Analog of digital stereo: whcih is best?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by linux_matt, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. linux_matt

    linux_matt
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    I am upgrading my TV from conventional 4:3 CRT to LCD (Samsung LE32M87BDX). I want to connect an audio system, and need to decide whether to buy an AV receiver or a traditional stereo amp. Also connected to the audio system will be a Linux-based PVR with a sound card which will have analog and digital outputs (probably Creative 4780 or some sound card with optical output) . The software on the PC can output sound on a "Pass through" setting (using a program called Xine) which has to be decoded by an external decoder: this produces 5.1 or digital stereo. Alternatively the analog audio outputs on the sound card also can output stereo. On my planned setup, is there any advantage in using the digital connection on the sound card? I don't want surround sound, only stereo. The guy in my local hi-fi shop says I should go for a traditional stereo amp: he thinks there is no advantage in an AV receiver. Grateful for any advice
     
  2. Cable Monkey

    Cable Monkey
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    If you are only interested in stereo then it makes sense to buy a stereo amp. As to digital or analogue, I would say listen to your analogue output and see if you are happy with it. If not you can try putting a digital signal into a DAC to see if that produces better results or buy a sound card whos analogue output you do like.
     
  3. linux_matt

    linux_matt
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    My main question is whether as a rule you get better sound when the DAC is done internally by the sound card (i.e. it outputs analog sound) or when the conversion is done externally by an AV amp. For instance, on an Audigy you can send a digtal signal for conversion to an AV amp of you can use the analog output.
     
  4. Cable Monkey

    Cable Monkey
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    Again. It depends, some cards are better than others. The only way to tell is to compare the two. There is no rule.
     
  5. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    My AV amp set to stereo, sounds better than any of the digi dolby/hall/music options, however, I am using it as a dac, as I prefer its dac to the other options I have.

    All depends on the dac you like the sound of:thumbsup:

    If stereo is you thing, go down the stereo amp route, with the option of changing dac/soundcards.

    Not heard it, but Bryston do a stereo amp with a built in dac option:)
     

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