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Newby needs help with new sound card


tomE
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I got a Xonar DX sound card fairly cheap and installed it in my PC following the instructions as best I could. I am definitely not very computer literate! It has a Toslink digital out which I have run through the supplied adaptor to my BDA-1. This is an attempt to gain the ability to play 24/96 material as the Bryston says it cannot play this from the USB of my computer and my PC doesn't have any digital out other than the USB. I had been using the USB out and itunes to play my 16/44 files and wanted a cheap way to play with higher res files. Now I can't get anything through my USB or the Toslink to the BDA-1. My cheap and cheerful desktop speakers are plugged into the card and work fine. Can anyone tell me what I may have done wrong? My PC has a ASUS P5KPL-VM board and Intel duo core 2.33 CPU. Device manager says everything is working o.k. Thanks.

 

tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

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I forgot to specify that ms Vista Home Premium 32 bit is the O/S. Maybe I need a mac?

 

tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

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If I understand what you are saying, the little desktop speakers are hooked up to your new card and work fine, but nothing is coming out of the toslink on that same card? If that is the case go to the settings application for that card and see if there is a setting to turn on the digital output. It may not output to the toslink by default, and you may not be able to output on the toslink and analog out (to desktop speakers) at the same time. I am not sure as I am not familiar with that card. To find the settings I am talking about check the control panel. There might be a specific icon for your sound card, or something under the "Sounds . . ." icon. There might even be an icon next to the clock in the bottom right corner of your screen that you can right click, or double click. Let us know . . . Good luck.

 

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I did go into the control panel and everything looks o.k. there. The ASUS site does have an updated driver that I downloaded. My PC doesn't recognize the file type...RAR? What do I do with this? It downloaded into my documents. Is this a zip file? I am really at a loss and may just take my machine to my local dealer and get them to set things up. They now call me by name when I walk in!

 

tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

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a RAR file is a compressed package much like a ZIP file. You should be able to open it with Winzip or whatever program you use to open zipped files with. If you have nothing installed (and you probably don't) to do this you can use the trial version of winzip, or download another program which does the same thing: many are free. Once you install the software to open the RAR file, double click on the RAR file. A window will open listing all the files in the RAR. There should be a button in the interface of the program which says "extract." Click that. Choose a directory to extract to (a folder named temp in my documents is fine). Navigate to the extracted folder (My Documents/temp, for example), and click the .exe file for installing the drivers. Read the directions first though, bec. my instructions are general guidelines. When you are done installing the drivers you can delete that temp folder and the RAR. You dont need them anymore. restart the computer just in case.

 

Did you see a setting in the control panel for turning on the SPDIF output? Did you install drivers from a disk when you installed the card or did you let windows simply recognize the card and install driver's of it's choosing? If the latter is the case then you definitely need to install the downloaded drivers (make sure they are for your operating system) and then you will probably see an option for turning on SPDIF output.

 

let me know.

 

 

 

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Thanks Markeyd. I'll see if I can open it with winzip. I did install the drivers from the disc that came with the board. I'll let you kn ow how that turns out.

 

tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

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Also, make sure to unplug your desktop speakers from the soundcard when trying to get the digital output to work. I just noticed that I could play any file from foobar through the digi out on my card, but when I used media monkey, flacs would play out of the digital out, but not apple lossless files. (I am on win xp sp3). I am looking into that now. Not sure if it applies to you.

 

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Thanks for that tip markeyd! If I have to do that everytime then I'll likely abandon this card to the older machine and get something better. I've been sick for the last week (it's that season in the great white north) so I haven't been doing anything with my computer until today. I'll see if I can get things sorted out by Monday.

 

tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

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one last thing: I just had a similar problem as you. Specifically, I can't play apple lossless files from my digital out on my windows machine using any player except foobar. The players I am having a problem with use Quicktime to play the files. QT wont output to the SPDIF. Not sure if this is your situation. I'll stick with foobar. Also, try deleting the sound card from hardware manager before installing the new drivers. good luck.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

markeyd, I finally got the digital out on the sound card to work. I got a techie at the place where I bought my computer and sound card to help me out. I had disabled the sound of the device on the motherboard to see if this would help with the digital out from the sound card. It didn't and it also made using the CD/DVD drive impossible. Then to make things worse there appeared to be no way to enable it. Anyway, the tech guy went into device manager a different way and showed me how to enable my onboard sound. Then I selected the digital out as the default from the same device manager. They didn't have anything at the store to verify it now worked so I took it back home and tried it. It works! I then found a DAD of some 24/96 material and it played. Super. Thanks for your efforts on my behalf.

 

tomE

 

tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

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Tom,

 

Sorry to jump in on what is pretty much now a closed thread.

 

I couldn't help but notice that you're using iTunes on the PC. I'm guesisng that this ie because of it's ease of use and the fact you probably have your music library organised from this software.

 

I'm guessing that you probably know that you're not getting as good a sound from that software as you'd get from others such as Foobar, Mediamonkey etc etc ? iTunes just does not support a bit perfect output via WASAPI or ASIO.

 

Sure you're fully aware.

 

Matt.

 

HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

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O.K. Matt, you lost me! I figure that Foobar and Mediamonkey are programs but what the heck is WASAPI and ASIO? I am new at this stuff and want to get as good sound as possible. After all I am an audiophile. I just have no interest in computers other than as a source for my hifi. So I try to learn just enough about computers to achieve my sonic goals without having to start a completely new hobby. I am the ideal customer for a turnkey set up except that I am a cheapskate! Anyway, I do read a lot of stuff on this site to learn more but as someone once said I don't understand 90% of it.

 

tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

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tomE, you are the ideal customer for a turnkey computer audiophile music server set up especially since you are a self proclaimed cheapskate. But as a newbie I suggest that you not worry about many of the intricate technical discussions. After all, your goal should be high fidelity digital playback of some of the most beautiful music possible.

 

If you want to wet your feet in the surf before you run back to your beach chair, umbrella, drinks and beautiful sites try these links for explanations:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_features_new_to_Windows_Vista

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Stream_Input/Output

 

 

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'Zorro, thanks for the links. It will take a while to digest if I ever really figure this out. It is my understanding that the dreaded kmixer isn't a feature of Vista so would the ASIO thing be strictly necessary in my case? In other words would it make an audible difference? How do you use it? Do I have to download stuff or are the necessary bits already present on my PC? Thanks again.

 

tomE

 

tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

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Tom,

 

Sorry, I've only just seen that you replied to my post.

 

If you're using a PC then this is kind of important to you. By using software that supports ASIO or WASAPI you will hear an almost immediate improvement over iTunes.

 

Basically Windows resamples your audio so that if for example a system sound is played, like when you click an okay button or something, it can play them both at the same time. Whilst Vista's audio is an improvement over the old k-mixer in Windows XP, it's still in your interests to get around this, which is exactly what ASIO and WASAPI enable you to do.

 

They're pretty simply to setup if you're using Mediamonkey or Foobar. If you'd like to take thing further you could always try XXHighEnd. But to start I'd recommend something a little easier (sorry Peter, not trying to lose you a sale but being a little techy helpds with XX) such as MediaMonkey.

 

I can tell you exactly how to setup if you wish - just let me (us) know ... it's really quite easy.

 

Matt.

 

HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

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Thanks Matt, this sounds promising. If I use MediaMonkey do I have to rip all my CDs again or can it access my library in iTunes? Is MediaMonkey freeware? I'll probably try this soon and will likely require some help so thanks in advance. I might not have time to play with this until next weekend in the meantime I'll google MediaMonkey and see what's up. Thanks again. TTFN.

 

Tom

 

tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

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Hi Tom,

 

Mediamonkey is free though you open up some more features if you pay a small amount. But you don't need those features in order to enjoy great sound.

 

You don't have to rip your library again, but it can be a little fiddly importing it, I must admit and can take some time depending on how big your library is.

 

Why not download it, install it .. then download the asio output plugin from the same website which, if I remember rightly, self installs on a double click.

 

Once you've done that, open up MM and import just one of your albums - one that you could test as a comparison. Under options in MM you will find an output section in which you should select ASIO. Now give it a listen - I bet it sounds better than iTunes.

 

If you wish to better you iTunes output (having found MM import too fiddly) then an Airport Express will improve things. That said, all your uncompressed music is converted to ALAC prior to it being sent to the Airport Express, but it does avoid the K-Mixer in Windows giving a nice clean sound.

 

Let me know how you get on ...

 

 

Matt.

 

Matt.

 

HTPC: AMD Athlon 4850e, 4GB, Vista, BD/HD-DVD into -> ADM9.1

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Matt,

 

Correct me if I am wrong, maybe you know, but I was under the assumption that I do not need asio to get bitperfect output. I use foobar, and select my soundcard from the "output device" dropdown in settings, and turn off any DSP processing, max out the volume, etc. Then in windows I choose my soundcard as the default device, max the volume setting, etc. Am I fooling myself into thinking this keeps the OS or any other software from messing with my output? Do I need ASIO after all?

 

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Matt, I downloaded MM today and will play with it over the next week. The ASUS site says my card supports ASIO 2.0 so I guess I'm good to go. I'll try to install the plug in and give it some material to play and see what happens. Thanks. Ciao.

 

Tom

 

tomE[br]Bryston BDP-1, Bryston BDA-1, Oppo BDP-95, Rogue Audio Sphinx, Montor Audio Silver RX8s. [br]Analog: LP12, Alphason HR100S, Benz Micro LO04 and Rogue audio Triton phono pre

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