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Which Audiophile PC soundcard to form high-end music jukebox

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by sharon, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. sharon

    sharon
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    Hi all

    I have a week off next week and I'm setting myself the task of turning my PC into a high-end audiophile PC jukebox, so I don't have to go down into the cellar and put on a new CD everytime I want to listen to something. But I need a really high-end PC soundcard, one that can overcome all that nasty interference that's buzzing around in a PC. The only one I've found that sounds like it might do the job is the Digital Audio Labs CardDeluxe PC http://www.digitalaudio.com/, which Stereophile magazine rated as comparable with high-end DAC's from the likes of Mark Levinson!!

    Thing is that was over two years ago and I'm sure things have moved on since then, but I can't find anything! Has anybody got any recommendations? Has anybody got any experience of the the CardDeluxe?

    The only other things I've decided so far, are:

    1. To transfer the music from CD without using any compression (such as MP3) - probably recording as .wav files (I have three 80GB Firewire hard disks lined up for this)

    2. To use RealPlayer as the interface, as it seems to be the best configured to be driven by remote control

    3. To catalogue the CD's on my Marantz 9200 Universal remote, so I can choose what music I want with out switching on the screen

    Any other suggestions from anybody who has done this would be much appreciated.

    I've also thought of getting one of the Yahama music hard disk recorders and saving myself all the hassle, anybody got one of these, how good do they sound on a good hi-fi?

    Sharon
     
  2. taimur

    taimur
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  3. Rob.Screene

    Rob.Screene
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    I play 256Kbps MP3 files off my 1GHz P3 file server regularly, via my Athlon XP desktop.

    I play back using WinAmp, AlbumList plug-in, MAD 24-bit input plug-in and SSRC upsampling directsound output plug-in to 24-bit 48KHz.

    This is out via the analog outputs of a lowly Creative Labs Audigy and soundworks 4.1-channel pc speakers, but the important thing is that it doesn't stutter, unless I'm running a very, very intensive process on the desktop.

    I don't have the HTPC with m-audio 2496 Audiophile networked permanently to try for you though, sorry.

    regards,
    Rob.
     
  4. ronsealdeath

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    Dunno whether its Audiophile ehough for you but the SB Audigy 2 Platinum is a beast of a soundcard, it'll take loads of pressure off the CPU, sounds clean and handles DVD-audio freq. ranges. Buy one off dabs.com or insight.com and if its not high-end enough then send it back and get a refund,easy.
     
  5. dave48

    dave48
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    I got an M-Audio 1010 to do basically the same thing as you are trying to do. This works really well - for me it also has the advantage that I can use fully balanced cables since I've got a long cable run between the 1010 and my amp.

    I also use lossless storage - I've tried fiddling around with MP3's, but the loss of quality has been too much. The downside is that it really does eat disk space - I've got 160 GB but it has all gone. And I've hardly started yet!
     
  6. chriskenrick

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    Unfortunately, I haven't had that much experience in soundcards, but the high end Creative cards are seen as overpriced compared to other options (check out some of the Hercules cards, they might be a better deal, value wise).

    In terms of file formats, I can recommend a couple of options. Firstly, for a better lossy compression option, try Ogg Vorbis. Better file size/quality ratio than mp3, and I'd guess almost indistinguishable from the .wav at high quality levels. Later versions of Winamp support playback out of the box, and plenty of free encoders around can work with it.

    If Vorbis doesn't cut it, try

    FLAC. FLAC is lossless compression, but still cuts the file sizes by approximately half (depending on what it's encoding). Again, plenty of free encoders exist, and I've heard it works a charm.

    An area to pay attention to is the "ripping" of material from CD to hard drive. Different CD-ROM drives are better/faster at ripping audio, and the ripping software makes a difference too. Plenty of stuff around the web dealing with all this, so check it out
     
  7. DownToTheBone

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    for all your mp3 questions go here ...

    http://www.hydrogenaudio.org


    Procedure for burning good mp3's ...

    Rip with EAC

    Use LAME encoder (via something like EasyLAME) with alt -standard or alt -extreme presets

    Use MP3Gain if you wish to sort out any clipping issues

    Burn with Nero

    You might be surprised how good they sound.

    DTTB :smashin:
     
  8. Steve Bate

    Steve Bate
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    Sharon,

    Branxx did a head to head with Charlie Whitehouse, his HCPC with an RME Digi 96/8 PAD into his Lex MC-12 against Charlies' Theta DaViD II into same Lex, front end was I think M&K Pro powered speakers, if you search it may provide interesting reading.

    I've got an RME also playing Sonic Foundry Siren Perfect Clarity Audio encoded files, it uses lossless compresion to squeeze the size down a bit.

    Mods: This should probably be in the HCPC forum?

    Steve
     
  9. gierig2

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  10. nwgarratt

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    An excellent soundcard is the Trust 514DX. It is 5.1 sound but also had a daughterboard with coaxial/optical inputs and ouputs.

    The best thing though is the price is only £30 !!
     
  11. Branxx

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