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A Couple Integrated Amp Questions....

 

Bronze Member
Username: Millerw

Post Number: 13
Registered: Nov-08
1) Are there any int-amps with optical inputs?
2) Can you hook a sub up to any/most int-amps?
3) Is an int-amp my best choice for a pure-music setup in the $500 (CDN) range?
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 365
Registered: Oct-07
#2:: YES. either thru speaker level or in some cases pre outs.....or it is even possible to use various splitters. A FEW integrated amps also feature a sub out ala 2.1

#1:: There are many inexpensive DA converters. You could even work one in with a USB input, to eventually add computer sound
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 13090
Registered: May-04
.
3) Most integrated amps will provide better sound and build quality than a comparably priced receiver. That was especially true when tuners weren't just throw away/throw in items on receivers.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Millerw

MuskokaCanada

Post Number: 14
Registered: Nov-08
Sorry Leo but what exactly did you mean by DA converters? And I like the sound of that USB setup, would that give me digital quality sound?
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 367
Registered: Oct-07
An external USB DAC.....from the confuser, VIA USB cable, to the DAC, DAC output VIA either Balanced or RCA to an amp input. If you want very basic....a DAC is a Digital 2 Audio Converter. Every CD player has one, and many audio guys feel there are advantages to the external route fed by either Coax or Toslink.

The idea is to turn your confuser into a gigantic I-pod.....many people are experimenting with this these days. Music servers are huge, well...big anyway. A local hi-end shop has a music server with thousands of albums....I even contributed an old (first CD I ever bought...back in mid-80s) Blues Breakers album.
Sound quality would be dependent on many things, not the least of which would be what file / sample rate you feed it. Most people feel that MP-3 doesn't cut it for them, while I am happy with the sound from XM as fed thru my small dish.

That's how you get around a stereo amp not having optical inputs......
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3340
Registered: Sep-04
Digital quality sound is an oxymoron in many cases. USB is not the best connection method because it causes high levels of jitter - even higher than S/PDIF. You're better off with a coax or optical connection, generally speaking.
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 371
Registered: Oct-07
Frank, In order of preference, could you list digital connections?
I am busy burning FLAC to my confuser, getting ready to figure a way to get it to my stereo. I'll use WinAmp for my player.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 11123
Registered: Dec-04
Leo, what is available out of your soundcard?
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 372
Registered: Oct-07
My mobo came with a coax header.....so far this is not implimented.
I could add a sound card with whatever I wanted....I have several open PCI slots.
CA 840c has toslink or coax inputs, and 2 channels of each, at that!
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 1751
Registered: Feb-07
Ideally you want to get the PC sound device outside of the chassis of the computer. This will isolate much of the noise that's generated by the computer's parts like the power suppy. I like to use a USB DAC that will bypass the PC's sound device. And you'll also want to (if using Windows) bypass the K-mixer by using ASIO.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Snapcat

Post Number: 85
Registered: Oct-07
Frank,
"USB is not the best connection method because it causes high levels of jitter - even higher than S/PDIF"

I can see this may be true if playing cd's thru the computer's drive, but what about playing ripped files? I would think there's no transport issues causing jitter here... at that point it's up to the DAC. Point me in the right direction here...
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 373
Registered: Oct-07
Exactly: once it is a file, what is the next most important link in the chain?
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 374
Registered: Oct-07
Also, let's just say I have 'jitter' in my confusers output. Won't the D/A section of my 840c reduce/eliminate that?
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3383
Registered: Sep-04
It tries by introducing a buffer and reclocking the input stream. In theory this should remove clocking errors but in practice it doesn't work because the D/A section has no master clock to work against and therefore no reference clock to fix the signal - in effectit makes an educated guess. Some DACs are better than others at this, and the DAC which is perfectly successful at this should, in theory, sound exactly the same irrespective of which transport feeds it. In practice, even the very best reclocking DACs (e.g. Chord's QBD76) still sound appreciably different depending on the transport.

In the pro world, they do the job properly and use a master clock method which guarantees zero jitter between the various digital components. And the reason for this not being part of the S/PDIF spec? Money, as usual. Yet, the sad thing is that high end domestic gear is often appreciably more expensive than the pro gear that created the master in the first place. Ridiculouos, but the only way to achieve some measure of quality when the basic system is stuffed int he first place.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Snapcat

Post Number: 86
Registered: Oct-07
Thanks Frank,

Does that mean that all separate D/A's not designed for a specific transport or whatever clocking a USB outputs from a ripped file has some random unknown amount of jitter/error? Sounds like somewhat of a gamble if the transport and D/A aren't designed together. However, some of those gamblers make good music to my ears...
 

Gold Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 3399
Registered: Sep-04
I don't know about USB I'm afraid. I know that all other DACs use the S/PDIF interface which specifies how the stream has to travel between transport and DAC. This guarantees that the stream will lock irrespective of brand provided the units are implemented correctly.

USB is a computer interface. Software running on the computer will provide a stream to its DAC section. My understanding is that jitter is very high when used this way, but I don't know the specifics.
 

Silver Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 376
Registered: Oct-07
Thank YOU Frank! That cuts it. I hadn't realized that (or put 2+2 together) that USB would be software driven.

Here is a link to a company where I worked, back mid 70's to mid 80's.

http://www.statek.com/products/pdf/TN-35%20Rev%20B.pdf

It is a link to an article on oscillator jitter. We manufactured right here in Southern California and this is where I starting learning semiconductor processing.
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