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Proper use of Airport Express in PC (not MAC) music PC/servers with XP


jxo

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I am not familiar with the AE product but read in Chris' recent post how the AE can render bit perfect output in PCs (among other things, by avoiding KMixer).

Generally how should the AE be implemented in PC-based music servers? I use XP and iTunes and have recently converted MusicGiant and Linn Super HD files to WAV so they can be played back via iTunes.

1. Is the AE effective as a wireless device to stream a digital feed to a remotely located DAC? Can I get the optimal bit perfect results by connecting the AE to a DAC that is not located by my PC?

2. Do you have to use the ethernet connection to hard wire the AE to your PC to get the benefits?

3. Does the AE work like a soundcard? I have a PC that does not pass 24/96 signals via the SPDIF output on the mobo. Will I be able to get 24/96 (or higher) output to the DAC with the AE connected to the same computer (I use another PC with a 24/96 capable soundcard to play back the hi rez files)?

 

 

Regards,

Jim

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Hey guys - I'll post my response over here as well incase anyone missed it over in the other place. everyone else is encouraged to chime in also.

 

 

The AE is a pretty neat device, but usually considered mid-fi for very high jitter among other things.

 

You can certainly stream you iTunes library wirelessly to an AE that is connected directly to your DAC. This would allow you to leave your PC outside the listening room. Using the AE this way should give you bit perfect results because the audio is sent out over the wireless network and not through the internal sound card first. My understanding is that Apple has limited the AE to either 16/44.1 or 16/48. I can never remember. It is actually discussed on the site here quite a bit :-)

 

Does that clear it up? Let me know if it doesn't and I'll be happy to chat some more.

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Got it. thanks Chris. too bad about the word length/sample rate limitation. so what is the bit perfect magic for 24/88 or 24/96 files if the AE won't do those? do you have to manually avoid Kmixer? will a firewire connection to a DAC do the same end-run as the AE?

 

thanks,

Jim

 

Regards,

Jim

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I'm curious about this as well. If use of the AE delivers bit-perfect digital data to the DAC at the other end of the broadcast, what are the other things, in the AE, that could bring the resolution down, besides jitter?

 

Tim

 

I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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Hi Jim - You are correct about manually avoiding the KMixer on XP. You'll have to use an app like J River with ASIO and a good soundcard or something like Foobar2k with the the correct plugins and card as well. To me this is ugly and more of a lab type of solution. iTunes on Mac is bit perfect right out of the box.

 

FireWire won't do the "end-run" around KMixer.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Yeah, I remember that thread, Chris, thanks. It seems that jitter is the issue. At what point can we hear it would be the question. A few hundred pico seconds is a tiny, tiny measurement, especially when you're talking about timing errors not dropped data or incorrect data.

 

Tim

 

I confess. I'm a mid-fi phool :)

 

I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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