the 3802 and get an 1802 instead. if your room is really that small, you don't need the likes of the 3802!

    or, instead of the 1802, if you KNOW you won't want a DD/DTS receiver in the next five years, get a NAD integrated amp or receiver for like $300 which will sound better than your 3802 and you won't be wasting money on extra channels of amplification.

    Please, please try a good dedicated CD sourse someday; you will thank yourself (i once thought like you).
     
  8. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2001
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i don't have a good cd player hanging around. I only have two discmans and playstation 1/2 consoles for cd playback. I tried using the discman to play music but it sounded duller than what my soundcard was producing.

    One question, if you don't have a receiver and only have a three channel amp, how would you go about with the crossover settings and bass management for a sub??? I'm thinking of maybe a CS+ down the road so how would that work out without a receiver to handle the crossover settings?
     
  9. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There is growing interest in using a Home Theater PC as a surround processor and preamp outputted directly to the amplifiers or to active (powered) speakers, although the software to do this has not yet been released. M-Audio, makers of the Delta 410 and 1010 soundcards (multichannel 24/96 soundcards with high quality DACs) are developing a full-featured preamp software application that will provide bass management, independent channel volume controls, and time delay settings. When this software becomes available for the M-Audio cards, I plan to eliminate my receiver and output my computer directly to an analog preamp for all HT. The only thing holding me back is the need to decode DD5.1 from my DSS receiver, but I may be able to get around that problem by using TWO soundcards in the PC, or by buying an expensive outboard DD and DTS processor.

    Incidentally, in the scenario I've described, there is no need to have an analog preamp in the chain -- you can output directly to amps. I plan to include an analog preamp b/c I eventually want the ability to switch between the HTPC and a separate SACD player. But I may change my mind, of course . . . .

    There is alot of discussion of this topic in AVS Forum.

    - Ken
     
  10. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Larry:

    It does sound ludicrous, but HTPC has really upped the ante when it comes to video quality, esp. when paired with digital projectors or plasma sets. It's just a matter of time before it can do the same thing for sound quality.

    For example:

    - there is software out there than can upsample 44.1 Khz PCM to 24/96 and store the new files as wavs -- Sonic Foundry Batch Converter. It obviously can't add information, but it can (in theory) move some of the distortion into the inaudible realm.

    - With appropriate software, it may become possible to perform advanced digital processing, including room correction and speaker correction, in the HTPC. One day the PC may replace dedicated units such as the AudioControl DiVa and the TACT TCS.

    - the PC is upgradable and customizable, with innovation constantly occurring. No one is tied to the upgrade path of a particular manufacturer.

    - a big perceived problem with the PC is RF interference and inadequate power supplies. In general, most of the problems would affect the analog side of the equation. Much of these problems go away with the Delta 1010 which has an outboard rack-mount unit for the DACs.

    - Ken
     
  11. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Go w/ the amp. I thought of doing that too. Your choices are the 3 channel amp or go ahead and get the 5 channel amp. Later on someday you can buy an up-to-date pre/pro. Your soundcard will sound surprisingly good. Even a discman will sound great. Why consistently upgrade when you can buy a great HT piece by piece?
     
  12. Dan Hotch

    Dan Hotch Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I would say return the Denon and get a 3 channel amp. I have heard a lot of good things about the Audigy setup. Doesn't that have 4.1 channel out?

    If you control everything with the Audigy then it would almost look anti-climactic to change settings on the Denon too. Put the amp out of site and then people would be truely amazed by the sound coming from your computer.
     
  13. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2001
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm still a bit confused here about how to connect the sub with the proper crossover frequency without a receiver. I'm going to have a word with my local dealer and see what options i have.

    BTW, audigy does 5.1
     
  14. Ken Woodrow

    Ken Woodrow Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Salvador:

    The subwoofer connection is the biggest problem with making a direct connection to your amps with your soundcard -- there currently is no provision for bass management in any software DVD or music players AFAIK. Until the M-Audio software comes out, there is no way, in the computer, to redirect bass from the front channels to the sub or to set any particular crossover frequency for doing so. Instead, the sub connection gets only LFE. The best solution, currently, is to get the $250 Outlaw ICBM and do bass management in the analog domain, b/n the sound card and the amps. The Outlaw will allow you to set independent crossovers of varying slopes for each channel.

    I'm keeping my receiver around until the M-Audio software comes out.

    - Ken
     
  15. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2001
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the info ken. If that is the case then, i think i'll just stick to my current setup.
     

Share This Page