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digital out on sound card (sq)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm using the coax digital output on my sound card to send music to my receiver, a denon avr-1906.

Would a new/better sound card increase the sound quality? It seems that since its not doing any digital to analog conversions itself but instead outputting the digital, that its not contributing to poor sound quality at all. I believe I have an integrated Realtek AC'97.

If a new card would be better, what should I look at?

I'm not opposed to outputting analog stereo from the card to my amp, but it just doesn't seem like the dac's could really compete with my receiver. Lemme know if I'm wrong.

Thanks in advance
post #2 of 16
Digital is digital... A new card isnt going to improve on that. If all your going to use I dont see a reason for an upgrade unless you do some pc gaming. A sound card that has DD Live would be nice.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
That's what I thought, now how much would I need to spend, if it's even possible, to get better dac's in the card than the receiver, and output analog? (I only want 2 channel)

It's a pretty long run, 50' ish, from my computer to receiver. Does an analog signal lose more than a digital over a run like that, given decent cables?

Thanks
post #4 of 16
No, analog won't lose signal over 50'.

What will lose signal is converting to analog and then back to digital. Even if you have the best DAC in the world on your soundcard, it's still going to be lossy. Same goes for the ADC in the receiver's analog inputs.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I didn't know analog inputs went to digital and then back to analog inside the receiver. Is it for some sort of signal processing, like bass and treble gain? I have a "direct" mode, could that bypass the double conversion?

Thanks
post #6 of 16
Maybe. Check your receiver's manual.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
post #8 of 16
I very much doubt it would sound better than your Denon. What indication do you have that your receiver's DACs are the limiting factor in sound quality?
post #9 of 16
actually if you switched to a different sound card that provided bit perfect audio, bypassed the windows kmixer audio kernel, you could in theory get better audio, but if your just listening to mp3's (compressed and lossy) then it really won't make a difference.

However with lossless and bit perfect there would more likely be a difference.

- Josh
post #10 of 16
That's probably the problem, the sound card might be resampling to 44 KHz or 48KHz, which will certainly affect sound. Can you eloborate more on what exactly you are hearing leading you to believe there is sound loss?

I use a Chaintech AV-710 and it does bit-perfect from my Linux based HTPC.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Do you hear obvious fault in your system before trying something new?

I agree that if I did hear a hum or hissing or something, I would be more adamant about upgrading, but I just feel the bug.

No, I don't know its the denon. I do think it is my "source" though, including my mp3's and soundcard as one unit. Because I can't do anything about the mp3's, soundcard seemed like the way to go.

Thanks for all the replies
post #12 of 16
For bang/buck tweaking, nothing beats room treatments.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by masterxela View Post

.... Because I can't do anything about the mp3's.....

Sure you can.... Buy the CD's and rip to a lossless format like FLAC, AAC, or WMA.

- Josh
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx View Post

Sure you can.... Buy the CD's and rip to a lossless format like FLAC, AAC, or WMA.

- Josh

when it comes to the bands I really like, I have no problem doing this. can you link me to the software I'd need? What are the differences between them? Will they run in wmp?

Is there a "big" diy room treatment site I can browse?

Thanks again
post #15 of 16
Quote:


What are the differences between them? Will they run in wmp?

Nothing important. (CPU usage, space efficiency, native support). Yes.

Quote:


Is there a "big" diy room treatment site I can browse?

http://www.ethanwiner.com/acoustics.html
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by masterxela View Post

when it comes to the bands I really like, I have no problem doing this. can you link me to the software I'd need? What are the differences between them? Will they run in wmp?

Is there a "big" diy room treatment site I can browse?

Thanks again

you can use WMP itself to rip cd's to lossless WMA. AAC = Itunes, and FLAC http://flac.sourceforge.net/

- Josh
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