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Lynx Card and also, Media Monkey Optimization


yardbird4
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Chris:

 

I note that your Music Server for a Song system does not include a DAC but at the end of your article you note that you can use the DAC of your choice. I am new to this and need some clarification (note I raised these questions in a post on the "Music Server for a Song" article but I think they got overlooked in the many entusiatic posts on the nature and quality of the system itself).

 

1. What is the advantage of using the DAC with the Lynx card in this system? Any improvement in sound?

 

2. Or vice versa, if you plan to use a DAC without the Lynx card what are the pro's and con's.

 

I plan to set up a system using a sony vaio (laptop or desktop, whichever my wife will tolerate) running to a Cambridge DacMagic using Kimber USB cables and Kimber 1020 interconnects to the pre-amp. Storage will be a 2 terrabyte Western Digital Studio Drive with uncompressed wave files.

 

3. Would a Lynx pci card add audio quality to this configuration?

 

Last issue ... for now. I have installed Media Monkey Gold.

 

4. Is their anything special I need to do to configure this for windows xp?

 

5. It has the wave_out.dll which I have selected by pressing the configure button. Does this step eliminate the k-mixer from the chain or is there something else I need to do to optimize Media Monkey?

 

 

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Hi yardbird4 - Thanks for your patience! In my opinion and that of many other people the Lynx card is one of the best digital outputs available from a PC. At around 20 picoseconds of jitter this card measures very well and has quite possibly been used in the creation of albums you listen to. Without the Lynx card you have optical and USB from your Vaio, both of which are very capable of great sound. Neither will output full 24/192 to a DAC like the Lynx will. It really comes down to your selection of music. It is high resolution or 16/44.1. Then listening to DACs for what you like to hear. I have the DacMagic in for review right now and I don't think it has an AES/EBU input. Please correct me if I am wrong. Thus, a Lynx AES16 won't help you at all.

 

Configuring MediaMonkey to output bit perfect can be as easy as selecting your device in the wave_out configuration screen. Sometimes this will not do it. Fortunately with my Alpha DAC I can tell if it's bit perfect. With the DacMagic you kind of have to hope it's receiving bit perfect output and bypassing the KMixer. You'll also want to make sure no volume leveling is going on. Just run through the settings and turn off anything that touches the sound like EQ, volume leveling, etc...

 

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Thanks Chris:

 

Your response clears up the whole Lynx Card issue for me. You are right the DacMagic does not have AES/EBU inputs. Right now my files are all 16/44.1 so I am not set up to take advantage of the capabilities of the the Lynx card, but I can keep it in mind for somewhere down the road.

 

On the Media Monkey issue I have used the configure screen set up so I guess I will have to let my ears tell me the rest on whether I have bypassed the k-mixer since the DacMagic won't do that. Fortunately, I have learned to trust my ears in terms of what I am hearing or not hearing, and I have a relatively good CD player to compare it to (Meridian G-8). The DacMagic is on backorder so I will be cooling my heels until it arrives.

 

On the sound leveling issue. I have previously had many of these rips analyzed for sound leveling via the Media Source platform provided in the Soundblaster soundcard. Is this a problem? Does sound leveling permanently change the digital file or does it merely alter it for playback on a specific playback platform?

 

 

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