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Beginner's DAC / Soundcard Question

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I'm planning on buying a new PC and using it to listen to my music by connecting it through an Arcam rDAC into my seperates (also Arcam). Am i right in thinking that if i'm using the Arcam DAC - either through USB or the optical on the motherboard - there's no point buying a dedicated sound card for the PC as it will just be duplicating the effect at a lower quality?


Thanks, Rob


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Not being a computer geek of any kind and a Mac user I might be stepping terribly close to the edge of the "foot in mouth" line but I would think that the sound card is what transmits the sound from the computer. Without a soundcard you have no sound. The DAC is going to take the digital audio signal generated by the soundcard, do wonderful things to it to improve the sound, and then output that to your integrated amp or receiver for output to speakers. So the way I would understand it you do need a soundcard.


"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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If you're connecting a rDAC (or other) via USB then there is no need for another dedicated sound card: the USB connection makes the DAC into a sound card.


You also mentioned the optical output on the motherboard: if using this (and with the rDAC I wouldn't) then a dedicated soundcard could make a difference as the optical connection is a connection to the soundcard.






...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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