What soundcard to get for best quality to ouput mp3's to your receiver?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KyleS, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

    Jul 24, 2000
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    OK here is the scoop. I have a friend that is wanting to output his MP3's from his computer through his reciever. He has both Optical and Coaxial connection available but What is the best soundcard for doing this? And how does the soundcard ouput the signal? (Optical, Coax, etc). He really wants the best quality and price is not that much of an object say below or around $500 would be the limit. Of course if we dont need to spend that much then great. [​IMG]
  2. Peter_A_M

    Peter_A_M Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 27, 2002
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    I recommend the RME Digi96/8.
    Its coaxial and optical digital output is generally regarded as among the best of all soundcards and digital transports, mostly due to its low jitter readings.
    Some reviews:
    A few users on the AVS forum also own RME cards and often attest to their quality. A search on their forums should bring up some interesting threads. Here's just one:
    AudioMIDI.com sells the card for around $300, but European retailers usually sell it for less money. Not $500, but then again, that's what you wanted, right? [​IMG]
  3. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

    Aug 19, 2000
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    Omaha, NE
    Real Name:
    CJ Paul
    If he is willing to spend that much, why not get an AudioTron (www.turtlebeach.com). Its so much more flexible in that you dont have to have the PC with the MP3s on it in the same room as the stereo and it has a remote. The MP3s arent decoded until they hit the AudioTron so they can be as far apart as CAT5 ethernet cables will allow. AudioTrons can be had for $250 online. You can also pull in net radio stations. I would question the wisdom of spending as much as twice what the AudioTron costs to get lossy compressed music files to your stereo.
  4. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

    Sep 6, 2000
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    Is he interested in multichannel mixing for mp3 playback? Winamp and Windows Media Player can output stereo rear surround during playback, if your soundcard supports that.

    The only sound solution that supports real-time multi-channel audio playback through S/PDIF is the NVIDIA nForce chipsets. Unfortunately, they are only available on nForce chipset motherboards (which support the AMD Athlon CPUs), like the Asus A7N266C/E, MSI KN420Pro, Asus A7N266-VM, etc. The nForce chipset supports real-time Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding, which can be fed via S/PDIF optical or coaxial connection to a receiver that supports digital decoding.

    Think of the XBox chipset ported over to the PC world...

    Unreal Tournament 2003 in true DD5.1 is really quite nice. And IL-2 Sturmovik is a hell of a listening experience...

    The price for these motherboards range from $60 - $140 US, depending on the featureset.

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