AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do the users of the Delta 410 have any opinion of it (compared to standalone receiver/processors) on the following criteria:


o noise level. My GTXP is noticeably noisy, and fear this may just be a given for any computer based sound card.

o quality of decoding.


I already run an HTPC, have all the amps, etc. However, I have delayed purchasing. The 410 provides all I need function wise. If I sell my amps I can get a comparable receiver (DPL II, DD, DTS, etc) instead of the 410. However, the receiver amps will not be as good and I have no use for the additional function (video switching etc.).


Thx.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by med
noise level. My GTXP is noticeably noisy, and fear this may just be a given for any computer based sound card.
I have a 410 plugged straight into power amps, the noise level is as it says on the box. I can just hear the slightest hiss with my ear against the tweeter, as long as the sampling rate is above 40K (at lower sample rates the noise level rises (with the current drivers at least). This is not noticeably different to the noise level with my old pre-amp (QED) - if anything slightly better.
Quote:
quality of decoding.
Using powerDVD to decode multitrack works just fine.

the overall D-A quality is way beyond that in the CD drive, and also noticeably better than my old card (santa cruz)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
I just want to echo Pootle's comments. I have a 410 and monoblocks, and can only hear hiss with my ear up to the tweeter. I upgraded from a GTXP, and the reduction in noise is obvious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Glen... great to hear you have had both. When my computer boots up, after some delay (I assume once the GTXP loads up), the speaker hiss kicks in. It is definitely volume related.


Any comments on the quality of decoding?


Also any comment on what amps you are running, and the ability of the 410 to drive them?


Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
I'm using nOrh Le Amp monoblocks. They do not have gain controls, and being able to calibrate to reference levels has been a challenge even with my speakers less than 1m from the listening position. I was told this was a known issue with PowerDVD XP, that it's multichannel analog output is about 15dB too low. Several 410 users (myself included) have asked Cyberlink to fix this bug to no avail.


I've recently tried out WinDVD 4.0, and at first thought the problem was solved, as I was able to calibrate with Avia at 85dB with the Delta volume control at -10dB. But when I played the movie back, I noticed that the LFE especially was not as dynamic as it should have been. It seems that the "Normal" environment setting enables some sort of compression. Putting it into "Theater" environment (which I assume uses no compression) results in a loss of volume similar to PowerDVD. There is a recent thread on WinDVD and the 410 here .


A couple of comments on the sound quality. It really is incredible to my (admittedly non-audiophile) ears. One of the first things I noticed is that you can have the volume maxed out and the hiss does not increase one iota. My experience with receivers has been that as you turn the volume up with no source playing, the background hiss increases. Not in this case. As for my "non-reference" calibration issue, I think I may be alone in that, which leads me to believe the Le Amps just have a lower gain than most amps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think the nOrh's are pretty sensitive (1.2-1.4V sensitivity). Perhaps the associated speakers may come into play as well.


How does the output compare to your GTXP? I find I can *almost* get all the gain I want from the GTXP. If the 410 betters it, I should be in good shape.


Thx!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
I wish I could directly compare the GTXP and 410, but I sold the GTXP on ebay to offset the 410 a bit. The GTXP was connected via coaxial through a receiver. When I swapped it out for the 410 (connected the same way) I noticed an obvious improvement in sound. When I removed the receiver (Integra 6.2) from the loop and went straight 410->monoblocks, the quality improved again.


My Le Amps were from the first batch they produced, and I wonder if they may have increased the gain spec on them since. I've been holding onto hope that my problem could be solved in software. There's still a chance that it will be--there is an InterVideo rep in the thread I mentioned above taking note of problems. This is miles ahead of Cyberlink's standard "Please upgrade to our latest patch" BS that they've offered up as a solution in the past. If a software fix falls through for some reason, I may e-mail Michael Barnes of nOrh or Curt of IRD and see if some kind of mod can be made to my amps to improve their gain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
Forgive the newbie question, but what I've never understood is the cost curve for pre-amps and amps.


I have a run-of-the-mill Sony 300 watt receiver that cost something on the order of $300 that seems to do the job. I would like to remove the bulk of the Sony receiver and just use the HTPC to input SPDIF from my external DVD player, but the amps seem to be (much?) more expensive.


As a threshold issue, are there dirt cheap excellent 5.1 amps? Also, can the 410 decode DD5.1 and DTS from external source without hassle and ultra-low jitter?


Edit: Lastly, can any of these solutions delay audio? I'm running SDI from an external DVD player and would like to be able to adjust on the odd disc that has problems (such as Moulin Rouge).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Glen... I think that is flat out amazing you got an improvement removing the Onkyo from the chain. I am not sure if you were using the Onkyo amps or the nOhrs prior to the change, but either way it is impressive.


I find amp sensitivity is one of those "you need to hear it to know" deals.


dschmelzer... you can find most of your answers searching here. My take:


o separates just cost more. Lower volumes, duplicate parts (power supplies, heat sinks, cases), and in some/most cases just plain better quality.

o if you want a cheap 5 channel amp, look at the used market. They are out there. You can always buy 5 Antique Sound Lab Wave 8's for $500 assuming your speakers are efficient enough ;-)

o the features of the 410 are well documented here. My thread is more concerned with perceived performance (noise, decoding). If you want a link, try http://www.digitalconnection.com/


Thanks to all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,624 Posts
Chuck,

The Audigy with the latest Compaq drivers can decode DD based on S/PDIF-in using the soundcard driver. The Audigy does not have Dolby Pro-Logic, but it has something similar called 'cmss'. The driver does not decode DTS.


One of my computers has both the AudigyEX and a MAudio 1010LT (similar to a 410). However, instead of playing movies from a standalone DVD player and decoding external signals on the computer, I prefer to use the computer dvd drive to play the movie and use the dvd player (e.g, PowerDVD, WinDVD, ATI's player etc...) for things like audio decoding. This allows me to take advantage of the nice MAudio D/A converters, and Cliff's driver with bass manangement/routing.


-------


Med,

I'd recommend the 410 with onboard decoding handled by the software player. Noise level should be good, and companies seem to be adding more functionality to their software players (e.g., DPLII, ...). Future software upgrades will be alot cheaper than hardware upgrades (e.g., new receiver to decode a new sound format). I'm the first to admit to having a bias towards 'onboard' solutions though. Also, I've never had a GTXP and cannot provide a comparison.


Down the road I'd like to remove the receiver (I'm using one for amplification) from the equation by getting powered studio monitors/active speakers (e.g., something like Mackies HR824 Monitor and HRS120 Subwoofer) which combines amp and speaker functions to get a nice flat response.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Sherbona. I view the software aspect as a blessing and a curse. Software upgrades are beautiful but driver incompatabilities etc etc can also rear their ugly head. The support from Cliff and company appears to be excellent though, with hopefully the windvd/powerdvd folks a little more on board every day.


My main concern was noise and decoding quality. It appears the 410 has both down. I went receiver shopping again today and looking at the myriad of features I know I will never use, the 410 seems far more fitting.


I am not a big fan of active speakers. I like those beautiful amps out on display, and the ability to change them to my tastes. Something like the Innersound Eros has a lot of appeal though.


Thx again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
Glen, If your nOrh Le Amps are early models you should consider getting them DC decoupled or doing the job yourself... The first batch came out and then a small design was made that apparently made a very large sonic difference... Its a minor mod involving bypassing a cap, check out Harmonic discords nOrh forum for details...


I really like nOrh as a company and until I started to read about DIY amp kits (anyone build an AKSA amp ?? allegedly tube clarity and solid state power ???) 5 nOrh Le Amps were on my shopping list for my 5 nOrh 9's... Now I am back in the land of the undecided...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Phat Phreddy,


The cap bypass mod is something that I've been putting off for a long time for a few reasons. First, the amps sound great as is--and I've heard from a friend that did the mod (and offered to help do mine) that he couldn't tell the difference in an informal blind test. Also, I'm kind of concerned about the (assuming DC) pop that is produced out of all channels when I turn my computer off. I think the cap may offer some measure of protection to keep my tweeters from blowing out. Finally, if it turns out that there is a mod to boost gain a bit (and a software fix never materializes), I'd like to get both mods out of the way in one shot while they're open.


How do you like the 9.0s? I've heard a couple of models of nOrh, unfortunately not the 7.0 or 9.0. I've heard a lot about them though, and they should be great speakers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
They have just (mostly) broken in and I am floored... The clarity and power is amazing for such a 2 way design...


I wanted to post a deal alert in the audio section about what I did but at the time (a month or so ago) there was a bit of problem with dealer links and Dave though it wise that I didn't post it so blatently but...


I think its safe to bury it in this thread but nOrh have been selling the 9 as a kit containing everything but the drivers (marble speaker shell / crossover / baffle / everything) for 1200 to the door fully assembled apart from drivers... I found a dealer that got the 2 scan speak drivers for 480 or so per pair... Net result was $3k speakers brand new for 1680 or so !!!! I am one happy camper !!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,344 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by Glen_L
Also, I'm kind of concerned about the (assuming DC) pop that is produced out of all channels when I turn my computer off. I think the cap may offer some measure of protection to keep my tweeters from blowing out.
The caps ofer a high pass response which might offer some measure of protection to your woofers, but, alas, virtually all of the high frequency energy in the power up/down pulse will pass through un-impeded.


:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,585 Posts
About the pop... Last night was the first time I used the 410 to decode DD/DTS through the analog outs and while I was delighted with the performance when I went to shut the computer off I got a little scare too! My amp went into standby for a few seconds but everything is ok. I'll just have to remember to turn the amps off before the computer from now on!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top