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tympathique

PC external sound card and power supply??

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Hello audiophiles!

I'M still looking around for what is the best server setup starting with a PC and a DAC to be connected to my preamp.

 

I'v seen that many are concered about internal electronic and mecanical noises within the PC, regarding the output quality.

Power supplies and the fans are in first line. I've seen external power supplies for under $100. Is it worthy?

Otherwise can I use an external sound card? If so, how this device will connect to my PC?

 

Any advices would be appraciated

jacques

 

PS: 24bit/192khz DACs and sound cards are there and music files to. But prices are so big...

 

 

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Hi Jacques - All things are relative. What some people consider high noise is a whisper to others. There are a tons of routes to take. You could work on improving your internal PC components or get an external USB DAC. There really is not one answer. It also depends how much you want to spend on this endeavor.

 

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Getting the digital to analog conversion process outside of the EMI poo-storm going on in any PC will be critical. Even if your audio system is sub-par any little bit helps. USB out from PC gives you music files in digital codec form, whatever codec you've chosen (another topic FLAC vs MP3). I suggest a tube based DAC to ameliorate what most experts describe as digital fatigue which is the end result of the D/A process. In the first stage (A/D) of that process a great deal of sound is sacrificed in the name of "cleanliness" (which is this case is far from godliness) then during the D/A process your given back something which has little to do with the original "sound." Of course several generations of both music lovers and consumers have been mislead believing that sanitized sound was the best they'd ever heard, basically we live in a homogonized pop-sound, where most young music lovers where never experience "live" music. An I'm not talking about a concert where decible levels attempt to compensate for the redundant lyrics, base-lines and electronic waste product that has replaced instruments which actually move air as opposed to massively weighted woofers.

 

Problem was years preceding the digital revolution we lost the best amplification circuit ever invented to smaller, faster, cheaper transistors. With one fell swoop the quality of music undewent a 50% drop in quality as the mosfett J-Fet revolution had its way with our auditory systems. What was once the air and foundation of sound became re-labled as noise and hiss, replaced with an abyss.

 

DOLBY grew out of this desperate need to to calm the transistor afforont. Oddly enough when were discussing digital what were talking about which is as closely related to neuroscience as it is to music. That "noise" which Analog to Digital conversion supposedly eliminated was in the opinion of more astute sound engineers and true artisans of the craft, the foundation or ambience behind, below and circumventing every note, its as if the digital literally took the body leaving the soul back at the recording studio. With the elimination of that "noise" (and whom to say what is noise should we edit out an acoustic guitar when it reverbates too long, or isn't considered part of the music) we leave a void, an emptiness which the auditory sysytem cannot replace, hence the term "listener fatigue" as the brain literally works to replace what isn't there nor can it be imagined even with the most powerful computer there is (yes your brain). This is why many of the most devoted Audiophiles will forevr remain true to analog front to back.

 

We hear in analog, sound moves through a physical medium, zeros and ones just don't add up to that fact.

 

It took millions of years our auditory faculties to evolve, and it's sure as we still get some of the best sound from 100-years old vacuum tube technology, we aren't going to come up with any A/D - D/A device capable of of tricking the human brain anytime soon. Bar those changes, the vacuum tube because of it's thermonic attributes artifically "blooms" those voids left from the digital conversion process with an artifical "ambience" or foundation if you will. All we can hope for is another "kind" of digital to analog process and it's at that stage where the info is getting lost therefore its at that stage where we need to focus. Build a better analog to digital converter and everythign will follow in place.

 

Until that time might I suggest Birdland Audio's Odeon Platinum DAC http://www.birdland.com/products/OdeonPt.html

 

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I guess I am having that digital listening fatigue syndrome and am curious what others did to resolve it.

 

The Mac Mini recently had a logic board replaced so perhaps that caused some problems, but if I turn on the Mac now I can barely listen to it before my ears start hurting slightly and I get that irritated feeling.

 

You know the feeling where you have instant relief when you turn off your system... This is all at low volumes, mind you.

 

When I plop in a CD that bypasses the Mac, the problem disappears, even when using the same DAC.

 

Hopefully my search for an early 2005 Mac G5 will help resolve this 'edge'.

 

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