Laptop setup advice
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kunwar

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Hi all

does the above unit have a dedicated line out that is an unamoed line out.

I am trying to achieve the following with my laptop
Use a device that has a pure line out Nd run the signal into my amp from which I can tehn listen to my music.
essentially the laptop functions as the source along with the Audiophile or any other device that might be used. the amp then performs its job and i get music


It would be helpful if people could recommend some setups and how they work.
i am looking at spending about $150 -200 on the module which will sit between the laptop and the amp.

cheers
Kunwar
 
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Permonic

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Laptops don't have decent line-outs. However I just bought a new Toshiba Satellite and it has quite good headphone out (but no line-out) and Harman/Kardon speakers which easily beat speakers of my old IBM Thinkpad.

I build my current setup around my laptop. So far my incomplete rig consists of:

Monkey's Audio>>Foobar with ASIO plug-in>>M-Audio Transit>>Headsave custom made RCA>>Headsave PPA>>Alessandro MS-2's.

There would be a dedicated DAC between Transit and PPA.

Generally speaking, there're 2 options for you (depends on whether you have a free Cardbus slot):

USB soundcards:

1. M-Audio Sonica, no official website, http://www.actualmusic.com.hk/view_s...ssid=2&id=283, probably discountinued, yet a very good bargain product), 24bit/96kHz, line-out, support of 5.1 Surround Sound, optical-out, drivers, approx. 50-60 USD.

2. M-Audio Transit,http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=...f07cb11070055, 24bit/96kHz, combined headphone & line-out, optical out, optical in with an adaptor, supports ASIO, drivers approx. 100 USD.

3. M-Audio Audiophile USB, http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=...588578a74aa58, 24bit/96kHz soundcard and MIDI interface, more versatile soundcard, RCAs, headpone out, volume control, MIDI, coax, etc., see the website for more spec. For 250 USD, however, it's out of your budget.

4. Audiotrak Optoplay, http://www.audiotrak.net/optoplay.htm, 24bit/96kHz, suports Surround Sound, line-out, optical out, approx. 50 USD.

5. Xitel Hi-Fi Link, http://www.xitel.com/product_hfl.htm, 16bit, line-out, plug and play (no drivers), with 30 feet cable, approx. 50 USD.

6. Xitel Pro Hi-Fi Link, http://www.xitel.com/product_phfl.htm, RCA, coaxial and optical out, plug and play (no drivers), support of Surround Sound, with 30 feet cable, approx. 100 USD.

Cardbus soundcards:

1. ECHO Indigo, , http://www.echoaudio.com/Products/Indigo/24bit/96kHz, 2x headphone out, incl. 6 feet cable for RCA and 1/4", support ASIO, drivers, approx. 130 USD.

2. ECHO Indigo, headphone out/in, the rest is the same as Indigo, approx. 180 USD.

3. ECHO Indigo DJ, the same as Indigo, plus 8 "Virtual Outputs" - run multiple applications at the same time, approx. 180 USD.

There're also Surround Sound systems with multiplied channels such as:

1. M-Audio Sonica Theater, http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=...77f83c406e8885

2. Audiotrak Maya, http://www.audiotrak.net/mayaex.htm
etc.
 
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jboehle

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The M-Audio Transit is a wonderful bargain, plus it has line ins if you ever get into DIY stuff and want to use RMAA to do some testing (or you're into recording stuff). I got one last week from audiomidi.com for $84.50 USD shipped. Sounds great, although you really do need an amp, even though on the website it says "line out/headphones". Using headphones straight out of the Transit, the bass was severely lacking when compared to my self-built PIMETA.

-Jason
 
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kunwar

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Thanks for all the imput guys.
I think i will clarify what my requirements are.
all that is really needed is that the signal from say the USB port or the PCMCIA cardbus is converted to an analogue signal and the amplification is done via my amp.
so what is needed is a soundcard with a decent DAC and a real Line Out.

SO what products fall under this category.
I have noticed that the Echo Indigo DJ does have a dedicated Line Out.
I haven't read much about its prerformance though.

The Audiophile USB looks an interersting product. does it convert the digital signal to analogue which can then be output via the RCA jacks to an amp?
I have read some posts which say it is a bit bright.
 
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lini

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kunwar: If your laptop sports firewire, too, you should probably also consider the Terratec Aureon 7.1 FireWire...

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini
 
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kunwar

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Quote:

Originally posted by lini
kunwar: If your laptop sports firewire, too, you should probably also consider the Terratec Aureon 7.1 FireWire...

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini


thanks for thes uggestion lini
unfortunately it doesn't
I reckon i will go with the M-audio Transit
It looks quite good

Just have a query, Does the Transit have atrue line-out

I have tried other pseudo line outs but noticed that the sound was ranging from crap to outright junk.

anyone know ?
are there some special settings at which the line out/ headphone out on the Transit works as a pure line out.

all help is much appreciated guys

cheers
Kunwar
 
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jboehle

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I would definitely stay away from products that don't have a digital out, as it limits your upgrade choices later on. If you get one with an digital (optical and/or coaxial) out, you will be able to add a high-end DAC to the system later on, without replacing the USB/PCMCIA/FireWire sound card.

-Jason
 
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Andrew_WOT

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Quote:

Originally posted by lini
kunwar: If your laptop sports firewire, too, you should probably also consider the Terratec Aureon 7.1 FireWire...

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini


How is the CPU utilization with Firewire compaing to USB, does it support EAX, any links on reviews, place to buy in US?
Thanks.
 
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Andrew_WOT

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Permonic

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Quote:

Originally posted by kunwar
Just have a query, Does the Transit have atrue line-out

I have tried other pseudo line outs but noticed that the sound was ranging from crap to outright junk.

anyone know ?
are there some special settings at which the line out/ headphone out on the Transit works as a pure line out.


Transit seems to have a decent line-out which is superior to laptop line out. It's just amplified to drive a pair of headphones. FYI Transit's DAC is AKM AK4584 codec. It's still in the burn-in period, however the sound seems to be slightly better than Sonica has. I will do the comparison of these two later on.

The Transit Control Panel allows you to change the operating mode (output data format and sample rate), latency and microphone boost.
 
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Permonic

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Quote:

Originally posted by Andrew_WOT
Is Audigy 2NX that bad? I have one and can't say anything negative, how is it comparing to other external cards. Based on that review on TomsHardware it's actually leads the reviewed pack.
http://www.tomshardware.com/video/20040223/index.html


Thanks for the link. Tom's Hardware reviews seems to be more game oriented, less info about how they sound and what is inside.

I can't say whether your Audigy 2 NX is bad or good, I have never heard it. My experiences come from M-Audio products only and the list I made focuses strictly on audio playback.
 
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