Stereo Music from Digital Source?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by clv101, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. clv101

    clv101
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    I seems that all my sources are digital these days, freeview, computer, dvd player etc... thing is I have no interest in surround sound. Sure I could buy an AV amp with digital inputs and only use two channels however it’s an over kill, I’d be paying for channels I don’t need and decoding and processing I don’t need. All this gubbins means that the stereo music output from even quite high end AV amps isn’t fantastic.

    What I want is a simple, plain, stereo amp with digital inputs and a decent DAC. Does such a product exist? If not why not?

    Failing that what is the best way to listen to my digital sources?
     
  2. Member 79251

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    Can you no just set your amp to 2.0 or 2.1 speaker setup ! would that that sort this out for you.
     
  3. clv101

    clv101
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    Yeah sure - but the music quality from an AV amp isn't great and it's more expensive than it needs to be due to all the extra unused functionality.
     
  4. mannyo

    mannyo
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    Stereo is fine from my Yamaha AV amp, it even has a 2 channel stereo mode that bypasses all the processing circuits.

    My previous Sony bookshelf stereo system had one optical input that accepted digital stereo signals, its a DHC-MD595.
     
  5. clv101

    clv101
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    Ah, that's something I didn't know! Thanks. Can anyone give me some recomendations for amps I could look for that would be good for stereo music from digital sources - I'm thinking about 2nd hand for not much more than £100.
     
  6. Member 79251

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    Last year I got a JVC monster from Richer Sounds the fact that a year later they are still selling it makes me happy. Was at one stage £600+

    For me it does everything I need and more. Some nice features but its something to start off looking at.
     
  7. dor146

    dor146
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    do all these sources you have not also have stereo analog outputs?
     
  8. clv101

    clv101
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    Sure they do but I'm thinking the digital output, especially from my computers will be better quality than the analogue outputs.
     
  9. Rod_Bod

    Rod_Bod
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    Sony STR-DB930 :thumbsup:

    If all you really care about is 2-channel reproduction though.... why don't you just get a normal Stereo Amp??....

    Just get a very nice (secondhand, considering your budget) DVD Player which is good at Downmixing multi-channel to 2-channel for DVD's & has an emphasis on good CD Performance (hence good DAC's :smashin: )

    Freeview is 2 channel anyway and (nearly all?) have Analogue Outputs

    I assure you, going this route will yield better results than having an AV Amp Process & Decode into 2-Channel.

    .... if you wanted to be really fundamentalist about it and get the absolute best results from this approach you could always consider an external DAC as time and funds allow.

    Seriously, if you're not going to be using the extra channels - don't waste your money on an AV Amp.

    All the best.
     
  10. clv101

    clv101
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    What about the output from my MacBook? It has analogue and optical digital. I suspect the analogue output is pretty noisy and the digital would be better? How can I get the best playback from the MacBook?
     
  11. Rod_Bod

    Rod_Bod
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    Hi again,
    what will the sound from your MacBook be primarily used for, games or music?

    If it's for mp3's the whole Format is anathema to the Hi-Fi opproach anyway so I wouldn't worry about using the Analogue output. I was actually quite surprised recently when my friend plugged his laptop into my Stereo from the basic 3.5mm Jack Out.... sounded very adequate!

    .... Considering how limited you budget seems - I'd pay far more attention to your choice of Amp & Speakers rather than Source regarding to achieving the most satisfying sound.

    :thumbsup:
     
  12. Knyght_byte

    Knyght_byte
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    if it has a USB or Firewire port, get a Creative offboard sound card (altho not 100% sure if they Mac compatible, you'd need to check that up), those usually have proper Left & Right RCA phono outputs........then the card does the decoding (which Creative cards are actually pretty good at) and you get a good quality signal output to the stereo amp ;)

    i posted in the other thread you posted in btw on this section, you might want to go read that too
     
  13. MI55ION

    MI55ION
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    I think you'd be hard pressed to get anything better than an external DAC on ebay or classifieds here. For instance you could pick up a Cambridge Audio Dacmagic (v2, v2i, v2mk2, v3 etc) around £100 or one of the other alternatives like a NOSDAC or Arcam Delta Black Box. Just had a look and there don't seem to be any just now but they do pop up once in a while but keep in mind you'd still need an amp if you don't have that already. For a second hand av receiver with a budget of £100, you'd be looking at the Yamaha DSP ax*** range although they'd be limited on quality amplification. Personally given the situation, I'd go the separate stereo amp path for now e.g. second hand Cambridge Audio 340A because that would make the biggest difference with a view to picking up an external DAC as and when funds permit.
     
  14. Mr_Sukebe

    Mr_Sukebe
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    The right route will be a dedicated stereo amp and a decent DAC. The problem will be finding a DAC with multiple digital inputs as most are faily limited.
    You might want to check the specs of the Behringer SRC2496, which for the cost is pretty awesome.
     

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