Pioneer a-109 to computer.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by You Failed, Jan 10, 2012.

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  1. You Failed

    You Failed
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    Hi,

    So I'm going to be buying a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9.1's and potentially a Pioneer A-109 amp to go with it (is that a good amp choice? My budget won't stretch past £100 for the amp :/ ). I'm planning on connecting it so it's:

    Computer -> Amp -> Speakers.

    Now my question is, my motherboard has a SPDIF output already but it seems that the Pioneer A-109 doesn't have a digital input? Is that right? So I can't use the SPDIF output, which would have been the ideal. Am I going to be forced to use the standard analog output from the computer then? Will this drastically decrease the sound quality and create a bottleneck? Or is analog output not that bad? Would it be worth trying to find an amp for £100 with a digital input?

    Also, should I buy a soundcard? Since the amp only has analog inputs, I won't be able to use any of the digital outputs from the soundcard, so is it worth getting one just for the analog output?

    Thanks, I know I've asked quite a few questions.
     
  2. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    Digital inputs are rare on stereo amplifier, as they're intrinsically analogue devices. Given the budget, I'd suggest trying the analogue output from the PC and see how it works out, some people think it's great, others the pits. If it doesn't work out for you, you could always try a better sound card in the PC, or an external DAC (optical or USB). Standalone DACs run from a few pounds to megabucks.
     
  3. You Failed

    You Failed
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    Thanks for the reply :)

    So, would the analog signal from a sound card be an increase in quality over the onboard sound? I think I could afford to spend ~£50 on a sound card, I have a fairly decent motherboard though (ASUS P7P55D-E), so there's a chance the onboard sound might actually be of decent quality already. I'm not sure whether the difference between onboard sound and a ~£50 sound card will be large enough to warrant the price. Do you know anything about this?

    A cheap DAC could definitely be a good option.

    Again, thanks for the help, it's much appreciated.
     
  4. Mark.Yudkin

    Mark.Yudkin
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    As with all of these questions, its hard to know whether a separate sound card or external DAC would be better, especially with a budget sound card / DAC where most of the cost has gone into making the board / external box + power supply, leaving little for the actual content. IMHO, you should just try what you have rather than starting out by tryig to fix what may well not be broken.

    If it sounds horrible, then you can look into what might yield an improvement, and how much fixing the problem will really cost you.
     
  5. You Failed

    You Failed
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    Yeah, I think I'll do that, I've just ordered the amp + speakers + cabling, so I'll see how it sounds :) Unfortunately the speakers aren't in stock for another 2 weeks or so. Thanks very much for the help
     

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