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Tricky Quest: Computer -> Amp, SPDIF, USB, DAC, LAN ???

 

New member
Username: Bruderz

Post Number: 2
Registered: Aug-08
Hi everyone,

My current Yamaha Receiver is loosing its life and my wife gave green lights for a (budget) replacement ;)

Here is what I want to do:

I have all my music on a dedicated music computer (mp3s, iTunes) and also listen to internet radio (shoutcast, pandora) a lot. Currently I simply run from the sound card line/out to the receiver RCA in, which is naturally pretty noisy. I want to change this with the new system.

There seems to be a lot of different ways of hooking up the computer to a receiver/amp:

* a new soundcard with digital output (SPDIF?)
This would probably get ride of noise from the cable and the connector at the soundcard ($250 ? ).

* an external soundcard
This would at least get ride of noise introduced by various computer parts inside the computer ($150 ?)

* a DAC (e.g. Weiss Minerva). But I am not sure I really understand how this works (>$500 ?)

* an amp or receiver with USB input.
Some newer models accept audio signal via USB input (e.g. JVC RXD411, Outlaw RR2150) (>$500)

* and there are some emerging higher-end models with Ethernet capabilities
(e.g DLAN from YAMAHA). But in some of those cases they do not support all music formats. so how is this better than USB? Plus, they have all kinds of other features I don't need. (>$750 ?)

Now, all I want is an integrated stereo amplifier (two channels) with around 80Wpc (+-20), two or more line inputs, two speaker outputs with speaker selection (A,B,AB), volume control, a treble, bass and balance control, a power on/off switch

AND

a way to get it to play audio from my computer without too much noise/discoloration/distortion, etc.

If I had all the money in the world this would not be so much of a problem, I guess, but unfortunately I am quite restricted. My wife was thinking of $300, I think I can push this to $500 but really I wished I could just shell out $700 to get the Outlaw.

What would you do? Any ideas?
 

New member
Username: Bruderz

Post Number: 5
Registered: Aug-08
NOTE: Because my question is not necessarily restricted to receivers, I also posted the same topic in Integrated Amplifiers. In case someone reading this here can help me out, maybe you would like to add to the discussion over there? Just a suggestion. Its not crucial ;)

Thanks
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 1285
Registered: Feb-07
Ingmar, check out my post over in the Integrateds section.

You don't necessarily need an expensive DAC (especially if you're using mp3).

Maybe pick up a half decent integrated on Audiogon (I just picked up a used Rotel for cheap).
 

Gold Member
Username: Chitown

Post Number: 1370
Registered: Apr-05
Get whatever receiver you like and something like a Squeezbox that doesn't limit what you want to play and gets all the internet radio stations too
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