How to obtain a good audio from pc?

Do I use my pc as source for my audio system, someone would know how to give me some suggestion to get a good audio from the pc?
Here is my configuration:
Athlon xp 2600 @ 2.3 ghz
Asus A7N8X-X motherboard (obviously I don't use the onboard audio)
Creative Audigy 2 ZS soundcard
Sony DRU710A dvd-rw
LG GDR8162 cd-rom
QTEC 550W dual fan gold power supply

Thanks

P.s. Sorry for my English
 
I would throw out the soundblaster audigy 2 if i were you. It doesn't play well at 16 bit/44.1 khz. If you must use that card, i would use it in upsampled mode at 48 khz. You should use Foobar2000 (kernelstreaming hack) as your media player, sure beats winamp because you avoid using the windows volume control, which reduces music to 14 bits from 16 bits.

If you want to get a new card, look at the high end soundblaster line such as EMU, or look at the MAudio series of soundcards/external boxes.
 

kevinkr

Administrator
Paid Member
Take a look at my thread on my digital music server. Don't use microsoft media player or windows kmixer.

I am now using FOO media player (latest version) with the latest version of otachans ASIO DLL for Foo (7Zip archive file) and ASIO4ALL which provides generic asio support. Turn off (disable) the DSP based volume control in FOO as it audibly degrades the sound quality. Foo now has a native FLAC plugin - you just have to make sure it is selected when you install FOO.

Windows native audio resamples everything to 48kHz which is a particular problem with 44.1K audio as the interpolation over small differences in Fs is quite poor in accuracy. ASIO can be configured to allow output and conversion of native sample rate without resampling which helps the sound quality considerably.

Use a lossless compressor like FLAC for saving your music files. It provides about a 30% reduction in file size, but the saving in space is enough to be worthwhile and the sound quality as far as I can ascertain is the same as the uncompressed wav file.

EAC or CDex can be used to make bit perfect wav file copies of your cds which you can then convert to FLAC. I prefer EAC, it is allegedly more accurate. Seems to work fine for the most part.

I am currently using the crummy onboard chipset on my asus a7n8vm400 mobo, I send the spdif signal to my dac and this seems to work ok.

Longer term I am going to design and build a USB based DAC and SPDIF/AES/EBU interface with 24 bit/192kHz support.

The creative sound cards are not too well regarded for good quality audio due to chipset and driver design. I would replace it with something else like the M-Audio 2496, EMU 0404 or similar.

Kevin