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Analog or Digital connection from PC to amp

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by agw_01, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. agw_01

    agw_01
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    Well, I've finally bought myself a DVD drive for my PC, and I'm getting a 19" Iiyama monitor for christmas (thanks dad :D )

    My computer has an Abit NF7-S motherboard which has the nVidia Soundstorm SPU. I currently run a pair of cables from the analog front speaker output to one of the inputs on my DSP-AX620. What I want to do is run an optical cable from the digital out on the motherboard to one of the optical inputs on my amp so that I can make full use of the DD signal.

    I could use the digital connection for watching movies and playing games, and then switch to the analog connection when listening to music. Would I be better doing this, or would I be better getting 3 pairs of analog cables and running them from each output on the motherboard to the 6 channel inputs on the back of the amp?

    [​IMG]

    If I had an analog and digital connection, could I have the Soundstorm control panel set to both Analog and Digital outputs all the time, or would I have to change them over depending on what I wanted to do. I'm guessing I could leave them both enabled and then just change the input on the amp.

    Thanks
     
  2. Kramer

    Kramer
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    For DD 5.1 or DTS on your receiver, optical SPDIF is fine (just select SPDIF out in your DVD player's config/sound options).

    Gaming you might be better with 6 analogue connections (3x 3.5mm stereo jacks).

    Also, only the Soundstorm on-board processing can decode MS 5.1 "codec" (used on WMP9 - hi-def). Not a major problem (yet) but nice to have the connection in place.

    I'd suggest connecting both.

    :smoke:
     
  3. agw_01

    agw_01
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    Thanks a lot for the reply :)

    Ok, so I'll get an optical cable and 6 3.5mm cables. I'm guessing that I should use the 6 analogue connections for listening to music as well, but at the moment I have...

    Front Output on mobo > VCR2/DVR Input
    VCR2/DVR > Capture Card input
    Capture Card output > Line In on mobo

    So, if I connect the computer to the 6ch input connections on the receiver, doesn't this mean that if I have the amp set to VCR2/DVR then I could get feedback.

    Sorry, I've totally forgotten what I meant to type :mad:
     
  4. james.miller

    james.miller
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    in all honesty i wouldnt bother with analogue for anything. The board only uses cheapo realtek 650's for DAC's anyway.

    I used to use analogue but have since switched to co-ax digital ( after making a bracket up:) ) and i wont be going back. One connection, all the channels and a far better sound all round:)


    Useless info: mty nf7-s is connected to my yamaha rx-v630 (if you having noticed lol) by co-ax. Works wonderfully.
     
  5. agw_01

    agw_01
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    James, please could you give more information about using a co-ax connector with the NF7-S? I'm very interested. Thanks.

    Also, would a digital co-ax connector sound better than analogue then? And why does digital co-ax sound better than digital optical?

    Many thanks.
     
  6. james.miller

    james.miller
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    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=106850&goto=newpost :)
    The methos are the same as they are for the an7 in that post. the poins may be different though, i can't remember. your motherboard manual will tell you though:)

    Right, anyway. Digital co-ax does sound better than analouge - a LOT better, but it doesnt sound better than optical digital. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but at the end of the day they sound identical.

    The only reason to use one or the other is practicality. For instance, i prefer using co-ax from my pc bacuse its much easier/cheaper to run a 10m co-ax to my amp than a 10m optical cable.
     
  7. agw_01

    agw_01
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    Thanks a lot for the link, I will definately give the co-ax output a shot. I've heard quite a lot that for digital sources, co-ax sounds better than optical, although I could never understand why.

    If that's the case, and they don't differ in quality, I might as well run an optical connection to my receiver. My PC is only about 2m away from the amp anyway.

    Thanks again, will let you know how I get on.

    Oh, I've just bought a 3m ProfiGold cable for my sub. If it sounds alright, I guess I could get another and use it to run a co-ax connection from my PC to the receiver :D
     
  8. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    > Oh, I've just bought a 3m ProfiGold cable for my sub. If it sounds alright, I guess I could get another and use it to run a co-ax connection from my PC to the receiver

    I don't think using a sub audio cable is wise.

    You want a 75-ohm cable/connectors otherwise the digital signal is apparently subject to internal reflections. I got a couple of mine from www.scorpioncables.com/digital.html Superb quality, great price and made with highest quality Belden 75-ohm coax and 75-ohm Canare crimped RCA phono connectors.

    I guess you'll need a 3.5mm to phono socked adapter if the motherboard doesn't have phono sockets for digital output.

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  9. agw_01

    agw_01
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    Ah I see, thanks for pointing that out.

    Well, for the time being I have just bought a ProfiGold optical cable to use for my PC. It should sound better than the current connection (cheapy analogue cables) and should do me until I have to time and money to demo a few sets of 3.5mm mini jack > phono cables, but as has already been mentioned, the Abit NF7-S uses Realtek chips for it's DA conversion so I will have to see what sounds better.
     
  10. Ivan8192

    Ivan8192
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    Co-axial digital or optical digital - the digital data sent from the sound card is identical, just the physical layer is different.

    There are those who believe the optical connection is superior because it electrically isolates the audio components from the 'noisy' computer environment.

    My DD/DTS amp is far too cheap to tell any difference :(

    Ivan.
     
  11. agw_01

    agw_01
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    Hmmm I see. Well all I can say is "bring on the optical cable".

    I'm really lookin forward to gaming in 4.1 surround (no center speaker yet... :()

    What amp do you have Ivan, and thanks for the reply.
     
  12. Ivan8192

    Ivan8192
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    It's just a cheap-ish Kenwood job. Didn't come with a sticker for my car rear window though :clown:

    Good power match for my Yamaha speaker set though. Certainly upsets the neighbour's cats on the DD intro on Star Wars Episodes 1 & 2 ;)

    Ivan.
     
  13. agw_01

    agw_01
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    Oh right, I've seen one Kenwood receiver at RS... didn't look too bad, but I've heard from a mate that Kenwood and AIWA are the same company???

    I know what you mean about upsetting the neighbours cats, well, not cats, it's the neighbours dogs for me. If I set my stuff up in our living room and watch a couple of scenes from Independence Day... those bloody dogs just won't shut up :clap:
     

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