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Old 09-17-2003, 09:13 AM   #1
raid517
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SPDIF Passthrough.


Hi I am considering buing a new sound card. However the motherboard I am using already comes with pretty good on board sound (GigaByte KT400A). The thing that I use most is SPDIF passthrough mode, which allows me to connect my computer to a high quality (640) 7.1 sourround sound digital amplifier. As far as I understand it, this means all of the signal processing is done by the amplifier and not by the soundcard. Sooo... what I was wondering was, since I use SPDIF passthrough mode more than any other mode, does it really matter that much if I use the onboard sound or if I buy a high quality soundcard? If all of the sound processing is being done by the electronics in my amplifier, how much does a really great soundcard matter, or is SPDIF passthrough produced on one card somehow better than on another?

Also if it does make a difference, which 5.1 or 7.1 soundcards have users here found to work well under linux? Again optical or coaxil pasthrough is the only mode that I use. (I do not use any speakers connected directly to the soundcard).

All input is welcome.

Q
 
Old 09-17-2003, 01:57 PM   #2
ilikejam
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Hi.

You're right enough - if you're using the digital connection then the quality of the soundcard won't matter. Some would say that there can be issues due to the quality of the digital signal, jitter etc, but the difference won't be audible unless you're using amplifiers and speakers that cost ten tines what yours do.

In short, if you're using SPDIF, I wouldn't bother with a new sound card.

If you really want a new sound card, I believe there are drivers for the Yamaha based cards which will let you use digital (although the drivers supplied by redhat dont), and Yamaha sound cards tend to sound pretty good.
 
Old 09-17-2003, 02:41 PM   #3
raid517
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Lol well my speaker set up costs about 20,000, but I think I'm willing to risk it on technical grounds. Techncally it seems my Yamaha Amp Takes care of virtually all the sound processing and the only thing the soundcard does in passthrough mode is pass it the raw signal to the amp.

Well as I said - and as you seem to have now confirmed, that at least is my understanding of it anyway.

If anybody else know a good reason why it isn't so, please feel free to let me know.

Q
 
Old 09-17-2003, 09:13 PM   #4
ilikejam
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20,000 speaker set-up with a 640 amp! Interesting.
 
Old 09-17-2003, 09:38 PM   #5
raid517
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Well I thought I would get around to the amp later. I always imagined I would do bits at a time. But as it happens there are three amps all 7.1, all with their own speaker set. The sound is good enough for now and my wife won't let me spend any more... Its taken me 3 and a half years to get this far. I don't think you should confuse the quality of my speakers with the sheer number of them - and there are a lot.

Its not the best set up granted, but it works for me.

Q
 
  


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