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soundcard direct to power amp

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by kwak, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. kwak

    kwak Ancient Guru

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    I posted this a few days ago in the htpc section, but didn't get any replies. Maybe someone here can help me with this?

    Im planning to build myself a home theater, and am wondering about a few noob questions.
    i already decided on the components(emotiva lpa-1 amp, emotiva umc-1 pre/pro and av123 speaker package), but will have to buy them in stages. First the speakers, and later the amp and pre/pro. Now i heard from somebody that the htib receiver i got now will not be capable of driving any decent speakers, so i'm wondering about buying the amp first, and then the speakers.

    now comes the question; instead of having to wait for the pre/pro and because most sound will be coming from my computer anyway, is it possible to hook up the multichannel speaker outputs from my soundcard directly to the amp?
     
  2. roguesn1per

    roguesn1per Ancient Guru

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    Should be able to.
    What connections does the Amp use??
    And what Connections are there.

    Becuase most computer outputs like so
    Each on its own channel

    Front Left/Front Right
    Back Left/ Back Right
    Subwoofer/Center

    So you can get 3.5mm jacks to 2 Normal RCA if thats wat it uses. (has to be stereo jacks)
     
  3. kwak

    kwak Ancient Guru

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    it uses normal rca jacks, one for each channel, so mechanically, it will definitly work. i have the cables to hook it up(currently to the multi-channel inputs on my htib), but im mainly wondering about the signal.
    is the pre-amp output on most receivers putting out the same signal as a soundcard? if so, it will definitly work.
     
  4. roguesn1per

    roguesn1per Ancient Guru

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    i dont realy understand?

    its Analog, not digital so It doesnt need to be the same "signal"

    If your wondering if it will work, yes it will.

    But i dont really understand the "signal" thing your talking about, you might have to explain a bit more to me.

    Or wait for ROB to Come in :p
     

  5. kwak

    kwak Ancient Guru

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    you got a good point about the analog vs digital. i forgot about that :) so i will probably get sound if i hook it up like that. thanks for reminding me.

    i think my main worry will the the level of the signal, because i have heard talking about line level signaling, low level signaling, high level signaling, and i have absolute no idea which one comes from where :(
    its all very confusing for me atm.
     
  6. NAJMI ADNAN

    NAJMI ADNAN Ancient Guru

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    I've checked the power amp you gonna use. You can connect directly to the power amp, but you need 3.5mm to RCA adapter to connect it

    Soundcard itself is a preamp AFAIK
     
  7. kwak

    kwak Ancient Guru

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    great, thanks for the answer. then i can go ahead and order it.
     
  8. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Yes, You can consider the soundcard to be a preamp. -With digital effects, EQ etc...
    the outputs of most soundcards are called Line-Level, this is the industry standard for analog sigal I/O for audio component interconnects. Keeps all the gear playing nice together and prevent one component from overdriving another. There are some exceptions though.

    So yeah, you can easily connect your outputs of your soundcard to the inputs of the power amp. I would keep my levels on the sound card down at first and juts to be safe don't drive them over 50%...this will give some headroom to the output section on the card and prevent clipping and signal distortion. Other then this it is just a matter of cables and adapters. I have a large tupperware container full of cables and a tackle box full of adapters. -very good to have for such situations. If you have anymore questions let us know...
     
  9. kwak

    kwak Ancient Guru

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    thanks ROB. Im still doing my research, but i'll probably order in a month or so. this has really simplified my research btw, now i dont really need to look up much anymore. i just hope that the sound won't be affected by too much noise.

    Whats up with the low-level and high-level i heard about? is one of them the same as line level?
     
  10. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    OK, If your referring to low and high level inputs then a high level inputs accepts signals that have been amplified by another source. Where as low-level inputs are just line-level as we talked about. Say you have a audio unit that only had speaker outputs, you could connect these to the high level inputs on the power amp and give it more power. Not all devices are line-level out as some only have high level outputs. You won't need them when working with a soundcard.

    As for noise, you shouldn't have anymore noise then you would with any other device. Just try and keep your wire runs small -no running signal wires across the room. -they will pick up noise. Make sure your wires/cables are of good quality. Don't buy that highly expensive snake oil cables. Just some decent quality wire and your good. You should be able to have a nice clean signal with no (noticeable) noise ...etc. If you have any more questions let us know.
     

  11. NAJMI ADNAN

    NAJMI ADNAN Ancient Guru

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    Agreed on that.

    About cabling, I have tested lots of cables. From cheap to a hundreds dollar. What really important is from the receiver to speaker itself, the RCA from soundcard to amp isn't that important, as long as it have some quality in it. And you might want a copper cored cables as silver does makes everything bright
     
  12. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    I think your a bit confused on the silver cables. A wire is just a wire, electrically it can only degrade the signal. If you find silver makes everything bright, that just means copper makes everything sound dull on the system. Silver is a better conductor then copper. It allows more of the signal through with less degradation, not making it bright, making it more true to the way it should sound. Hope this makes sense.
     
  13. NAJMI ADNAN

    NAJMI ADNAN Ancient Guru

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    That is in theory. I wrote that judging by my experience, I don't say copper makes it dull, the siver cable is just piercing my ear, I have done blind test on them.

    Sound is perceived differently from one person to another
     
  14. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    No theory to it. Wire cannot make a signal bright. Many go for silver wiring when building high end systems or for high end interconnects. As I said silver is a better electrical conductor then copper, maybe that is why it sounds bright to you becasue it is allowing more of the signal through then copper on this particular system. Cables cannot improve a signal only degrade it. When I said that copper is "dull" that could be said when in relation to the silver cabling. I hope you understand what I mean.
     
  15. NAJMI ADNAN

    NAJMI ADNAN Ancient Guru

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    I understand, I know that the cable won't make the signal bright, it just sounded like so in practice

    Anyway sorry for raising this cable arguments
     

  16. Spezzy

    Spezzy Master Guru

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    Curious, what speakers were in this test?
     
  17. NAJMI ADNAN

    NAJMI ADNAN Ancient Guru

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    Currently using Panasonic SB-PM17, before this I use Monitor Audio R252 but it was too old and it vibrates at higher volume. Driven by Technics SU-V7 amplifier. The Panasonic speaker is the culprit on my setup, it was too forward and 'in your face' kind of experience, reminding me of my old Klipsch Promedia speaker
     
  18. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    No argument, just discussion.
     

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