PC music to AV Receiver - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys, so I have this sweet setup in my living room but I need help getting the best audio quality possible from my PC to the receiver. Currently, I have my pc hooked up to the receiver via HDMI. I don't have a sound card, but can get one if it is recommended for this setup. The majority of sound files on my computer are 320kbps mp3s. I do have some high quality flac, wav and dxd files. What is my best choice (keep in mind i'm trying to save money) and what will I need? Thanks.

and btw, having video go to the receiver isn't a necessity for me.

My setup:
Polk audio 5.1 surround sound or stereo for 2 channel music. Doesn't have to be 5.1 if that won't work.
Pioneer VSX 823k
Custom built PC with HD 5770 graphics card (hdmi to receiver)
NO sound card.
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 10:51 AM
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The cost here is totally dependent on the digital to analog converter used.

Sound cards are somewhat obsolete now with the rise of digital audio. Right now you are sending a stream of computer data (digital audio) to your receiver. Your receiver has a digital to analog converter (DAC) built into it. That is what decodes the signal and turns the computer data into streams of sound.

You would use a soundcard, or a USB based DAC, if you want to decode that audio at the computer level and send your receiver analog signals.

So right now, you are getting great audio (well as great as 320kbps MP3s are) TO your receiver since you are sending it digital data. Whether you are happy with what your receiver is doing to it to turn it into sound is the question.

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post #3 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 12:19 PM
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You're getting PCM audio to the AVR and using it's DAC from there - I think you're getting the best sound already. Differences in DAC performance is probably not worth worrying about until you've spent a non-trivial amount of money on speakers... biggrin.gif

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post #4 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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My front speakers are polk RTI 10s so they aren't that bad in terms of performance. If I were to buy a $50 sound card, would the DAC in that be better sounding than in my receiver?
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post #5 of 19 Old 08-17-2013, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iduhfuse View Post

My front speakers are polk RTI 10s so they aren't that bad in terms of performance. If I were to buy a $50 sound card, would the DAC in that be better sounding than in my receiver?

No, not likely. You really don't want analog audio anywhere near the PC anyway - if there's going to be anything that degrades the analog performance, it's going to come from the nearby PC gear...

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post #6 of 19 Old 08-17-2013, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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So my best option is to just leave it then?
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-17-2013, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iduhfuse View Post

So my best option is to just leave it then?

Yes. (Third time's the charm! biggrin.gif )

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post #8 of 19 Old 08-17-2013, 11:48 AM
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I was drawn to this thread because I'm looking for a wireless connection between a notebook computer and a stereo preamp. What is the best approach for this? Thanks.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-17-2013, 12:16 PM
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Ive never used one but you could use a Bluetooth audio receiver. Look those up and see if it would work for you.

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post #10 of 19 Old 08-17-2013, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

I was drawn to this thread because I'm looking for a wireless connection between a notebook computer and a stereo preamp. What is the best approach for this? Thanks.

Yeah, if your notebook has bluetooth support that would be a good solution. An Apple Airport Express used with either iTunes or the AirFoil software would work over WiFi...

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post #11 of 19 Old 08-17-2013, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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As an alternative, I have a wireless connection going from my PC to my Apple TV which is connected to my receiver. Hopefully that helps smile.gif
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-17-2013, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iduhfuse View Post

As an alternative, I have a wireless connection going from my PC to my Apple TV which is connected to my receiver. Hopefully that helps smile.gif

The Apple TV will resample digital audio to 48kHz, so if you're going to worry about DAC performance, that would not be high on your list of things to do... Would you be able to tell, probably not, but again, you're already getting the best quality audio. Enjoy it and stop worrying about it.

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post #13 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 02:26 PM
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For the last bunch of years, I have been using a hard-wired connection from my PC to two Sony 400 CD changers that allows me to pick and choose CDs to play through a computer software program/interface. I see that the VSX-823 model (and higher) can be networked and that they can play FLAC files from USB connected sources.

Would I be able to network the VSX-823 and then, using my PC, select the music from an attached USB device and have it play through the stereo (not through the PC)?
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by robertazimmerman View Post

For the last bunch of years, I have been using a hard-wired connection from my PC to two Sony 400 CD changers that allows me to pick and choose CDs to play through a computer software program/interface. I see that the VSX-823 model (and higher) can be networked and that they can play FLAC files from USB connected sources.

Would I be able to network the VSX-823 and then, using my PC, select the music from an attached USB device and have it play through the stereo (not through the PC)?

Yes, using AirFoil and the Pioneer AVR's AirPlay functionality to "catch" the stream you'll send. AirFoil is a small utility to replicate the AirPlay "sender" functionality for applications other than iTunes. You can also transcode the FLAC files to ALAC (Apple Lossless) and run this native from iTunes. Which would also give you remote control functionality via the Apple Remote app (on iOS devices only, of course).

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post #15 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 03:24 PM
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Thanks! I should have mentioned that I would prefer to attach the flash drive to the receiver (not a big deal though if it must be plugged into the PC).
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post #16 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 03:49 PM
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Thanks! I should have mentioned that I would prefer to attach the flash drive to the receiver (not a big deal though if it must be plugged into the PC).

In that case, the Pioneer "app" or on-screen display will be your solution... Probably no control from a PC, but any mobile device, sure. If you want to control it from your PC, use the Airplay functionality.

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post #17 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 04:42 PM
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Can I scroll through the folders and files with the Pioneer remote, or do I need a tablet/smartphone?
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post #18 of 19 Old 08-27-2013, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertazimmerman View Post

Can I scroll through the folders and files with the Pioneer remote, or do I need a tablet/smartphone?

Probably, but how usable it is would be a better question asked in the Receivers forum. Or search for a video / review / walkthru of the GUI...

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post #19 of 19 Old 08-28-2013, 08:22 AM
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Thanks! Shall do.
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