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How to provide for Room Correction with a Music Server

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I am unable to include Acoustic Room Treatments in my listening area due to the WAF, however I have a Denon AVR with the Audyssey MultiEQ Room Correction firmware. The improvement in Audio quality with the MultiEQ engaged is quite dramatic. I realize I would be better served (Audio Wise) by addressing Room Acoustics directly, but the down side is this too significant to seriously entertain!


I am able to gain some of the performance improvements you talk about at this website, as I "feed" the AVR via a USB port from a stand alone external Harddrive (powered by a wall wort). Previously I had the HD connected to my PC and I downloaded WAV files to it from CDs via Windows Media Player (version 11). The AVR would not recognize these WAV files, until I converted them from WAV to WAV with the program dBPowerAmp Converter (wierd)! For a while, I accessed the HD from the AVR via an ethernet connection- which sounded reasonably good, but I would occasionally drop bits and the transmission would end. When I relocated the HD to the AVR and hardwired it via the USB cable/port I was shocked! I experienced a tremendous improvement in sound.


In the long term, I would like to consider replacing the AVR with a Music Server. I assume, I would experience even better sound using a PC based system with a really good audio card. However, I would have to give up the improvements I hear from the Audyssey software.


Can you share with me, your thoughts about ways to address this concern?








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I don't think you would have to give up anything if you went: Server --> USB or other external DAC --> Analog out to the AVR.


The AVR could still run EQ/processing on the analog 2 channel signal it gets and give you the sonic benefits you get today. The DAC analog out (or quality soundcard, analog out) gives you the freedom you need. I run the high quality 2 channel directly into a 2 channel tube amp, but I could just as easily run it into my NAD AVR and do the same thing you are doing.




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What I didn't include (and should have) in the original Thread is that “I am using the AVR as a Pre/Pro only and sending its analog Preamp Out signals to a separate Power Amp!”


Your suggestion is viable, but perhaps not optimal?


I believe the D/A signal quality out of a good DAC would be superior then the DACs in the AVR. What you suggest would input a very good analog signal in to the AVR, which would then be converted to digital, processed and then converted back in to the analog domain. It would add an A/D conversion and 1 additional D/A conversion in the signal path- while still being constrained by the DACs in the AVR.


I would prefer to input a digital signal and have it stay in the digital domain until after equalization processing.


Perhaps I should ask this question "Is there a Good way to output a digital signal from my AVR (that has been equalized/processed) that can feed a quality DAC. The output of the DAC would be sent to a separate Power Amp."


Now is the time for my "Duh" moment!


I just remembered that the AVR has 2 Digital Outpital Outputs. So should I be looking for a "DAC that sounds good when it is being fed a Digital Optical Signal?"


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Many great DACs of course that take optical input (mine is USB, but that is neither here nor there). The question is can you really feed a DAC an processed signal and have the processing, once decoded in your DAC, actually make an audible impact? To that one, I really don't know. This is a case where Chris' "if it sounds good" rule would really come in to play. The mechanics of it are simple - AVR optical out to DAC optical in, back to AVR analog inputs or direct to your power amp if you use something like the DAC 1 Pre which takes care of the preamp function.


It sounds goofy and probably is goofy, but it would "work". The question is how might it sound? Over to you to think about it.


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