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Old 14th March 2008, 09:17 PM   #1
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Default Computers S/PDIF vs Audio Out?

I'm buying a computer to be used as a media computer. It has 5.1 analog audio out, as well as S/PDIF out. The computer and the amp will be in the same case (issues there i know, but I'm gunna try it), would it make more sense to run the audio out to the amp (always heard that computer preamps are gross sounding) or should I use the S/PDIF out and run it into some kind of simple DAC?

Basic question is, should I use analog audio out? or use the S/PDIF with a simple DAC to the amp?
That or use a simple USB DAC out? I'm trying to reduce things like hiss, pops, computer system EMI noises (like HD, fans etc), and AC noise.
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Old 14th March 2008, 10:41 PM   #2
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99.9% of the time digital out will be better.

You can help this further by using the right output plugins in you audio replay software, ie kmixer bypass plugins or Asio4all.
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Old 15th March 2008, 12:59 AM   #3
cuibono is offline cuibono  United States
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Old 20th March 2008, 10:56 PM   #4
Archwn is offline Archwn  United Kingdom
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Let's put it this way. Check out the sound quality of your 5.1 analog first. Sometimes they sounds good already.

Don't know if you are up to 5.1 channel sound or not? but if you like multichannel, there are many external sound cards in the market to play with both external/internal.

If you need only the stereo outputs, you can get a good dac or even build it by yourself. start with the cheap ones first see if it cope with the pc noise in the box.

For the record, bus powered pcm2707 usb dac is quite quiet with around 120dB noise floor claimed on datasheet.
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