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Is PC Audio decoding up to that of dedicated receivers?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by spamboy, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. spamboy

    spamboy
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    I pretty happy that the sound quality of PC sound cards is up to that of dedicated audio equipment and I use pc's as both stereo and surround sources, but it seems that the surround decoding in software is being left behind by the more advanced surround amps, especially with room \ speaker calibration, support for new surround formats etc.

    What do people think, should I be ditching my array of power amps and be looking to buy one of the modern integrateds?
     
  2. probedb

    probedb
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    I think PC decoding should be able to keep up with amps/receivers but it never seems to be the way. The other thing is that the quality of the DACs in a good receiver/amp are likely to be better than anything but a reasonable expensive soundcard. Some of the cheaper sound cards have good DACs on the main channels and el cheapo ones on the other channels (like my Chaintech AV710).

    It depends what you're happy with. See if you can test an amp at home and compare stuff :)

    I just upgraded to a Denon AVR 2805 which I can't wait for but the other thought of having one digital cable running from the PC to the amp has always been nice....though I'm picky and have 2 soundcards as one can't do bit-perfect output at 44.1KHz.
     
  3. spamboy

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    I don't really mind spending money on a soundcard, and I believe that some of the better cards have extremely good dacs, it just the audio decoding and support for formats like DTS ES and EX seems to be missing. Theatertek seems to be limited to 5.1, for example and I have a suspicion that the quality of the decoding may not be as good as in a dedicated solution. Just seems like a bit of a shame.
     
  4. Triggaaar

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with DACs in PC soundcards, they're better for stereo. but the bass management seems to be behind. I woudn't ditch your power amps for a modern integrated, I'd look for a dedicated processor, and not necessarily a modern one. A modern integrated may tick all the boxes re DTS ES etc, but may not be as good quality as older seperates that have nearly all the boxes ticked. And PCs may catch up, so it would be good to have your amps still (depending on what they are)
     
  5. Hawklan

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    Hi

    Just to let you know Theatertek does support 7.1
    I don't have a extreme amount of experience - But I have a LynxTwo B in my HCPC.
    For 5.1 the sound Quality/Decoding sounds as good if not better than my TAG AV32R (saying that cost wise they are pretty much the same -assuming you get a 2nd had Tag)
    The only thing I really miss is PL2. The plus side is extreme flexibility/convergence

    With regards to 2 channel the Lynx is definately superior
    It would be interesting to do a comparison between my Lynx and my fav processor a Lexicon 12B for both 2 channel and 5.1

    Many thanks

    RON
     
  6. spamboy

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    Interesting to hear the TAG \ Lynx comparison comes out on the side of the PC. What about calibration, setting delay, bass management etc?

    http://www.theatertek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6279&page=1&pp=20 seems to state that TT is only 5.1 on the analogue outputs, but that's only user comments.

    I've just got relatively basic amps at the moment - three rotel RB 971's
     
  7. Hawklan

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    Hi

    Delay / Bass Management is covered by TheaterTek - It's not as simple as a Tag Calibration - But Still do-able
    Basically you can set the levels via the Lynx software (you may also be able set them via theatertek) and the establish delay / crossover via Theatretek.

    What you don't have is a option to set the distances from the listening postion

    Recalling my setup you are right Theatertek only does 5.1 at the mo (but I'm sure a future upgrade will resolve)

    To be honest it's early days for me and I'm still playing - But the ability to use and tailor 3rd party software to affect how you listen to music/movies is very interesting
     
  8. Hawklan

    Hawklan
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    Hi

    To sum it all up I think the lynx is so good that I'm going to sell my Tag
    And anybody who knows me, will realise that this a statement as I really love the Tag and am not shy about it
     

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