Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › To the PC source people! What do you listen to?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

To the PC source people! What do you listen to? - Page 3

post #31 of 67
I have thought of two cards but cable switching and multiple amps sounds like a pain to me.. What is the advantage of having ur music on your computer?
post #32 of 67
OMG dub post my bad
post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Well you should be with a nice rig like that. I like that you're using the rarely discussed but intriguing Delta DIO. 'bout the only upgrade for you is a lower-jitter soundcard for digital output, though I bet the M-Audio can't be too bad in that regard.
I don't think DAC1 necessarily even needs a lower jitter digital source. If you've read the Stereophile measurements, that cards jitter rejection capabilities are superior to anything I've seen on the market. John Atkinson seems to think so too.

With that DAC1 one could even use EMU for digital output and not let the 1000ps jitter be a problem

regards,
halcyon
post #34 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by halcyon
I don't think DAC1 necessarily even needs a lower jitter digital source. If you've read the Stereophile measurements, that cards jitter rejection capabilities are superior to anything I've seen on the market. John Atkinson seems to think so too.

With that DAC1 one could even use EMU for digital output and not let the 1000ps jitter be a problem
Interesting, I thought once jitter had polluted the datastream that it was there to stay.

Isn't the EMU supposed to have very good digital outputs compared to other cards (not that I use the digital outputs anyways)? What are the jitter amounts for cards like the Lynx, RME, M-Audio, etc.?
post #35 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rink111
I have thought of two cards but cable switching and multiple amps sounds like a pain to me.. What is the advantage of having ur music on your computer?
You want to listen to music. Compare these two methods on reaching that goal:

1. Listening via CD. Have to wait for it to spin up, scratches can cause pops, skipping tracks (at least from, say, Track 1 to 5, or something similarly longish) can take a second or two, and you have to change the CD each time you want new music.

2. Listening via ripped music. Only wait is loading your audio player, which you'll have to do for the CD anyway. (I get a ~100ms launch time with Foobar, BTW) If ripped with EAC properly, you'll only have pops with REALLY scratched CDs, in which case it's likely they wouldn't play anyway. There's no delays skipping tracks. You can have every album in one playlist, if you feel like it, so you can jump from album to album effortlessly. If you encode into lossless, it's also a backup in case you lose your original.

As for having two soundcards, I have a SB Live! for gaming (old, yes, but I don't have the money/care to ugprade) and a Chaintech AV-710 for music, and it's no trouble. The Live! is Windows default, so games and whatnot use that, and the AV-710 is the output in Foobar.

(-:Stephonovich:-)
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rink111
I have thought of two cards but cable switching and multiple amps sounds like a pain to me.. What is the advantage of having ur music on your computer?
Dealing with multiple sources and amps is always an issue. You could either use a preamp, have an amp with multiple inputs, use splitters or switchbox.

As for advantages of music on a computer? (provided you spend at least $200+)

Pros:

1. Best bang for the buck, Giant killing High Quality Redbook Audio playback.

2. Having all of your music at your fingertips, no fumbling with discs, worrying about scratched discs (once they're all ripped, of course)

3. Did I mention, it's a lot cheaper, relatively speaking?


Cons:

1. Needs more technical "know how." The higher end the sound cards go, the steeper the learning curve. Drivers and software can make things more complicated for a multipurpose computer.

2. Computer electrical noise in the power. Sounds cards are more prone to ground loops and other noisy things in the computer. There are several ways around all of these problems. Using balanced outputs helps greatly. Along with using the sound card as a transport with an external DAC all but eliminates these problems.

3. Computer Acoustic Noise. Most computers have fans and noisy drives. But with careful planning, and a little modding, a dead silent computer is very possible.

4. No High Resolution Audio Support (not yet, at least) So no DVD-Audio (not on the hard drive at least) and no SACD. Thanks to the RIAA. No vinyl either, but uh, huh, that one didn't need to be mentioned.


For the computer savvy, PC based audio is very rewarding and worthwhile. Especially those with more limited budgets.

For those with really deep pockets, I guess you can buy whatever you want.

-Ed
post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Interesting, I thought once jitter had polluted the datastream that it was there to stay.
As long as the stream stays digital much of the jitter can be rejected.

Depending on implementation, the amount and frequency of jitter can be attenuated significantly.

Julian Dunn has a very interesting tech note about this at Audio Precision.

As shown by measurements in Stereophile, asynchronous clocking DAC1 has superior jitter rejection. It's inherent jitter is down to c. 130ps RMS even with fm modulated sources.

That jitter level is in the order of the best cd players' output jitter.

It's true that once jittery data is DA converted, it's there in the analog signal and almost impossible to remove without affecting the original signal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
Isn't the EMU supposed to have very good digital outputs compared to other cards (not that I use the digital outputs anyways)? What are the jitter amounts for cards like the Lynx, RME, M-Audio, etc.?
That's an interesting question. I haven't seen accurate measurements for sound cards output jitter using calibrated equipment (sans the couple done in Stereophile).

For example, RME 96/8 Pro was measured to have picoseconds c. 230ps peak-to-peak jitter with toslink output and over 600 with coax. Analog output had 130ps - 1000+ ps jitter, depending on unit tested.

EMU is specified at remaining at or below 1000ps at all times. I guess this is an RMS figure for the card's digital output.

I haven't seen the same measurements for Lynx 2, EMU or others, so it's hard to say for sure. However, if the manufacturers specs are correc, EMU (as an example) is still far off from the c. 100ps or so range that most quality cd players are able to muster.

Actually, even cheap players (like Cambrige Audio Azur and some cheap Panasonic dvd players) give digital output jitter of c. 130ps RMS.

Of course, ideally and to be on the very safe side, it's best to have both A) very low jitter source and B) very high jitter attenuation DAC unit.

However, if you can only have one, then, IMHO, rather take the DAC unit, because then you can be sure that most of the jitter is eliminated as close to the actual DAC chip as possible.

Even very low jitter sources are of no use, if both the cable and DAC unit induced jitter are high enough to bring overall jitter levels high again.

Caveat: these are all figures. I make no straight parallels with audibility. Just talking jitter here.

regards,
halcyon
post #38 of 67
I am using a Terratec EWX 24/96 soundcard and for my CD collection I use MPC rips at the q8 setting. I have the hard disk space for FLAC but MPC at that quality settings sounds indistinguishable from a FLAC copy to my ears and I might as well save that space for now. I also have a large collection of MP3s, the vast majority from Emusic, and although the music is listenable, MP3 isn't a great compressed audio format and has some rather bad problems with transient handling and for joint stereo stuff (the vast majority) the soundstage is a bit collapsed. I use resampling to 88.2KHz and use 24-bit output (padded to 32-bit) with ASIO in foobar2000.

I actually have two sound sources on my computer, the onboard sound and the Terratec card. I need to use the onboard sound with my ATI All-in-Wonder and it is better for gaming, so I just have that sound output connected to the input on my Terratec card. During music listening I mute the input on the Terratec to keep the noise out from my onboard sound. My Terratec card is connected to a Singlepower PPX3 headphone amp and Sennheiser HD600 headphones. Two years ago I was using a SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 card with RadioShack Pro-35 headphones, even just over a year ago the SB was still being used. It was only a few months ago that I converted over to an entirely computer based setup, and I haven't regretted it at all.
post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by halcyon
However, if you can only have one, then, IMHO, rather take the DAC unit, because then you can be sure that most of the jitter is eliminated as close to the actual DAC chip as possible.
Makes the most sense to me, to make sure the jitter is dumped before the DAC gets the data.
post #40 of 67
So would you suggest level 8 flac for encoding? First you rip them from the cd as a wav file and then you convert those to flac to save about 10mb per song right? Will you get the same quality if you leave them in wav form? I could just get a huge hard drive and save a step. Thanks
post #41 of 67
I recently built my husband a pc setup. He games, and isn't exactly an audiophile. He just wanted bass, I'm currently trying to convince him there's life outside of Windows Media Player.

For him, it's the Terratec Aureon 5.1 Sky, Headphile CPU mini/rca interconnects, and a Pimeta paired with the Beyer dt770s. Hey, it sounds better than a soundblaster Live card.

I don't do much listening with my imac, but it's internal soundcard is awful. Once fixed, I'll get balanced toe-tappin' fun from the Total Bithead.
post #42 of 67
If you want to save the maximum space, use APE instead of FLAC. My average compression is like 60% of original size. It depends on the music.

You will get same quality as WAV.

I usually RIP to WAV then encode later.
post #43 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rink111
So would you suggest level 8 flac for encoding? First you rip them from the cd as a wav file and then you convert those to flac to save about 10mb per song right? Will you get the same quality if you leave them in wav form? I could just get a huge hard drive and save a step. Thanks
I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the different types of lossless compression. The file size and CPU load does vary with each type, though.
File size is not redically different, though.

Although, if you're only saving 10MB per song, why bother compressing? I get about 50%-60% file size savings compared to uncompressed Wav's using Monkey's Audio. I would use FLAC if EAC could use it as an external compressor like it does with LAME and Monkey's Audio. I like the easy one step process.

-Ed
post #44 of 67
yea, I might as well get a 200gig HD and just fill it with wav. Then I know no quality is lost and I dont have to convert.
post #45 of 67
There is NO quality difference between WAV and any of the lossless codecs. Well you don't have to compress if you don't want to as long as you have the space. I bet you will once you run out though
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › To the PC source people! What do you listen to?