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Striving for best Digital Signal output for best SQ

QUAD

skdas

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In my recent experiment , using Bug Head Player , i was surprised with the improvement of sound quality. SQ improvement is so clear and distinct.
I used the same chain of gear like
PC USB out> dac > intergated Amplifier >Speaker.

Now i want to know from the so many wide experience forum members ,
is there any difference in Digital signal output SQ wise if it is taken from a high quality Blue ray player(or other device) over Desktop PC or Laptop.

Please share you experience on best digital output signal device you have hard.

I am interested on audio /stereo quality only, where source material is fed through mostly USB (or Hard disk ).
 
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Nikhil

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My experience has been that a PC is better than a Blue Ray player.
In general BR players are not ideal for audio.

BHE is simply far better than any other player out there.

Note: The highend CDPs will better a PC but this is at Esoteric / Accuphase level.
Not sure what your budget is but the highend players are better but at a price.
 
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saikatbiswas82

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My experience has been that a PC is better than a Blue Ray player.
In general BR players are not ideal for audio.

BHE is simply far better than any other player out there.

Note: The highend CDPs will better a PC but this is at Esoteric / Accuphase level.
Not sure what your budget is but the highend players are better but at a price.

What I heard/read so far - computer motherboard adds lots of noise to output signal. On the other hand a cheap bdp player is comparatively better transport than a cheap computer cd drive IMHO.
 

Nikhil

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What I heard/read so far - computer motherboard adds lots of noise to output signal. On the other hand a cheap bdp player is comparatively better transport than a cheap computer cd drive IMHO.

Not what has been my experience. Blue Ray players are bettered by regular CD players easily.
A PC running something like BHE will trounce most budget CDPs and Blue Ray players.
 

sound_cycle

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What I heard/read so far - computer motherboard adds lots of noise to output signal. On the other hand a cheap bdp player is comparatively better transport than a cheap computer cd drive IMHO.

:) So tell me, what does tidal do, or applemusic to deliver noisy corrupted music to you - over many computers. Or are computers not used for creating or recording or mixing or mastering music.

This is just FUD

ciao
gr
 

amit_s

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Recently, started using ap-linux with deadbeef for USB output, it is based on real-time arch kernel. So, theoretically it seems more close to a hardware decoding as done in BR player. Found sound quality to be more natural and realistic as compared to JRiver or Foobar running on windows 7. The best thing is, it goes to a maximum of 10% of 2GB RAM I have on my laptop and cpu load less than 2%.
 

saikatbiswas82

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:) So tell me, what does tidal do, or applemusic to deliver noisy corrupted music to you - over many computers. Or are computers not used for creating or recording or mixing or mastering music.

This is just FUD

ciao
gr
I really have no idea what does tidal do. [emoji3]

My knowledge is limited to my gears only. [emoji4]
 

SwaroopKS

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Not what has been my experience. Blue Ray players are bettered by regular CD players easily.
A PC running something like BHE will trounce most budget CDPs and Blue Ray players.

Wow, this info is a kicker for me. Was planning to add bluray to avr for HT setup. Now i may have to think of the setup completely fresh. Btw being a noob i dint get what is BHE...
 

skdas

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Its Bug Head Player , a mind-boggling media player (software) to kill you & your PC ........ hehe...........
 

audiodelic

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You can use Ibasso/Astell Kern/Fio portable audio players if you have your audio in mp3/flac/wav ripped file formats. Skipping the cd playing in totality reducing jitter in theory, also it runs on battery reducing noise caused by power supplies at source signal. I use Ibasso DX90 connected via digital coaxial to my DAC.
 

sound_cycle

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I really have no idea what does tidal do. [emoji3]

My knowledge is limited to my gears only. [emoji4]


Interesting !

"What I heard/read so far - computer motherboard adds lots of noise to output signal. On the other hand a cheap bdp player is comparatively better transport than a cheap computer cd drive IMHO."

I take it that you agree that above is inaccurate and uncecessary FUD

ciao
gr
 

saikatbiswas82

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Interesting !

"What I heard/read so far - computer motherboard adds lots of noise to output signal. On the other hand a cheap bdp player is comparatively better transport than a cheap computer cd drive IMHO."

I take it that you agree that above is inaccurate and uncecessary FUD

ciao
gr
No I don't agree to your statement and will stick to mine [emoji4]
 

jls001

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If you have a good DAC, it is tough to beat a computer as a transport unless one goes with a fine CD player or a dedicated CD transport. A computer isn't easy to get right but there are now lots of resources to guide enthusiasts, and lots of specialist OEMs to lighten our thinning wallets - from linear power supplies to USB cards, and even audiophile-grade SATA cables. But you can improve performance even without spending too much:

1) better SMPS than the stock one.
2) optimise the PC for music by using optimizer software
3) uninstall bloatware from PC. Some go as far as uninstalling even the anti virus and disconnecting the PC from external network.
4) don't be afraid to tweak your music player app. Use equaliser settings to tune the sound to suit your liking and overcome some of the room issues. Tell your purist friends who shun EQ and tone controls to go on a long hike. Or at least tell them to provide you perfect music that needs no tune up on your part. Just remember, all songs are mastered differently and each mastering engineer has his/her own concept of the best sound and this ideal may or may not coincide with your personal ideal.
4) many swear by digital coax input of their DACs compared to USB. So equipping the PC with a good sound card which has digital coax output ought to improve things, but it is a costly proposition as good sound cards are not cheap. There are of course USB to SPDIF converters and they're useful if your source is a laptop, but if using a desktop PC, it is my personal belief that converting an USB output to SPDIF with an external converter is inferior to the I2S to SPDIF conversion that happens in a sound card.

But the best thing about using a computer is its upgradeabilty. Install a better software player and you suddenly have better sound, etc.
 

sound_cycle

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No I don't agree to your statement and will stick to mine [emoji4]

You don't have to agree with me and you are of course, entitled to your opinion (that goes without saying)

Would you agree, that in the interest of presenting reasonably accurate information on the forum falsehood and opinion should not be presented as The Truth

ciao
gr
 

saikatbiswas82

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Would you agree, that in the interest of presenting reasonably accurate information on the forum falsehood and opinion should not be presented as The Truth

I completely agree with your statement.

I think I just shared my opinion which I felt right. That's why I terminated my statement with IMHO. [emoji4]

I am really curious to know which part of my opinion you found as inaccurate.
 

saikatbiswas82

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If you have a good DAC, it is tough to beat a computer as a transport unless one goes with a fine CD player or a dedicated CD transport. A computer isn't easy to get right but there are now lots of resources to guide enthusiasts, and lots of specialist OEMs to lighten our thinning wallets - from linear power supplies to USB cards, and even audiophile-grade SATA cables. But you can improve performance even without spending too much:

1) better SMPS than the stock one.
2) optimise the PC for music by using optimizer software
3) uninstall bloatware from PC. Some go as far as uninstalling even the anti virus and disconnecting the PC from external network.
4) don't be afraid to tweak your music player app. Use equaliser settings to tune the sound to suit your liking and overcome some of the room issues. Tell your purist friends who shun EQ and tone controls to go on a long hike. Or at least tell them to provide you perfect music that needs no tune up on your part. Just remember, all songs are mastered differently and each mastering engineer has his/her own concept of the best sound and this ideal may or may not coincide with your personal ideal.
4) many swear by digital coax input of their DACs compared to USB. So equipping the PC with a good sound card which has digital coax output ought to improve things, but it is a costly proposition as good sound cards are not cheap. There are of course USB to SPDIF converters and they're useful if your source is a laptop, but if using a desktop PC, it is my personal belief that converting an USB output to SPDIF with an external converter is inferior to the I2S to SPDIF conversion that happens in a sound card.

But the best thing about using a computer is its upgradeabilty. Install a better software player and you suddenly have better sound, etc.

Exactly! Nice writeup and thanks for the same.

I am also thinking about upgrading my cheppo smps with a antec gold.

As far as sound card goes, someone even upgraded their stx card's Opamp with bursons and reached Audio nirvana. [emoji3]
 

raghupb

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If you have a good DAC, it is tough to beat a computer as a transport unless one goes with a fine CD player or a dedicated CD transport. A computer isn't easy to get right but there are now lots of resources to guide enthusiasts, and lots of specialist OEMs to lighten our thinning wallets - from linear power supplies to USB cards, and even audiophile-grade SATA cables. But you can improve performance even without spending too much:

1) better SMPS than the stock one.
2) optimise the PC for music by using optimizer software
3) uninstall bloatware from PC. Some go as far as uninstalling even the anti virus and disconnecting the PC from external network.
4) don't be afraid to tweak your music player app. Use equaliser settings to tune the sound to suit your liking and overcome some of the room issues. Tell your purist friends who shun EQ and tone controls to go on a long hike. Or at least tell them to provide you perfect music that needs no tune up on your part. Just remember, all songs are mastered differently and each mastering engineer has his/her own concept of the best sound and this ideal may or may not coincide with your personal ideal.
4) many swear by digital coax input of their DACs compared to USB. So equipping the PC with a good sound card which has digital coax output ought to improve things, but it is a costly proposition as good sound cards are not cheap. There are of course USB to SPDIF converters and they're useful if your source is a laptop, but if using a desktop PC, it is my personal belief that converting an USB output to SPDIF with an external converter is inferior to the I2S to SPDIF conversion that happens in a sound card.

But the best thing about using a computer is its upgradeabilty. Install a better software player and you suddenly have better sound, etc.

Agree on most of the above points. A half decent PC/laptop is hard to beat in terms of flexibility. The biggest advantage of laptop-USB is the player software. I use foobar2000. Light player with ripping/replay-gain/equalizer/playlists. To date I have not faced any noise issues (or I cannot hear them)

Equalizer is a nifty little thing. Some tracks just sound to harsh in pure form. I usually use EQ and most of the time equalize down.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

raghupb

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SW EQ in foobar2000.
No point in investing in HW as my music is digital and when I do a sit down for music, I play via HDD-Laptop-USB. IA is normally in source direct mode.
Sometimes it is via HDD-MediaPlayer. This is when I am working from home and laptop is not available for playback. Here I don't have the luxury of EQ so I use tone control on IA.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

saikatbiswas82

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SW EQ in foobar2000.
No point in investing in HW as my music is digital and when I do a sit down for music, I play via HDD-Laptop-USB. IA is normally in source direct mode.
Sometimes it is via HDD-MediaPlayer. This is when I am working from home and laptop is not available for playback. Here I don't have the luxury of EQ so I use tone control on IA.

I was just curious to know if we tamper with song's data at software level (like use SW eq or something), won't it be degrading the quality in audio chain? I am not really sure whether 'bit-perfect' output will be possible in that scenario.

Anyway, my curiosity is purely at technical level. It has nothing to do with personal preference.

Given the same scenario, I might like the SW eq in future. I will definitely give it a try. :)
 
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