Not the usual "connect PC to stereo" question

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Angelo.M, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I'm reconfiguring the 2-channel system in my office. I'll be using my PC as a jukebox for .wav and .mp3 playback, and outputting the signal to a receiver or integrated amp, depending on the information I learn here.

    This is the question. When playing .wav files on a PC in this type of set-up, is it preferable to make a digital connection between the soundcard and a digital input on a receiver, or should you use an analog output from the card and connect to an analog input on a receiver or integrated amp. I understand the difference in the case of deciding whether or not to connect a CD player digitally: it depends upon whether you prefer the DACs in the CD player or the receiver. But what about this situation? Is the digital-to-analog conversion happening in software, or in the soundcard, or am I totally confused?

    Thanks, in advance.
     
  2. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    the computers hardware is what will perform the digital to analog conversion. So your soundcard is what will play the determining role in whether or not you want to use the digital connection or the analog connection.

    if your using a cheapo soundcard, a creative product, or onboard sound, I would lean towards using the digital connection as these tend to cut cost by using cheap DACs. eitherwhichway, if you have the option just try both out and see if you can tell which route is better.
     
  3. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Rob:

    Thanks. In essence, then, it's the same situation as deciding whether to use a CD player's DACs or a receiver's DACs. You have to try them both and decide.

    Now I have to determine if the cheapo Sound Blaster that Dell stuck in my machine has a digital output or not!
     
  4. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    I think SBLive and newer cards that aren't the budget model have a coax digital out.
     
  5. BenSC

    BenSC Stunt Coordinator

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    If not the AV515M cards that are $15 have optical out.

    Also, doesn't the signal go through the receivers DAC reguardless of the inputs used (unless you use passthrough). I could be wrong, but I thought that was the reason people liked Tube Amps instead of the built in Amp in the receiver.
     
  6. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Ben:

    I'll check out the AV515M. Any recommendations on a place to get one?

    As far as the DAC issue, if you connect a CD player to a receiver or pre/pro using analog connections, then the CD player's DACs are used. If the connection is digital, then the CD player's DACs are bypassed.
     

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