Once upon a time, there were record players, cd players, 8-track-tapes. Fast forward to the digital age. Now, few still buy CDs. Instead they option for digital music that is downloaded from many different sites. How in the world can we audiophiles take advantage of the availability of music and how can we get the sounds that we love to sound good on our computers? Can you tell me what systems are good for increasing the sound quality of computer/audio equipment?
If you're wanting to manipulate music and try to make yours sound better than I recommend Audacity. It's a free program and it has an active, helpful community. I think music through my computer sounds good, it's fine for me at least. However, nothing beats records. I love playing my father's record player because the sound is so rich.
gofar99 Messages: 1650 Registered: May 2010 Location: Southern Arizona
Illuminati (4th Degree)
Hi, Playing music on a typical PC is somewhat iffy. Most have generic sound cards (actually chips sets on the motherboard). They are unable to really do justice to digital downloads. Thus the big supply (and demand) for stand alone DACs. However if someone really wants to use the PC there are numerous high quality sound cards that can be added (internally and some externally) to most PCs. They are not real cheap and many are designed for professional music applications. IMO if you find a likely one and it costs less than about $200-300 it is not likely to be audiophile quality. This begs the question if the PC is adequate to utilize the card. A 5 year old PC will not likely have the processing power needed. To fully utilize the hi-rez digitals now available and not be obsolete in a week I would want to have the sound card/device be able to handle formats up to 32 bit / 384kHZ sampling and numerous current formats. I understand that higher rates are already being considered but no music is presently using offered AFAIK above 384K. A better solution might be to go the stand alone DAC and use the PC only as the storage device. With hard drives so cheap now it makes sense to use one as your storage and the PC only as a sort of "server" to provide the data to the DAC. This too assumes the PC has sufficient power to feed the data without interruption to the DAC. Personally my main source is vinyl and I leave the PC to do computing duties though it could do hi-rez audio as it is a nearly new high end Alienware....