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SPIDF audio quality problems

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  • SPIDF audio quality problems

    I am essentially trying to using WinAMP and my computer as a very high quality CD transport.

    I am using WinAMP to play WAV files (CD quality ripped from my CD collection using CDEX) and then outputing these via the sound card SPIDF output that is built into the Asustek motherboard of my PC. From this I feed via a high quality external DAC and from there to some very expensive amplifiers and electrostatic speakers. the sound is awesome ...better than my very expensive Audiofile CD player but I suspect their is even better sound available.

    I note that the sound card application that shipped with the Asustek motherboard allows me to control the volume. This leads me to believe that my sound card is playing with the WAV files before fording the digital 'sound' to SPIDF outputs?

    Perhaps it even converts the WAV files to analogue and then reconverts them to digital or perhaps it uses DSPs to manipulate the sound?

    I would prefer that the sound card left my bits alone!

    Does any one know of a sound card that will send an exact clone of the WAV file bits (1's and 0's) out the SPIDF output so that I can get a pure sound.

  • #2

    I recently built a system for the same purpose. I tried playing through the built-in SPDIF on my ASUS MB, but it was terrible. I bought an ECHO MIA sound card, which is a studio recording quality sound card intended for digital and analog music recording. I can transfer bit-for-bit WAV data through a coax SPDIF line to my Yamaha RX-V495 receiver, to my Klipsch KM-3.5's. There are other sound card brands, I looked into M-Audio also. I looked on to get the specs, then bought it on e-bay for around $180. There are more expensive ones, but this has all I need. You don't get all the nifty knobs and whatever like with a Sound Blaster from Best Buy, but it is pretty powerful. And it supports true 24-bit audio. I plan to use it to record vinyl in 24-bit, it should sound better than a store bought CD.

    Also, to get pure WAV output, you need to bypass the Windows drivers that are also molesting your 1's and 0's. Make sure your card has PureWave mode, which allows WINAMP to send the data directly to the card without being manipulated by Windows. You will need to use WINAMPS waveout output plugin for this.

    Sounds like you have a great system, it is a waste to play it through store brand PC equipment.