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How to bypass my computer's internal DAC in Windows 7

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi folks, new member out of Tucson, Arizona, looking forward to tap into so much audio experience here.

I am just transitioning into using external DACs to achieve a better listening experience and am currently checking out a few DACs, the problem is I cant find any settings in Windows 7 op system which wouldforce the computer to act only as a transport device, so that it leaves the music bits untouched and simply transferred to the external DAC. So far I don't like the results I hear

I assume that the if the computer leaves the bits untouched, then I shouldnt be able to change the music volume via the computer. Correct?

My music library is in FLAC format, headphone Sennheiser HD 650, mobile device Cowon J3, Computer is Dell Latitude (Win 7 Op sys), I am trying out a HIFIMAN - EF-2A HEADPHONE AMP, Schiit Modi USB Digital/Analog Convertor (with Schiit Asgard as amp), CEntrance DACmini CX, Benchmark DAC1 500-14050-200 2-Channel Digital Audio Converter

Thanks for your opinions

Chizim

post #2 of 10

The program Foobar2000 to me is one of the better programs for playing audio files from a Win PC.

Some of Foobar2000's add-on components should help.

A USB connection bypasses the computer's built in audio hardware.

Optical & coaxial can still work with the on-board audio.

Guess you could go into the motherboard's BIO and disable on-board audio, not sure how much it would affect audio quality, but the Wiondows OS's volume control should still work.

post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chizim View Post
 

Hi folks, new member out of Tucson, Arizona, looking forward to tap into so much audio experience here.

I am just transitioning into using external DACs to achieve a better listening experience and am currently checking out a few DACs, the problem is I cant find any settings in Windows 7 op system which wouldforce the computer to act only as a transport device, so that it leaves the music bits untouched and simply transferred to the external DAC. So far I don't like the results I hear

I assume that the if the computer leaves the bits untouched, then I shouldnt be able to change the music volume via the computer. Correct?

My music library is in FLAC format, headphone Sennheiser HD 650, mobile device Cowon J3, Computer is Dell Latitude (Win 7 Op sys), I am trying out a HIFIMAN - EF-2A HEADPHONE AMP, Schiit Modi USB Digital/Analog Convertor (with Schiit Asgard as amp), CEntrance DACmini CX, Benchmark DAC1 500-14050-200 2-Channel Digital Audio Converter

Thanks for your opinions

Chizim

 

Heya,

 

Control panel -> Hardware & Sound -> Sound ->

 

You'll see a list of devices. Select your USB DAC's interface name there and set it to default. It will likely show up as an SPDIF interface with some weird numbers and letters.

 

Everything that plays audio that isn't told otherwise, will play to that device. There is no internal DAC that will be used on your motherboard unless you are using that device.

 

Very best,

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks PurpleAngel, I downloaded and installed Foobar2000, the sound was initially muddy but really opened up after I downloaded the Foobar2000 WASAPI plugin

Problem is that Foobar2000 appears to have a limited user interface (for example it does not appear to have a way to list library according to their genres). But then its not a perfect world.

Thanks again

 

Chizim

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
 

 

Heya,

 

Control panel -> Hardware & Sound -> Sound ->

 

You'll see a list of devices. Select your USB DAC's interface name there and set it to default. It will likely show up as an SPDIF interface with some weird numbers and letters.

 

Everything that plays audio that isn't told otherwise, will play to that device. There is no internal DAC that will be used on your motherboard unless you are using that device.

 

Very best,

 

Hi MalVeauX,

I tried setting the USB DAC in the Sound control panel as the default sound device. It didnt quite work for me until I downloaded Foobar2000 and the WASAPI plugin (and set the Foobar preferences to send data to my USB device via WASAPI).

Downside is I cant use my MediaMonkey music player application anymore which happens to have a more versatile graphical user interface

Thanks

Chizim

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chizim View Post
 

Thanks PurpleAngel, I downloaded and installed Foobar2000, the sound was initially muddy but really opened up after I downloaded the Foobar2000 WASAPI plugin

Problem is that Foobar2000 appears to have a limited user interface (for example it does not appear to have a way to list library according to their genres). But then its not a perfect world.

Thanks again

 

Chizim

 

Download the ColumnsUI plugin for foobar to get a UI more similar to something like iTunes, where you can have lists of artists, genres, whatever you want.  I use WASAPI for Foobar as well. ASIO plugins are another thing to try though. ASIO4ALL should work with mediamonkey for example (it's not a foobar plugin). 

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

 

Download the ColumnsUI plugin for foobar to get a UI more similar to something like iTunes, where you can have lists of artists, genres, whatever you want.  I use WASAPI for Foobar as well. ASIO plugins are another thing to try though. ASIO4ALL should work with mediamonkey for example (it's not a foobar plugin). 

Thanks manbear, my security firewall screams that this website where the ColumnsUI plugin is downloaded from has malware in it, did you notice this too?

post #8 of 10
Code:
Quote:
Originally Posted by chizim View Post

Thanks manbear, my security firewall screams that this website where the ColumnsUI plugin is downloaded from has malware in it, did you notice this too?

I got it from the components page of the official foobar site: http://www.foobar2000.org/components

Shouldn't be any malware here, I don't know what site you're going to.
post #9 of 10

In Foobar, Is WASAPI listed as WASAPI output support?

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chizim View Post
 

Thanks manbear, my security firewall screams that this website where the ColumnsUI plugin is downloaded from has malware in it, did you notice this too?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zamorin View Post
 

In Foobar, Is WASAPI listed as WASAPI output support?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

 

Download the ColumnsUI plugin for foobar to get a UI more similar to something like iTunes, where you can have lists of artists, genres, whatever you want.  I use WASAPI for Foobar as well. ASIO plugins are another thing to try though. ASIO4ALL should work with mediamonkey for example (it's not a foobar plugin). 

 

 

Perfect manbear, ColumnsUI is great!!! Thanks

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