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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have an idea how good recent HDMI receivers or Video processors (like Lumagen, iscan duo) and any other device like a component switch digitize analog stereo audio?


More generally, is digitizing audio a walk in the park nowadays and are most devices more or less pretty equal with regards to quality?


Cheers,

Jeroen
 

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Converting analog audio to digital is not a lossless process. To some extent, you get what you pay for and in general it should be avoided, if possible, for the best quality.


With many AVRs it is possible to avoid converting analog to digital audio, with many it is not. For the most part they do a good job of it, but again you get what you pay for.


Aside from LPs, there really are no true sources for analog audio, so whenever possible you'd want to use a digital output from your source device.


Cheap devices that digitize audio, like switches and wireless links, do not do a particularly good job of it.
 

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Quote:
Converting analog audio to digital is not a lossless process.

It can be. Quite easily, in fact.

Quote:
Cheap devices that digitize audio, like switches and wireless links, do not do a particularly good job of it.

I can't speak to particular devices, but audibly transparent ADC/DAC conversion can be done incredibly cheaply these days.


My question for the OP: Why are you asking? Is there something in particular that you want to do?
 

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Originally Posted by mcnarus /forum/post/20874062


It can be. Quite easily, in fact.



I can't speak to particular devices, but audibly transparent ADC/DAC conversion can be done incredibly cheaply these days.

Good to know! You just saved many people from spending thousands on high quality DACs.



But seriously, it's not the chip doing the conversion that makes a big difference, it's the analog board that it's attached to. And that makes all the difference in the world. IOW it's the analog components in the device that matter. And these can (and do) range from complete crap to excellent, and it's very audible.
 

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Good to know! You just saved many people from spending thousands on high quality DACs.

No, I didn't. They'll never learn.

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But seriously, it's not the chip doing the conversion that makes a big difference, it's the analog board that it's attached to. And that makes all the difference in the world. IOW it's the analog components in the device that matter. And these can (and do) range from complete crap to excellent, and it's very audible.

Funny, the listening tests generally include the analog boards. Kinda by necessity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It is for the audio coming from My Wii, N64 and NES consoles actually. Right now, I have a DVDO EDGE (well it is broken ATM and out for repairs) digitizing stereo sources. From there, it travels to the receiver via a Toslink cable.


So I know that the analog -> digital -> analog conversion path is not really best practice. Due to cabling restraints, I cannot (WAF factor also at play here) connect the consoles directly to the receiver.


If I read between the lines here, high end receivers do not digitize stereo, they will just send the analog audio to the speakers avoiding a A/D and D/A conversion? Because I have not found a receiver that has a toslink or (digital) coaxial out (or I was looking at the wrong product type)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen1000 /forum/post/20876469


If I read between the lines here, high end receivers do not digitize stereo, they will just send the analog audio to the speakers avoiding a A/D and D/A conversion? Because I have not found a receiver that has a toslink or (digital) coaxial out (or I was looking at the wrong product type)

Some AVR's have an "analog direct" option that bypasses, but many people prefer to utilize the AVRs various DSP, EQ, etc on analog sources. YMMV.

I'm not sure what use you'd have for a digital output from an AVR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not too audio savvy so I do not have a good understanding of how this goes about.


I'm just trying to get my L + R audio sources to the receiver via toslink or coxial (digital). So I assume there would be some quality device that does this.

I'm not sure a Video Processor can be thought of as quality with regards to audio. And, if I get a radiance mini, I don't even have analog stereo inputs on the VP.


Sure enough, Gefen and Octavia have some boxes that do this. But whether those have good DAC's is a mystery
.


edit: I'm not really looking for an AVR. I do not need its video part. And for the time being, I'm not looking for it to drive my speakers. I'm looking for a device that digitizes analog stereo audio and outputs this over toslink or coxial.
 

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You might want to re-think your entire setup and strategy, it may be needlessly complicated.


Are your analog sources really of such high quality that any of this is really a concern? Is your amp-speaker setup capable of resolving such tiny differences?

If so, consider a pure analog setup for 2-ch audio, separate from the video setup. That presumes the audio is analog to begin with (LPs or tape).


There are quite a few AVRs with video processing that equals the Edge, and audio processing to match. Ultimately you might find that a single high quality AVR will meet all these needs and you can do away with all the separate components.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen1000 /forum/post/20876494


I'm looking for a device that digitizes analog stereo audio and outputs this over toslink or coxial.

You want an ADC. There are a heap of pro units that will do this cheaply. One suggestion, simply because I'm looking at it in the workshop rack now, is the Behringer SRC2496. Probably about $150 in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes /forum/post/20876734


You might want to re-think your entire setup and strategy, it may be needlessly complicated.


Are your analog sources really of such high quality that any of this is really a concern? Is your amp-speaker setup capable of resolving such tiny differences?

If so, consider a pure analog setup for 2-ch audio, separate from the video setup. That presumes the audio is analog to begin with (LPs or tape).


There are quite a few AVRs with video processing that equals the Edge, and audio processing to match. Ultimately you might find that a single high quality AVR will meet all these needs and you can do away with all the separate components.

Honestly, my speakers are very el cheapo. But, I'm always thinking ahead to the day I can buy better one's. The sources I have now are more than likely not so high quality (it are game consoles after all), but my gf is a lot more into music than I am, so I try to satisfy both possible uses.


I may eventually go with an amp + pre amp (Marantz 7005-series looks like an excellent choice). So buying an AVR solution may not be what I want. I'm upgrading to an Iscan DUO now, leaving the Lumagen Radiance-mini where it is (I can't afford their better equiped VP at the moment). Moreover, a Duo has a CMS and many other useful controls often not present in an AVR.


Seperating audio from video is the path I prefer the most. So I was thinking here to start with 2 channel audio and upgrade my surround system later with a pre amp and an amp.


Hence, my "quest" to find a device that can convert 2 channel analog to digital with great care. It would also be great if that device can (eventually)drive quality stereo speakers too, but for now it will drive my current speakers.


So, perhaps I'm looking for a HIFI amp+preamp (likely too expensive) or a all in 1 device for HIFI that I also happen to use for my analog audio from game consoles and what else I may own in the future.

I hope my above ranting makes sense. My video knowledge is pretty good but when it comes to audio I'm still trying to find my way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@A9X-308 I'm looking at the unit you mentioned, however, (here comes the stupid question) where are the analog RCA inputs? I can only find XLR.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen1000 /forum/post/20877103

@A9X-308 I'm looking at the unit you mentioned, however, (here comes the stupid question) where are the analog RCA inputs? I can only find XLR.

There aren't any as it's a pro unit but most of these ADCs will be as there is almost zero demand for them in the domestic market. Buy or make adaptors, easy and cheap. It was suggested as an example of functionality because it was in sight and saved me searching for somethiing else. Get thee googling for alternatives.
 

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What you want to avoid is "re-conversions". All speakers are analog. All audio amplifiers are analog, even class D as they still have an analog input. So at some point the signal must be analog in your system before undergoing power amplification.


It it's a digital source such as CD, DVD, TV, then running it digitally into the AV receiver is typically the best bet. Exception are when the DAC in the AV processor is inferior to the DAC in the source device. But this is rare today. Still once the signal is converted to analog, keep it in analog.


For example here is an example of a somewhat compromised system:

1) Digital source to AV Processor

2) Processor analog output through outboard digital equalizer - re-digitizes the analog signal

3) Equalizer DAC out to power amp


In this case an analog equalizer is superior to a digital unit in terms of transparency though it probably wont have the filter accuracy of a digital unit. If that precise digital tuning is important (not likely in room correction), then you have no choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks I'll try to google for an analog audio sampler. So there are no stereo receiver that offers this functionality ? Because the feature I want is available in the typical AV-receiver.


To clarify I'm looking for a quality alternative to this http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=5278 .


I'm not familiar with the "top dogs" like I am with VP (Lumagen and DVDO, maybe HQV).
 
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