Hd-Audio integrated as SPDIF out?
Jun 27, 2008 at 7:31 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

Fetou

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Is there any major issue with using an integrated HD Audio controller to output a digital signal through an optical cord? As opposed to me buying a 20 dollar I/O add on for my X-Fi Xtreme Music? Can it do bit-perfect audio at a 44.1 sampling rate like the X-Fi can?
 
Jun 28, 2008 at 10:56 PM Post #2 of 14

upstateguy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fetou /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Is there any major issue with using an integrated HD Audio controller to output a digital signal through an optical cord? As opposed to me buying a 20 dollar I/O add on for my X-Fi Xtreme Music? Can it do bit-perfect audio at a 44.1 sampling rate like the X-Fi can?


May I ask what DAC and Amp you are using?

USG

d-_-b
 
Jun 28, 2008 at 11:36 PM Post #3 of 14

Fetou

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AT-HA25D Amp/DAC combo, used with my AD2000s.
 
Jun 29, 2008 at 1:05 AM Post #4 of 14

upstateguy

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f_audiotechnica_atha25D.jpg


Is this your amp/dac?

USG

d-_-b
 
Jun 29, 2008 at 3:23 AM Post #5 of 14

Fetou

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yes
 
Jun 29, 2008 at 4:57 AM Post #6 of 14

upstateguy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fetou /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Is there any major issue with using an integrated HD Audio controller to output a digital signal through an optical cord? As opposed to me buying a 20 dollar I/O add on for my X-Fi Xtreme Music? Can it do bit-perfect audio at a 44.1 sampling rate like the X-Fi can?


Two more questions:

1- What kind of integrated HD Audio controller are you using to output the digital signal through and [edit to rephrase as per ericj below: which MB and what codec]

2- which 20 dollar I/O add on for your X-Fi were you considering?

USG

d-_-b
 
Jun 29, 2008 at 6:15 AM Post #7 of 14

Mazz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Fetou /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Is there any major issue with using an integrated HD Audio controller to output a digital signal through an optical cord? As opposed to me buying a 20 dollar I/O add on for my X-Fi Xtreme Music? Can it do bit-perfect audio at a 44.1 sampling rate like the X-Fi can?


I built a MythTV/media server computer (running Linux) and initially used the HDA optical out to my Rotel integrated DAC/amp to drive my speakers. It suffered from distortion in the high frequencies, clearly audible on some tracks. I bought a Chaintech AV710 and ran an optical out to the same amp from that card and the distortion went away.

YMMV.
 
Jun 29, 2008 at 7:22 AM Post #8 of 14

upstateguy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mazz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I built a MythTV/media server computer (running Linux) and initially used the HDA optical out to my Rotel integrated DAC/amp to drive my speakers. It suffered from distortion in the high frequencies, clearly audible on some tracks. I bought a Chaintech AV710 and ran an optical out to the same amp from that card and the distortion went away.

YMMV.



Hi Mazz

Out of curiosity, was the volume level active on your Linux box when you had the initial distortion or was it bypassed?

Thanks

USG

d-_-b
 
Jun 29, 2008 at 7:28 AM Post #9 of 14

ericj

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The proiblem with giving advice on motherboard audio is that typically we only know what the controller part is, and not the codec part behind it.

And the codec chip is by far the most important part.

There's nothing wrong with the HDA controller spec. Motherboard HDA audio is potentially just peachy from an SPDIF perspective.

The only system i have with HDA audio is a Shuttle HTPC system that i got for free in return for beta testing some hackneyed video playback software.

In the case of my particular system, the codec is a Realtek ALC882, which will do 16, 20, and 24 bit spdif at 44.1khz, 48khz, 96khz, and 192khz.

And it works a treat, thank you very much.

Mazz's problem sounds like what you get when your codec is upsampling the spdif to 48khz. which is the worst thing it can do.
 
Jun 29, 2008 at 9:52 AM Post #10 of 14

fjf

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In my experience, the new HD soundcards included in modern motherboards is a big improvement over the old ones. I used before the AV710 optical out, and now that I have an Abit ip35pro motherboard (Realtek ALC888 HD codec) I don't use the AV710 anymore. The optical out to my AQVOX DAC is (to my ears) very good. The analog line out of the motherboard is OK, but compared to a good DAC sounds a bit thin and sibilant, with too much high end and deficient bass. The digital out of the new HD audio chips seems to be a big improvement over the old onboard soundcards. The onboard DAC is also better, with no background noise, but is nothing to write home about.
 
Jun 29, 2008 at 11:36 AM Post #11 of 14

Nocturnal310

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Quote:

Originally Posted by upstateguy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
f_audiotechnica_atha25D.jpg


Is this your amp/dac?

USG

d-_-b



hmm...how much is that?

would like to check it out.

didnt know AT makes that stuff also
 
Jun 30, 2008 at 4:16 AM Post #12 of 14

Mazz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by upstateguy /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Out of curiosity, was the volume level active on your Linux box when you had the initial distortion or was it bypassed?


There have certainly been reports that on some hardware running the volume at over 70% (or 75%? Can't recall the exact number) leads to distortion, but I found no way to remove the distortion using or bypassing volume controls.
 
Jun 30, 2008 at 4:21 AM Post #13 of 14

Mazz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ericj /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The proiblem with giving advice on motherboard audio is that typically we only know what the controller part is, and not the codec part behind it.


Too true. Mine was on an ASUS P5B Deluxe motherboard which has an AD1988B codec (which I seem to recall was supposed to be reasonably good, but don't quote me on it - it was a while back).

Quote:

Originally Posted by ericj /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Mazz's problem sounds like what you get when your codec is upsampling the spdif to 48khz. which is the worst thing it can do.


Except that my DAC (Rotel RSX-1056) displays the incoming sample rate, and I'm fairly sure (from memory) that it was reporting 44.1kHz.
 
Jun 30, 2008 at 6:02 AM Post #14 of 14

Fetou

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I bought the add on I/O which just plugs into the flexijack with a 3.5mm interface and has an Optical In/Out and Digital Coaxial In/Out.

There is also a more expensive 5.25" drive bay insert which connects directly to the sound card internally, with a remote control etc. This was 80 dollars though and I didn't feel like spending that much more for similar functionality.
 

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