Computer sound not up to the quailty of good LP or CD system

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Computer sound not up to the quailty of good LP or CD system

Postby vital1 on Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:05 pm

I have now experimented a lot with computer audio running to a DAC.

It can sound good in the midrange, but loses quality at the frequency extremes, the bass and high frequencies. This is when I compared it to a well set up LP or CD player based system. Can be a good sound for the price, but it doesn't get there when compared to the best.

Has anyone been willing to ditch their LP, or CD systems and go completely computer audio?

If you have what set up do you have?
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Re: Computer sound not up to the quailty of good LP or CD sy

Postby MattC on Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:17 pm

Well, I've assembled my first tentative playback system, with a circa 2002 Toshiba laptop feeding my old Bel Canto DAC1 via a Trends U-10 USB converter (thanks to Carlton!), and am now just giving the setup its first full test through Beyer DT-990 headphones. I'll eventually move it to the living room and try this setup with Apogee, probably over the July 4th weekend.
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Re: Computer sound not up to the quailty of good LP or CD sy

Postby RuedigerC on Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:16 am

I am using a MacMini with SSD Drive, ITunes/Amarra and pure Music.
All data (Cds or higher data formats) is ripped losless as AIFF and stored on a raid on the network.
Output of the Mac is digital with M2Tech Hiface USB-adapter. ADC and Pre-amp is a Lyngdorf DPA-1.
For all the digital playback I will never go back to spinning discs.
Although I think that vinyl is still very special and more enjoyable.
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Re: Computer sound not up to the quailty of good LP or CD sy

Postby dasign on Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:43 am

I am using a Benchmark HDR-1 DAC/Preamp fed by a Toslink fiber optic cable coming from a silent PC server. I am using ITunes application and record all of my CDs in Apple losless format. All of my CDs are on my server. I also use an iPod Touch with iRemote application to select CD/Song/playlist I want to play from my server without leaving my chair. To do so you need to have a WiFi router in the house. The iRemote sends its commands trough a WiFi connection to network connected server.

The Benchmark which also is a wonderfull preamp feeds directly a pair of Krell monoblocks FPB 350Mcx /Apogee Duetta Signatures. I will never purchase any high-end CD player with this combination. At worse I could eventually replace the relatively inexpensive Benchmark ($1,895 US) when DAC technology further improves.

This setup just killed my previous $2K Denon DVD universal player. See Benchmark review in the 2010 July Absolute Sound.

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Re: Computer sound not up to the quailty of good LP or CD sy

Postby Graz on Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:15 am

Aynybody heard the Ayre or Weise DAC's?
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Re: Computer sound not up to the quailty of good LP or CD sy

Postby Forrest on Mon May 16, 2011 8:52 pm

I haven't heard the Ayre or Weise DACs, but I'm using a LogitechTransporter feeding directly to my preamp. Playing FLACs, it actually sounds pretty good, maybe even slighty better than using my Parasound belt-drive CD transport feeding the Transporter's DAC via AES/EBU, and also much better than the same transport feeding my old No. 36 Levinson DAC; however, overall my VPI HW-19 mkIV table / SDS /SAMA / Eminent Technology ET-2 arm/ AT33PTG cartridge still sounds significantly better than other source that I've used.
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Re: Computer sound not up to the quailty of good LP or CD sy

Postby mike on Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:22 am

I'm new to this site and am mostly reading to learn, but might have something to contribute here. I agree with the previous posters on several points - I will never be spinning CD's on a transport to listen to music again, and vinyl is still special - but high res digital is getting closer. Over the past couple of years, I've gone from a decent CD player (Cairn Fog 2) to a Mac Mini running Amarra or Pure Vinyl feeding a series of better DAC's (Music Streamer + to Ayre QB-9 to Metric Halo LIO-8). The Metric Halo is a 8 channel firewire interface which I originally got to digitize vinyl (still my favorite, but it's nice to have a digital copy when you're lazy). To my ears, the DAC's in the metric halo were easily the equal of the Ayre, so I sold the Ayre. After lots of fooling around the Metric Halo is now the only piece of front end electronics I have - It feeds the amp directly (CAT JL-2 signature driving (currently) stock Diva's) and even the phono now goes through it (MC cartridge directly into the Mic pre's, digital RIAA EQ, then back out at 24/192). This is the best digital playback ever in my system - far better than the CD player I had, and equivalent to anything I've heard (although I've not been to big shows - am for the most part limited to visiting dealers). Not sure how the MH would compare to the Weiss, but it is very good. To may ears, the digitized vinyl playback is better than what I had previously (All analog through an Aesthetix RHEA phono stage and Lamm LL2, which also went by the wayside) - and I can hit record any time and save the album on the server. In summary, I was a die-hard fan of all analog for years, but the digital has improved a lot, and for me a server is definitely the way to go. One advantage that people don't often talk about is to be able to run the system like a big i-pod - do shuffle play and hear music you've forgotten you even had.
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