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PC sound card purchase please


RoseKloud666

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Good day

 

 

I ve recently ponied up for JRiver audio and am inspired to pull my old audiophile gear out of their boxes and hook it to my pc ( Specs below )

 

 

 

 

I ve spent years with neighbours above and below me , so it s all been in boxes .For critical listening i have as un related gear below ( Headphone listening )

 

 

 

 

Im thinking im in need of a good decent sound card And im here for advice

 

 

Im not so certain about an audiophile sound card tho $$$$$$$ And this will not be my critical listening area ( tho im always willing to listen and learn So dont hold back :) ) .

 

 

 

 

All the DACs id consider (Sabre/Burr Brown/wolfson etc) are more than i can afford for a setup i wont be using for critical listening

 

 

 

 

Im thinking sound cards wil provide the DAC function ?

 

 

Externl or internal ?

 

 

Will all cards support up to DSD 228 , 256 , 512 ?

 

 

This card , The Asus Xonar Essence ST/STX PCI and PCI Express got a nice review in Stereophile magazine ( but it was 5 years ago i just discovered ) .Thats kind of where i started at.

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Audio Labs turned an interest but the card only supports up to 24/96

 

 

Not near enough as i have SACds , 24/192 , and recently have been purchasing DSD 128-256 from Native DSD

 

 

 

 

Thus i should have stated the support of this high resolution is a necessity for me

 

 

Thanks mates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pertinent gear

 

 

Intel Core i5 4690K @ 3.50GH : Asus z 87 plus :Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1:

 

 

* GB DDR 3

 

 

Meitner P6 amp/pre amp : Tannoy FM 6

 

 

Un related gear

 

 

RSA Dark star amp : Sennheiser HD 800 : Cayin N6 DAP : Future sonics MG6 pro

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Im thinking sound cards wil provide the DAC function ?

 

Yes.

 

But what is your DAC/Soundcard budget?

 

You can get one of the iFi Dacs starting at less than $200,they will play EVERYTHING, and will sound better than just about any soundcard - except the ones that cost $700 and up - and it may be better than some of those.

 

iFi Nano iDSD DAC at Music Direct

 

 

Externl or internal ?

 

Just a matter of choice/convenience. Some will say external allows you to use better, quieter power supply, and feed less computer noise down the chain.

 

Will all cards support up to DSD 228 , 256 , 512 ?

 

NO. Many cards don't support rates such as 176, 192, 352, 384, and DSD of various types.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Firedog was being kind. An internal sound card is a bad idea if you want more than movies and gaming. iFi makes good USB DAC's for under $500,I've used both the Nano and the Micro, but these will lack "weight" for tone color solidity as they are battery powered. Chord gets a lot of love as a more expensive powered DAC that can do DSD but I've not heard it. There will be quite a price jump going to a good powered DAC, expect to pay around $1500 or higher

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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Thanks mates

 

"But what is your DAC/Soundcard budget? "

 

I would need to stay under 400.00 ( Majority of my funds went into HD800s ,RSA darkstar and cayin N6 and moon audio cables ) .

 

I ve found this one Korg Ds-dac-10 1bit USB DAC Digital Analog Converter

 

Its rated DSD: 2.8224 MHz/5.6448 MHz, 1 bit But only 2 channels .Its 400.00 USD so a tad

 

over my budget with exchange and shipping etc

 

Something else comes to mind i d accept advice on

 

I have an Oppo 105

 

Good news is here

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/news-flash-oppo-now-plays-dsd-files#tPx4JRGFKrrW39sA.97

 

Both DFF and DSF formats supported , and also multi channel (Tho Hoffman forums

 

as of 2015 make no reference to that article , they say no DSD on Oppo 105 )

 

How sweet would DSD be in surround

 

On budget i remain cautios as all my funds are sunk into critical headphone listening

 

i would still like a decent DSD listening experience when listening in front room on home

 

stereo with company .It just wont be critical listening

 

Im also thinking since my Cayin N6 supports to DSD 128 it can play a role as a DAC as

 

well here ? But id rather not as i would like to save it s play life for my headphone

 

listening

 

Thanks , im appreciating feed back

 

Please advise more

 

Cheers

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I have an Oppo 105

Good news is here

[/color]http://www.stereophile.com/content/news-flash-oppo-now-plays-dsd-files#tPx4JRGFKrrW39sA.97

Both DFF and DSF formats supported , and also multi channel (Tho Hoffman forums

as of 2015 make no reference to that article , they say no DSD on Oppo 105 )

How sweet would DSD be in surround

Who says the 105 will not do multichannel DSD? Depends on your setup.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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OK i now read that Oppo 105 plays DSD via USB flash into front usb port . It cannot play it from USB(B) dac input .

 

 

Apparently i cannot play DSD files from my PC to Oppo DAC .

 

 

So what does that mean or boil down to , if it s true ?

 

 

So it plays DSD via front usb . In that way am i still able to play DSD native ? Or downsampled?

 

 

What would be performing a DAC function ?

 

 

Apparently the Darbee edition will play from USB(B) dac , but im not buying another oppo for that . If i have to ill buy some other DAC .

 

 

If im able to use Oppo 105 to play DSD , this is the way i would like to , or how i picture it in my head .

 

 

1. True DSD ( up to 256 or better )

 

 

2. i need to use my media player of choice to browse (JRiver or HQ player )

 

 

So i picture going HDMI out from pc to tv HDMI in , and pc out to Oppo for audio (In Oppo audio rca ? ) , and Oppo RCA out to my meitner amp

 

Thanks for help

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Update

 

" The player will only support DSD64 and will only output it through HDMI 2 or through analog. Digital coaxial and optical will produce no audio when playing a SACD, and DSD64 files will be 24-bit/88.2kHz."

 

Looks like im back to square one

 

So is that Korg i mentioned earlier a decent enough option for non critical listening?

 

Its a tad over my budget due to USD vs CND exchange rate tho

 

Im also open to a slightly more expensive option (slightly) that would make me wait while

 

i saved more

 

Would my Cayin N6 work as a usb DAC in this scenario ? It only supports to DSD 128 , where the

 

korg i mentioned is up to 512 i think ? Id rather not employ it in this manner , but i would

 

consider it

 

Im very open to options here :)

 

As stated this is how id like to do things no matter what i buy

 

1. True DSD ( up to 256 or better )

 

 

2. i need to use my media player of choice to browse (JRiver or HQ player )

 

Cheers

 

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OK i now read that Oppo 105 plays DSD via USB flash into front usb port . It cannot play it from USB(B) dac input .

 

Apparently i cannot play DSD files from my PC to Oppo DAC .

But it can play DSD via ethernet input.

 

If im able to use Oppo 105 to play DSD , this is the way i would like to , or how i picture it in my head .

1. True DSD ( up to 256 or better )

2. i need to use my media player of choice to browse (JRiver or HQ player )

So i picture going HDMI out from pc to tv HDMI in , and pc out to Oppo for audio (In Oppo audio rca ? ) , and Oppo RCA out to my meitner amp

1. JRiver on PC plays to the Oppo 105 via Ethernet.

2. PC sends video to TV via HDMI.

3. Oppo send output via HDMI, S/PDIF or analog.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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All Oppo 105s (with correct firmware) will play DSD from attached storage ( USB drives and thumb drives) and from network shares.

 

As far as I am aware the 105D model also accepts DSD via USB input to its DAC and as a renderer.

 

Again as far as I am aware, whenever the 105 can play stereo DSD it can also play mch.

 

I say "as far as I am aware" as I have been playing stereo DSD for a couple of years with a 105EU but I have no direct experience of MCH or of the 105D model.

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