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very new to computer audio


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My system is a gateway fx series desktop -asus xonar essence soundcard - rca outs directly to tube amps - running windows media player. Volume is controlled by a Logitech denovo edge Bluetooth keyboard. Last week my left speaker was cutting out, and now the Logitech volume slider only attenuates the left speaker. I was told that diagnosis was the asus soundcard needed replacement, and I ordered the ifi dsd dac. I have questions - was that likely the correct diagnosis, and is the installation of the ifi user friendly - this will be installed in a vacation home presently without an internet connection - do I need to install drivers for the ifi or is this plug in and play? Any other thoughts would be more than greatly appreciated - my configuration when working sounded fantastic - I think in part due to the direct connection between computer and amps - essentially using the gateway as a preamp. Thank you.

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USB audio in Windows is plug-and-play if you only need 24-bit/96kHz or less.

 

Given what you've described, you probably don't care about higher bitrates than that anyway (people concerned with higher bitrates would use more sophisticated music player software, like Foobar2000 or HQplayer or JRiver, which are more complicated for beginners).

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USB audio in Windows is plug-and-play if you only need 24-bit/96kHz or less.

 

Given what you've described, you probably don't care about higher bitrates than that anyway (people concerned with higher bitrates would use more sophisticated music player software, like Foobar2000 or HQplayer or JRiver, which are more complicated for beginners).

Thank you so much - so no driver installation or internet required when I connect the idsd dac, correct? Do I need to do anything in addition to connecting in terms of the computer settings? And I am only ripping cds to wma lossless format - would there be an advantage to utilizing higher bitrates? thank you

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Thank you so much - so no driver installation or internet required when I connect the idsd dac, correct? Do I need to do anything in addition to connecting in terms of the computer settings? And I am only ripping cds to wma lossless format - would there be an advantage to utilizing higher bitrates? thank you

 

I'm not familiar with WMA Lossless, but it should be configured to rip to 16-bit / 44.1 KHz. I'd recommend ripping to FLAC for maximum compatibility, but I believe you can convert WMA Lossless to FLAC in the future.

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Since you're ripping CD music which is 16-bit/44.1kHz and using Windows Media Player to play it, for best sound quality you should configure Windows to output the same audio bitrate. Then set the volume in Windows to 100% and use your audio equipment to change the volume rather than changing it in Windows.

 

Bring up the Control Panel, then Sound, then select your DAC and click Properties. Go the to Advanced tab, and you should see something like the picture below. Choose 16-bit, 44100 Hz.

 

If you eventually switch to one of the other music players I mentioned above, they have good algorithms for upsampling the CD-based music to higher-rate formats like 24-bit/192KHz or DSD, but with those players you should be using WASAPI exclusive or ASIO for audio output which bypasses the Windows settings, so having 16/44.1 in the Windows settings won't affect them.

 

samplerate.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you so much for the information. I received the ifi dsd dac and am charging it. You mentioned this is plug in and play - just confirming that I do not need to download drivers from the internet? there are no installation instructions with the dac. I e-mailed ifi and they responded that I do need to download and install drivers, which is contrary to your previous post.

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  • 4 months later...
Modern USB DACs don't need driver installation to handle CD-quality bitrates (16-bit/44.1kHz) on Windows 7 or later. But if you want to exceed 24-bit/96kHz on Windows you will need to install drivers.

 

Dear @Flac Attack ,mind if I tag along your response? I don't know much of the theories.. If I have a bunch of .wma files (claimed to be 24-bit samples). If I want to port them to iPod (160GB), I am buying dBpoweramp and hoping to convert the so-called 24-bit to lossless format (ALAC) that iPod can play. Do I need to set the transfer rate to be 24 or higher? Does it matter? Also, does it matter which iPod generation that I am using? It has 'Model 1238' at the back case. I assume it's a classic iPod. I travel a lot, I only have v-Moda headphone and that old iPod. I'd like to learn how to convert those wma files to iPod without much trouble. Thank you in advance. ~~~ :)

 

also, bonus question: even with v-moda, I found that the songs were richer if I use a China made headphone amplifier listening to those 24-bit songs. Is it because of the amplification (maybe distorted, but I like it) or because that is supposed to be played that way? Sorry, I don't have a good home system to test my questions... Just wondering if there is a good explanation with my trial by errors.. thought to ask this if you or anyone else knows about the possible answers. Thanks in advance.

A good song finds me even during my sleep.

Thank God for my aging ears. I now can filter out blah blah blah and tune in blue blue blue...

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"I have questions - was that likely the correct diagnosis"

 

Unplug the cord going from your sound card to your amps, and plug a pair of headphones into the sound card. If you have the same problem, its something in the PC, and if not, its something after the PC. It could even be a problem with the cable you are using. The mini headphone connectors don't always make good contact.

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