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2 Chanel FLAC from computer to reveiver

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey,

Recently had a small basement flood, and one of the victims was a Logitech sqeezebox, that was connected to an older Denon 5.1 receiver with Aperion Grand Versus speakers in a 2 channel setup. This combination sounded great, but the Sqeeezebox is dead and frankly was a total pain in the ass anyway. The speakers and receiver are fine... the humidity killed some small electronic devices that were nowhere near water, such as the Squeezebox, wireless router, wireless access points, even a cable box never came back to life (humidity or power surge, not sure which).

Replaced it with a 50' toslink cable from the computer straight to the Denon (all music is on that PC as 90% flac, 10% mp3). My speakers sound ****** now, I didnt expect an onboard sound card to sound great.... but this is heartbreaking as these are the best speakers I have ever owned.

Any recommendations for what to put between the Denon and the source (pc hard drive) ? Am thinking a high end usb sound card would help, but I'm worried I wont get the sound quality back that I had with the Sqeeebox, all quirks aside, it sounded freaking awesome.

Thanks!
post #2 of 12
What software program are you using to play the FLAC files on the computer?

Have you checked the Windows sound settings (accessible from the Control Panel > Sounds) to make sure that there are no EQ or mixing functions enabled for the optical output? I'm not terribly familiar with the Squeezebox, but as I understand it the Squeezebox software transmits audio to the Squeezebox device without involving the Windows mixer, so if you have any audio-modifying settings enabled for the optical output that could be modifying the sound coming from your computer.

Was the Squeezebox connected to your Denon receiver via analog or digital (optical/digital coax)? If the optical input you're now using on the Denon is a different input than you were previously using with the Squeezebox, do you have any EQ or DSP settings set differently between the optical input you're using now and the input you were formerly using with the Squeezebox?

Unless that's one old Denon receiver, I don't think you should be noticing any significant difference just because you're now using the Denon's D/A converter (if you were formerly using the Squeezebox's D/A converter by connecting the Squeezebox to your receiver via analog cables).

With your computer properly configured to disable any DSP functions in your software player and the Windows mixer, you should be able to enjoy excellent sound quality with your computer connected to your receiver over optical.
Edited by marvin4653 - 6/30/13 at 5:58pm
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gman600 View Post

Hey,

Recently had a small basement flood, and one of the victims was a Logitech sqeezebox, that was connected to an older Denon 5.1 receiver with Aperion Grand Versus speakers in a 2 channel setup. This combination sounded great, but the Sqeeezebox is dead and frankly was a total pain in the ass anyway. The speakers and receiver are fine... the humidity killed some small electronic devices that were nowhere near water, such as the Squeezebox, wireless router, wireless access points, even a cable box never came back to life (humidity or power surge, not sure which).

Replaced it with a 50' toslink cable from the computer straight to the Denon (all music is on that PC as 90% flac, 10% mp3). My speakers sound ****** now, I didnt expect an onboard sound card to sound great.... but this is heartbreaking as these are the best speakers I have ever owned.

Any recommendations for what to put between the Denon and the source (pc hard drive) ? Am thinking a high end usb sound card would help, but I'm worried I wont get the sound quality back that I had with the Sqeeebox, all quirks aside, it sounded freaking awesome.
!

There's no logical reason why you should be experiencing a sound quality loss like this. If you are routing the digital output of an onboard audio interface through a toslink input on an AVR, it should sound as good if not better than a high end USB audio interface.

Do other sources sound as good as ever when played over the same speakers?
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin4653 View Post

What software program are you using to play the FLAC files on the computer?

Have you checked the Windows sound settings (accessible from the Control Panel > Sounds) to make sure that there are no EQ or mixing functions enabled for the optical output? I'm not terribly familiar with the Squeezebox, but as I understand it the Squeezebox software transmits audio to the Squeezebox device without involving the Windows mixer, so if you have any audio-modifying settings enabled for the optical output that could be modifying the sound coming from your computer.

Was the Squeezebox connected to your Denon receiver via analog or digital (optical/digital coax)? If the optical input you're now using on the Denon is a different input than you were previously using with the Squeezebox, do you have any EQ or DSP settings set differently between the optical input you're using now and the input you were formerly using with the Squeezebox?

Unless that's one old Denon receiver, I don't think you should be noticing any significant difference just because you're now using the Denon's D/A converter (if you were formerly using the Squeezebox's D/A converter by connecting the Squeezebox to your receiver via analog cables).

With your computer properly configured to disable any DSP functions in your software player and the Windows mixer, you should be able to enjoy excellent sound quality with your computer connected to your receiver over optical.

Im using MediaMonkey for playback. Per your suggestion checked the windows settings, and found the output level was low (10%). Bumped it up to 50% and the sound got noticably better. I guess since the flooding havent had the chance to play anything loud, so didnt really notice that the receiver was up way high to reach adequate volume. Lame....

Should I have the output level higher on the computer, or will it introduce noise/artifacts into the signal ?

Thanks for the help!
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

There's no logical reason why you should be experiencing a sound quality loss like this. If you are routing the digital output of an onboard audio interface through a toslink input on an AVR, it should sound as good if not better than a high end USB audio interface.

Do other sources sound as good as ever when played over the same speakers?

I wish I could answer that, I"ve never used the speakers for anything else - just music in the basement so even with another input source I would have no reference point. Good to known that an onboard (on the motherboard) digital interface should be sufficient, for some reason I was thinking that they delivered sub-par signals, but maybe I'm thinking of analaog signals.

Thanks!
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gman600 View Post

Im using MediaMonkey for playback. Per your suggestion checked the windows settings, and found the output level was low (10%). Bumped it up to 50% and the sound got noticably better. I guess since the flooding havent had the chance to play anything loud, so didnt really notice that the receiver was up way high to reach adequate volume. Lame....

Should I have the output level higher on the computer, or will it introduce noise/artifacts into the signal ?

Thanks for the help!
The usual recommendation is to set your Windows volume (the volume slider you can access by clicking the speaker icon in the tray, by the clock) and the volume in your player (MediaMonkey) to 100%, and then only use the volume control on your Denon to adjust your playback volume. The concept is that by not adjusting the volume on the computer, you send your receiver the audio information exactly as it is stored in the FLAC files. In other words, 100% volume means "pass the audio data as it is stored without modifying the levels."

Take a little time and check on the various settings in MediaMonkey's options to ensure that you don't inadvertently have any settings configured that would affect sound quality. Things like Volume Leveling, DSP, or equalizer adjustments may be enabled that could be modifying your audio, perhaps for the worse (maybe for the better if you like any of those things!). I use foobar to play my FLACs so I'm unfortunately not familiar with the specifics of MediaMonkey's interface, but most of the settings should be somewhat self-explanatory (and there's always Google if you're curious about what effect a given setting has on your audio).
Edited by marvin4653 - 6/30/13 at 9:12pm
post #7 of 12
Try foobar with wasapi output
post #8 of 12
Since I'm a fan of the Squeezebox, and you were satisfied with the sound, I'd go to ebay and find a replacement. Lots of great advice above, if you're satisfied with using the computer then this may not be necessary, but for remote streaming and playback the Squeezebox is a winner.

Have you tried the Squeezebox remote app for smartphones? You're the first person I've seen the "pain in the ass" comment from, so I'm guessing you are referring to playback management. The Squeezebox apps for Android and iOS are stellar.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gman600 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

There's no logical reason why you should be experiencing a sound quality loss like this. If you are routing the digital output of an onboard audio interface through a toslink input on an AVR, it should sound as good if not better than a high end USB audio interface.

Do other sources sound as good as ever when played over the same speakers?

I wish I could answer that, I"ve never used the speakers for anything else - just music in the basement so even with another input source I would have no reference point. Good to known that an onboard (on the motherboard) digital interface should be sufficient, for some reason I was thinking that they delivered sub-par signals, but maybe I'm thinking of analaog signals.

It is possible that the speakers were damaged by the moisture?
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by gman600 View Post

Replaced it with a 50' toslink cable from the computer straight to the Denon (all music is on that PC as 90% flac, 10% mp3). My speakers sound ****** now, I didnt expect an onboard sound card to sound great.... but this is heartbreaking as these are the best speakers I have ever owned.

Were you using a "50' toslink cable" with the prior setup???

And which Windows version? Windows XP or Windows 7 or what?
Edited by OtherSongs - 7/1/13 at 10:56am
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the help everyone, much appreciated and sorry for the delay been crazy at work. eek.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by marvin4653 View Post

The usual recommendation is to set your Windows volume (the volume slider you can access by clicking the speaker icon in the tray, by the clock) and the volume in your player (MediaMonkey) to 100%, and then only use the volume control on your Denon to adjust your playback volume. The concept is that by not adjusting the volume on the computer, you send your receiver the audio information exactly as it is stored in the FLAC files. In other words, 100% volume means "pass the audio data as it is stored without modifying the levels."

Take a little time and check on the various settings in MediaMonkey's options to ensure that you don't inadvertently have any settings configured that would affect sound quality. Things like Volume Leveling, DSP, or equalizer adjustments may be enabled that could be modifying your audio, perhaps for the worse (maybe for the better if you like any of those things!). I use foobar to play my FLACs so I'm unfortunately not familiar with the specifics of MediaMonkey's interface, but most of the settings should be somewhat self-explanatory (and there's always Google if you're curious about what effect a given setting has on your audio).

I'm going to go right now and try it up all the way and check the MM settings again. I *try* to listen to everything flat, but ya never know, I've done other stupid things with a mouse and keyboard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony_Montana View Post

Try foobar with wasapi output

Two endorsements for foobar, will have to check it out. I originally bought a lifetime license for MM because it can convert my flac files on the fly when I send them to my iPhone. But I no longer listen to music from the phone, and besides everytime a new ios version the MM synch would break and take a while for them fix (no blame, i think apple breaks iTunes alternatives on purpose everytime they release new versions).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Since I'm a fan of the Squeezebox, and you were satisfied with the sound, I'd go to ebay and find a replacement. Lots of great advice above, if you're satisfied with using the computer then this may not be necessary, but for remote streaming and playback the Squeezebox is a winner.

Have you tried the Squeezebox remote app for smartphones? You're the first person I've seen the "pain in the ass" comment from, so I'm guessing you are referring to playback management. The Squeezebox apps for Android and iOS are stellar.

I was using iPeng on the iPhone - which is incredible so I had no problem with the interface after that. My problems were more with it dropping off the wi-fi if not used often, it seemed if I went more than a week without using it I would have to power cycle it to get it's wireless connection back. I lived with it, wasn't a showstopper but now that its not supported anymore by Logitech anymore I dont think I want to invest anymore in that direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

It is possible that the speakers were damaged by the moisture?

I've not allowed myself to go there... I gave them a couple of weeks to "dry out" from the humidity but who knows maybe that's a problem. They never got wet of course, once I saw water coming in certain areas those were the first items removed smile.gif I may shoot Aperion an email and ask what the humidity can do to them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

Were you using a "50' toslink cable" with the prior setup???

And which Windows version? Windows XP or Windows 7 or what?

I wasn't using the cable before because the squeezebox uses a wireless receiver that goes the amp/avr. Its Vista 64-bit, my old workstation... built a new one so that one went in the basement just to stream for the squeezebox (and now via the cable).
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Update, the MM settings seem to have been the problem. It had multiple output drivers available, and it turns out it was using DirectSound instead of WASAPI driver. Changing that helped was huge, seems to be back to normal now I was using this computer for digital playback before, but on low end bookshelf speakers in a different room of the house, so I guess I never noticed. Funny what happens when you get decent speakers....

Thanks everyone for the help!
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