Use my Lexicon DC-1 Pre/Pro as a Stereo Preamp? - AVS Forum
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I know what you are thinking, sounds like a little bit of a waste huh? Well after seeing what the going rate on DC-1's are these days (next to nothing) I have decided to keep it and use it in my office as a stereo pre-amp. I'll have my computer as well as a tuner run into it for now. I know there are most likely better alternatives for this but it seems to me that I would be paying for something I already have if I bought a dedicated 2ch stereo preamp. Am I correct to think this? I don't watch movies on my computer just listen to music and would like a nice 2.1 setup.
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:30 PM
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Sounds like a great setup to me. Extremely flexible. Digital out from your computer?
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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No, I have not got a digital connection yet, but I'm in the market for a sound card.
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:52 PM
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Turtle beach has a nifty little usb sound card with digital out. It's the turtle beach tbs 1121. I noticed it the other day when I was shopping with a friend.
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I have an available PCI slot, so I'll probably go that way. I'm looking at this card right now http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829120103 it is cheep. I wonder how much of a difference the sound card will make?
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:02 PM
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None. The Lexicon's DACs should completely ignore any clocking from your soundcard and generate it's own clocking.
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Old 06-12-2007, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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So as long as there are no quirks with drivers and what not any sound card will pass the audio the same?
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Old 06-12-2007, 06:08 PM
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It's got a VIA chipset and optical out, you're made in the shade
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Old 06-12-2007, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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The following is from the DC-1 manual

S/PDIF INPUTS
Two coaxial RCA connectors and two optical connectors are provided for digital audio in the S/PDIF format at a 44.1kHz +1000 ppm sample rate.

From the little reading I've done so far it seems as though some sound cards are capable of a higher sample rate? Maybe I'm confusing myself.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:42 PM
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Some cards are capable of different sample rates. 16bit/48kHz is very common, 24bit/96kHz is fairly common, and 24bit/192kHz is getting into the mainstream now. The soundcard you are getting can do the later, while your DAC can only do 16bit/44.1kHz. This is the CD standard, so you will probably be fine with that limitation. While you can get higher resolution audio files, they are uncommon and you will likely know that you are getting them.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for clearing that up. Do you think that the DC-1 will recognize a higher sample rate, or will I have to specify the 16bit/44.1kHz rate?
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:03 AM
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The DC-1 will likely ignore the higher sample rate. You should probably have both analog and digital connections from the computer and use the analog path when you need to play higher rate files. Your soundcard should not upsample, so most of your audio will likely be 16bit/44.1kHz and work fine with the DC-1 DAC. Only when you play something specifically at a higher rate will it matter. Of course if you really want to go higher resolution, you can ditch the DC-1 DAC all together and use an external DAC. There are less expensive ones out there. You could even get a DAC with a USB interface that will work as a soundcard for your computer. There are several on the market with varying levels of quality. Benchmark's DAC-1 USB will actually do 24bit/96kHz through USB with no problem. In this scenario you just go analog from the DAC to the DC-1, and do not need to buy a sound card. Of course cheaper options exist.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=GS=- View Post

Do you think that the DC-1 will recognize a higher sample rate, or will I have to specify the 16bit/44.1kHz rate?

If you used your DC-1 with any Dolby Digital tracks on DVDs, then you know it can handle 48kHz sampling rate. Also, at some point in the DC-1s production run, the 20-bit D/A converters were replaced with 24-bit DACs (the parts manufacturer stopped making the 20-bit version). So your DC-1 was never limited to 16/44.1 resolution.

Keep in mind that you can also run a 2-channel analogue signal into the DC-1. Using the Zone2 outputs will bypass the A/D & D/A steps, giving you a pure analogue pass-through (with only volume control in the signal path).

Best,
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iostream View Post

The DC-1 will likely ignore the higher sample rate. You should probably have both analog and digital connections from the computer and use the analog path when you need to play higher rate files. Your soundcard should not upsample, so most of your audio will likely be 16bit/44.1kHz and work fine with the DC-1 DAC. Only when you play something specifically at a higher rate will it matter. Of course if you really want to go higher resolution, you can ditch the DC-1 DAC all together and use an external DAC. There are less expensive ones out there. You could even get a DAC with a USB interface that will work as a soundcard for your computer. There are several on the market with varying levels of quality. Benchmark's DAC-1 USB will actually do 24bit/96kHz through USB with no problem. In this scenario you just go analog from the DAC to the DC-1, and do not need to buy a sound card. Of course cheaper options exist.

-=GS=-, I would try out the all digital signal path first. For me an add on DAC would be a waste especially since you already have a nice piece of gear. And for arguments sake a good chunk of the quality you gain from a higher sample rate will be lost on the digital to analog and analog to digital conversions.
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Old 06-17-2007, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iostream View Post

Of course if you really want to go higher resolution, you can ditch the DC-1 DAC all together and use an external DAC.

That's not going to work like you'd want because the DC-1 main zone is digital only.

Analog inputs get digitized (I don't recall the resolution) and converted back to analog with 20 bits of precision (the 24 bit DACs are only there because the maker deprecated the 20 bit parts) at 44.1 or 48KHz (There may be some effect availability issues at the higher sampling rate - I don't recall).

The only way to get analog pass-through on the DC-1 is through the second zone.

IIRC, one of the Lexicon guys (Sean?) was working on a hardware modification that would use the composite video inputs on a DC-1 or DC-2 to provide a multi-channel analog pass-through; I don't recall if that ever happened.

It does work fine, will downmix Dolby Digital or DTS to 2.1 without discarding the LFE channel, etc.
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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OK so my next question.

I would like to be able to use a set of headphones. I think I can accomplish this by using the Zone 2 out to a headphone preamp/amp. I have never used Zone 2 before so hopefully I can turn off the main (Zone 1) output an just have output to Zone 2. Can anyone recomend a relatively cheep headphone preamp/amp? It wouldn't need to have more than 2 sets of headphone jacks.
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post

That's not going to work like you'd want because the DC-1 main zone is digital only.

Analog inputs get digitized (I don't recall the resolution) and converted back to analog with 20 bits of precision (the 24 bit DACs are only there because the maker deprecated the 20 bit parts) at 44.1 or 48KHz (There may be some effect availability issues at the higher sampling rate - I don't recall).

The only way to get analog pass-through on the DC-1 is through the second zone.

IIRC, one of the Lexicon guys (Sean?) was working on a hardware modification that would use the composite video inputs on a DC-1 or DC-2 to provide a multi-channel analog pass-through; I don't recall if that ever happened.

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Old 06-18-2007, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=GS=- View Post

OK so my next question.

I would like to be able to use a set of headphones. I think I can accomplish this by using the Zone 2 out to a headphone preamp/amp. I have never used Zone 2 before so hopefully I can turn off the main (Zone 1) output an just have output to Zone 2. Can anyone recomend a relatively cheep headphone preamp/amp? It wouldn't need to have more than 2 sets of headphone jacks.

I use a Creek Audio headphone amp that I like.

Creek Audio

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Old 06-18-2007, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=GS=- View Post

OK so my next question.

I would like to be able to use a set of headphones. I think I can accomplish this by using the Zone 2 out to a headphone preamp/amp. I have never used Zone 2 before so hopefully I can turn off the main (Zone 1) output an just have output to Zone 2. Can anyone recomend a relatively cheep headphone preamp/amp? It wouldn't need to have more than 2 sets of headphone jacks.

I use the record outputs for that purpose (the zone two outputs are variable, record are fixed, both select to the same source) to drive a set of wireless headphones. It's possible to mute the two zones independantly.

The only messyness is when you've selected a digital-only input (record = digital) for zone two you can't change the main zone; although this isn't a problem where you're just running headphones off it.
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