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Hi,

 

My father is a big fan of classical music, he has tons of CD albums but does not know so much about sound equipment and neither do I.

He needs a new PC, and since he's used to manage big libraries of music on computer, I thought it would be nice if he could directly use his new PC as an HiFi.

 

He listen to all kind of classical music, all the great composer (Mozart, Wagner, Vivaldi ...), orchestras, operas. But also some more simple ones like lute instrumentals.

Most of his records are in stereo, sometimes in mono. Some are recent but some may be 80 years old.

The room would be around 15m².

Let's consider we start from zero, no previous audio equipment. Headphones are not an option.

 

I come to you for general advices.

 

Is it realistic to use a PC as an HiFi ?

Would I need a soundcard or would the chipset Realtek ALC887 be okay : Gigabyte GA-H81M-S2H (GAH81MS2H) ?

If I need a soundcard, would that one be okay ?

Would I need an audio amplifier ?

What kind of speakers would I need ?

 

I understand those question are very generalist and you may need more informations such as a budget but I would like to understand what may be my needs before I can decide of a budget.

English is not my native language, I apologize if my grammar is a bit rubbish.

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The most important aspect is the speakers. Put as much money toward speakers as possible. Amps, sound card (DAC), interconnects will need to be quality but don't need to be very expensive to get the job done.

 

As a budget option:

 

Speakers: Behringer Truth 3031A They have solid and clean bass response down to about 60Hz (not earth shattering) but decent. What they will really do well is throw a nice sound stage and they have a huge listening sweet spot (good off axis and polar response).

 

DAC: Again since I don't know budget you could try the Behringer (or like) U-Phoria UMC202HD. It's 24/192 and has balanced outputs.

 

The speakers are already bi-amped and they also feature room correction switches on the back so you can tweak according to where they will be placed. So NO money spent on an amp :-)

 

You will need some TRS to XLR so budget about $30-$50

 

For basically $600 I don't see a better alternative other than looking used which has it's own potential problems.

 

3 year warranty on the DAC , 1 year on the speakers (you can purchase additional warranty if desired).

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Consider PC, built-in sound card, and good powered speakers with amp built in. Low cost, simple, and good sound with the right powered speakers.

 

For best results, use good playback software such as Foobar or JRiver. You would only get a small incremental improvement with separate dac, amp, etc. components, with a higher cost.

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Consider PC, built-in sound card, and good powered speakers with amp built in. Low cost, simple, and good sound with the right powered speakers.

 

For best results, use good playback software such as Foobar or JRiver. You would only get a small incremental improvement with separate dac, amp, etc. components, with a higher cost.

 

For another $59 I think he can do better. The balanced connections alone is going to provide a halving of the noise floor all else being equal and I doubt most onboard audio with it's typical 103-105dB SNR is going to come close to even a $59 pro audio USB interface.

 

That's real measurable difference. I don't know if the OP would hear it or not but for a mere $59...

 

Also balanced cables are going to guarantee problem free long cable runs.

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I hate to say this, but you really need a budget to start with. Even if it is a loose one. Otherwise others will up or down sell you.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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The most important aspect is the speakers. Put as much money toward speakers as possible. Amps, sound card (DAC), interconnects will need to be quality but don't need to be very expensive to get the job done

 

I would say the opposite :-)

 

If you have a mediocre front end and cheap speakers then guess what!... you will have mediocre sound that will not improve as you spend up for better speakers. In fact it might get worse as you unveil the deficiencies upstream.

 

If you have a good front end then you will always enjoy the benefits of changes you make downstream.

 

Just my two cents!

 

PS. I guess a compromise is to find a good "bang for the buck" front end that punches above it's class... and consider used equipment as we audiophiles are very fickle and are always trading up for a lo$$.


"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

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The answer is yes the PC can be a great Audio system!

IMO you need

1) PC (preferably not too old)

2) Software player (foobar free with the need of some setup. JRiver with less setup needs)

3) DAC or Audio Interlace (meaning sound card)

4) Powered Speakers (generally the costlier the better)

 

* if you have it with computers the Raspberry Pi option running dedicated Audio OS like Archfile for example is a quite cheap option (you need specific kinds of DAC though -this does not mean expensive- and a tablet or PC to control it)

Mac Mini with JRMC26 or Audirvana  / Raspberry4B_4GB(GentooPlayer_LMS) / Raspberry Rpi3B+: Allo DigiOne(GentooPlayer) - M2Tech Evo DAC Two Plus/iPurifier2 - Schiit Vali 2 - Densen DM20pre/30pwr amps - Spendor SP2/3E, Sennheiser HD600 & HD25Aluminum - Audeze Sine

Cables: Vovox, DIY, Furutech. 

Portable sources: iPad, DELL Laptop with JRiver MC26

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