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New computer based configuration – you opinion pls…

1222 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  AudiocRaver
90% of my music now is coming from the computer, most is 192Kb/s or lossless, I was wondering if I can build a nice setup based on the computer as a source..

Here is what i have in mind:
1. Source – computer optical output, no card, coming directly from the MB which supports this.

2. Receiver/pre-amp/ DAC – need something to convert the optical to analog, what should I use?

3. Amp – I`m a bit confused with the power rating of valves amp`s, can I use 40w valves amp to drive the B&Ws? If not, what should I use (at the moment it’s directly from the RX673 witch used for the home theatre..)

4. Sparkers – B&W 805

5. Sub – REL R305

6. And the most important question, how do think such computer based setup will sound?

Budget is around 1.5K-2K for both 2&3, thanks for the help..
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Any pre amp or AVR with an optical input will work, and most do have that these days. 40 watts is a bit light for the B&Ws but it depends on the level you hope to get out of them.
why are you looking at optical?

HDMI is probably a better option ... or if you care about sound quality check out a DAC like JDSLABS or I even have a sound blaster card that I can swap out OPAMPs. you dont necessarily need a rcvr.
Thanks for the prompt response…

I have a HT setup in the living room, but the kids are taking over, after saw them watching cartoons and using the B&Ws because “the sound is better than the TV speakers” (cant blame them for that…) I have decided to buy a cheaper pair of speakers to the living room and move the B&W to my study.

So first, the simplest way is to connect the computer analog output to an amp` but I don’t think it has sufficient quality (and pls correct me if i`m wrong).
So digital output it is, no need for AVR since its 100% music setup but having a network or a WIFI support will be great. Airplay will be even better witch make an AVR again a good option. But having two AVR`s looks a bit odd…

I want good quality, digital output from a computer and minimal setup due to space limitation.
Its becoming really confusing…
if you are only concerned with some high quality 2 chan stuff... get a JDSLabs odac.... connect it to your USB, then connect it to a 2 channel amp like a Emotive XPA-2.

Use foobar (Free) on your PC to play flac files. Your set up will sound better than 90% of the junk receivers out there.

http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=46 FYI this is very small... smaller than pack of cigs. you want the RCA ODACs !!

http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/amplifiers/products/xpa2 ...this may be over kill you can always get something smaller. However it will be something you can grow into for years to come.

here is a pic of mine.

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You have gotten a lot of great suggestions. Here is a little more to think about.

On-board sound is not known for quality, I would favor a good quality USB output - either to analog then into a power amp, or to optical into a receiver, not much difference really, you have to get it to analog at some point. I would look for a USB interface the requires USB 2.0, the newer generation drivers for these devices go all out to reduce jitter, be super stable, etc. Not sure what to suggest here, I use mostly pro/semi-pro interfaces like M-Audio, Presonus... Motu has some new interfaces in the under $500 range and they are known for top-notch pro gear quality and stability, but you would be paying for features you would never use. The M-Audio Audiophile 192 is a PCI card possibility with digital i/o.

I use foobar and love it. jRiver is also supposed to be good. Both have great Android/iPad control interfaces available. Android interface for foobar: use FoobarCon Pro, by DanceGom, it is near perfection.
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