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46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Guys,

Another crazy project. I am trying to build some speakers and thought it would be fun to design & test crossovers using a computer (could be a mac or a PC).

KEY QUESTION: Is there a home theater receiver that can receive 7 different DIGITAL cables of information and simultaneously do DAC, preamp, power amp output out to 7 speakers???

In summary, I am looking for a solution with 7 digital channels going out of the PC to to a 7 channel receiver (DAC, preamp,amplifier), then to the speakers.

Key challenge: Two digital cables out of the PC to the receiver (e.g. typical 7.1 solution) is a non-starter to maximize quality of data from the computer.

FYI: This is for a 2.1 system but we need all 7 channels for the crossover work (2 tweeters, 2 mids, 2 low, 1 subwoofer) as there will be no passive crossovers.

Vision so far:::::::::

* Software:
Acourate or similar
for digital crossover, etc.

* Computer soundcard:
-Lynx AES16
-the key is that this pulls up to 16 DIGITAL channels out of computer via 16 digital cables; the channels are not converted to analog like most cards. It does not stack multiple (e.g. 7.1) channels into one cable

* Lynx AES cable
-8 individual cables physically provide 8 DIGITAL channels out of computer's soundcard

QUESTION #1*******
- looking for 7 channel DAC, preamplifier, amplifier solution
- Is there a home theater receiver solution that will accept as input all 8 DIGITAL cables simultaneously, do 8 channel DAC, preamp (basically volume), amplifier duties?
- Really looking for an inexpensive solution for this now
- If the experiments work out, I will upgrade this part of the system going forward!

- Any more economical alternative to the Lynx AES16 soundcard with 8 channels of digital (must be via 8 digital output cables)?

Thanks guys!


The Behringer DCX2496 is a pretty decent packaged solution but has its own issues and is not quite as elegant (volume control, outputs, only six channels).

384 Posts
I think I can safely say that there are no receivers which simultaneously handle multiple digital audio cables. The closest would probably be one of Meridian's ~ $15K proprietary systems, which transmit two pcm audio channels per cable over multiple cables.

To preserve digital audio integrity in the modern consumer electronics world, you should consider using an HDMI connection. HDMI v1.3a supports multiple simultaneous channels of lossless digital audio in DD, DTS or LPCM formats.

I suggest that you contact Lynx directly to discuss how you want to use their card. They can probably give you references to appropriate professional electronic equipment suppliers. You aren't going to find what you want in consumer equipment.

46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Selden,

Even early HDMI solutions have sufficient bandwidth, but don't work out of the box.

This guy came up with the closest system to ideal. He encoded his entire library for HDMI. A long and complex process that seems less than ideal for streaming:


I will keep searching and encourage anyone to post suggestions. Will also contact Lynx.

2 Posts
Just thought that I would throw a suggestion into the wind and see where it lands.

You could use a computer soundcard with 7.1 and use the spdif output into a digital home theatre receiver that supports 7.1. Most of the receivers made today have digital optical inputs on the cheap.

You could get a USB soundcard if you would like a inexpensive option to add to an existing pc.
Turtle Beach makes one for about forty dollars.

These sound cards usually come with software to control the channel outputs and you could encode some digital audio files with the correct channel steering info to suit your needs.

Most of the tools required to do this can be found at VideoHelp. Just google it.

I hope that this may in some way be helpful at some point.

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