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joonze 23rd April 2012 07:06 PM

PC based audio system questions
I am looking to build a sound system from a used PC (Windows Vista OS).

I have an AudioSource AMP-100 Stereo Power Amplifier, ADC SS100-SL 10 band Graphic EQ, and a decent set of Harvard 3 way speakers. and some exterior rock speakers for around the pool.

Question 1, can i incorporate the EQ into my set up? I would much rather use it and not the eq on the PC if at all possible.

Question 2, do i need a converter for my PC line out? I believe its analog output from the green line out. The soundcard also has an orange digital out from what i understand based on the line out color codes ive found online.

Question 3, do i need a ground loop isolator? will i get a lot of hum through the amp using a pc as the source?


dangus 26th April 2012 03:48 AM

1) Yes
2) It depends on the quality of the on-board sound. Sometimes you can here every hard drive access or movement of the mouse, due to poor design of the on-board sound stuff. An outboard digital to analog converter (DAC) (under $20 shipped on eBay) should be a vast improvement. Or try a ridiculously cheap "Music Fairy" (ebay) USB sound device.
3) If hum is a problem, I'd use the digital out and a DAC. If neither the digital output or the DAC have isolation, make a 1:1 transformer using ferrite beads or the transformer from an old ethernet card or hub.

joonze 27th April 2012 02:06 PM

Thanks alot....
will one of these work well?
MUSE 24Bit/192Khz Digital Optical Coaxial to Analog RCA Audio Converter DAC B
they are 21$ on ebay....

Billyo 29th April 2012 06:54 AM

I can recommend a Fiio D3 DAC as being a cheap way to convert from SPDIF to 2 ch stereo.

Works real nice.

dangus 2nd May 2012 07:48 AM

I expect the MUSE DAC will be better than most on-board audio. I recommend you buy one, if only to share with everyone else here what chips are inside it. I've ordered one of the cheaper black box DACs from eBay (along with an ADC).

fastbike1 2nd May 2012 02:54 PM

Before you spend any money on hardware, get rid of Vista and upgrade to Windows 7.

All sound processing, etc will be better, easier, less buggy.

joonze 2nd May 2012 06:08 PM


Originally Posted by fastbike1 (
Before you spend any money on hardware, get rid of Vista and upgrade to Windows 7.

All sound processing, etc will be better, easier, less buggy.

Because this pc is just a flac player for me, i cant justify the windows upgrade. would there really be a big difference in the sound processing? I guess to can compare by connecting my windows 7 laptop and seeing if a hear anything there any kinda documentation that i could read that compares the two OS for this scenario?

W0153R 2nd May 2012 08:48 PM

If there are sound differences between your pc & laptop, it's most likely due to the hardware and not vista or 7. When both are set up properly there should be no difference, but linux is better because it's very easy to slim it down to do just what you want: play music...

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