Re: Regarding the HD audio thread....

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Stephen Worthington, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. On Sat, 03 Sep 2011 16:15:34 +1200, Robert Cooze
    <c_o-o_z-e_r-b_@-c-o-o-z-eD_O_Tc_oD_O_Tnz> wrote:

    >Some time ago I was querying about the HD audio vs the AC97.
    >
    >As the thread came to pass there was lots of information about the
    >loudness wars and remastering of CD's to there apparent detriment, I re
    >started back down the path of rediscovery of Music! But it got complex fast.
    >
    >I went back to my basics. looked at how I used to listen to music and
    >what I used in the past.
    >
    >I would say my best sounding set up was a Yamaha sound card hooked up to
    >a very expensive DA converter. The con was recording, well it was a
    >disaster to say the least.
    >
    >Later on I was using ISA based sound cards like the Sound-blaster AWE64
    >and it did the playback well and the recording.
    >
    >Fast forward to 2011 well I was using on-board sound playback was ok and
    >recording seemed ok or so it seemed (sound recording was only set up 2
    >months ago) I had a good listen and well was not happy although the
    >sound floor was good the noise was noisy in a bad way.
    >
    >Last month I acquired a fii0 headphone amplifier and something happened
    >for once all of my headphones could be driven properly. so I went back
    >to my original analogue sources that I also had bought the CD around the
    >same time. I went through the signal path and found out some home
    >truths. I settled on one recording that the out put from the CD and the
    >Turntable was close when listened through headphone Amplifier and
    >headphones. I was on to the home run so I thought. How wrong was I the
    >out put from the computer was so off it was not funny.
    >
    >The so called HD audio sound (on-board) was well not very good. now for
    >most listening it was OK and not as bad as some equipment I have owned
    >at some time or another but under critical headphone listing it was bad.
    >So I looked at my retired computer parts box the one where everything
    >was in antistatic bags. I put in A old DSE one that used the C-media
    >CMI8738 chip set and fired it up well it did the job way better both for
    >playback and recording.
    >
    >Today A mini DA converter arrived in the post (from Hong Kong). Hooked
    >it up to to the S/PIDF on this C-media sound card and wow it made a even
    >bigger difference just a improvement in noise floor. not big enough to
    >use for day to day trough the amp speaker combination I listen to the
    >computer with. It might be worth it for headphone listening, It may be
    >worth it or not I don't use head phones on a day to day basis


    If you are using the S/PDIF output, then the sound card does not
    matter at all as it is a digital output and all the analogue stuff is
    done in your D->A converter. You do need to make sure that the PC is
    not doing any digital processing on the data before it gets to the
    S/PDIF output though. Windows can do that without you knowing about
    it, if it has the wrong settings. I use the S/PDIF output from my
    MythTV PC's motherboard and from my laptop into a Cambridge Audio Azur
    840C CD player, which has two S/PDIF inputs and can be run as a D->A
    converter as well as just a CD player.
    Stephen Worthington, Sep 3, 2011
    #1
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  2. On Sat, 03 Sep 2011 21:04:01 +1200, Robert Cooze
    <c_o-o_z-e_r-b_@-c-o-o-z-eD_O_Tc_oD_O_Tnz> wrote:

    >On 03/09/11 19:49, Stephen Worthington wrote:
    >> On Sat, 03 Sep 2011 16:15:34 +1200, Robert Cooze
    >> <c_o-o_z-e_r-b_@-c-o-o-z-eD_O_Tc_oD_O_Tnz> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Some time ago I was querying about the HD audio vs the AC97.
    >>>

    >8><
    >>>
    >>> Today A mini DA converter arrived in the post (from Hong Kong). Hooked
    >>> it up to to the S/PIDF on this C-media sound card and wow it made a even
    >>> bigger difference just a improvement in noise floor. not big enough to
    >>> use for day to day trough the amp speaker combination I listen to the
    >>> computer with. It might be worth it for headphone listening, It may be
    >>> worth it or not I don't use head phones on a day to day basis

    >>
    >> If you are using the S/PDIF output, then the sound card does not
    >> matter at all as it is a digital output and all the analogue stuff is
    >> done in your D->A converter. You do need to make sure that the PC is
    >> not doing any digital processing on the data before it gets to the
    >> S/PDIF output though. Windows can do that without you knowing about
    >> it, if it has the wrong settings. I use the S/PDIF output from my
    >> MythTV PC's motherboard and from my laptop into a Cambridge Audio Azur
    >> 840C CD player, which has two S/PDIF inputs and can be run as a D->A
    >> converter as well as just a CD player.

    >
    >Yes well aware of what windows can do behind your back. and well aware
    >of S/PDIF works, it was kind of a re affirmation that the motherboard
    >sound card well as good as it is it is not as good as the one I put in
    >and the AD converter.
    >
    >Yes using Linux on this machine now, but last time this card was in use
    >it was in a windows machine, with pretty much the same results.
    >
    >Interesting CD player you have. Not sure how many CD players where built
    >like that. would have loved to have something like that on the retell cd
    >player I once had that had a very nice digital to analogue set-up.


    I spent some time finding a good CD player that would work as a D->A
    as well. It just seems to be such a sensible idea, but there are only
    a few around.
    Stephen Worthington, Sep 4, 2011
    #2
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  3. Stephen Worthington

    Murray Symon Guest

    Stephen Worthington wrote:

    > On Sat, 03 Sep 2011 21:04:01 +1200, Robert Cooze
    > <c_o-o_z-e_r-b_@-c-o-o-z-eD_O_Tc_oD_O_Tnz> wrote:
    >
    >>On 03/09/11 19:49, Stephen Worthington wrote:
    >>> On Sat, 03 Sep 2011 16:15:34 +1200, Robert Cooze
    >>> <c_o-o_z-e_r-b_@-c-o-o-z-eD_O_Tc_oD_O_Tnz> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Some time ago I was querying about the HD audio vs the AC97.
    >>>>

    >>8><
    >>>>
    >>>> Today A mini DA converter arrived in the post (from Hong Kong). Hooked
    >>>> it up to to the S/PIDF on this C-media sound card and wow it made a
    >>>> even bigger difference just a improvement in noise floor. not big
    >>>> enough to use for day to day trough the amp speaker combination I
    >>>> listen to the computer with. It might be worth it for headphone
    >>>> listening, It may be worth it or not I don't use head phones on a day
    >>>> to day basis
    >>>
    >>> If you are using the S/PDIF output, then the sound card does not
    >>> matter at all as it is a digital output and all the analogue stuff is
    >>> done in your D->A converter. You do need to make sure that the PC is
    >>> not doing any digital processing on the data before it gets to the
    >>> S/PDIF output though. Windows can do that without you knowing about
    >>> it, if it has the wrong settings. I use the S/PDIF output from my
    >>> MythTV PC's motherboard and from my laptop into a Cambridge Audio Azur
    >>> 840C CD player, which has two S/PDIF inputs and can be run as a D->A
    >>> converter as well as just a CD player.

    >>
    >>Yes well aware of what windows can do behind your back. and well aware
    >>of S/PDIF works, it was kind of a re affirmation that the motherboard
    >>sound card well as good as it is it is not as good as the one I put in
    >>and the AD converter.
    >>
    >>Yes using Linux on this machine now, but last time this card was in use
    >>it was in a windows machine, with pretty much the same results.
    >>
    >>Interesting CD player you have. Not sure how many CD players where built
    >>like that. would have loved to have something like that on the retell cd
    >>player I once had that had a very nice digital to analogue set-up.

    >
    > I spent some time finding a good CD player that would work as a D->A
    > as well. It just seems to be such a sensible idea, but there are only
    > a few around.


    Audiolab have put one out that the Witchdoctor website reviewed recently ...
    <http://www.witchdoctor.co.nz/index.php/2010/12/audiolab-8200cd-daccd-
    player/>
    Murray Symon, Sep 4, 2011
    #3
  4. Stephen Worthington

    Richard Guest

    On 9/3/2011 9:04 PM, Robert Cooze wrote:
    > On 03/09/11 19:49, Stephen Worthington wrote:
    >> On Sat, 03 Sep 2011 16:15:34 +1200, Robert Cooze
    >> <c_o-o_z-e_r-b_@-c-o-o-z-eD_O_Tc_oD_O_Tnz> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Some time ago I was querying about the HD audio vs the AC97.
    >>>

    > 8><
    >>>
    >>> Today A mini DA converter arrived in the post (from Hong Kong). Hooked
    >>> it up to to the S/PIDF on this C-media sound card and wow it made a even
    >>> bigger difference just a improvement in noise floor. not big enough to
    >>> use for day to day trough the amp speaker combination I listen to the
    >>> computer with. It might be worth it for headphone listening, It may be
    >>> worth it or not I don't use head phones on a day to day basis

    >>
    >> If you are using the S/PDIF output, then the sound card does not
    >> matter at all as it is a digital output and all the analogue stuff is
    >> done in your D->A converter. You do need to make sure that the PC is
    >> not doing any digital processing on the data before it gets to the
    >> S/PDIF output though. Windows can do that without you knowing about
    >> it, if it has the wrong settings. I use the S/PDIF output from my
    >> MythTV PC's motherboard and from my laptop into a Cambridge Audio Azur
    >> 840C CD player, which has two S/PDIF inputs and can be run as a D->A
    >> converter as well as just a CD player.

    >
    > Yes well aware of what windows can do behind your back. and well aware
    > of S/PDIF works, it was kind of a re affirmation that the motherboard
    > sound card well as good as it is it is not as good as the one I put in
    > and the AD converter.
    >
    > Yes using Linux on this machine now, but last time this card was in use
    > it was in a windows machine, with pretty much the same results.
    >
    > Interesting CD player you have. Not sure how many CD players where built
    > like that. would have loved to have something like that on the retell cd
    > player I once had that had a very nice digital to analogue set-up.


    The DA in my old minidisc recorder was pretty good. But really minor
    differences to the one in the HT reciever, wouldnt rate one or the other
    as being "better".

    ASIO or WASAPI out in windows is the only way to get it to not mangle
    it, but some of the older cards like the abortion of the creative SB
    live's would resample on card with what must be the worst resampling
    method ever made, even to the SPDIF output (I dont even recall if it
    could be set to 44100) the cheap-as cmedia card I had in the HTPC last
    was a piece of cake to get bit accurate output on.
    Richard, Sep 5, 2011
    #4
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