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  1. #1

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    Default connecting a computer to the system

    I have my computer connected to an onkyo m-504 though a hitachi HCA-8300 the sound meets my needs for music but I get noise from the sound card in the computer, any ideas for a better sound card that has less of a noise floor? Even direct grounding has not solved the noise floor problem
    There is no cure....
    Luxman M117, SDA SRS 2.3, rear monitor 10, back rear bose 4.2, valodyne sub and 2 Onkyo m-504 amps with an Onkyo tx-nr709
    8mm, 7.62x39mm

  2. #2

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    oh the speakers are SDA 1B
    There is no cure....
    Luxman M117, SDA SRS 2.3, rear monitor 10, back rear bose 4.2, valodyne sub and 2 Onkyo m-504 amps with an Onkyo tx-nr709
    8mm, 7.62x39mm

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoAmericanus View Post
    I have my computer connected to an onkyo m-504 though a hitachi HCA-8300 the sound meets my needs for music but I get noise from the sound card in the computer, any ideas for a better sound card that has less of a noise floor? Even direct grounding has not solved the noise floor problem
    Don't use a sound card. Use an Asynchronous USB to SPDIF converter like the Audio GD Digital Interface, Musical Fidelity V-Link, or Musiland Monitor 02 or 03.

    Do you want to be connected to the Onkyo via a digital connection or an analog connection? If digital, all of the above would work. If analog, only the Musiland has its own DAC. But in that case, I'd recommend the Musical Fidelity V-DACmk2.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  4. #4

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    get a sound card with optical spdif out and that will eliminate any ground loops

  5. #5

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    has anyone used the audioengine W-1?
    this is what i am currently looking at to deal with this noise which i blame for repeated tweeter damage.
    http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Audioengine-W1

  6. #6

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    Nevermind. Just saw that your pre and amp are all analog, so connecting digitally is out.

    I still stand by my recommendation of going USB out of the computer; it's the best way.

    Here are your 3 options:

    - hard-wired with an asynchronous USB to SPDIF converter > external DAC
    - hard-wired with an external DAC that has an asynchronous USB input
    - wireless with a squeezebox touch


    Your budget and preferred interface will help narrow it down.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by thejck View Post
    get a sound card with optical spdif out and that will eliminate any ground loops
    He would then have to add an external DAC, which is a good thing in terms of sound, but asynchronous USB output sounds better than SPDIF out of a motherboard.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  8. #8

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    Is it a laptop or desktop?
    Laptop usually has hum due to the battery.
    When I need to hear loud, I use Alesis multimix usb mixer as external sound card.
    For lower volumes, there is no hum even direct from laptop.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by thejck View Post
    get a sound card with optical spdif out and that will eliminate any ground loops
    But it will not eliminate all noise generated from a PC/laptop, only Asynch USB will do that.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  10. #10

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    so it's the battery?!
    Dang!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by malvrich View Post
    so it's the battery?!
    Dang!
    Yes and you can test that by removing the battery and running lappy directly with the adapter.

    Also, make sure you don't have a LCD monitor close to a TV/audio cables and other A/V electronics.
    I had to completely unplug my 22" LCD monitor to remove hum when watching movies in my TV hooked up from laptop.
    Just turning off the monitor was not working but as soon as I unplugged power cable, everything became crystal clean.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    - wireless with a squeezebox touch
    I'm only a week into ownership and I haven't even scratched the surface of it's full potential, but I'm loving my Squeezebox. On sale at Amazon for $230.

  13. #13

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    I forgot to mention that i do have an AVR, onkyo tx-nr709 that does have it's own DAC so i could use that with a digital input, optical and coaxial
    There is no cure....
    Luxman M117, SDA SRS 2.3, rear monitor 10, back rear bose 4.2, valodyne sub and 2 Onkyo m-504 amps with an Onkyo tx-nr709
    8mm, 7.62x39mm

  14. #14

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    This thread has a lot of replies...
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...p-Audio-Output

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoAmericanus View Post
    I forgot to mention that i do have an AVR, onkyo tx-nr709 that does have it's own DAC so i could use that with a digital input, optical and coaxial
    So either:

    - USB to SPDIF converter

    or

    - Squeezebox Touch


    Sound quality is comparable. The main difference is the interface. There are advantages to both.

    Both are cable of delivering truly high-class sound.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  16. #16

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    thanks for the input, i also forgot, the computer is a desktop, the hum or noise you hear from a lap top battery is probly the charging system as it is most likely a PWM system and they do make noise, same for the backlight inverter in a lcd screen, they tend to create noise as well
    There is no cure....
    Luxman M117, SDA SRS 2.3, rear monitor 10, back rear bose 4.2, valodyne sub and 2 Onkyo m-504 amps with an Onkyo tx-nr709
    8mm, 7.62x39mm

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by DracoAmericanus View Post
    ...the computer is a desktop...
    Unless you can comfortably place the desktop within 6' of your system (or 12', 6 for the USB cable and 6 for the digital coax or optical), go Squeezebox.

    Unless, of course, you prefer the mouse to the touch screen.

    And just as an FYI, the Touch can be controlled by both Apple and Android-based smart phones. Very nifty.


    OR


    Buy the V-Link and V-DAC combo, and then have the ability to use any preamp you want, including your current M-504, if you think it's better-sounding than the TX-NR709.

    You could still use any preamp with the Touch, if you were running its analog outs, but the V-DAC will sound better.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...d-V-Link-Combo
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  18. #18

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    i have all my "stuff" crammed into a mobile home so the computer is with in 6-8 feet, i have a second computer i used to use an hdmi cable and optical to the tv and avr, but that has been subplanted a bit as my tv plays the same video from a usb hard drive, thats a bit off topic though, even my friends seem to give the sqeezebox good rateings,
    thanks for the links
    There is no cure....
    Luxman M117, SDA SRS 2.3, rear monitor 10, back rear bose 4.2, valodyne sub and 2 Onkyo m-504 amps with an Onkyo tx-nr709
    8mm, 7.62x39mm

  19. #19

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    Back to report that removing the battery did not alleviate the hum.
    I have noticed though that i can tap the laptop or move the analog audio cable around and it will stop but eventually returns intermittently. Seems like a grounding issue but still unsure.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by malvrich View Post
    Back to report that removing the battery did not alleviate the hum.
    I have noticed though that i can tap the laptop or move the analog audio cable around and it will stop but eventually returns intermittently. Seems like a grounding issue but still unsure.
    Does it hum without power cable hooked up running on battery alone?
    The A/C adapter close to audio cable can also cause hum when volume is loud.

  21. #21

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    yes it will hum running on battery alone which baffles me.
    could be just a crappy cable though

  22. #22

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    The humming from computers is not necessarily related to the sound card but poor grounding in the power supply. They aren't very well isolated or shielded either so you can end up collecting alot of junk from the 60 Hz household power cycle.

    Another source of noise is the quiet, brushless fans in many computers. They can generate a great deal of noise and even static fields that present as noise on low-level outputs like stereo and/or RCA outs.

    A USB or SPDIF output to a converter gets rid of that noise handily. USB is probably the better option because you can get longer length out of the cable. You don't need a wireless solution unless you don't want the wires everywhere. A USB cable, depending on the standard, can run anywhere from 9 feet to 15 feet max. USB 1.0/1.1 is 3 meters (~9 feet (1M is approx. 1 yard and 3 feet in a yard)). USB 2.0 is 5 meters so about 15 feet max. Once you get that to the converter box, you can get another 30 feet of signal cable before you lose quality due to cable length.


    But if you have noise and stressing the mini-jack on your laptop makes the noise come and go then you have a poor ground on your audio jack. Not an easy fix for a DiY'er. USB output is still your best option in this case. And you can get a D/A converter that will accept USB and work with an analog input on your receiver.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  23. #23

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    If you just want an inexpensive way to play both audio and HD video, for $99 you can go get a Seagate Go Flex HD Media Player.

    Even though I have an HTPC, I also have a Go Flex TV box that I can take anywhere.

    It plays most audio & video formats as well as NTSC and PAL DVD video displays to 1080p.

    The sound is very good, especially when playing lossless audio files and the unit is silent.

    It has HDMI, S/PDIF as well as RCA analog outputs. It has USB 3.0 input and is remarkably fast.

    Just another option to a full-blown HTPC that is inexpensive, compact, and plays just about anything.

    I bought mine on Amazon for $99.

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  24. #24

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    http://www.headphone.com/headphone-a...al-bithead.php

    "High-end"? Maybe not, but I love mine. Doesn't cost a fortune. Very satisfactory; works fine as a DAC that can plug into line-level inputs if used with an appropriately-terminated interconnect cable. As a portable unit, it makes train/airplane travel more enjoyable, too.

    They have much more expensive models, with higher quality internals also.
    Last edited by Schurkey; 01-30-2012 at 09:44 PM.

  25. #25

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    Is this what you mean by an ascnchronous USB deal-ieo. I cannot spell it let alone pronounce it. I would like to do a similiar thing, would this be a good piece of gear? http://emotiva.com/xda1.shtm?gclid=C...FScTNAodZmDXfQ
    Main Family Room: Sony 46 LCD, Sony Blue Ray, Sony DVD/VCR combo,Onkyo TXNR 708, Parasound 5250,
    Polk SDS-SRS with mods, CSI 5 center + Klipsch SC2, Polk RT2000P rears, Klipsch KG 1.5's sides, Polk Micro Pro 1000, Polk Micro Pro 2000, Polk SW505, Belkin PF60, Signal Cable Classics,Monster IC's, 2 15 amp circuits & 1 20 amp circuit.

    Living Room: Belkin PF60, Parasound HCA2200, MIT ProlineEXP balanced IC's,Emotiva XDA-1 DAC/Pre,Emotiva ERC2 transport,MIT AVT2, Polk LSI 9's.

  26. #26

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    I have M2Tech hiface S/PDIF interface to use with my Laptop using foobar software. It sound great. The jitter is very low.
    Modified hiface version from JKeny is better but more expensive.

    IMHO, i like to play via CDP than computer.

  27. #27

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    Hi all
    just want to report happily that the prob was the Y cable.
    bought a new one for 4 bucks and the sound is now stable.
    of course the cable is still laying on the floor but the $100 wireless solution is now officially on the back burner.
    thanks to all you guys/girls for your helpful insight.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    Unless you can comfortably place the desktop within 6' of your system (or 12', 6 for the USB cable and 6 for the digital coax or optical), go Squeezebox.

    Unless, of course, you prefer the mouse to the touch screen.

    And just as an FYI, the Touch can be controlled by both Apple and Android-based smart phones. Very nifty.


    OR


    Buy the V-Link and V-DAC combo, and then have the ability to use any preamp you want, including your current M-504, if you think it's better-sounding than the TX-NR709.

    You could still use any preamp with the Touch, if you were running its analog outs, but the V-DAC will sound better.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...d-V-Link-Combo
    You can use better Toslink cables--not all are made of plastic fiber. Any latency induced is truly negligible--the greater concern is the connection itself. The larger point about using a PC as a source is actually control: it's tough to use a remote with a good media player so you'll need a keyboard, mouse, and screen.

    Anyways, OP, good to hear the problem's solved. You'll still get better performance out of a decent sound card (Asus Xonar is pretty good) or external DAC.
    polkaudio Monitor 5 Series II
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  29. #29

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    I would second Audio GD if you do eventually decide to go with a dedicated DAC.

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