Connecting Sound Card directly to Amplifiers.

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anooj30299301

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Hi All,

I had a unusual, might be foolish doubt.

  • Can I connect say the analog outputs from Oppo BDP 83 to say XPA - 5 Emotiva amplifier and then connect the speakers to the AMP.

OR

  • Connect a sound card analog output to an AMP like Emotiva XPA - 5 and then speakers to it in the same way.


I know Pre outs from receiver to am AMP is the way to go but apart from lossless formats (DTS master audio OR Dolby True HD) others can be decoded within sound card or Oppo. So was just looking at this option...

Links: Emotiva Audio XPA-5 Five Channel Power Amplifier ; OPPO BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player ; ASUSTeK Computer Inc..

Your valuable opinions appreciated and needed on this. Thanks

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venkatcr

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A player such as the BD83 will deliver line level outputs that are measured in mVolts. A Power amplifier usually needs between 2 to 10V input. Secondly the player has no volume control and cannot be used as a pre-amplifier.

I suspect the sound car will also be delivering line level inputs though you may be able to, to some extent, control the volume through a software. But I doubt that it will deliver the power needed by the power amplifier.

Cheers
 

anooj30299301

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Thanks Venkatji and Cranky for the posts.

Oh there it goes again - volts and interpolation but I think I got my doubt cleared, sound card not that preferred for bit resolution. The reason I asked is if from
ASUS -> reciever - > amplifier - > speakers - its 3 stages, thought could avert atleast one that is receiver, since HD is not going to be a source for me for next two years, if at all not much.

I wanted PC as a source...hmmmm.

Thanks guys. Will update abt the Emotiva XPA - 5 and OPPO in their respective threads in coming weeks.
 

marsilians

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Thanks Venkatji and Cranky for the posts.

Oh there it goes again - volts and interpolation but I think I got my doubt cleared, sound card not that preferred for bit resolution. The reason I asked is if from
ASUS -> reciever - > amplifier - > speakers - its 3 stages, thought could avert atleast one that is receiver, since HD is not going to be a source for me for next two years, if at all not much.

I wanted PC as a source...hmmmm.

Thanks guys. Will update abt the Emotiva XPA - 5 and OPPO in their respective threads in coming weeks.

Like others have said, you will lose the pre-processing capabilities by going directly to the amp. Also note that Emo amps are very very sensitive to input variations and I have seen them go into protection mode much more than other brands. Its a good thing but may become a PITA depending on what you are playing via the PC.
 

venkatcr

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Dunno about how and Asus would work in that situation - as I recall, the Xonar DX was fine but it had much too much output, and was unusable at over 25% volume.

This reminds me of many people complaining of distortion when they play an iPOD through an integrated amplifier, not understanding they are overloading the input circuitry.

I have not used a sound car for two or multichannel till now. Will be interesting to use it the way Cranky has mentioned and see how it works.

Cheers
 

thevortex

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I have no issues with a Xonar D2X connected with a NAD integrated. In fact I prefer this combo to a lot of other CD players that I have heard.
 

venkatcr

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Vortex, the OP was asking about connecting a sound card or a player directly to a power amplifier, not an integrated amplifier. Integrated's have pre-amps, and there will never be any issues.

Cheers
 
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doors666

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be careful while connecting the oppo though, as most probably it doesnt have volume control, so you will be passing full volume to the power amp, which will then clip and distort the signal and most probably will kill your speakers.
 

thevortex

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Vortex, the OP was asking about connecting a sound card of a player directly to a power amplifier, not an integrated amplifier. Integrated's have pre-amps, and there will never be any issues.

Cheers

Oops - did not notice that. Thanks for pointing out.
 

venkatcr

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Doors and Ajinkya, the Oppo does not have volume control in the sense needed for a power amplifier.

A line level out is generally variable between 160 mV to roughly 500 mV. In addition, the impedance is generally between 75 to 100 Ohms depending upon the unit. A power amplifier, in general, needs between 2 to 10V at around 600 ohms. Even at it's max of 500mV, the player output is just 1/4th the minimum power needed by the power amplifier.

The Oppo manual does not mention the specifications of it's audio out. What it says, though, is the following:

  1. For normal audio volume adjustment, it is recommended that you use the volume control on your TV or receiver/amplifier.
  2. The VOL +/- buttons on the player remote control is provided as an alternative way of controlling the audio volume. It is recommended that you use this control to make the audio volume from the player the same as from other sources, such as TV programs or a VCR.

What this means is that the volume control in the remote is used to bring the audio out of the player to the same level as other units delivering line level outputs to an external amplifier. When all the inputs are balanced, the amplifier will not sound troublingly different in initial sound levels when the source is changed.

Cheers
 
Last edited:

heliumflight

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I have read quite a few forums and there is no hard and fast rule to connect a preamp in the chain from Xonar STX to poweramp.
 

jls001

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Line level out of sound cards can drive power amp. We need to only worry about volume control. If done from the (software) mixer of the sound card, my understanding is that it's done in the digital domain, so invariably some useful bits gets thrown away. One possible way of doing this is to output full volume from sound card and use a high quality potentiometer for totally analog volume control.

But a preamp is desirable if one desires to use multiple sources (besides its property of being a buffer).
 

spirovious

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Yes,I have connected 5 ch power amp to xonar D2X. Either software or master volume control can be used.Only one should be very careful as poweramp can go very loud at 50% of volume level.
 
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