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HTPC --> Power Amp, pros and cons

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by mark88, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. mark88

    mark88
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    How many people are running a high end audio card(like the 9632 RME) straight into a power amp?

    I've never had a power amp in my set up but if I get the RME I probably will get one. So these questions will be power amp pre-newbie questions

    # What problems does it cause having the only volume control on your PC? if any? Gotta be careful with the mouse/remote?

    # Do you have to power down your power amp before switching off your HTPC all the time? and even if so, are there still pops?

    # Is there any more background noise from using a power amp setup?

    # Do you used balanced or unbalanced inputs?
     
  2. Embarker

    Embarker
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    I use the rme with the balanced daughtercard to powered speakers.


    Volume control is as sensitive as you and your mouse are, but there is a overload protection in the RME software.

    The pops are a nusance, but only happen on a cold start. Reboot and hibernation are hardly more than quiet clicks.

    Any "more" noise, there should be less. The RME has been comapred to a Lexicon MC12.

    The above trade off way out way the improvements in sound.

    Active balanced speakers is my preference.
     
  3. Gazebo2

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    My Roksan Caspian integrated amp allows connection both through the pre-amp and direct to the power amp, and I've compared the output of my Digi96/8 PAD through both.

    I found I much preferred the sound routed through the pre-amp with analog volume control. Using RME's digital volume control the sound became somewhat "lifeless", the effect becoming more marked the further the volume was turned down.


    This has been discussed at length over at AVS - basically you are losing resolution if you reduce volume by any more than 10-15db in the digital domain.

    There is certainly more noise at normal listening levels - an analogue volume control reduces both the signal and noise while a digital volume control reduces the signal but not the noise level. Having said that, in my case hiss was only audible when playing music at very low levels.

    I have 2 RME soundcards - one thumps loudly, one doesn't - but I anyway am thinking of using USB-UIRT to turn on my amp and tv after the pc starts up.

    I don't know if anyone has yet found out how to control the RME volume control via a remote, you may have to use a mouse and the RME application.

    As the AVS post says if you want to use digital volume control, you may consider getting a low-output sound card and a power amp that needs a high input.
     
  4. mark88

    mark88
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    Thanks, very interesting. Maxing the volume on the soundcard and using the analogue volume does seem to appeal more than having windows volume really really low.
     
  5. Mark Ward

    Mark Ward
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    Is there no way to control this RME application via Girder? Surely there must be a keyboard equivelent for volume Up & Down that could be mapped in Girder isn't there?

    Us Pronto users really aren't able to control sliders in applications the way mouse users do.

    Mark.
     

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