what sound options do I have with my laptop?
Nov 15, 2010 at 12:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

danielghofrani

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Hey Guys (and girls),
I was wondering if there is any way i can get a superior sound from my laptop.
I have a Dell Vostro 3700 and I have USB, FireWire 1394 connection, HDMI and eSATA.
I know that there are external DACs that I can use but I have bad feeling about USB. first of all,  USB is the "connect everything to anything" connection and most DACs I have seen dont even give 192/24 with USB. what should I do? what are my options?
by the way there are no compromises to portability, looks, etc, I just want good sound quality.
by the way I am not a gamer and I just want HiFi playback.
thanks a lot I really appreciate it :) :)
 
Nov 15, 2010 at 8:15 PM Post #4 of 10

dallan

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I use a The Diverter to a modded psaudio digital link 3 going in on the coax instead of usb due to the converter. Much better. Still u only get 96/24. Sound is incred. I have no 192 files though highest are 96. I believe they are putting out a 192/24 Diverted soon though.
 
Nov 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM Post #5 of 10

danielghofrani

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Quote:
I use a The Diverter to a modded psaudio digital link 3 going in on the coax instead of usb due to the converter. Much better. Still u only get 96/24. Sound is incred. I have no 192 files though highest are 96. I believe they are putting out a 192/24 Diverted soon though.



I am huge noob at this! can you please explain further?! thanks :)
 
Nov 16, 2010 at 11:29 AM Post #6 of 10

Roseval

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If you want to get the audio out of your laptop to the HiFi you must have a connection both have in common.
More on connection PC and amps can be found here: http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/Connect/index_connect.htm
 
You might try the headphone out into RCA in but sound quality will probably only moderate.
You're laptop doesn't have digital out (SPDIF), the typical digital connection in audio, so this won't work.
If you're amp has digital in you might try a USB to SPDIF converter.
Personally I do think a USB DAC is the best option as you can connect it to any PC (USB) and to any amp (RCA).
Today there a lot of USB DAC's: http://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/USB_DAC.htm
 
Firewire DAC's is an option too but as there is no Firewire audio standard, their number is few.
 
USB is not limited to 16 bits/48 (CD/DVD resolution) but a lot of cheap implementations are.
There is a lot of USB DAC's supporting the full USB audio class 1 implementation (24/96)
Do observe that the Hi res catalogue is very limited.
 
Nov 16, 2010 at 12:07 PM Post #7 of 10

danielghofrani

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Thank you very much I will read those in detail when I get home. but I am just wondering. does the USB to SPDIF converter not drop the quality of sound?
if it doesnt, why do USB DACs to not have a USB to SPDIF converter built into them?! (to take the signals from the source using USB and then convert it to SPDIF and go from there).
 
Nov 16, 2010 at 12:20 PM Post #8 of 10

dallan

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Even after upgrading my USB input on my dac with an expensive clock and separate power supply, it still doesn't come dose to my USB/spdif converter. It is a very expensive converter though. Also it seems like every dac I have tried works way better with spdif coax input instead of USB. Even optical works better than USB. I'm pecking on my phone, if u have questions u can pm me or ask here but currently at work.
 
Nov 17, 2010 at 8:28 PM Post #9 of 10

danielghofrani

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Quote:
Even after upgrading my USB input on my dac with an expensive clock and separate power supply, it still doesn't come dose to my USB/spdif converter. It is a very expensive converter though. Also it seems like every dac I have tried works way better with spdif coax input instead of USB. Even optical works better than USB. I'm pecking on my phone, if u have questions u can pm me or ask here but currently at work.



I see, so what I understand is, because internal high quality USB to coax would be expensive it is not feasable for DACs.
I wish my laptop had coax out!!
I go to university for computer engineering. one of my profs has a PHD in electrical engineering and his research area is signal processing.
he told me that USB is a very good connection for audio. he used a 50$ behringer DAC and he said he used to have a 24 bit external sound "card" but he always had problems with the drivers. what he said was too technical but what I got from it was that the drivers are very important.
 
Nov 18, 2010 at 1:21 AM Post #10 of 10

dallan

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My system goes from usb out of my computer to a converter called The Diverter.  The Diverter changes the usb to spdif coax that feeds into my dac.  Then it goes from my dac into an amplifier.  The usb input into the dac directly is okay but you were interested in the best sound quality.  So my dac now goes for around $700. I upgraded the clock with the best i could find and did a usb clock upgrade too.  The normal upgrade is around 700 but the clock i had put in was 7 or 800 alone which brought the price up above a thousand for the clock and the mod.  Then i added the usb clock with it's own power supply which was another four hundred or so, and now i don't even use that portion of the dac so a total waste.  The Diverter is around a thousand or 1200. now i am not sure.  So how much is sound quality worth.  So without the cables which is a whole nother story, I went through around $3400. but i could have redone it cheaper without upgrading the usb clock so delete around four or five hundred.  I wanted to get away from a cd player and get the best possible out of my laptop and there it is.  Crazy yes but it all is if you take each portion of your system and make it the best it can be.  The usb input on the digital link is only 16 bit but the spdif is 24 bit so the Diverter solves that problem.  Pick your poison as they say.
wink_face.gif

 
My advice would be to get a Digital link($700) and try it with the usb input at 16 bit and go from there.  Good Luck.
 

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