How to get best two-channel sound from home theater receiver - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello and thanks for input smile.gif

Want to get the best stereo sound using a windows PC as the music source. I have a Dell Inspiron 660s with an HMDI output on the motherboard (back of the PC). If I connect the PC to my NAD surround receiver via HDMI, is this the best option?

I don't really clear how the different file qualities work and where they are processed. For example, what's the difference if using a media player on the PC to play an mp3 vs FLAC? My NAD has a onboard DAC. Where does the DAC fit in?

Sorry if not clear, but I'm new to this and any insight would be appreciated!
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by degoon View Post

Hello and thanks for input smile.gif

Want to get the best stereo sound using a windows PC as the music source. I have a Dell Inspiron 660s with an HMDI output on the motherboard (back of the PC). If I connect the PC to my NAD surround receiver via HDMI, is this the best option?

I don't really clear how the different file qualities work and where they are processed. For example, what's the difference if using a media player on the PC to play an mp3 vs FLAC? My NAD has a onboard DAC. Where does the DAC fit in?

Sorry if not clear, but I'm new to this and any insight would be appreciated!

1.  Identify the NAD AVR.  Does it have a USB input?  What you suggest with HDMI will work fine but there may be other options.

2.  It depends on how you connect things.  With the HDMI, all the files will be decoded in the AVR.  MP3 is a lossy, low resolution format compared to FLAC.  The DAC inside is used for all digital to analog conversions.


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post #3 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Kal,

The receiver is a NAD T775HD. It (unfortunately?) does not have USB inputs.

Is this correct:
Use the PC to play the best quality files possible;
digital data will then be sent over HDMI to the NAD receiver;
which will then processed using the onboard DAC?

The better the quality of the file, the better job the DAC can do?
How might having USB inputs be better?
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by degoon View Post

Thanks Kal,

The receiver is a NAD T775HD. It (unfortunately?) does not have USB inputs.

Is this correct:
Use the PC to play the best quality files possible;
digital data will then be sent over HDMI to the NAD receiver;
which will then processed using the onboard DAC?

The better the quality of the file, the better job the DAC can do?
How might having USB inputs be better?

Best practice is to leave the data in digital form as far down the line as possible. So, all things being equal, using the DAC in the receiver is better practice than using the DAC on the sound card. So using HDMI would be a good approach. The DAC will decode whatever is there, assuming it supports the particular format.

If the digital file has a better rendition of the music, then it will sound better after conversion. Check to see what formats you can decode and choose a format that will do the job for you. As Kal says, a lossless format will retain all of the data so it won't sound any different than a CD.. The quality of lossy formats depends on how much compression is used. It can range from indistiguishable from a CD to downright awful.
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by degoon View Post

Thanks Kal,

The receiver is a NAD T775HD. It (unfortunately?) does not have USB inputs.

Is this correct:
Use the PC to play the best quality files possible;
digital data will then be sent over HDMI to the NAD receiver;
which will then processed using the onboard DAC?

The better the quality of the file, the better job the DAC can do?
How might having USB inputs be better?

Correct.

The better the file the better the sound.  

Theoretically, HDMI has more jitter than S/PDIF but I do not think it is much of an issue.

The only improvement option might be to add a high quality external DAC like the NAD M51 and connect that to an analog input on the T775.  The downside to that is that you would give up Audyssey.


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http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #6 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Theoretically, HDMI has more jitter than HDMI but I do not think it is much of an issue.
You may want to check that statement. tongue.gif
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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You may want to check that statement. tongue.gif

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Thanks for clearing this up for me Kal and FMW. Great answers. Now my obsessiveness can rest in peace. tongue.gif
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 02:58 PM
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You may want to check that statement. tongue.gif

Against what?  I am basing it on my personal experience which, of course, might not be universal.


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post #9 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Against what?  I am basing it on my personal experience which, of course, might not be universal.
Read closely. You stated:
"Theoretically, HDMI has more jitter than HDMI ..."
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Against what?  I am basing it on my personal experience which, of course, might not be universal.

May want to check it again! tongue.gif

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post #11 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
You may want to check that statement. tongue.gif
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Originally Posted by beaveav View Post
May want to check it again! tongue.gif

Duh.  Why not be explicit about my typo?


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post #12 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Duh.  Why not be explicit about my typo?

Yeah, you're absolutely right - but for some reason it's more fun to let you find it yourself. Maybe because I have the maturity of a five year old? wink.gif

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post #13 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Duh.  Why not be explicit about my typo?
Well in all fairness... being a "Senior Contributing Editor", you should be able to find/correct your own typos.
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 04:13 PM
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eh, that's kind of a cheap shot, dontcha think?

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post #15 of 17 Old 03-06-2014, 05:06 PM
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Well in all fairness... being a "Senior Contributing Editor", you should be able to find/correct your own typos.

Perhaps (although we have copy editors for that) but there was nothing in your reply to distinguish it from a disputation of my opinion.  Consider it a "senior" moment.:p


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post #16 of 17 Old 03-07-2014, 05:14 AM
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It was a cheap shot. Sorry Kal, I apologize.redface.gif
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-07-2014, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Duh.  Why not be explicit about my typo?
Well in all fairness... being a "Senior Contributing Editor", you should be able to find/correct your own typos.

Actually, being almost anything but the lowest life in the editorial office means that someone else is there to correct your typos. ;-)
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