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Gear Digital Darkroom Off-topic: Digital music archive software question

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Old Mar-12-2012, 12:25 AM
#21
Richard is offline Richard OP
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Originally Posted by BradfordBenn View Post
I was thinking more of a USB audio output. It makes a difference compared to most of the built in sound cards
Not too sure what this implies. Adding a sound card that has a digital output means I would also have to put a D/A converter in front of my amp, which is an old school, strictly analog Marantz. Perhaps the card would also have an analog output, but the specs of the laptop's built-in D/A converter are pretty good. There's no obvious difference between playing a CD through the laptop and on the Pioneer CD deck. Things can always be improved, I suppose, but I suspect the differences would be marginal, maybe even undetectable to my aging ears.

Edit: OK, so I looked at USB audio thingies, but they mostly seem to want to add fake surround sound effects, which does not interest me at all. They do have analog outputs. They're pretty cheap--are there any that really do improve sound quality? The laptop's CODEC is AD1984HD (24 bit, 192KHz), but I don't know anything about the D/A converter.
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Old Mar-12-2012, 05:24 PM
#22
DeVerm is offline DeVerm
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
Perhaps the card would also have an analog output, but the specs of the laptop's built-in D/A converter are pretty good. There's no obvious difference between playing a CD through the laptop and on the Pioneer CD deck. Things can always be improved, I suppose, but I suspect the differences would be marginal, maybe even undetectable to my aging ears.
[...]
The laptop's CODEC is AD1984HD (24 bit, 192KHz), but I don't know anything about the D/A converter.
This is about what I tried to say at the start of the thread.. the sound quality of the internal audio is mediocre, however, for you it is good enough, in which case you don't need any additional hardware.

The wifi streaming of audio and video is a step beyond the home theater PC that you're about to set up (I did away with it 3 years ago), and I guess all steps need to be taken.

I would not be able to stand internal laptop DAC for 2 minutes. The difference with the D/A conversion in a Squeezebox or external USB DAC is like heaven from hell. It is not just which DAC chip.. it is the components used around it as much if not more, that define end results.

Another thing is how you get the music on the PC to play in the bedroom, kitchen, garden etc. I need music wherever I spend time. This used to be done with heaps of cabling but all that is replaced by wifi too.
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