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Have the audio equipment, need the computer

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

See other threads asking about 2.1 desktop setups but my questions are a little different. Basically I know very little about computer hardware so bear with me.....

 

What I have right now is an Audiosource AMP-100, a pair of Advent Minis, a homebuilt subwoofer and an external hard drive that holds all my music.

 

What I am hoping to do is find a older/barebones/dirt-cheap desktop - something along these lines perhaps -

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883250749&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-All+Desktop+PCs-_-N82E16883250749&ef_id=UmcbLQAABRiGp2VA:20140221165719:s

 

I cannot think of any reason why this particular PC (or something like it) would not be sufficient for music playing (since my music is on an external drive, that is not an issue) and light internet use. (But if I am missing something let me know.)

 

After that I suppose I would need a soundcard/DAC or something that sends analog L/R signals to the amp and that is my hangup since I have no idea what to look for. Is that something that would need to be installed inside the computer itself, or some kind of standalone module? In case it is not obvious by now, budget for this is pretty small....

 

Sorry for sounding stupid, I'm not computer illiterate in terms of using them, I just don't know anything about hardware.


Edited by Roboturner913 - 2/21/14 at 9:10am
post #2 of 18
You can buy a USB DAC, and as long as the version of Windows supports it, you should be fine. For something cheap, you could pick up an old netbook model and use it if you wanted to.
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post
 

See other threads asking about 2.1 desktop setups but my questions are a little different. Basically I know very little about computer hardware so bear with me.....

What I have right now is an Audiosource AMP-100, a pair of Advent Minis, a homebuilt subwoofer and an external hard drive that holds all my music.

What I am hoping to do is find a older/barebones/dirt-cheap desktop - something along these lines perhaps -

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883250749&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-All+Desktop+PCs-_-N82E16883250749&ef_id=UmcbLQAABRiGp2VA:20140221165719:s

I cannot think of any reason why this particular PC (or something like it) would not be sufficient for music playing (since my music is on an external drive, that is not an issue) and light internet use. (But if I am missing something let me know.)

After that I suppose I would need a soundcard/DAC or something that sends analog L/R signals to the amp and that is my hangup since I have no idea what to look for. Is that something that would need to be installed inside the computer itself, or some kind of standalone module? In case it is not obvious by now, budget for this is pretty small....

Sorry for sounding stupid, I'm not computer illiterate in terms of using them, I just don't know anything about hardware.

Hifimediy Sabre U2 USB DAC, $57+shipping.

http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=123

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

What about something like this> http://www.itemaudio.co.uk/prestashop/headphone-amplifiers/29-fostex-pc-100.html

 

I just like the idea of not having to introduce a y-splitter into the equation.

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post
 

What about something like this> http://www.itemaudio.co.uk/prestashop/headphone-amplifiers/29-fostex-pc-100.html

 

I just like the idea of not having to introduce a y-splitter into the equation.

Decent little box, but guessing it's using an older DAC chip (16-bit/44.1k), might be an older low cost DAC chip.

Headphone output jack "might" be nothing more the a glorified line-output.

 

At least with something like a FiiO E10 USB-DAC-amp, you know your getting a nice WM8740 DAC chip and a fairly good headphone amplifier that can work with headphones from 12-Ohms to 250-Ohms.

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post

I just like the idea of not having to introduce a y-splitter into the equation.

In that case, get a DAC/headphone amp with a line out like the Fiio E10 like Purple Angel suggested smily_headphones1.gif
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


In that case, get a DAC/headphone amp with a line out like the Fiio E10 like Purple Angel suggested smily_headphones1.gif


How so? Looking at pics of that, it has one line out jack. My amp has two jacks for input (left and right). So I absolutely WOULD have to have a splitter.

 

The Fiio E9 does have L/R output, I'll look into that one.


Edited by Roboturner913 - 2/23/14 at 3:08pm
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post


How so? Looking at pics of that, it has one line out jack. My amp has two jacks for input (left and right). So I absolutely WOULD have to have a splitter.

I don't understand what the problem is. It has a 3.5mm stereo line out. You just buy the 3.5mm to RCA cable and hook the RCA outputs to your amp.

BTW: The E9 does not have a DAC. It's just a headphone amp/preamp.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post
 


How so? Looking at pics of that, it has one line out jack. My amp has two jacks for input (left and right). So I absolutely WOULD have to have a splitter.

 

The Fiio E9 does have L/R output, I'll look into that one.

The 3.5mm line-output on the E10 is stereo (2 channel), each of the analog RCA inputs on the amp is mono channel.

The 3.5mm plug has three channel, a right channel, a left channel, and a ground channel.

Each RCA jack on the back of the amp has a mono channel input and a ground output.

The 3.5mm plug's single ground is split to the two RCA jack's ground.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The 3.5mm line-output on the E10 is stereo (2 channel), each of the analog RCA inputs on the amp is mono channel.

The 3.5mm plug has three channel, a right channel, a left channel, and a ground channel.

Each RCA jack on the back of the amp has a mono channel input and a ground output.

The 3.5mm plug's single ground is split to the two RCA jack's ground.

I understand how the thing works. I just don't want to have a cheap splitter going between the two. I already have nice interconnects, I'd rather use one of those.


Edited by Roboturner913 - 2/24/14 at 5:22am
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post
 

I understand how the thing works. I just don't want to have a cheap splitter going between the two. I already have nice interconnects, I'd rather use one of those.

Your ears would not be able to tell the difference between using a 3.5mm connection or an RCA connection

Technically, the 3.5mm to RCA cable is not using a "splitter", a splitter would be splitting the signal, which is not what a 3.5mm to RCA cable does.

The 3.5mm to RCA would be more referred to as a Y cable.

So you do not want to use a Y cable, you just like the idea of using an RCA to RCA cable.

Which is fine, you can get the Fostex and use an RCA to RCA cable.

 

We just do not know what DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) chip is used in the Fostex.

But I do know that the Hifimediy U2 uses a Sabre DAC chip, which is going to be a fair bit better then whatever is used in the Fostex.

You can also buy a nice looking 3.5mm to RCA cable (10 GBP) from the same people how sell the Sabre U2.

http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=60_65&product_id=99


Edited by PurpleAngel - 2/24/14 at 7:56am
post #12 of 18
PurpleAngel is right. You won't be able to tell the difference.

Besides, with yours setup, worrying about cheap splitters and interconnects is like being snobbish about having to have Riedel crystal to drink box wine. Worry about expensive cables once you improve on your budget amp and speakers.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

PurpleAngel is right. You won't be able to tell the difference.

Besides, with yours setup, worrying about cheap splitters and interconnects is like being snobbish about having to have Riedel crystal to drink box wine. Worry about expensive cables once you improve on your budget amp and speakers

It has nothing to do with being snobbish, I am no cable snob. I don't even have "expensive" cables on my system in the den which ran into the $10,000 range. I just don't see why I should have to buy another cable when I already have perfectly good ones sitting around collecting dust.

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboturner913 View Post

It has nothing to do with being snobbish, I am no cable snob. I don't even have "expensive" cables on my system in the den which ran into the $10,000 range. I just don't see why I should have to buy another cable when I already have perfectly good ones sitting around collecting dust.

So you'd rather spend $35 more for a desktop amp (they don't make the EO9 anymore; you have to buy the E09K), that doesn't have a DAC, over the E10, just to avoid buying an adapter that is less than $10?

Good luck. Go do what you want. This discussion is a waste of my time.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

I didn't say anything of the sort; I am simply exploring the options. Sorry for not falling all over myself in gratitude for your suggestions, but it's nothing personal. And yes, all things being equal, I would prefer to spend a little more to get what I want. If you have a problem with that, I would kindly suggest you refrain from posting on message boards about audio equipment or you might blow out a brain cell trying to comprehend why so many poor simpletons are wasting your precious time by not just doing exactly what you would.

 

Having said all that, if I can't find anything that fits the bill of exactly what I want I will probably get one of the suggested options.


Edited by Roboturner913 - 2/24/14 at 1:24pm
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