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"Upgrading" out of the '80s, Making a wise economical transition to tolerable digital
greynol
post Apr 7 2013, 18:26
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Apr 7 2013, 08:55) *
I think it depends on the output. I've never seen a PCI or USB device that used digital attenuation (although maybe one exists somewhere). For HDMI, I think they're usually digital based just because HDMI doesn't (AFAIK, correct me if I'm wrong) support volume control since its intended that the HDMI receiving device will implement volume control.

I've seen enough standalone toslink devices where the output level was variable to be surprised to find out that some don't also exist this way with computers.

For the sake of this discussion, I don't know whether the actual math is done by Windows really makes a difference to the OP. This is not to say that his concern about having the number of bits used fall below 16 is legitimate.

Regarding the idea that there are "hundreds of posts here discussing how to avoid Windows Audio processing, e.g. configuring Foobar2000 to bypass the Windows Audio Mixer," I suggest they be read and weighed based on whether they are supported by objective evidence in the way of DBT results and whether they actually apply in this particular situation.

This post has been edited by greynol: Apr 7 2013, 18:27


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Roseval
post Apr 7 2013, 19:21
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Apr 7 2013, 16:55) *
For USB, it'll be analog. I don't know about Toslink. Its older then even Windows, it may not support volume control commands.

When you set volume to zero, typically that enables the device's mute register, which puts the output amp into powersave mode.


Toslink is indeed plain SPDIF, no options to send any control command to the audio device.

I know USB audio can send control commands to USB audio devices including volume control.
What struck me is that very few manufacturers of DACs with a USB input claims the volume control over the USB is done analog.
As digital volume control has a bad reputation in the audiophile world, I expect them to claim analog volume control when they have implemented it.


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saratoga
post Apr 7 2013, 20:03
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QUOTE (Roseval @ Apr 7 2013, 13:21) *
What struck me is that very few manufacturers of DACs with a USB input claims the volume control over the USB is done analog.
As digital volume control has a bad reputation in the audiophile world, I expect them to claim analog volume control when they have implemented it.


Most of these companies are just packaging the same integrated DACs as everyone else uses into an external box. Since they don't design the hardware or software, I wouldn't be surprised if they have no idea how volume control is implemented.
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Roseval
post Apr 7 2013, 21:26
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Apr 7 2013, 20:03) *
I wouldn't be surprised if they have no idea how volume control is implemented.

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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 8 2013, 03:27
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QUOTE (FiddleMinger @ Apr 6 2013, 14:58) *
Comments and suggestions greatly appreciated.


Get an AVR. You can get one for less than $200. They have just about every kind of digital input. They have good DACs, analog volume controls and bass management, and built-in power amps. Most also have built-in multi-band equalizers. You simply configure them for as many channels as you want to use.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-sto...Receiver/1.html
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rick.hughes
post Apr 8 2013, 15:19
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Apr 7 2013, 21:27) *
QUOTE (FiddleMinger @ Apr 6 2013, 14:58) *
Comments and suggestions greatly appreciated.


Get an AVR. You can get one for less than $200. They have just about every kind of digital input. They have good DACs, analog volume controls and bass management, and built-in power amps. Most also have built-in multi-band equalizers. You simply configure them for as many channels as you want to use.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-sto...Receiver/1.html


+1 to the AVR. Simpler, more flexible, least expensive, and equal in quality.

As for the 30' remote signal source, I assume you mean your PC is remote from the amp. Lots of systems available to do Wifi streaming. If the signal source is in another room you will also want some way to control it remotely.
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garym
post Apr 8 2013, 15:57
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QUOTE (rick.hughes @ Apr 8 2013, 09:19) *
As for the 30' remote signal source, I assume you mean your PC is remote from the amp. Lots of systems available to do Wifi streaming. If the signal source is in another room you will also want some way to control it remotely.


something like a squeezebox Touch (sadly now discontinued but available new in box on ebay, etc.) or many of the squeezebox replacements made from microcomputers (see, the VAMP at Vortexbox.org). These are fed via wifi or ethernet and can sit far away from the music server itself. The SB Touch has analog and Digital (Optical and S/PDIF coax output and can also feed some USB DACs using Triode's EDO applet for the TOUCH). A sonos works differently but same basic principle....
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washu
post Apr 8 2013, 17:05
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QUOTE (rick.hughes @ Apr 8 2013, 10:19) *
As for the 30' remote signal source, I assume you mean your PC is remote from the amp. Lots of systems available to do Wifi streaming. If the signal source is in another room you will also want some way to control it remotely.


There are AVRs that support remote streaming (UPNP/Airplay) built in so you don't need an extra device. Also some can be controlled remotely through a browser and/or a smartphone/tablet app.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 8 2013, 17:28
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QUOTE (rick.hughes @ Apr 8 2013, 10:19) *
As for the 30' remote signal source, I assume you mean your PC is remote from the amp. Lots of systems available to do Wifi streaming. If the signal source is in another room you will also want some way to control it remotely.


Another approach is DLNA which many AVRs and BD players support. They let you play music files that reside on your PC over your household LAN either wired or wireless.
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