HTPC 6-channel 5.1 DIY Amp - Digital or Analog ? [Newbie] - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Source & Line > PC Based

PC Based Computer music servers, crossovers, and equalization

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12th March 2010, 12:06 PM   #1
Galgo is offline Galgo  Israel
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Jerusalem
Default HTPC 6-channel 5.1 DIY Amp - Digital or Analog ? [Newbie]

Greetings friends,
My first post here after a lot of reading within the past few weeks and I think you are GREAT

Project description:
build a small, efficient and "budget challenged" 6-channel Amp (+DAC!?) for my HTPC.
I'm not a true Audiophile (sorry about that) but I'll want to build something better than commercially available computer 5.1 sets - more equivalent to mid level A/V receivers that will be more compact and efficient (especially in idle) + give some room for upgrades in the future (and obviously be fun to build myself )
I'd prefer a minimalistic approach with minimal "part count" (will try to avoid additional devices, processors, PSU etc.) as well as minimal " $ count" (my first try and 2nd hand A/V receivers are so cheap...)

My main question at this stage is whether I shall use the available 6ch analog output, go digital S/PDIF and add 6ch DAC/Dolby processor to my build or maybe ignore the on-board chip and go for an external USB device I can integrate within the external Amp. case?

I'd be happy to hear any comments, insights and your design, hardware selection and concept recommendations ( links to relevant threads on the following mater will also be nice - there are just too many and I'm a bit "lost").

Current setup:
Source: PC -ASUS motherboard integrated ADI 1986A soundMAX "HD audio" chip with 6 analog outputs (3X 2ch sockets) and S/PDIF coax/optical output as well (don't know if capable to 6ch or 2ch only - anyone?).
Speakers: I already have an entry level HT 5.1 speaker setup (5X small 6ohm satellites + 1X 8ohm passive SW rated at Max 70W).
These currently satisfy my needs - but would probably be upgraded in the future (quality wise - not necessary much more powerful).

Initial thoughts:any comments or other recommendations are welcome!
1) Base the Amp. on Tripath 3X TA2020 (2ch boards are cheap and good kits easy to find or single 6ch 3XTA2020 board from Arjen)

2) Use the PC PSU 12V line as a power source, or, an efficient 12V-24V power brick.

3) Ability to control ON/OFF or at least Mute/Sleep from the PC in order to save electricity (the PC is on 24/7 but the Amp. should only be On when needed)

4) Ability to control volume from the Amp. itself - preferably independently for each channel pair+SW, however, not critical since I can control the levels from the source - but need at least one overall volume control in the amp.

Thats all for now - I've many more questions of course - but lets start with that.
Thank you,
Gal
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2010, 12:05 PM   #2
Galgo is offline Galgo  Israel
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Jerusalem
Hi guys,
How about using the Creative USB Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 or ESI's GIGAPORT HA / AG 8 channel USB DAC's ?
How better will they be Vs. using the built-in soundcard analog outputs?
Gal
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th March 2010, 02:37 PM   #3
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Blog Entries: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galgo View Post
My main question at this stage is whether I shall use the available 6ch analog output, go digital S/PDIF and add 6ch DAC/Dolby processor to my build or maybe ignore the on-board chip and go for an external USB device I can integrate within the external Amp. case?
Stick with the internal soundcard for the moment. Don't try to intregrate a DAC, build your project in manageable chunks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galgo View Post
1) Base the Amp. on Tripath 3X TA2020 (2ch boards are cheap and good kits easy to find or single 6ch 3XTA2020 board from Arjen)
You could do much worse than this. You can have some confidence in the sound quality independent of your own unsupported judgement. OTOH if you are trying to keep the costs down then you can probably find some amps to recycle.

You still need a SW amp in this case tho'. If, however, you add a mono amp for the centre channel, you can get rid of one of the duals, or keep it in case you want 7.1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galgo View Post
2) Use the PC PSU 12V line as a power source, or, an efficient 12V-24V power brick.
Forget using the PC 12V, get hold of a redundant laptop supply, or more than one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galgo View Post
3) Ability to control ON/OFF or at least Mute/Sleep from the PC in order to save electricity (the PC is on 24/7 but the Amp. should only be On when needed)
Use a COTS device here that has a mains socket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galgo View Post
4) Ability to control volume from the Amp. itself - preferably independently for each channel pair+SW, however, not critical since I can control the levels from the source - but need at least one overall volume control in the amp.
This is a problem. You can have 2 dual-ganged pots, one for each channel pair and 2 singletons for the centre and SW, but anything more starts to get complicated. There are dedicated tone control ICs which are the easiest way to deal with multi-channel without getting into buffering and opamps.

w
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY Analog-to-Digital Converter project.Audio measurements tool Frex Equipment & Tools 274 9th May 2014 06:32 PM
Any ideas for a digital/analog 6-channel pre-amp switcher/mixer? Ball Digital Line Level 4 30th April 2009 03:01 PM
recommended reading for a digital DIY newbie? adhoc Digital Source 2 1st August 2006 06:14 AM
5 channel amp with digital in (DIY) TomWaits Solid State 7 12th July 2006 11:10 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:59 PM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2