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While I would not consider myself an audiophile, I do appreciate great sound. Recently, I began to upgrade the sound in my theater. When I did not like the sound of the Denon 3803 as compared to my old Sony 5.1 unit, I started looking for alternative solutions to preamplification.


I don't own a standalone DVD or CD player. I use my HTPC exclusively for two channel audio and DVD playback. Convenience / WAF is not a problem as my theater functions are automated by the HTPC. I have a separate 5 channel amp (ATI 1505) connected to my ~2 year old Sony reciever (decoding / preprocessing only) and a full set of Diva's (6.1, C3, 2.1, dipoles). Here are a few questions I have about using an HTPC and soundcard as a pre-amp:


- Are people who have comparable equipment using a PC in lieu of a receiver or pre-amp?


- I read something about "thumps" or "pops" when the PC was rebooted. Do workarounds exist to deal with this and, if so, how difficult and/or costly are they?


- Regarding sound quality, can I expect to get near / quasi "audiophile" quality results from a properly equipped HTPC using the equipment above?


Thanks for any information you can provide!


Jeff
 

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Jeff-


I can't beleive that no one has responded to this.


I'm in the same boat and am interested in this forum's expert opinions.
 

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- Are people who have comparable equipment using a PC in lieu of a receiver or pre-amp?


I have been since March, but my Anthem AVM-20 pre/pro arrived today. There are some things that are inconvenient/not possible using only an HTPC. The pre/pro gives you more flexibility, particularly with switching external sources.



- I read something about "thumps" or "pops" when the PC was rebooted. Do workarounds exist to deal with this and, if so, how difficult and/or costly are they?


Very easy and free to get around this - just make sure your amps turn on after Windows has loaded and off before Windows shuts down. You can either do this manually, or buy a power strip or power distribution device that sequences power-up and power-down.



- Regarding sound quality, can I expect to get near / quasi "audiophile" quality results from a properly equipped HTPC using the equipment above?


What's audiophile? Some people that listen to tube gear consider themselves and their equipment to be "audiophile". If that's your definition of audiophile - get yourself an A-open mobo and be done with it. If, however, you'd actually like something that performs well, look at a LynxTwo soundcard and perhaps a Monarchy unit to reduce jitter.


Just my $0.02.
 

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For several months I've been using the 6-channels of audio from my ASUS motherboard. The line outs go to the HDTV, front computer speakers, home stereo for the two rear speakers, and to the powered sub.

PowerDVD provides the interface to decoded the 5.1 channels of audio from DVDs. The speakers are clean sounding, ie no hissing even at hi volumes. When the computers boots up thier are no pops from the speakers. I do rememer I had that problem with an old soundblaster card though.

My setup is:

ASUS A7V266-E with AMD XP1800

ATI Radeon connected to Sony 51" via DVI-D the only way to watch DVDs!

ATI Xpert99 PCI for monitor

powerstrip software

Windows XP Pro


The only thing I have not been able to get to work is the TV-tuner portion of the Radeon All in Wonder. The Xpert99 is disabling this portion of the software causing it not to beable to initialize. When I remove the Xpert99 it works great. Anybody else having such conflicts with dual monitors?

Solutions?
 

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