Peachtree audio DAC-iT input choice - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-13-2013, 02:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi AV experts,
I am strongly considering buying the Peachtree audio DAC-iT to upgrade my HTPC
It has great reviews & the price is right for my budget

Right now I have the pc sound going out of hdmi to my tv, then back to stereo receiver through optical
It sounds OK, but there is room for improvement

I noticed this DAC has 3 inputs: USB, optical, and digital coaxial
I could use all 3, although only usb and digital coaxial would be straight from the pc (optical would be coming back from tv)

Anyone has experience with this specific unit & could give advice of which input are best/worst, or else if there shouldnt be any noticeable differences

My setup:
TV: Samsung plasma 59" pn59d550, DVR: Cisco 8642HD, HTPC: Acer Aspire E1-570,
Peachtree audio DAC-iT, Logitech Harmony 650 remote, Logitech MediaBoard Pro Bluetooth k/b
Receiver: Harman Kardon HK 3490, Speakers: Mission m34i + Mission MS10 sub, Nexus 7 2nd gen
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-13-2013, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleh4help View Post

Hi AV experts,
I am strongly considering buying the Peachtree audio DAC-iT to upgrade my HTPC
It has great reviews & the price is right for my budget

Right now I have the pc sound going out of hdmi to my tv, then back to stereo receiver through optical
It sounds OK, but there is room for improvement

I noticed this DAC has 3 inputs: USB, optical, and digital coaxial
I could use all 3, although only usb and digital coaxial would be straight from the pc (optical would be coming back from tv)

Anyone has experience with this specific unit & could give advice of which input are best/worst, or else if there shouldnt be any noticeable differences

Where are you with surround sound? Your existing setup could at least give you sound when the source is say, Dolby digital,

According to Peachtree's spec sheet, this device is stereo PCM only. If you try to play a source that is even just Dolby Digital, you'll get silence or white noise.
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-13-2013, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I have no surround sound equipment, and no interest in it; I am 2.1 & happy with it!

My setup:
TV: Samsung plasma 59" pn59d550, DVR: Cisco 8642HD, HTPC: Acer Aspire E1-570,
Peachtree audio DAC-iT, Logitech Harmony 650 remote, Logitech MediaBoard Pro Bluetooth k/b
Receiver: Harman Kardon HK 3490, Speakers: Mission m34i + Mission MS10 sub, Nexus 7 2nd gen
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-13-2013, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by pleh4help View Post

I have no surround sound equipment, and no interest in it; I am 2.1 & happy with it!

What are you currently using, the audio interface in the PC?

What sound chip does it have (you should be able to figure this out from the Device Manager).
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-13-2013, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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As already stated above, I currently have the pc sound going out through hdmi to the tv
Device mgr shows both NVDIA and REALTEK high def audio, but I am guessing I use realtek through hdmi output of the NVDIA graphic card
I have looked for sound chip info (under "details'' tab to no avail

I used to be connected out of the integrated sound card to the tv with a 3.5mm jack, but that was a hugely disapointing sound

My setup:
TV: Samsung plasma 59" pn59d550, DVR: Cisco 8642HD, HTPC: Acer Aspire E1-570,
Peachtree audio DAC-iT, Logitech Harmony 650 remote, Logitech MediaBoard Pro Bluetooth k/b
Receiver: Harman Kardon HK 3490, Speakers: Mission m34i + Mission MS10 sub, Nexus 7 2nd gen
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-13-2013, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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As additional infos:

As stated in another post of mine, I could never use the integrated hmdi output of my m/b due to static issue
For 2 or 3 years, I had to go with 3.5mm from integrated adio to the tv, but it just sucked

Last autumn, I installed a sound blaster card & got pretty decent sound out of the optical out straight to my receiver
The problem with this setup was I have only one optical audio input on my receiver, so I had to connect my pvr with rca to the receiver

I have recently received (through e-bay) a little gizmo to add spdif coax out capability to my m/b, but I have not tried it out yet
Shortly after, I installed a NVDIA graphic card, & have been using its hdmi output for both sound and picture to the tv

I think I can go one better with the aforementionned DAC device ( I might go pick it up later this afternoon)

My setup:
TV: Samsung plasma 59" pn59d550, DVR: Cisco 8642HD, HTPC: Acer Aspire E1-570,
Peachtree audio DAC-iT, Logitech Harmony 650 remote, Logitech MediaBoard Pro Bluetooth k/b
Receiver: Harman Kardon HK 3490, Speakers: Mission m34i + Mission MS10 sub, Nexus 7 2nd gen
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-13-2013, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleh4help View Post

As already stated above, I currently have the pc sound going out through hdmi to the tv

This is probabaly as good as it can get. HDMI audio is as digital as SP/DIF and Toslink subject only to specific implementation problems on a particular PC such as clicks and pops due to bus domination in the PC.
Quote:
Device mgr shows both NVDIA and REALTEK high def audio, but I am guessing I use realtek through hdmi output of the NVDIA graphic card

In this case the Nvidia is usally the HDMI digital audio, and the Realtek is the more traditional audio which can be analog or digital (SPDIF or Toslink).
Quote:
I have looked for sound chip info (under "details'' tab to no avail

The Nvidia says it all to me. Its in the video card and it is 100% digital.

On the Realtek side there may be some words like "high defintiion audio" or even a numeric model number. Only the latter sheds any serious details.
Quote:
I used to be connected out of the integrated sound card to the tv with a 3.5mm jack, but that was a hugely disapointing sound

That was probably analog, and can be good or bad depending on the exact audio interface in the PC, and is subject to problems like hum but can also be subject to the bus domination problems I mentioned before.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-13-2013, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

This is probabaly as good as it can get. HDMI audio is as digital as SP/DIF and Toslink subject only to specific implementation problems on a particular PC such as clicks and pops due to bus domination in the PC..

If I read you correctly, my sound will not be improved by going through the DAC? If that's the case, I am much suprised to hear this (and a little worried as I was almost on my way to the store).
The device is designed specifically for getting sound from a pc to receiver a 'better way'' ( for lack of better term), and is getting rave reviews.

Then again my Hk-3490 seems to have some sort of built-in DAC as it accept both optical and coaxial digital input

Bottom line question is: should I expect a tangible improvement with external DAC I was planning to purchase?

My setup:
TV: Samsung plasma 59" pn59d550, DVR: Cisco 8642HD, HTPC: Acer Aspire E1-570,
Peachtree audio DAC-iT, Logitech Harmony 650 remote, Logitech MediaBoard Pro Bluetooth k/b
Receiver: Harman Kardon HK 3490, Speakers: Mission m34i + Mission MS10 sub, Nexus 7 2nd gen
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-13-2013, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleh4help View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

This is probabaly as good as it can get. HDMI audio is as digital as SP/DIF and Toslink subject only to specific implementation problems on a particular PC such as clicks and pops due to bus domination in the PC..

If I read you correctly, my sound will not be improved by going through the DAC? If that's the case, I am much suprised to hear this (and a little worried as I was almost on my way to the store).
The device is designed specifically for getting sound from a pc to receiver a 'better way'' ( for lack of better term), and is getting rave reviews.

Then again my Hk-3490 seems to have some sort of built-in DAC as it accept both optical and coaxial digital input

Bottom line question is: should I expect a tangible improvement with external DAC I was planning to purchase?

It is very hard to improve on the SQ of a digital connection from music player through a digital input on a good AVR.

As a rule virtually every reviewer and audiophile use scientifically invalid procedures to compare components so the reviews while interesting poetry on occasion have serious problems when it comes to being factual.
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post #10 of 13 Old 01-13-2013, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleh4help View Post

Bottom line question is: should I expect a tangible improvement with external DAC I was planning to purchase?

Quite possibly.

With audio though, there is no way to know for sure until you try it in your particular system with your particular tastes.

I do know I prefer music being feed from my PC to my AVR via analog RCA from a USB DAC better than SPDIF or HDMI. I have tried all three ways and like the DAC option the best.
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-14-2013, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by pleh4help View Post

Bottom line question is: should I expect a tangible improvement with external DAC I was planning to purchase?

Quite possibly.

With audio though, there is no way to know for sure until you try it in your particular system with your particular tastes.

For something to be preferred based on sound quality, it must sound different, no?
Quote:
I do know I prefer music being feed from my PC to my AVR via analog RCA from a USB DAC better than SPDIF or HDMI. I have tried all three ways and like the DAC option the best.

I can guarantee that if any all of them are working properly, they can't be told apart by listening.

On balance USB can be a problem solver. I have a laptop whose internal audio interface sounds horrible - all sorts of clicks and buzzes that I've never been able to make go away. It is clearly not working properly! I plug in my Behringer UCA 202 and all is well.
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-14-2013, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I can guarantee that if any all of them are working properly, they can't be told apart by listening.

On balance USB can be a problem solver. I have a laptop whose internal audio interface sounds horrible - all sorts of clicks and buzzes that I've never been able to make go away. It is clearly not working properly! I plug in my Behringer UCA 202 and all is well.


Such is the difference between an ideal theoretical world and the real world.
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-15-2013, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I can guarantee that if any all of them are working properly, they can't be told apart by listening.

On balance USB can be a problem solver. I have a laptop whose internal audio interface sounds horrible - all sorts of clicks and buzzes that I've never been able to make go away. It is clearly not working properly! I plug in my Behringer UCA 202 and all is well.


Such is the difference between an ideal theoretical world and the real world.

As a figure of speech, the above is OK, but if you take it any deeper, it fails.

There is actually no problem between the real world and theory. The problem with the audio internal interface is well-described by current science and technology. The source of the problem is probably a bad driver, which could be fixed by the application of relevant IT theory and technology.
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