Does sound card quality matter when doing optical out?

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by I)ickie, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. I)ickie

    I)ickie Member

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    Hey guys,

    Long story short I am considering modifying my X-fi titanium with some opamps and caps from a borked xfi prelude.

    Since I made the plans to mod the card I have re purposed a Marantz receiver and am feeding it through the optical out of my xfi. As for speakers I am currently running a 2.1.

    Will the changes to Op-amp and caps affect the quality of sound through the optical port or do these only come into play during the analog conversion?

    In addition is it worth encoding stuff to DTS/Dolby if it is only a stereo signal?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. munchkin1

    munchkin1 Member

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    Does receiver have HDMI input?

    Just do HDMI audio from graphics card then you don't even need a sound card to get maximum quality, unless of course you like using the virtualisation stuff (CMSS3D or whatever? Haven't used a sound card in a long time after switching to HDMI) that sound cards do.

    I'm pretty sure the opamps are for the analog out only, digital is just bitstream out as far as I know. Someone else may be able to shed more light on it though, I'm not an expert.

    Anyway, I'm keen to hear other people's thoughts too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  3. OP
    OP
    I)ickie

    I)ickie Member

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    No receiver is older and does not have HDMI.

    I am not bit streaming the audio although I suppose that is an option.
     
  4. lithos

    lithos Member

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    No, the quality of the components on the sound card does not matter with optical out.

    The only reason you might have to get a different card would be if it comes with a licence for a certain codec.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    I)ickie

    I)ickie Member

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    Yeah the X-fi already does dolby and DTS so I am pretty set then.

    Thanks mate.
     
  6. lithos

    lithos Member

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    Or, put another, more expensive hardware isn't going to give you rounder zeros and straight ones. :D

    That's the beauty of digital: the medium, to bastardised McLuhan, is no longer the message.
     
  7. Cadbury

    Cadbury Member

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    On this subject, i have a mainboard with a Realtek 662 sound chipset. Reviews say the quality is much worse than, say, a Realtek 889. But would this matter for playing movies and listening to 5.1 via s/pdif out?
     
  8. TickleMeElmo

    TickleMeElmo Member

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    Optical out is digital, there should be absolute 0 difference between a high end sound card and your on board sound. What a lot of audiophiles will fail to mention is if you are losing signal that cannot be error corrected you will be getting crackling and noticeable artifacts, not just "loss in the top end."
     

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