My DIY media center idea - thoughts? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-20-2013, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all, first thread for me. I'm getting into high end audio and I want a media center to store high bit rate music so it's not hogging my iPhone. I have an idea for how I want to set it up. Please let me know your thoughts or if you think any of this would not work.

My equipment:
Onkyo HT-R680 receiver
NAD C 320BEE integrated amplifier
PSB Imagine T2 tower speakers
Standard Onkyo speakers for surround/centers

My idea:
I have an old laptop and a 1 TB external hard drive I'm not using. I want to put these two by my TV and load the HD with full quality audio. Now to get the music from my computer to my speakers at full quality, I think I need some help. My plan is to get a USB dongle that outputs to Toslink at 24 bit / 96 kHz and plug that into my receiver. The receiver manual claims to convert digital to analog at 24 bit / 192 kHz so I would run a standard RCA cable out of my receiver to my amp and then feed the speakers from there. Thoughts on this?

My amp doesn't accept digital signals so I've also considered buying a USB DAC to plug directly to the amp but I can't figure out what I would need. Also, the receiver manual says the internal DACs convert at the above rate "to all channels," so does that mean only to the speaker outputs or does it convert to any analog outputs as well?
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-22-2013, 02:02 AM
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I am not sure about a lot of what you are saying -- but out of curiousity -- is it possible your computer has a toslink output on the back of it that you can plug from your computer to your receiver and then go from there?
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-22-2013, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briguy65 View Post

I am not sure about a lot of what you are saying -- but out of curiousity -- is it possible your computer has a toslink output on the back of it that you can plug from your computer to your receiver and then go from there?

No, no toslink output on my laptop.
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-23-2013, 05:33 AM
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I assume your laptop does not have HDMI, if it does use that to connect to your AVR.

Optical toslink usb seems simplest. You can handle all balancing/tuning and control volume via the AVR.

If you choose an analog usb DAC connected to your amp, you will have multiple connections/wires to deal with, you may have a challenge in balancing the audio (AVRs make this easy), and you will control volume with the laptop. I don't think that would be a desirable setup, but that is up to you and your vision. I doubt you will achieve noticeably better sound this way either.
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