Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor
There are only two AES multichannel IO cards out there - the Lynx and an RME. I have not compared the two.
I am talking about DACs. There is a definite difference between DACs. I have no idea what the Lynx Aurora sounds like but I am just suspect of something retailing for 2k with 8 channels of AD and 8 channels of DA being 'good enough' for my tastes which are sadly high end due to my job and the amount of time I spend working and listening to very very nice gear.
I've been living in the Denon 4311/Audyssey XT32+Pro world, and have been following your work. Quite impressive in seeking to tear down some of the barriers between the 'hardware' world and customized HTPC-based components.
Something for you:
I was thinking of looking into Dirac Live as an alternative to Audyssey due to greater focus on impulse response correction (to the extent possible electronically), as well some of the options for shaping target/house curves outside of the Audyssey propensity for flatness - Pro's Target Curve Editor aside to create a "house curve".
However, I'm not so much looking to replace my Denon 4311 with a HTPC as use it as a dedicated pre/pro, feed it assumedly via its unbalanced RCA pre-out to a HTPC to maintain bass management and independent sub distance/trim settings, and then have the HTPC run Dirac Live, finally feeding via analog out to either an AVR I would use as an "amp" (I have a spare SC-27 I could use for this in Pure Direct mode), or a dedicated amp. My current system is 5.2 - Mythos ST fronts, CS 8080-HD center, Gem XL surrounds, and two HSU-15 subs (equidistant from MLP). I also feed an Oppo 93, TiVo Series 3, and Apple TV into my Denon, exporting HDMI video to a Lumagen Mini, Darblet, and VT50 (in that order).
While I'd love to get into the full-featured Trinnov world with a TEQ-8 or buy a Datasat RS20, that's about 4x outside of my price range. And I'm not going near the R-972 due to unit reliability issues, and the desire to keep the core functionality "family friendly" once a calibration is set..For the app I'm thinking of, assuming it's doable, what kind of A/D interface, sound card, and DAC would you recommend to go with Dirac Live? Would I have to go to something like the Lynx or RME, or are their other alternatives that are LT $2K for the pre/pro->PC interface? I'm trying to keep my costs, including Dirac, at the $4K level or less. I also want to keep my 24/96 (if not 192) Hz channel output from the Denon "pre/pro" intact as much as possible. Ideally such alternatives would be an external rather than internal, so I could use a laptop as a processor rather than have to work with a dedicated mini-tower, but it's not essential.
I'm also assuming that due to HDCP restrictions, there's no practical way to output HDMI multichannel audio from the Denon while still outputting HDMI video to my display chain, let alone input HDMI into a DAC or convert into a form usable in a sound card for Dirac processing. The Denon technically has "TV" mode for HDMI audio passthrough, but it's unclear if this automatically downconverts to two-channel.
Yes, I know about Carl Huff's DL 2 being in the pipeline, but there's no definitive release date. Hence why I was thinking of experimenting in this direction with Dirac.
BTW, if I got this to "work", a true A/B/X would probably be not using my Denon-based 4311's Audyssey, but probably to pick up a (trial) version of ARC, which is a PC-based version of XT32, to have a true apples to apples comparison. But one thing at a time. One could even - although at the risk of other complications - use Dirac as "icing on the cake" for an AVR-based Audyssey, similar to the way that some would use a Behringer or MiniDSP in conjunction with Audyssey. Regardless, I'd be using REW as my tool to access room response.
Any thoughts about how I could make this "work"? While I could post this to the HTPC forum, since you're covering some of the same territory, I thought I'd start here.