Sound problem - help needed

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Mark3807054

Guest
I'm in the process of putting all my cd collection on my PC's hard drive (500+ cd's). I'm have a stereo amplifier which is approx 15 metres away. The stereo amplifier is connected to different speakers in different rooms. I also have a wireless network in my house using Netgears Rangemax Wireless Router which is very good.

The problem is this, I want to be able to play the CD's from my PC via my stereo amplifier. I also want to have full control of the CD's on my PC in order to vary track selection.

I've hard wired my PC to the Stereo but got so much buzzing on the speakers this was not an option. However, I did use bog standard cable. Also, I don't have a separate sound cad on my PC as the sound is produced from whatever is standard on the motherboard.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Mark
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
what you want to do is easily achievable, but may need a few new bits & pieces..

I'd guess the buzzing you are getting is probably due to the cheap onboard soundcard havinf noisy output, coupled with the long runs of cheapo cable to the amp.

I'm not sure if 15m is recommended for interconnects, but a quick PM to Mark Grant should provide the answer.. - I have some of his Canare cable made into guitar leads around that length and they certainly don't suffer in any way at all in comparison the shorter lengths..

Full control of the media stored on the PC isn'y difficult at all, but depends on whether you mean full control from (1) sitting at the PC, or full control from (2) sitting at/near the amp...?

If you mean from the PC, then any media player will give you this and more
If you want control from the amp/other rooms, then you could stream the music over your wireless LAN using slimserver and a Squeezebox etc...

these are your best options if you want a decent sounding stereo system IMO:

(1) get yourself a soundcard such as the MAudio 2496 (£55) and some decent long interconnects and hard-wire to the stereo amp.

(2) Go the wireless slimserver/squeezebox route.... harder to setup and more expensive probably, but you get the flexibility of being able to move the PC and the Squeezebox/Amp around independantly of each other, and you don't have 15m cables runing around your house :)
 
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Mark3807054

Guest
The Dude,

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have a look at purchasing the MAudio 2496. When you say decent long interconnects and hard wire, can you come up with and specific spec?

I definately want to control the music from my PC as eventually I'll buy a PDA, connect it up wirelessly, and operate media Player via Netmeeting. The PDA being a glorified remote control.

Mark
 

The Dude

Distinguished Member
I'd PM mark and see what he recommends for 15m Interconnects... he's got a few options, but I'm no expert on cable-spec so couldn't recommend one over the other myself.. you won't find better cables for the money though.

One thing I do know fairly well is PC soundcards, and for connecting to a Stereo amp the MAudio 2496 will be a night and day difference compared to your onboard soundchip. It competes with expensive CD players, and laughs at cheaper ones.. ;)

I'd get yourself the soundcard, and try with your existing cables and see what you get, then UG the cables if you feel the need...?

Also, be careful how/where you're running cables that length... they may just be picking up interference from any mains cables running alongside them etc... :)
 

Pootle

Standard Member
Mark3807054 said:
I've hard wired my PC to the Stereo but got so much buzzing on the speakers this was not an option.
Mark
Mark, do you get the buzzing in headphones, or speakers connected locally to the PC? I suspect not. If headphones don't buzz, then the problem is more likely to be an earth loop (or hum loop).
If it is an earth loop, then a new sound card won't fix it.
If it is hum picked up by the cable, then make sure the cable is not near any mains cables / buy a more expensive audio cable - doesn't need to be drastically expensive, but cheap ones can be pretty hopeless.
You could try plugging the PC into the same mains outlet as the power amp to see if this fixes it, then you know it's not the soundcard.
The simple fix (may or may not work, depending on the cause) is to disconnect the earth connection from the audio cable at one end only.
The problem is likely to be a lot worse if the amp is on a different ring main to the PC (that is it comes from a different switch on your consumer unit).
 
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Mark3807054

Guest
Pootle,

Any suggestions for the sort of cable and where to buy? The max length needed is 15 metres.

Mark
 

Rambles

Distinguished Member
I had this sort of set up a few years ago - I fixed the buzzing problem with a ground loop isolator like this one, probably available cheaper than this, just did a quick google.
 
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