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Computer DAC Bypass


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Newbie Dave here. I just finished building my own rig. ASRock FM2A88m Extreme 4+ MB, 16 GB Ram, 128 SSD, W10. Works fine!

No audiocard. There is an external SPDIF port on back! I want to buy a pair of Behringer MS20 speakers. (I currently have no speakers at all and use earplugs). The Behringer MS20 speakers have their own 24/192 DAC built in and they have a SPDIF input on back. If I use an SPDIF cable from output on computer to input on speakers will this bypass my computer DAC entirely! I've heard that computer DACs are very cheap 16/44 specs I think! I hope I explained this OK. DACs confuse the heck out of me!

Tks for any help - David

Walker Edison 5 Shelf Glass Rack > Pioneer VSX-822k Receiver > Sony BDP-S590 BR Player > Sennheiser HD598

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I think your correct with your assumption. I know very little about the innards of how the computer works. But by definition SPDIF should be digital signal that needs to be decoded somewhere. So I assume that you need an external DAC, Reciever, Preamp or like you want to do Powered Speakers with a DAC built inside.

 

You could also run that SPDIF into your Pioneer receiver and get some bookshelf speakers or floor standers. Just an option.

PC/NAS/JRiver/Roon - PS Audio P5 Regenerator - KEF LS50 Nocturne - Rel 328 subwoofer - PS Audio AC5 Power cables 

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Newbie Dave here. I just finished building my own rig. ASRock FM2A88m Extreme 4+ MB, 16 GB Ram, 128 SSD, W10. Works fine!

No audiocard. There is an external SPDIF port on back! I want to buy a pair of Behringer MS20 speakers. (I currently have no speakers at all and use earplugs). The Behringer MS20 speakers have their own 24/192 DAC built in and they have a SPDIF input on back. If I use an SPDIF cable from output on computer to input on speakers will this bypass my computer DAC entirely! I've heard that computer DACs are very cheap 16/44 specs I think! I hope I explained this OK. DACs confuse the heck out of me!

Tks for any help - David

 

You are correct. Your PC has on board sound, meaning it has a built in DAC (spec'd for Blue-Ray, BTW). Usually the problem with such a setup in audio terms is not the DAC chip itself, but how it is implemented, including the analog HW of the PC. Generally done very cheaply and not optimized for good audio (in audiophile terms). That's one reason people use external DACs, or speakers like yours that should have a better DAC/audio implementation than the PC.

 

You should get quite good sound from your setup.

 

If you ever think it isn't good enough, one way to improve it could be to get a USB to SPDIF (digital format to digital format) converter to sit between a USB port of the PC and your speakers. It sounds counterintuitive, but sometimes these specialized converters give better results than the SPDIF inside the PC. Why? better clocks, more isolation from electronic noise and interference.

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: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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