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Disc transport in HTPC equal to CD player?

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  • Disc transport in HTPC equal to CD player?

    in a 2 channel system, is it possible to get SQ from a transport (w/DAC) in an HTPC that would rival a decent cd player? does anything need to be done to the audio signal in the pc to obtain this?

    i have xp home, vista and win 7 to work with in case there are differences in audio signal.

    david
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    Last edited by blue934; 04-11-2011, 06:53 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Disc transport in HTPC equal to CD player?

    It all sounds the same these days,

    so the answer is yes it will, be just as good as a cd player.

    Should be better for many reasons but that would require the HTPC to sound different than the CD player which cannot be proven in a DBT ABX test.

    so, again yes is the answer.

    1 tip, get a liquid cooled board or be aware that your PC's fan noise could be an issue....but since you're using the HTPC designation you have already likely addressed this.

    My setup (PC AT&T Optical out---Genesis Acoustical lens or Apogee Big Ben then Cambridge DAC or Surround processor)
    Yeah I built a couple speakers....

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    • #3
      Go

      thanks.

      i remember reading that the audio signal path (in xp, i think) has some issues that can be dealt with in the pc design but i don't know/remember what they were.
      is xp, win7, etc. better than another for audio?

      david
      ________
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      Last edited by blue934; 04-11-2011, 06:54 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Disc transport in HTPC equal to CD player?

        Don't use the CD transport to listen to music.

        Instead, rip everything to your hard disk drive with Exact Audio Copy and then stream data from the HDD instead of the CD. Read rates are orders of magnitude faster, and absolutely zero data errors due to smudges, fingerprints, scratches, jitter, etc.

        D/A converters in the more respectable sound cards (ASUS comes to mind) are the equal of most any CD player you can buy, running 24-bit 192KHz audio.

        Vista and Win7 both handle audio without the limitations of XP. However, the ASIO enabled stuff works well in XP.
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        • #5
          Go

          thanks Pete.

          99% of my library is ripped but still the odd disc comes along that i would like to pop in and hear.

          can you explain these limitations in xp and how to eleviate them?

          if i use a usb dac, i don't need a sound card, do i? or is there a prefered method?

          david
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          Last edited by blue934; 04-11-2011, 06:54 AM.

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          • #6
            Re: Disc transport in HTPC equal to CD player?

            My laptop is my CD player, running through an M-Audio audiophile USB. I actually auditioned several CD players before ending up at this point, too! I don't know of any audio signal path issues with XP. The one suggestion I'd make is to run some sort of utility on your HTPC to slow down the CD-ROM drive. They run way faster than they need to for audio, and thus end up sounding like a jet taking off. These utilities are freeware.
            I won't rest until I've TMM all the things!

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            • #7
              Re: Disc transport in HTPC equal to CD player?

              What DAC/Sound Card are you using?
              "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

              http://www.diy-ny.com/

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              • #8
                Re: Disc transport in HTPC equal to CD player?

                Originally posted by blue934 View Post
                thanks Pete.

                99% of my library is ripped but still the odd disc comes along that i would like to pop in and hear.

                can you explain these limitations in xp and how to eleviate them?

                if i use a usb dac, i don't need a sound card, do i? or is there a prefered method?

                david
                A usb DAC will have line level analog output, so no you do not need a sound card.
                I saw a good quick primer with some helpful links recently at http://www.empiricalaudio.com/computer-audio/

                Mostly in XP you MUST bypass KMIXER, and of course never use Windows Media Player.

                The above link suggests dbpoweramp pro for ripping, I know nothing about it but I do give a total thumbs up on Exact Audio Copy for ripping for free.

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                • #9
                  Go

                  Face, haven't finished the build yet, still gathering data so no dac or card at the moment.

                  Selder, the KMIXER was what i had read about earlier but i forgot what it was. what is it and what does it do wrong?

                  i currently use win media player in my office, what is the problem with it?

                  david
                  ________
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                  Last edited by blue934; 04-11-2011, 06:54 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Disc transport in HTPC equal to CD player?

                    If you use Foobar, Media Monkey, or J. River it's easy to bypass Windows processing with ASIO(or ASIO4ALL) drivers.

                    I find Foobar the easiest to use overall, but J. River has the nicest interface and is the most versatile.

                    If you decide to use an external DAC, check out the hiFace Asynchronous USB interface for a jitter free connection: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/co...nverter-Review
                    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

                    http://www.diy-ny.com/

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