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Old 23rd October 2003, 06:40 PM   #1
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Default PC Based Digital source with DEQ/DCX functionality?

I am thinking about the feasibility of an EPIA-based playback system that can perform the following tasks:

- playback FLAC (or other lossless) files
- mp3, wma, ogg, etc
- toggle up/over sampling for digital output to feed Panaxonic XR45
- only care about 2 channel audio

Nice to haves:
- electronic eq with mic input?
- digital crossover (kX project?) with analog out

Sort of looking for a fun-box that I can experiment with. Number one priority is to perform as a high-quality digital source for Red Book audio and below.

Would I be better off with a SACD/DVD-A player for my old CDs?
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Old 24th October 2003, 06:14 AM   #2
Henckel is offline Henckel  Denmark
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Hi try foobar2000 at

http://www.saunalahti.fi/~cse/html/foobar.html

it can play all filetypes and can do upsampling and has a convolver.

The later can be used together with DRC to perform room correction. Take a look at:

http://www.mooneyass.com/DRC/DRC.html

Digital cross over is not supported at the moment.


Br

Morten
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Old 24th October 2003, 06:25 AM   #3
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Thanks. I'll check them out.
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Old 24th October 2003, 06:57 AM   #4
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Hi!

I would really recommend using a Emu10k based soundcard with kx, especially if you intend to use the Epia platform, since the Epia-CPUs have a very bad floating point unit, and you would really benefit from letting the soundcard's DSP doing all the work for you...
I am doing something like you intend to do for one year now, and I notice no disadvantages over an "normal" external CD-player, if you closely pay attention to noise levels (fans, harddrive) of your "media-box".

And the configurability of that solution is by far superior to anything else I know.

I use Winamp for playback, since you can get the MAD-plugin for winamp, which is the best decoding engine for MP3-files, and it also support auto-attenuation, preventing clipping samples. I know of Foobar, but: No MAD decoder, no go for me...

And take a look at
http://winlirc.sourceforge.net/
, where you can learn how to build a IR receiver for small money (and get the supporting software).


If you run into trouble, just post here, I always take a look at postings like this one...

Bye,

Arndt
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Old 24th October 2003, 11:14 AM   #5
AndersZ is offline AndersZ  Sweden
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I agree with Arndt, an epia MB, audigy 2 soundcard and your off.

I have all the parts to to build a m-10000 based source/processor but the chassis work is not progressing in the rate that I want so in the meantime I'm using my normal computer with the soundcard.

So, this morning I took away the rear panels of my speakers and tossed away the crossover and instead made a kX equaliser/crossover to the fresh dipoles. I'm VERY pleased with the result and can't wait until I get the rest of my amp channels, HTPC and speakers finished. The best thing is that everything is adjustable on the fly so fine-tuning the eq/cross is no problem.

I have more info on my setup on my homepage: http://www.t.kth.se/andzak54

Cheers,

Anders[
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Old 24th October 2003, 07:59 PM   #6
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Default Audigy?

I have an Audigy laying around. Is that sufficient or will I be better off with the Audigy2?
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Old 25th October 2003, 06:46 AM   #7
AndersZ is offline AndersZ  Sweden
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It's certainly sufficient to start with and see if this kind of thing is something for you. It's possible to save the config files so when you think you need to upgrade to soundcard it's only a matter of switching them (or put in the new card next to the old one since kX can be used with multiple cards for more channels).

I don't now if there's any sound-quality differences between them though.

/Anders
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Old 25th October 2003, 07:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: Audigy?

Quote:
Originally posted by ultrachrome
I have an Audigy laying around. Is that sufficient or will I be better off with the Audigy2?
---------------------------------------------------------------
If you go to all the trouble, you should use a high quality soundcard and NOT an Emu or SB which share the same traits in that distortion is very poor. The spdif output waveforms also look horrible.

Use a 24/96 soundcard like a srcless Terratec or the RME and let the Via processor chug away!

I have a C3 Nehemah and this can be used in a largish case or smaller open fanless case with a very large passive heat sink. Getting a fanless PS is difficult and have a look at mini-itx.com. The ME6000 may indeed have a lot less power.
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Old 25th October 2003, 06:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Re: Audigy?

Hi!

Quote:
Originally posted by fmak

---------------------------------------------------------------
If you go to all the trouble, you should use a high quality soundcard and NOT an Emu or SB which share the same traits in that distortion is very poor. The spdif output waveforms also look horrible.

Use a 24/96 soundcard like a srcless Terratec or the RME and let the Via processor chug away
1. The Audigy 2 IS a 24/192 (even better than 24/96) soundcard

2. Distortion? Is signal to noise ratio of over 105 poor (108db for Audigy 2)? Try to get such values out of a normal cd player...

3. Show me ONE of the so called high end soundcards where you can FREELY program the DSP, inserting and connecting effects the way you like, and not the way the soundcard manufacturer intends to do it... And I mean audio computations totally calculated by the DSP of the soundcard, not the CPU...
Of course all not-Emu10k based soundcards have (maybe even better) DSPs than the ones I like, but since the drivers always are restrictive, they are of no use for me.

Even studio gear soundcards are all set up for ASIO routing, with effects being processed by the recording program (=CPU), and not by the soundcard.
There is another thread going on where the strain on the CPU for processing sound data is being calculated (for BruteFIR), and with a "quiet" CPU you are quickly out of your computer's capabilities.

It took the kx Project three years to get where they are now, and it is unlikely that other people will do what they are doing for other soundcards (of course I would like something like kx for the VIA Envy chips (M-Audio Revolution for example)).

Unless you intend on running an AMD Opteron with over 3 GHz and massive cooling devices, I would recommend the "easy" way of using kx + kx able soundcard, and don't judge before hearing (or measuring).

It's the original drivers of Creative that are poor, not their hardware!


Sorry about ranting, but discussions like these always bother me. People should really inform themselves about stuff before talking about it. And I would say that kx Project (although being an active member in their forums, I am not connected to them) is one of the most underrated freeware efforts I have ever seen.

Bye,

Arndt
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Old 25th October 2003, 09:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Re: Re: Audigy?

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Cradle22
[B]Hi!



1. The Audigy 2 IS a 24/192 (even better than 24/96) soundcard

2. Distortion? Is signal to noise ratio of over 105 poor (108db for Audigy 2)? Try to get such values out of a normal cd player...

------------------------------------------------
Pointless arguing on the basis of what you are told; just measure and listen to the cards. The SBs and EMUs have harmonics all over the shop. The Audigy 2 is a particulatly bad card in that it overloads at anything more than 70% gain; pollutes your computer with 135 Mb plus of unneccsary software; sample rate converts at 48kHz; and ouputs poor digital TTL signals. If you can show 105 dB S/N then you are A weighting to death. The harmonics are more like 75dB down.

EMUs are not better.
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