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PC as Source and Prepro (1 Viewer)

Chris Tsutsui

Feb 1, 2002
I've found that a computer can make a nice and cheap pre processor for analog sound. What I have setup is a Hercules GTXP (Crystal Sound processor) hooked to a 100wpc Rotel stereo amplifier.

The speakers are GR-Research AV-3s and the resulting sound is quite amazing. I'm also using a nice RCA interconnect because the sound card has RCA outs.

What's interesting is that people often complain of the "whine, hiss" noise accompanied with computers, but you really lose track of it once the music begins to play. Of course it's audible due to the noise of the power supply and fans, but I think the music SQ can be comparable to many cheap dedicated receivers.

I'm beginning to think analog separates with a computer processing the audio may match or even outperform most $500 and less receivers on the market.

Has anyone done any testing or A/B comparing analog PC separates to a receiver? I think the PC might suprise a lot of people as long as the sound card is good quality. I've let many people audition my setup at home and most are suprised that the music is from a PC, or use Mp3 formats.

I think it's something to try if you have a decent PC sound card. Try plugging in a separate amplifier and listening to music.

Anyone have any comments about this or what's the downside besides a slight background layer of noise?

Grant B

Senior HTF Member
Mar 29, 2000
I have my computer built in my media cabinet behind 2 sets of doors which wipe out most of the noise. I also have it hooked to my TV and my preamp - both analog and digital ins and outs.
Digital is on par with most sources, analog so so.
I have a compro card with i/f box...about 1 year old.

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