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boaf,

If you are only using the SPDIF output, sound quality is not an issue as the quality will be mainly dominated by you external processer / amp. It is doing all the work.


As for the analogue outputs, quality is very good with a very pleasing smooth sound. Even when connected to high end amps and speakers.

Try it and see. You may get a nice supprise.

It may be better than your external decoder / reciever.


regards,


Owen
 

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I am using optical out from P4PE and I love it the sound is great and the detail of even whisper can't be missed.

I personally would not change it with a any sound card. Best of all I had read so much, that others are having problem setting up their sound card, P4PE was got go from the start.



abshar
 

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Sounds good to me (over optical, should be the same though as coax), then again I've not compared it to anything else. There is one problem with the on-board sound, in that it upsamples 44.1KHz PCM (ie. CDs) to 48KHz. For that reason I just bought an M-Audio Revolution, it can pass sound without upsampling and at $65 I was willing to give it a try.


-Rob-
 

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I am getting an almost 2 second delay using the spdif out from the p4pe. Cineplayer is worse then WinDVD but obvious on both.... Any suggestions?


Mike
 

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Mike, 2 seconds! Auch!!

I'm not having any sound delay problem, using ZoomPlayer and of course a P4PE board. My ZP graph uses this audio device: "DirectSound: SoundMAX Digital Audio". Working fine sofar.


-Rob-
 

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Well, I changed from the SoundMAX Digital Audio to DirectSound and now the delay is barely noticeable...


Funny.... The sound max was so far off it was unbelievable.


Not sure what to try next.


Mike
 

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mstrange,


Try the new version of zoomplayer. You can confiqure/select all off the filters etc directly. It works great for trying different combinations.


Mike
 

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ahh yes...the eternal question "Does the onboard digital output sound as good as a high quality sound card with digital out?" I have had some experience with this. I had a cheap Aureal sound card before I got the Maudio 2496. I have not been able to tell one bit of difference between the two. However, the 2496 was worth every penny because it gives me the ability to use DTS whereas the Aureal would not. I also just loved the fact that I plug in the Maudio card and then install Theatertek and I'm done. Never a sound issue again. After all the posts I see on this forum reqgarding problems with audio I am glad I have the Maudio card.


Of course now I am thinking about upgrading and the new P4PE sure seems like the way to go. I just don't know whether to keep my M-audio sound card or not. Too many decisions :)
 

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Please correct my understanding of the best sound output for 5.1 via HTPC


1)DOES P4pE via the soundmax has better sound or via a separate soundcard with optical ?


2) if we use P4PE, which has better sound output ...

use a digital coaxial cable to get coax sound or use toslink cable to get optical sound ?


** Hifi enthusiasts seems to say that coaxial is better ?



I GOT A BIT CONFUSED ON THE FOLLOWING from OWEN


qn 3 ) refer to owen's msg, ..where is the analog output coming from and does he imply we don't have to get an extrenal receiver anymore ??:


Qn 4) whether using P4PE or a separate soundcard , I confirm I still need to get a AV receiver + a gd set of speakers . ANY WHERE I CAN READ UP on what to buy ?


qn 5) I doubt the PC speakers or the PC has any sort of AV receiver /amplifier ??


OWEN"S MSG

boaf,

If you are only using the SPDIF output, sound quality is not an issue as the quality will be mainly dominated by you external processer / amp. It is doing all the work.


As for the analogue outputs, quality is very good with a very pleasing smooth sound. Even when connected to high end amps and speakers.

Try it and see. You may get a nice supprise.

It may be better than your external decoder / reciever
 

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Quote:

)DOES P4pE via the soundmax has better sound or via a separate soundcard with optical ?


2) if we use P4PE, which has better sound output ...

use a digital coaxial cable to get coax sound or use toslink cable to get optical sound ?


My opinion is that the sound off the P4PE sounds really good. I use the optical to electrically separate the HTPC from the rest of the system. I run it through a Monarchy Audio DIP and use the Digital XLR to my anthem AVM20. Sound is really nice (watch R2 Conan in 5.1!).

FREAK!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mjcumming
I am getting an almost 2 second delay using the spdif out from the p4pe. Cineplayer is worse then WinDVD but obvious on both.... Any suggestions?


Mike
Count yourself lucky! I have a 3-4 second delay with the Soundmax optical out with TheaterTek. I'm going to do some rewiring tomorrow morning and try the Revo coax and see if that works any better. I just wanted a quick hookup to get an idea of how it would work.


I finally got the machine together today and I'm sure I will get this solved. I'll let you know how it goes.


Kyle
 

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Let’s get one point cleared up here.

It you use the SPDIF output (optical or coax) of the P4PE or any other sound card you are NOT using the processing functions on the card / board.

You are just passing the digital data to your external device.

Unless there is something very wrong with the SPDIF output system on the board or sound card, you will not get better or worse quality if you are using an external receiver-amp. The external device is doing ALL the decoding and this is what you will be listening to.

There is no need to buy a sound card just to use the SPDIF output.

If you want to here the sound quality of any sound system you must us the ANALOGUE outputs. You are then using the decoder and digital to analogue converters on the P4PE or sound card.

All SPDIF outputs have problems with jitter which has an effect on quality.

Expensive external Digital to Analogue converters have jitter correction systems to help with this problem. Cheap receivers do NOT.

The on board sound system on the P4PE is not using the SPDIF link. And therefore you may find that the ANALOGUE outputs of the P4PE sound better than a cheap external receiver-amp.

External receivers have there place. Mainly for control and ease of use. NOT quality unless you want to spend BIG money.


Regards


Owen
 

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There is most decidedly a difference. It may depend on your receiver/prepro and how averse it is to jitter. I have a P4PE and the audio is better out of the M-Audio Revo than the Soundmaxx digital out. Having said that, my standalone DVD player still does DTS and PCM better.


People with Meridians and Krells don't seem to have a problem. They buffer up the data so no audio framerates are lost. It is very difficult to tell between people who are and are not audiophiles and the varying equipment they are using to receive the signal.


Please read "disappointing audio from HTPC" for more detail. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=157343 .
 

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JP,

I am not saying that there is no difference between SPDIF outputs on different cards or boards.

What I am trying to convey to people is that if they use the analogue outputs they may get better results than using SPDIF.

I have no doubt that the analogue out on a Revo is better that most inexpensive receivers.

Even the analogue output on the P4PE is very impressive, and quite up to the task of DVD playback.

For serious audiofile use they are out of the question. But most people do not have the golden ears or high end equipment to tell the difference and there money could be better spent on other things.


Regards,


Owen


Audiofile for over 25 years.
 

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I understand some people think SPDIF outputs vary but the difference if any (I don't think there is) is marginal. For good sound you need a capable reciever. I use a Pio Elite VSX-49TX. I have tried my Audiophile 2496 SPDIF out and the onboard out and there is no difference. I was thinking about buying a revo, BUT there are configuration nightmares with the two outputs (unless SoundMax shut off in BIOS).


Bottom line: The P4PE output ius great and saves a slot. (I also retired my firewire card because the mobo is so capable).


Tim
 

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Thanks for the constructive posts. I am still surprised there are people who claim that one spdif out is better than another. My argument from 2 years ago still stands now...1's and 0's are simply that and nothing more. Unless the spdif out is malfunctioning then all spdif outs should perform equally. At least that is my theory and from all the systems that I have listened to this appears to be the case but I could very well be wrong.


The big question I guess is whether each spdif out sends the same 1's and 0's though. Maybe some drop and maybe others don't and the result is differing sound. Here is what I plan to do some time in the near future for my own sanity:


I have a friend that has an ASUS mobo with spdif out on it. I'll borrow his computer and image it so we can get him back to where he was before I htpc it. Then install the apps I need to get spdif working properly. Then I'll make an ISO image of something like LOTR (DTS) and have it available to play. Then from an audio standpoint we will do a comparison between these 3 audio systems:


1. my htpc with an Maudio 2496

2. his htpc with onboard integrated audio (spdif out)

3. stand alone dvd player


We should hear some kind of difference between the three. I'll post the results if we can ever find time to do this :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Owen
Let’s get one point cleared up here.

It you use the SPDIF output (optical or coax) of the P4PE or any other sound card you are NOT using the processing functions on the card / board.

You are just passing the digital data to your external device.

Unless there is something very wrong with the SPDIF output system on the board or sound card, you will not get better or worse quality if you are using an external receiver-amp. The external device is doing ALL the decoding and this is what you will be listening to.

There is no need to buy a sound card just to use the SPDIF output.

If you want to here the sound quality of any sound system you must us the ANALOGUE outputs. You are then using the decoder and digital to digital converters on the P4PE or sound card.

All SPDIF outputs have problems with jitter which has an effect on quality.

Expensive external Digital to Analogue converters have jitter correction systems to help with this problem. Cheap receivers do NOT.

The on board sound system on the P4PE is not using the SPDIF link. And therefore you may find that the ANALOGUE outputs of the P4PE sound better than a cheap external receiver-amp.

External receivers have there place. Mainly for control and ease of use. NOT quality unless you want to spend BIG money.


Regards


Owen
Yes in a lot of the cases the analog outputs can sound better--I haven't had a chance to A/B the Revo analog outs with my Yamaha DSP-A1 fed with SPDIF, which is no slouch but getting a bit old these days. I'm not sure about Circle Surround since I've only listened to it a few times. It seemed to have a lot of rear-channel info in the music mode and I'm not sure I liked it. It did do a good job of keeping the vocals up front where they belong.


As for SPDIF, yes you may get able to get better quality output with the analog outputs but that doesn't do a whole lot of good for those of us with TheaterTek.


I will compare the SPDIF differences between the Revo and the P4PE today and see if I can hear any difference. I'm inclined to believe I won't because I don't have the best speakers to listen critically and I'm not sure with reasonable quality product (which the P4PE and Revo both are) how much of a difference it would make. I use the gold-plated Radio Snack cables for the Revo that Cliff suggested and I'm happy. I don't hear differences in decent cables, but there are differences in quality of construction, and for me the SPDIF differences due to jitter fall in the same boat--theoretically differences exist but I'm not sure I could hear them and for me I don't want to spend $10,000 to solve them. But everybody is different and I respect that. My 2 cents anyway.


As far as having 2 sound devices at the same time, I haven't had any problem. You just select which one you want to use and go. They seem to coexist nicely in my system (P4PE with Revo) with XP.


Kyle
 
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