Best possible connection between computer and amplifier? Need help!

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I am going to build a pair of HATT speakers (designed by Tony Gee) that I will use for my computer. I am going to buy a new soundcard and while I´m looking around at different cards I don´t really know what to buy.

Since my Harman/Kardon HK3370 receiver don´t have any digital inputs I need to use an analogue connection.

I don´t know why but I really don´t like the small 3.5mm stereo plugs. Is there any soundcards with analog RCA outputs?

inadequate outputs on audio cards

I feel your pain. I have not seen an audio card with anything other than the mini output. It's weird that all the 'high end' audio cards lack phono jack outputs. I have looked at quite a few of them and even the supposed 'pro' models are lacking.

Let's both cross our fingers and hope somebody has this one figured out.

Retired diyAudio Moderator
Joined 2002
> I have not seen an audio card with anything other than the mini output.

Back in 97/98, I had a Soundblaster AWE64 Gold that I won at Comdex in Las Vegas, which had gold plated RCA connectors on it. I wish that Creative Labs would have continued this, instead of sticking to the minijack.

Not that this will help anything.

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The audiophile 24/96 from midiman has RCA outputs. Cost is around $150 i think. dunno how it does with games, but i'd imagine everything else in windows or linux would work fine.

I've been looking for something with balanced outputs. most of the cards with them are around $500 though.

There are some around but mostly the brands are not exactly well known, take a look at:
DSP Value:
Marc 2: (not RCA, but 1/4" jack)

If cost is less important, check RME: Something like a DIGI96/8 PRO.

Remind you, I have no experience with those cards (except RME). Best is to check out a few other forums. These cards are not intended for gameplaying, more for recording.

If you really want the best quality, go for a card with a digital output and a separate convertor. This will enable you to put your noisy pc in another room (10m for optical, 1200m for AES).
Getting Audio from PC to Stereo

Hi all,

I posted in here awhile back and wanted to come back to tell everybody about a product I think may fit the bill for getting audio out from PC-stereo.

It's called a SqueezeBox and it sells for between 250 and 300 bucks, so it's not for the faint of heart. The $300 wireless unit (802.11) sends MP3 files from your PC to the Squeezebox via 802.11 where they are decoded and fed via standard audio cables to your stereo.

This would seem an ideal solution since it eliminates the nasty three prong mini-jack and keeps the files as digital right up to the point of audio input.

There are some other neat tricks that the Squeezebox has going for it (like remote control and playlist management). I'm not overjoyed at the pricetag, but unless somebody has a cheaper more elegant solution........

I don't have the link handy, but searching google (or slashdot) will pull up info. I'd be interested if anybody has any first hand experience.

You could check out Digigram.

That is what we use in our broadcast and editing computers.

It is professional material and the price is of course likewise. They do offer a basic model though, and I am told that that price is fairly reasonable. I don't have an axact price.

Thanks for the input

I went to their site and looked at some of the stuff. They've defintely got some high end gear, but like you mentioned, it's more suited for professional applications and sound engineering (from what I could gather). I didn't check into pricing because you could just tell it was going to be HIGH. LOL. There was an ethernet box with hard drive that 'served' audio, but that would be more horsepower than I need. I'm going to let my pc be the storage and server (Squeezebox comes with some server type application that runs on the PC). I think the Squeezbox does the actual decoding of the MP3's, so I guess sound quality will ultimately be dependent on the sound card in the Squeezbox, but I'm hopeful that placing the Sqeeebox next to my stereo and using short, high quality RCA cables I can keep noise/hum to a minimum. The reason it is such a BIG issue with my system is that I run several power amps just for subs and any residual hum is ruinous.

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