Question Setup Help!

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Speakers' started by HGavrilov, Jan 16, 2018.

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  1. HGavrilov

    HGavrilov
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    Hi guys! I have the following devices: An old laptop; Creative SoundBlaster Omni 5.1 USB external sound card; Marantz PM6005 amplifier; 2 Q Acoustics Concept 20 speakers. The question is, what is the optimum wiring to get the best possible audio quality of this setup? The speaker cables at the moment are Cambridge Audio, mid range cables. The external sound card to amplifier is connected by Atlas Element Integra cable. Any suggestions on whether the sound can be improved furher? Also, I'm confused as to which DAC would be best - laptop (unlikely), external sound card, or the amplifier itself.
     
  2. Paul7777x

    Paul7777x
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    Assuming the Omni can be set for 2.0 stereo through the optical output then the cleanest path is to use the optical out into the Marantz optical input. This is the most you should spend.

    2m Black TOS Link TOSLink Optical Digital Audio Cable 6mm Lead [006999] | eBay

    It will be free from any possible electrical interference from the laptop or sound card that way. And the Marantz can get busy with a straight bitstream stereo signal.

    Also forget about cables. If they work then they are good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  3. HGavrilov

    HGavrilov
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    Thank you very much! Essentially you're saying the amp's DAC would be better than Omni's DAC so instead of having the signal converted in the Omni and sent to the amp as analogue through the Element Integra, it would be better to keep it as digital all the way to the DAC through the optical cable so the amp does the conversion? And when it comes to optical cables, you mean it's pointless to get more expensive options based on my system or generally there's no point on splashing out on QED or Chord optical?
     
  4. Paul7777x

    Paul7777x
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    The sound card may be a great dac. But it’s generally best practice when dealing with computers to send a clean signal to the dac/amp. And the best way to do that is separating them electrically by using an optical cable. So it’s the way I’d go certainly.

    Also, as to cables; it’s simply not necessary to spend dozens (or more) pounds on cables. Most especially optical cable.

    The signal is a digital one. It gets to the dac or it doesn’t. That’s all.

    Cables are the biggest con in hifi by far.

    Whether your dac is £30 or £2500, the cable cannot make a difference.

    Interconnects and speaker wire are similar. A good build quality is all that counts. £20 max for 1mtr interconnects and £3 max for speaker wire. That is all that’s needed.
     
  5. Paul7777x

    Paul7777x
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  6. HGavrilov

    HGavrilov
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    Thanks a lot! That was very detailed! Really appreciate it.
     

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