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Recommendation for a PC-based sound system


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Hi guys,

I'm thinking of setting up a sound system with the PC as the source. I intend to use my integrated tube amp with a pair of JohnBlue JB3 speakers. I'm currently using the motherboard's onboard audio output. I don't mind adding in a sound card, with perhaps a digital output and I'd use an external DAC.

 

Recommendation, please? Budget - less than $500 for soundcard + external DAC (if necessary) + decent cables.

 

-HW

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My onboard audio is very basica and does not have a digital out. I don't think I can borrow anything to try. Perhaps I'd start off with a sound card first, either from Creative (support Singapore product!  ;D ) or ESI Juli@ (a bit pricey and the balanced outs are a waste), and then throw in an external DAC later on.

 

btw, I'm only interested in 2-channel audio.

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suggest u take a look at external soundcards like the trends ud10 for stereo use.

i have one spare now if u wanna borrow to trial.

my experience with creative soundcard even for digital out is really very very bad.

trialed with many ppl between my creative card n its really miles apart.

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Thanks bros.. I'm based in Sydney, so I cannot take up your offer to borrow the soundcard.

 

I already have the integrated amp gathering dust, that's why I don't want to buy the Dared. I've also completely forgotten about using the USB out, and kept thinking of only using the sound card output.

 

Thanks for recommending the Trends UD10. If I get that, that means I'd definitely need an external DAC as it does not have analog output. Is there a a one-box solution with USB input and analog output?

 

Anyway, if this PC-audio gets too expensive, I'd just simply get a CD player and setup everything as a separate hifi system to be used when I'm working on the PC  ;D

 

Later I'd just go get a 3.5mm-to-RCA cable and connect the amp straight to the PC, and see how it goes with the JB3 speakers on my desk.  ;)

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Try DSE powerhouse for end of the month bargains, or Eastwood Hi Fi (more expensive)

Sometimes Clive Peters in Auburn also has offers, asked for Mr Hong except Thursdays

 

Computer world in Auburn also gives good prices on parts.

For more bargains see this:

 

http://www.staticice.com.au/

And general info:

http://forums.hardwarezone.com/showthread.php?t=1661125

 

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Trends UD10 does have analog out, but it is not an elegant solution. The set is mainly used for digital out, or headphone (stereo) out. So if you want analog, you have to use this funny connector to split the headphone out into 2x RCA. I've not tried this method.

 

For proper analog out, probably there are other devices like the m-audio audiophile usb. Not sure if the transit has analog out, but it might have.

 

Don't understand why you need analog out if you have integrated amp still though. Isn't there a DAC included?

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Hey Pete,

I know that Mr Hong from Auburn Clive Peters. He's really helpful! I've already bought a few items from him.

 

Quest,

My integrated amp is just a stereo amp. It does not have any DAC inside. All it has is a pair of RCA inputs. The "funny" connector you mentioned is probably the 3.5mm-to-RCA cable.

 

Anyway, thanks guys. At least now I know which direction to search!

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Thanks hw, I bought Pioneer plasmas, DVD recorders and many other things from him, but I also looked for Chris the manager of DSE Powerhouse in N Parramatta, he advised me to go at the end of the month, cos he has to meet targets.

Bought my Panny XR 57 back then for Aus 200 off.

 

BTW he also sold a display JVC UDX 5 with a usb output then which can be used for PCs

 

When do you come home?

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I've only been to the N Parra DSE a few times, but I enjoyed going to the Lifestyle Store next door. Actually I was just back in town 2 weeks ago. Will be back maybe for CNY, or in 6 months' time. See how first.  ;D

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Latest update - i got myself a 3.5mm-to-RCA cable from Belkin (looks pretty well made and not too expensive - A$17), and hooked up the onboard audio to my integrated amp, which is connected to the JB3 speakers.

 

The source comes from FLACed (using EAC) files, played with Foobar2000.

 

Pretty good sound, i must say. Heaps better than the old 2.1 PC speakers system.

 

Pete bro - i haven't had the chance to go to the video shops lately. Will check out the price for u whenever I can. I rarely buy DVDs as I usually rent.

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actually trends ud10 is an external dac right.... bro you might have to get a cheap soundcard with a digital output then, or just change your motherboard to get a digital output.

 

IIRC the soundcard does not affect the sound much and it's the dac that's more important.

 

i'm building a rig from computer>dac>amp>speakers too.... still saving up for the various components...

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