Very good CD/DVD Player Needed For High-End Sound Cards Shootout

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Branxx, Dec 16, 2002.

  1. Branxx

    Branxx
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    Shortly after Christmas dannyc (a self declared hi-fi nut) and I (a man with time on his hands) will be comparing the analogue audio performance of his new LynxTWO sound card (approx £1,000) and my RME DIGI96/8 PAD (approx £300). Both sound cards have extremely high quality audiophile class DACs. LynxTWO is currently considered the highest quality PC sound card with specification in excess of what is required for SACD or DVD-Audio. Good review can be found here.

    A few months ago I have done a similar comparison with the kind help of Charlie Whitehouse. At that time we were comparing the quality of the SPDIF output. The discussions can be found here and here.

    However, to fully appreciate the performance of those two sound cards vs. high-end CD or DVD players, we would like to get suggestions as to what we should be comparing against and if any of the proud owners of such precious (and seriously expensive) players would be willing to participate in the shootout.

    This comparison may answer many questions regarding the perceived inferiority of personal computers as audiophile sources. Dan plans to replace his Naim CDX player with an HTPC setup based on LynxTWO.

    We will be comparing 2-channel performance using Dan’s Naim based set-up.
     
  2. Jeff

    Jeff
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    I'm also in the process of building an Audio PC, when I build Kryton music playing was part of the spec but I have since leaned towards dedicated systems as it allows you use the best components and optimise the system for a specific use.

    The Audio PC will be very simple, the main components being;

    Asus TUSL2-M (using onboard video)
    PIII 1.226 Ghz (512kb)
    512MB PC133 RAM
    Baracuda IV 80GB
    RME Digi96/8 PST
    Yamaha CDR-F1
    IRman

    I'm still looking at the software but I'll probably go for

    Windows XP pro or Windows 98 Se (lite)
    EAC
    Winamp3
    Girder

    I most likely won't bother with compression at the moment since I don't have enough CDs to even come close to filling up an 80GB HD, also APE looks good but there isn't a Winamp3 plugin that supports it yet.


    Jeff
     
  3. Branxx

    Branxx
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    I read recently that TUSL2 motherboards have been discoutniued. check this threas on Sound-on-Sound PC Music Forum for the discussion of what professional musitians propose.

    On one of the computer fair in central London I saw a cool display that fits the floppy disk slot and comes with a plug-ins for WinAmp enabling it to display the name on playing song and many other system information. Cost around £65 and it would give a very dedicated player feel to your new PC.
     
  4. Jeff

    Jeff
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    The mobo, CPU and memory are left overs as I'm upgradeing the main HTPC to something a bit more powerful.

    I've had a few thoughts on the display, I do have a 2 x 20 LCD display with a drive bay mount that I can use, but then I thought, why not simply use a full colour 15" LCD screen? So thats what I have gone for, some of the Winamp 3 skins look really cool, it should look great.
     
  5. Oli

    Oli
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    I will be very interested in the results...

    I'm looking at going into music production, and need a new soundcard, I'm probably going to go for an M-Audio Audiophile or a Delta series card...

    I was wondering if I hooked this up to my Denon 3802, used a hardware DVD decoder card, what sort of picture and sound quality i would get compared to a new DVD player like a pioneer 656a?

    It would certainly be cheaper for me, adn I could keep my current Sony 715 for CD playback...

    Also, are you just using it as a DAC with seperate transport? I've just got a cheap pioneer region free drive in my computer, would that hinder performance?
     
  6. Jeff

    Jeff
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    I'm going to use the Yamaha CDR-F1 for playing, ripping and recording CDs. If there i such a thing as an audiophile computer CD player/recorder this is it. I like the idea of being able to make my own compilations for listening in the car. The Yamaha can even draw graphics and text on the writing surface of the CD. My Audio PC will be hooked up to my Denon Avc-a1se. I'll need to test the variuos ouputs on the RME card to see what works best. The toslink output is supposed to be very good, I do have a highendish toslink cable to test it.
     
  7. Branxx

    Branxx
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    Dan and I had a preliminary comparison last Sunday. However, to reach the final conclusion we do need to include one or maybe even two (very) high-end CD players.

    The result was extremely encouraging. We tested RME DIGI96/PAD, LynxTWO, and Dan’s old M-Audio Delta1010 sound cards. Music files were stored in (uncompressed) WAV format. We had a four persons panel and ended up with very converging opinions.

    I believe that we are at the very cutting edge of the HTPC and High-End audio. As far I am aware no one has as yet looked into the systems of this quality for consumer application and we do need help to reach and publish a confident conclusion.

    If anyone is willing to help, we do need high-end CD/DVD players with acknowledged high quality analogue out. We are concentrating on quality 2-channel music.

    Next get together is planned for Sunday, 26 January.
     
  8. Steve Bate

    Steve Bate
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    Hey Branxx,

    Any updates following your get-together yesterday? Still waiting to decide whether or not to go for an RME.

    Steve
     
  9. Branxx

    Branxx
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    Steve,

    Shootout has been posponed yet one more time. Dan could not agree a mutually acceptable time with all involved.

    If you are ready for the new soundcard, there is very little to be said against choosing RME.
     
  10. taimur

    taimur
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    any chance of also comparing the Terratec Aureon 7.1 card and the Soundblaster Audigy 2 Platinum ex?

    Sorry if I'm sounding blasphemous!

    Taimur
     
  11. Branxx

    Branxx
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    Taimur,

    We don't have any of the two cards mentioned. It would be possible if someone with a working HTPC containing Terratec Aureon 7.1 card or the Soundblaster Audigy 2 Platinum ex would volunteer to come along.
     

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