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1speed
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Stereophile pc on the cheap, please help.

Hi all, I'm new to the forums. I need some help with a stereophile audio set up for my new pc, which I'll be using as a source for a 2 channel hifi system, for playing flac and wav (ripped cd's from my collection) audio files.
My PC has an Asus P5N7A mother board with Realtek onboard sound card, which I'd like to skip, and an Optical SPDIF output.

After some searching I selected these configurations, which I deem the most cost effective.

a) Beresford TC-5710 DAC via Optical SPDIF.
b) Trends Audio UD-10 transport/dac via usb
c) Trends Audio ud10 + TC-5710
d) Onkyo Wavio pci sound card + tc-5710

Please comment, thanks

jazzfan
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Re: Stereophile pc on the cheap, please help.

First: you really doesn't need (or want) to have a noisy computer with it's cooling fans and spinning discs located near your main listening setup.

Second: You are correct to move the audio processing out of the noisy (as in lots of electrical noise) computer by using an outboard DAC.

Taking these two factors into account may I suggest that you consider using a networked music steaming device such as either a Logitech/Slim Devices Duet ( around $360) or SqueezeBox Classic (around $270) along with an external DAC, such as the Benchmark or the new Cambridge Audio DAC Magic (I'm not sure if that's the correct name) rather than having your computer directly connected to your audio system.

More info on the Duet and SqueezeBox Classic can be found here:
Slim Devices

Slim Device also has a user forum and wiki pages with tons of information on how these devices work and how to properly set them up. There are also several treads here on the Stereophile forum about these devices.

1speed
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Re: Stereophile pc on the cheap, please help.

hello jazzfan, thanks for replying.

I confess I'd rather skip the network device and keep it as simple as possible, that's why I thought about the Beresford DAC, because I could use a long (like 10 feet long) optical cable to keep the pc well away from the stereo with no loss of signal, what do you think?

jazzfan
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Re: Stereophile pc on the cheap, please help.


Quote:
hello jazzfan, thanks for replying.

I confess I'd rather skip the network device and keep it as simple as possible, that's why I thought about the Beresford DAC, because I could use a long (like 10 feet long) optical cable to keep the pc well away from the stereo with no loss of signal, what do you think?

You are very welcome.

As for your proposed solution:

Yes, a 10' long cable would work but how do you propose to control the music playback? You would have to get up and go over to your computer to select what to play, to stop, to pause, etc. Or you could use media playback software that you could control via a network enabled device like an iPhone. But then you're using "a network device" and if you're going to use a network device you might as well bite the bullet and get a SqueezeBox.

Here's another plus for a networked music playback system: you can add devices as you go and have access to your music library in several places. For example, I have a Transporter (Slim Device's "high end" unit) hooked up to my main stereo, a SqueezeBox hooked up to my home theater system, a SqueezeBox hooked up to my bedroom system and a Duet down in my computer room. They all are served by one computer which has my entire digital music collection on it. I have access to all my music basically anywhere in my home without having to carry CD's from room to room.

Look, computer based music is the future of audio and you may as well join the party now rather than later. Once you get everything up and running you will never want to go back to playing CDs.

Editor
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Re: Stereophile pc on the cheap, please help.


Quote:

Quote:
hello jazzfan, thanks for replying.

I confess I'd rather skip the network device and keep it as simple as possible, that's why I thought about the Beresford DAC, because I could use a long (like 10 feet long) optical cable to keep the pc well away from the stereo with no loss of signal, what do you think?

Yes, a 10' long cable would work but how do you propose to control the music playback? You would have to get up and go over to your computer to select what to play, to stop, to pause, etc.

iTunes running on a Mac can be controlled remotely with an iPod Touch or iPhone, using Apple's free Remote app. Not sure if iTunes on Windows does likewise.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Welshsox
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Re: Stereophile pc on the cheap, please help.

John

Ive been trying to find an apple shop to go over the audio abilities and keep running into muppet sales guys !!

Do the latest Mac's come with a SPIDF or coax output to link to a DAC ? if so are you saying the a Itouch would effectively be a PC server remote control ?

Thanks

Alan

jazzfan
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Re: Stereophile pc on the cheap, please help.


Quote:
iTunes running on a Mac can be controlled remotely with an iPod Touch or iPhone, using Apple's free Remote app. Not sure if iTunes on Windows does likewise.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Two problems:

1) Both the iPhone and IPod Touch are wireless network devices and the OP appears to want to avoid using networked devices otherwise why not just use a networked music device.

2) Using either the iPhone or IPod Touch means having to use iTunes. Most people do not think this is an issue but than again most people think that Bose makes the world's best audio equipment.

Editor
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Re: Stereophile pc on the cheap, please help.


Quote:
Do the latest Mac's come with a SPIDF or coax output to link to a DAC ?

My 2007 MacBook does, and the G5 desktop does. I'll check my wife's 2008 MacBookPro.


Quote:
if so are you saying the a Itouch would effectively be a PC server remote control ?

To control iTunes, yes. It can also be used to control Sooloos and Sonos systems.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

jazzfan
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Re: Stereophile pc on the cheap, please help.


Quote:

Quote:
if so are you saying the a Itouch would effectively be a PC server remote control ?

To control iTunes, yes. It can also be used to control Sooloos and Sonos systems.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

There is also a plugin for Slim Device's SqueezeCenter iPeng which lets one control any Slim Device's unit from either an iPhone or and iPod Touch.

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