Advice Please- Best Setup for Compass DAC
Sep 14, 2009 at 7:02 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

thelsuman

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Hello All,

I'm thinking of taking the plunge into a computer-based audio setup. I know that I'll need to burn my CD's to a lossless format, etc., but for now I'm just trying to get a sense for how to get the best digital signal from the Computer to my Audio-gd Compass (DAC/HP Amp combo unit). The Compass has 3 types of digital inputs: Coax, Optical, & USB. I've read that USB can work OK, but can be "noisy" at times. I've also read that Optical has it's own issues (jitter??), and notice that some folks use some type of converter on their computer connection.

Also, has anyone tried using an external HD for music storage? I will be using an older (employer-owned) Dell laptop in my home office, and would prefer to store all my peronal music files somewhere else. Could this kind of setup (Laptop w External HD to Compass) work well or should I look into buying a used computer (e.g. Mac Mini) to store the music?

I'm looking for a solution that is sensible & cost-effective but which will maximize SQ when listening to Senn HD650 from the Compass. Thanks!
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 11:03 PM Post #2 of 5

HeatFan12

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Quote:

Originally Posted by thelsuman /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hello All,

I'm thinking of taking the plunge into a computer-based audio setup. I know that I'll need to burn my CD's to a lossless format, etc., but for now I'm just trying to get a sense for how to get the best digital signal from the Computer to my Audio-gd Compass (DAC/HP Amp combo unit). The Compass has 3 types of digital inputs: Coax, Optical, & USB. I've read that USB can work OK, but can be "noisy" at times. I've also read that Optical has it's own issues (jitter??), and notice that some folks use some type of converter on their computer connection.

Also, has anyone tried using an external HD for music storage? I will be using an older (employer-owned) Dell laptop in my home office, and would prefer to store all my peronal music files somewhere else. Could this kind of setup (Laptop w External HD to Compass) work well or should I look into buying a used computer (e.g. Mac Mini) to store the music?

I'm looking for a solution that is sensible & cost-effective but which will maximize SQ when listening to Senn HD650 from the Compass. Thanks!




Hello thelsuman

I don't own a Compass, however, have a couple of DACs myself. I have used various inputs with no problems whatsoever. I also have a couple of converters for several applications.
In reference to the jitter and noise and all that, don't worry about that too much. It's a neverending story and it's mostly inaudible. Trust your ears. Try it with usb and see what you hear. If your PC does not have optical or coax and you would like to use those inputs then a usb to spdif converter is in order. But start from the beginning and try what you have.

In reference to the external HD, that is the only way I and many others store our music. No issues whatsoever. I even have two WD passports (usb power) that I take downstairs sometimes for one of my laptops. If I get lazy and don't want to get them, I use my 2 TB hard drive which is on my wireless network and access it from downstairs.
Many options for a PC based system and you are well on your way.

Cheers
beerchug.gif
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 11:49 PM Post #3 of 5
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How do you find the sound using your Marantz as a transport compared to using USB from your computer?
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 11:52 PM Post #4 of 5

gilency

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I have an old Mac with a 1 Tb external drive as my server using the Compass connected to the Mac via USB cable, and the compass to my amplifier.
It works great.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 5:04 AM Post #5 of 5

thelsuman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
How do you find the sound using your Marantz as a transport compared to using USB from your computer?



Well, Curra..you've got me there, because I've not yet tried using the computer. As for the Marantz, I really like it with the Compass (though I should note that this has been my first serious attempt at an audio setup and not much prior experience & thus don't have much of a basis for comparison). BTW- my plan is to move the Compass to my home office & perhaps get some other Audio-gd gear for my living room (separate dac & hp amp). Increasingly, the idea of having all the music on computer is just plain seductive to me. So, that's my main reason for my desire to go to the computer setup.
 

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