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djcwardog
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Last seen: 2 years 9 months ago
Joined: Sep 26 2006 - 12:40pm
The Current State of the Art...

This is my first post, although I plan to write a quick "Hello to you all" by way of introducing myself in the general section ASAP.

Anyway - I have been reading the magazine (and have been a subscriber) for years and it never fails to inform and entertain...

I am most intrigued by the recent developments in converging computer technology with hi-fi. I am almost ready to take the plunge, buy an i-pod and do lossless CD-ripping (of my own collection - only!) as a means to get CD-quality audio files in a readily searchable and accessible format for use at home - and for quick transfers into a portable device for use on the road...

Recent magazine reviews have pointed me in a proper direction as to input sources but I want to spec out my computer with proper cards/drives to optimize this experience. Are the Audigy 24-bit cards really hi-fi in quality? I have a first-gen Audigy card and it does well through my Klipsch 5.1 speakers. I'm not so sure how it would do in sending an RCA cable stereo signal out to my listening room system... Do I need to do a digital shot and decode in the listening room? If so, with what...?

In short, how are folks using their computers to archive and then send music files over to their stand-alone listening systems? Will we get to the point that the computer serves as our pre-amp in effect, sending signals direct to the main amp...? Many possibilities...

Jim Tavegia
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Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 4:27pm
Re: The Current State of the Art...

There are many firewire devices that do a great job and can be pricy, including the Metric Halo that JA uses on occasion. My next upgrade for my desktop would be the Digital Audio Labs Card Delux. Others can chime in, but I am not sure that there is much better at their current $399 asking price with both digital and Balance audio I/O operating at 24/96.
Digital Audio Labs

Metric Halo

Apogee

M-Audio

I am using an Echo Indigo I/O card in my laptop for listening and recording. I am coming of the opinion that it is a better playback dac than a recording adc, but for the $165 street price I cannot complain at all.

Windzilla
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Joined: Oct 19 2005 - 10:10pm
Re: The Current State of the Art...


Quote:
Are the Audigy 24-bit cards really hi-fi in quality? I have a first-gen Audigy card and it does well through my Klipsch 5.1 speakers. I'm not so sure how it would do in sending an RCA cable stereo signal out to my listening room system... Do I need to do a digital shot and decode in the listening room? If so, with what...?

I would love to hear more from people who are making this card work.

I too have an audigy first gen and have tried to send RCA to my listening system. Unfortunately it sounded pretty disappointing, very very noisy (as the computer is a pretty noisy environment i guess).

Using an old mini-disk player with an optical in, to serve as a low quality external dac did help with the noise issue, but the old MD players aren't exactly Hi-Fi, the setup wasn't exactly convenient, and the sound wasn't exactly good. The Idea of a Squeezebox has been tugging at me for some time, and stereophile's recent endorsement hasn't helped.

One question I have is weather the sound-card effects the ultimate quality of playback, when a song is kept entirely in the digital domain until the squeezebox or external dac does the decoding? and if so, how?

A few trusted links would suffice, but the opinions of those like Mr travaglia, Jeff, JA and other experts, are greatly appreciated.

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