When using SPDIF out, does soundcard really matter?
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t10

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I am currently using soundstorm2 for my sound. It is connected to the receiver using optical toslink cable, and is feeding out DD Live Surround, all the decoding is done on the receiver.

From what I have heard for things like DVD's Soundstorm passes through DD signal without decoding it, the job falls straight onto my receiver. In this scenario an higher-end soundcard probably wont help much at all.

but for MP3's, when using SPDIF-out, is it of any benefit to go higher end?
 
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jmj

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Better sound card does not help if spdif is used (unless that another card do resampling, i think soundstorm doesn't). But if your soundcard is signicantly better, it is possible that its dac and output state is better than your av-receiver and you get better sound using cards own dac and analog cable.

btw. don't use live dd with stereo sound, that dd encoding is not lossless. Use PCM instead
 
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rickcr42

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Quote:

but for MP3's, when using SPDIF-out, is it of any benefit to go higher end?


never hurts to eliminate any bottleneck to good sound.no matter how good the front end it will not be heard for what it is if the "in betweens' are crap.and even a poor front end can be enhanced with upgrade devices btween it and the final headphone or speaker unlkess SO BAD that the good magnifies the bad and makes it notable for its being there.

the original question-the DAC section of the sound card is taken out of the loop by direct digital connection to an external DAC while still allowing for software control of the parameters.
The digital output is there just for such output section bypassing but even this is not a perfect thing and to get something you can lose something and that is additional jitter is a possibility.
Just like in a CD player a "one box' solution is better in some areas (elimination of the spdif interface for one) and an external DAC in others and there is no one solution that is perfect for all situations.Let your ears be the judge man.It is after all audio
 
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t10

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Hmm, I did not know about DD Live being lossy compared to PCM. Although there is a distinct difference between PCM and DD Live, Live sounded more mellow to my ears (in surround mode, compared to 4 channel PCM), I thought this was due to DD Live having some wierd DSP or something, but being lossy would explain mellow sound.

(I have a wierd habbit of cloning rears to my fronts when listening to music, yeah I know blasphemy, but I like it at times, feels like I am inside the soundstage, rather than it being infront of me, or the soundstage being entirely in my head as with headphones ;p)

rickcr42, valid point, but for my ears to be the judge, would require me to purchase the card, play around with it, and then decide onto what is best hahaha. If they only gave them away for free

Anyhoo, I am going to get an Pana XR55 as soon as it comes out, so that the entire chain is digital. Once that is done, I will keep an eye out for a good 24/96 chip for sound.
 
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rickcr42

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Quote:

rickcr42, valid point, but for my ears to be the judge, would require me to purchase the card, play around with it, and then decide onto what is best hahaha. If they only gave them away for free


Yes but is that not why we are all here ?

The 'thrill" of the chase ? that elusive something we don't know we need until we actually hear it ?
 
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It depends. IF the soundcard requires to resample the output before pushing the information to the SPDIF, you might lose fidelity. For example, playing back a CD where a soundcard has to upsample the signal to 48 kHz may will result in loss of fidelity. Also, I have used sound cards with very poor SPDIF outputs - SPDIF outputs with high output of bit errors.

The external DAC and cabling makes a big difference too.
 
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