AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone tried this as an option for a high quality HTPC audio source? As I understand it, it's WAY overkill -- but I can get one for a low price.


Just want to see if it's been done already.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Quote:
Anyone tried this as an option for a high quality HTPC audio source? As I understand it, it's WAY overkill -- but I can get one for a low price.
I haven't done it yet, but I'm going to be using a LynxOne (or one of their other cards) for stereo analog output. IIRC, LynxOne is only 2-ch analog out, but I believe you can daisy-chain multiple ones together, but for 5.1, you'd need 3 cards, and that's a lot of PCI slots. I'm sure it'd sound great though. If you're going to use it just to pass digital to an external decoder, I'm sure it'd be great too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wait... Let me verify this. I have no intention of buying two more...!


If I am just doing SP/DIF passthrough, I can stick with one, right?


Another questions -- between the Audiophile 24/96 and the LynxOne, which is a better card for HTPC use?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
If I am just doing SP/DIF passthrough, I can stick with one, right?


Right.

Another questions -- between the Audiophile 24/96 and the LynxOne, which is a better card for HTPC use?


For the HTPC, probably the Audiophile 24/96 since you'll only use both cards for S/PDIF passthrough. If you do any serious music listening though and will use the card's analog outs, the LynxOne is the better card.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh, wait. Way cool?


Are you saying I could channel the analog outs to another input on my reciever and use THAT for higher quality sound for playing CDs (or MP3s?)


Or is SPDIF the be-and-end-all? (which makes sense to ME.... the software guy)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
SPDIF Will present the digital signal to the DACS (more on this in a sec) and then whichever DAC is better will be a litmus test on SQ... I suspect the LynxTwo DACS may be better than a mid-fi reciever but this is very very hard to second guess and there are so many other things that are important in an audio chain that even when you think you have worked out the answer you can be wrong :) !!


Also to consider Re the DACs... The inherant problem with SPDIF is jitter... Taking the clock from a cheapo CDROM and feeding the signal via a SPDIF cable to the soundcard is not good advice... Make sure you are using digital extraction over the IDE bus... This way the signal is reclocked in the soundcard and either of these cards will have a far superior clock generator than a cheapie CDROM... If doing an analogue decode the possible problem of jitter becomes nearly a non issue as the signal is decoded all in the soundcard from the digital stream (not SPDIF now!!)... However an analogue signal may find that being near a noisy (RF and EMF now) PC is not perfect either...


But then argueing about these finer points really requires a lot of testing (bouble blinds and all that) that is quite hard to get the time and enthusistic people to perform...


One of the better quotes I read over on HD about getting that final % from uber systems (the conversation was on which >100k speaker setup sounded best !!!) was that spending more than 5K on any speaker system without also spending a lot of time / thought / measurement on room treatments was like putting a nascar engine and tyres on a yugo... The performance simply is not there...


Its a good analogy but try telling my GF that I want to build some big bass traps for each corner of the room... Light blue touch paper and stand well back !!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Are you saying I could channel the analog outs to another input on my reciever and use THAT for higher quality sound for playing CDs (or MP3s?)


If you'll use it for stereo music, yes, that's what I'm saying. I don't know much about the LynxONE (right now I'm looking into the Lynx L22), but based on the reviews by both Arny Kruger of PCAVTech.com, Sound on Sound, and Stereophile, the DACs in both the LynxONE and LynxTWO are very tough to beat even by standalone DACs. A Stereophile review of the DAL CardDeluxe (which, in my opinion, is bested by the LynxONE) found that the sound card's DAC performs about as well as the $450 Musical Fidelity X-24K D/A, and performed better than a Panasonic DVD player's internal DACs.

Or is SPDIF the be-and-end-all? (which makes sense to ME.... the software guy)


Jitter can be a problem. I emailed LynxStudio about jitter and got this response:

I've read most reviews of the LynxTWO and most say that jitter is extrememly low. Exactly how low is jitter?


We really don't publish jitter specs as there isn't an industry standard way of measuring jitter. The LynxTWO/Lynx L22 digital out jitter is
Can it be reduced at all by using a separate word clock?


Probably not.




1 ns is a bad measure of jitter. 20 ps is an extremely good measure of jitter. In the little bit of research I've done, I've never seen a jitter reading this low in any component. Try reading SOS's review of the LynxONE and LynxTWO to see if they can better answer any of your questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Phat Phreddy
... Make sure you are using digital extraction over the IDE bus... This way the signal is reclocked in the soundcard and either of these cards will have a far superior clock generator than a cheapie CDROM...
OK. I finally got the card and am putting it into the system. Any suggestions as to how I can extract from the IDE bus? Is there 3rd party software because the stock mixer doesn't seem to have any way of doing it....?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,143 Posts
If you are concerned with jitter I recommend looking at some more contemporary DAC designs that eliminate jitter by reclocking the digital signal and drives the actual DAC chip with an independent crystal. At this point the clock on the sound card does not really matter. A Soundblaster will do just fine. It is interesting to call these companies and get their perspective whether the jitter in the input signal will have any impact on sound quality. They clearly can't measure any and as Phat pointed out there is rarely a double blind test behind any statement to the opposite.


The 2 models that I know of which come with a somewhat reasonable price tag are the


Chord DAC64 http://195.40.133.90/website/products/dac64.htm


Benchmark DAC1 http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/digital/dac1/default.asp


with the Benchmark DAC1 at $795 a real steal and also more suitable for A/V since it won't impact lip sync.


Cheers


Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,751 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by thomaspf
At this point the clock on the sound card does not really matter. A Soundblaster will do just fine.
A Sound Blaster will still resample to 48 KHz, all PCM coming out of the SPDIF port.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,143 Posts
Esben,


this is true if you are sending the bits as PCM. How about sending the same bits as non PCM?


My point was about the jitter not about the idiosyncracies of PCM playback on the creative cards. Basically any card that does not resample will do with the DACs I listed.


Cheers


Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,306 Posts
Has anyone had any success using a LynxOne or LynxTwo on a HTPC?


I just installed a LynxTwo this afternoon and, while the SPDIF does work, I am now have a problem with Sonic Cineplayer 1.5 dropping frames, causing pans and other motion to be jerky.


WinDVD 4 does not have this problem, but it won't play nice with ffdshow.


I used the Sonic Cineplayer and also used the Sonic Cineplayer filters in ZP both with and without ffdshow. Enabling or disabling SPDIF made no difference.


Has anyone has success with this combination?


The LynxTwo looks like an awesome multipurpose card for a HTPC.


Extremely high quality.


Vern
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Vern Dias
Has anyone had any success using a LynxOne or LynxTwo on a HTPC?

...


Vern
Well, I have met with some limited success. I have a 8500 AIW card and am using a LynxOne. The AIW DVD player audio is a supreme improvement over the old SB Live! Platinum I used to use. But I can't get the TV output through the LynxOne.


Not sure what the issue here is. But I'm working on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,306 Posts
More info - I am having micro-stutters, aparently caused by the a clocking issue from the LynxTwo card.


If I don't select to use the clock or don't connect the audio driver in my filtergraph, playback is smooth as silk, just like I had with my Phillips Acoustic Edge.


Vern
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,306 Posts
An update:


I just got off the phone with Lynx Studio Technology. I am afraid that unless you use WinDVD or another older player that doesn't use DirectSound technology in the drivers the news is not currently good.


Basically, the story is that the only player that is trouble free with the LynxTwo is WinDVD.


It seems that you can't have the superior video quality of Sonic Cineplayer 1.5 and the superior audio quality of the LynxTwo at the same time.


Support was responsive, but they have a full plate of other features/issues and could not make any commitments. I suggested that they might want to download Sonic Cineplayer 1.5 and look at the issues, since Directsound is MS stated direction.


I was told the Sonic Cineplayer had not been tested but PowerDVD was tested and has known compatibility issues.


That's it for now. I am going to try to add my old Phillips card back into my PC and try to decide I should return the LynxTwo.


If I decide to keep it, I will keep you posted of developments.


I just don't understand why it is so hard to make high quality audio coexist with high quality video. Sigh......


Vern
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Vern,


I feel your pain. I guess I may go the same route and return the LynxOne. I had high hopes but still can't get the TV audio out of the Lynx. I will say that the stock DVD player that came with the AIW worked beautifully.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,306 Posts
There is no question in my mind that as a professional audio component, the LynxOne and LynxTwo are at the top of the heap.


Unfortunately, I can't say the same for it as a HTPC component.


The devil is in the details, however. Just today, I moved my LynxTwo into another PC, since it won't coexist with Directshow DVD players without causing major stuttering problems.


I decided that I would use CoolEdit Pro 2.0 to try to convert an old LP to wave files.


Hooked up the two inputs to my tapeout jacks on my Yamaha RX-Z1. Fired up the ole turntable, put the disc on, and proceeded to attemp to adjust the record levels as I couldn't get better than -20 db peaks on the CoolEdit level meters.


After spending an hour trying to understand the mixers, and a quickly answered email from Lynx, it turns out that this card has NO input level controls other than a choice of two fixed level values for the input and output connections.


Even the cheapest sound card has a record level control!


So again, trying to do a basic operation that I think most anyone with a sound card in a HTPC might attempt to do leads to failure.


So once again, I'll have to conclude that as great as this card is in terms of professional uses where it's being fed by a mixing console, and as excellent as it's audio processing capabilities are, it just doesn't measure up to use in an HTPC in these two areas.


Hopefully the vendor will step forward and address these two deficiencies, because this could be a killer card.


Vern Dias
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top