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Receivers DAC-s compared to soundcards - Page 2

post #16 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your feedback !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jigglybootch View Post
I would imagine that DACs in entry-level receivers would be, at best, no better than those found in sound cards. But I still lean toward the sound cards. Sound cards are designed for one purpose, whereas these entry-level receivers are meant to be multi-purpose (audio/video).
That was my logic also, but I wanted to hear other opinions... My question, more-or-less, was, shall I preffer:

a). Foobar-in-kernel-streaming-mode -> not-resampling on-board-chip's SPDIF-out (some HD Audio chip like Realtek 88x or AD1988A) -> Receiver DAC -> Same receiver's amp -> Speakers

or

b). Foobar-in-kernel-streaming-mode -> stand-alone souncard with good DAC -> it's analog out -> Receiver analog-in -> Same receiver's amp -> Speakers

or

c). Foobar-in-kernel-streaming-mode -> not-resampling on-board-chip's SPDIF-out -> external DAC/soundcard -> Receiver analog-in -> Same receiver's amp -> Speakers

I'm talking about 2ch music in 16/44,1 and would be intrested in speakers only (no headphones).

But now, at least according to this thread, I should preffer "the receiver DAC way", becaudse it seems, that's there no point to spend on extra stand-alone soundcard (and it's DAC). This should give at least as good result as good soundcard and according to maarek99, even much better (even in case of entry-level receiver).
post #17 of 32
can anyone tell me if vintage receivers are worth it? specifically this one?
http://vancouver.craigslist.org/ele/401198872.html
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by suur13 View Post
But now, at least according to this thread, I should preffer "the receiver DAC way", becaudse it seems, that's there no point to spend on extra stand-alone soundcard (and it's DAC). This should give at least as good result as good soundcard and according to maarek99, even much better (even in case of entry-level receiver).
Not necessarily. Depending on your budget, sound cards can sound better (or at least different) than receivers' internal DACs. The receiver isn't guaranteed to have a good DAC section, especially if you don't know the parts that were used or their specifications. You mentioned that your onboard sound is Intel HD-Audio compliant, so the onboard DAC might not be bad either. Listen to both and determine which sounds better, and why it sounds better to you. Then, you'll know what to look for if you decide to upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by judas391 View Post
can anyone tell me if vintage receivers are worth it? specifically this one?
http://vancouver.craigslist.org/ele/401198872.html
It's well-reviewed but a little underpowered if your speakers aren't sensitive (~90 dB sensitivity or higher). That's really a question for another thread.
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitesymphony View Post
It measures badly, but it still "outperforms" the 0404 USB... I think we have different definitions of performance. If you like the sound of coloration, that's your choice. .
SNR and DR don't tell how stuff sounds like. Have you heard the 0404 usb, do you think it's the greatest dac ever built? I mean it measures excellently so it must be the best, and when I asked about the strange audio quality difference between the 0404 and a cheap receiver in the rmaa forums (and provided rmaa measurements) they just said "well, they shouldn't sound any different". That just means those measurements don't mean **** or that RMAA is definitely outdated and there must be better forms of measuring audio. I'll go with the latter, never trust RMAA.

I'm actually pretty pissed at this because I thought these cards would've been upgrades and I could've gotten rid of this huge junk of receiver on my desk. Guess I was dead wrong.

Coloration? Well if realistic sound is coloration then hell yeah. The difference is not small. Atleast with the Rega/Black Cube and hd650.
post #20 of 32
thanks.
i love infinitesymphony, always willing to answer questions thanks bro
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by maarek99 View Post
SNR and DR don't tell how stuff sounds like. Have you heard the 0404 usb, do you think it's the greatest dac ever built? I mean it measures excellently so it must be the best, and when I asked about the strange audio quality difference between the 0404 and a cheap receiver in the rmaa forums (and provided rmaa measurements) they just said "well, they shouldn't sound any different". That just means those measurements don't mean **** or that RMAA is definitely outdated and there must be better forms of measuring audio. I'll go with the latter, never trust RMAA.

I'm actually pretty pissed at this because I thought these cards would've been upgrades and I could've gotten rid of this huge junk of receiver on my desk. Guess I was dead wrong.

Coloration? Well if realistic sound is coloration then hell yeah. The difference is not small. Atleast with the Rega/Black Cube and hd650.
It just depends on your system's synergy and personal preference. It's true that accuracy does not always mean musicality. I haven't heard the 0404 USB, but if the AKM DAC in my system is any indication of what it sounds like, I imagine you might find it a bit lean-sounding and lacking depth.

You're not alone... One Head-Fier preferred the sound of an early-'90s 1-bit DAC going through a tube buffer into a satellite + subwoofer system. Some people just like a super-warm, punchy, rolled-off sound.
post #22 of 32
Hi

I got a Yamaha RX-V650 receiver and it´s DAC is not bad. Definetly better than my motherboard´s soundcard. Headphone output fron the receiver is not bad either. Actually my HD650 sounds very transparent driven by my Yamaha. So i would recommend to test some receivers first. Maybe you´ll be pleasently suprised.
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitesymphony View Post
It just depends on your system's synergy and personal preference. It's true that accuracy does not always mean musicality. I haven't heard the 0404 USB, but if the AKM DAC in my system is any indication of what it sounds like, I imagine you might find it a bit lean-sounding and lacking depth.

You're not alone... One Head-Fier preferred the sound of an early-'90s 1-bit DAC going through a tube buffer into a satellite + subwoofer system. Some people just like a super-warm, punchy, rolled-off sound.
I almost want to side with maarek in this little feud. Accuracy measurements can go well beyond the human ear in their specific mode, but the ear isn't all that bad, and some things we can more or less agree on hearing (PRAT, say) don't register on the measurements. Some very low-distortion sources have, as you say, very little musicality, and IME terms like accuracy and musicality tend to obscure these differences, or fool us into locating quality in only certain qualitative aspects, like distortion or dynamic range.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esuko View Post
Hi

I got a Yamaha RX-V650 receiver and it´s DAC is not bad. Definetly better than my motherboard´s soundcard. Headphone output fron the receiver is not bad either. Actually my HD650 sounds very transparent driven by my Yamaha. So i would recommend to test some receivers first. Maybe you´ll be pleasently suprised.
Sure, but the comparison shouldn't stop there. I can't believe that an HD650 would sound good out of either compared to what it would sound like with an amp in between. What sounds good today may well sound infuriatingly thin tomorrow, when you've got some better gear on hand. It's the slippery slope of hifi audio.
post #24 of 32
suur13.......don't believe that sound cards can't provide more accurate sound than a cheap receiver DAC.

And it's not about measurements, it's about detail and realistic sound of instruments.
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by facelvega View Post
I almost want to side with maarek in this little feud. Accuracy measurements can go well beyond the human ear in their specific mode, but the ear isn't all that bad, and some things we can more or less agree on hearing (PRAT, say) don't register on the measurements. Some very low-distortion sources have, as you say, very little musicality, and IME terms like accuracy and musicality tend to obscure these differences, or fool us into locating quality in only certain qualitative aspects, like distortion or dynamic range.



Sure, but the comparison shouldn't stop there. I can't believe that an HD650 would sound good out of either compared to what it would sound like with an amp in between. What sounds good today may well sound infuriatingly thin tomorrow, when you've got some better gear on hand. It's the slippery slope of hifi audio.

Hi facelvega

Words of wisdom. Agree pretty much everything you posted above. I took my Yamaha receiver as an example only because it realy does not do a bad job. I have heard so much talks of muddy and veiled HD650 on this forum and the problem is usually claimed to be the amplifier. Well in this case my Yamaha was enought to open up and give nice soundstage with the HD650. Sometimes equipment just work together. I'm not claiming that this is best for HD650. Myself i enjoy more my current system HD650 paired with Corda Ha-2 mkII SE and Stello DA100 than my Yamaha. But for some even this would be intolerable sounding system.
So i´m just saying that it's not impossible to get good sound out of a HT receiver and not a bad place to start if you own one allready.

Happy listening.
post #26 of 32
amen to that, man.
post #27 of 32
Measurements are very overrated.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jigglybootch View Post
Measurements are very overrated.
That's pretty ignorant.

I think measurement offers a great deal. Opinions are overrated... including mine
post #29 of 32
Theres an external USB soundcard that looks like a USB flashdrive for like $30 or so,,and i cant think of the name of it. I dont know whether it would sound better than whats been talked about here,or better than a Chaintech AV710, but i cant think of the name of it now.
post #30 of 32
I guess I'm showing my age here, but since when do receivers have DACs?? Is this a surround-sound thing? I'm used to receivers whose only inputs are RCAs for tape, aux, and yes: phono.
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