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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious if anyone is using their HTPC for high quality audio playback and their experiences. I am interested in using my HTPC for audio playback using a Dell PDA and Netremote and possibly Jriver player or windows media player.

Does windows media player have any losless formats?

I know that jriver has APE. How would this compare to my Sony 999es for two channel playback?

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From the HTPC I would probably go to a receiver. Currently I have a Sony 555ES.

I also have two sound cards available to use. A M-Audio Revolution 7:1 and as M-Audio Audiophile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess I could also go out of the PC to an external DAC, but not sure if that would be worth the extra cost.
 

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I would recommend going digital out through the SPIF port on the pc to the coax digital input on the reciever. You will need to specify in the audio driver SPIF out. I did this from a laptop through a m-Audio sonic theater USB. I did not try cd's but the DVD's were great - Bothe DTS and 5.1. I used a Pioneer reciever that had assignable digital ports.


What this does is let the reciever handle the audio conversion from digital to analog. If you are happy with the reciver doing this for you then digital out is the way to go.


I have used both jriver and winamp and both work very well. I am using the APE format that I rip with jaudio. There are a few other lossless formats out there like FLAC and OGG. You could do some searches to see others opinions.


My main system has Krell amps and Martin Logan Speakes in it. My problem is looking for an audio card that will give me balanced outputs. But that is a different issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
LPG.

Thanks for the reply. My Rotel 2 channel amp has balanced inputs as well as conventional inputs. At one time I had a Sonic Frontiers preamp and used both inputs on the Rotel.

There was no noticable difference in my system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Anyone have experience with WMA Lossless?
 

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I use a Lynx pro 1. The lynx comes with balanced outputs but you can get cables for RCA. It also will output spidf. I have what would be called a good analog sound syttem. ( 25 year old B&W 801s with good but older electronics to match). I am now encoding my 1000+ CD collection with WMA lossless. The process is tedious but it works. I have found some of my operas were not in the Data base. I handled that by entering the info. I am using error correction and am getting about 275-325 mb per CD.


The sound is better than the sound from the original CDs (A not expensive Sony 200 CD juke box) this way.




Joel
 

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So do you rip the disk with Windows media player? Did you have to buy the plus version to do this?


Thanks Larry
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie Guy
LPG.

Thanks for the reply. My Rotel 2 channel amp has balanced inputs as well as conventional inputs. At one time I had a Sonic Frontiers preamp and used both inputs on the Rotel.

There was no noticable difference in my system.
I need to run longer cables - approx 20ft from the source. I heard Balanced cables were better for this. Larry
 

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WMA lossless is just that. It's lossless so it should sound exactly the same as the source... provided it is extracted the right way (i.e. no change to the original digital data, no gain compensation etc.)


Cheers...

Duy-Khang Hoang
 

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I've ripped my cd's with EAC .wav (no compression)/ I wanted to get the absolute best sound possible. When I am going to use my pda or my brothers ipod I then rip the wavs to mp3. I'm storing the music files on 2 netdisk 25g drives which are connected to my PC viausb port. I am using an m-audio 1010 to output to a preamplifier to get volume cotrol, then to amps and speakers (whe that's alot of stuff). When I AB test my htpc agains my vintage Sony 707ESD CD player there

s no comparison. The CD player sound better hands down!!!!. I'd wondered if my disk drives were too slow, if I needed a more complex codec or if this m-audio 1010 card isn't all that folks salavate over. I live with it only because of my hope that soundcard/codecs and the like will get better and I can upgrade over the next few years.


I got into this whole htpc thing when about 5 years agod, I was looking at that Meridan 861 preamplifier for `3Gs I'd learned that it was all PC cards. I'd figured that someone would wind up making cheap companion cards, and software. And low and behold it happened. I don't think that the software is there quite yet but, I keep waiting.
 

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No extra cost to use WM10. I have Windows XP Pro. Just search for it and download. Set the rip parameters to WMA losseless and enable error correction in the CD reader (see device in the options (advanced)). The file one gets is lossless assuming the CD does not have any errors assuming the CD is good enough condition that ECM can work. I use a good sound card (Lynx) with an error free timing source. This elilminates jitter.


The final sound in my set up is better than from a not too expensive Sony CD player.


Joel
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Everyone,

I am giong to try WMA Lossless with the M-Audio Audiophile and see how it sounds.
 

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EAC to FLAC. WHY mess with wma lossless?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Sharma
Lynx 22 AES EBU To Casablanca 3
Ash, why are you going to the casablanca instead of directly to your amps? Can you control volume from the HTPC?


Larry
 

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MaggieGuy,


High end audio processors still have an edge, as far as simplicity of setup. It's nice to have a prepro that is capable of automatically detecting source audio formats and decoding them for you.


Have you searched for "htpc as prepro" ? You will find quite a bit of discussion in this area.


I myself have an RME Digi 96/8 PAD and plan to compare VLC & TheaterTek w/ its various audio soundfield modes against a Meridian 565v3 prepro.


You should try either of your M-Audio cards and see how they sound in your room with your music/movies. There is plenty of material on avsforum to help you choose a pro audio card down the road, if you choose to upgrade.


- Steve O.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpg
My main system has Krell amps and Martin Logan Speakes in it. My problem is looking for an audio card that will give me balanced outputs. But that is a different issue.
lpg,


On top of your balanced output interconnect concerns, don't forget about proper line level outputs to feed your amps. Pro audio cards from Lynx/RME should definitely fit the bill.


And if you happen to get a pro audio card with balanced/unbalanced 1/4" TRS connections, you will need to make sure you get the correct pinout to a male XLR end. You can find that out quickly from your amp manufacturer/user manual, and/or an interconnect supplier.


Plenty of articles comparing various pro audio cards on avsforum - have fun searching and reading.


- Steve O.
 
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