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Do I need a soundcard if I get a receiver?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Right now I have a Xonar dg which has a s/pdif output (as well as my mobo) but its a fairly cheap card. Now I'm looking to invest in some nice speakers in the very near future such as these:
http://www.amazon.com/Alesis-M1-Active-520-Powered/dp/B000EJTXZU

With an accompanying sub in the range of $150-200. So if I buy a decent receiver do I need to upgrade the soundcard or will running a cable from the soundcard/mobo to receiver produce good sound?
The receiver I was looking at is the Yamaha HTR-5860 for $100.

Is there a difference between optical and digital spdif? My motherboard says it can do both but when I looked up my soundcard it says digital spdif on the asus website.
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post #2 of 20
Well first off, optical is a form of SPDIF, so is HDMI.

For the most part, the optical out on a motherboard tends to be pretty clean, it's the analog that you usually have to worry about as it picks up static from the video card at times, or is just generally more muffled or of less quality due to poor digital to analog conversion.

Edit:
Plus if all you are going to do is run it through a receiver, I would use the DG card myself, for better tuning options. (Better equalizer presets and such.)
post #3 of 20
you don't need a soundcard if you are going to connect your receiver and PC with a digital connection, HDMI and OPTICAL are both digital.

the only reason why people buy a soundcard is because a dedicated soundcard does better at converting digital audio to analog, in your case there will be no conversion needed, the PC will feed digital signal to your receiver, your receiver will then convert digital audio to analog then feed it to the speakers.

remember that digital audio signal is all the same, it doesn't matter if you use a dedicated sound card or onboard.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagoom View Post

Well first off, optical is a form of SPDIF, so is HDMI.
For the most part, the optical out on a motherboard tends to be pretty clean, it's the analog that you usually have to worry about as it picks up static from the video card at times, or is just generally more muffled or of less quality due to poor digital to analog conversion.
Edit:
Plus if all you are going to do is run it through a receiver, I would use the DG card myself, for better tuning options. (Better equalizer presets and such.)

i agree with most of your statements except for the bolded part, fine tuning can be done with his reciever, equalizer and stuff like that, the receiver is better, what do you need the soundcard for?
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider85 View Post

i agree with most of your statements except for the bolded part, fine tuning can be done with his reciever, equalizer and stuff like that, the receiver is better, what do you need the soundcard for?

It really depends on the receiver he buys, I have no experience with the Yamaha that he is referencing, but from my past experience, sometimes a sound card doing the manipulation from the source is better than manipulating it at the receiving end.

Most of the receivers that are marketed around 100$ have relatively decent components, but the software side of them is light and leaves you wanting more customization, which is how they can make a decent receiver for so cheap.

++ Sometimes you don't always want to be touching the receiver to make fine tune adjustments, it can get annoying when you can just press a couple buttons on the computer screen. As he stated the soundcard is already available to him, and to not use it, in my opinion would be a waste.
Edited by Dagoom - 9/19/12 at 10:34am
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagoom View Post

It really depends on the receiver he buys, I have no experience with the Yamaha that he is referencing, but from my past experience, sometimes a sound card doing the manipulation from the source is better than manipulating it at the receiving end.
Most of the receivers that are marketed around 100$ have relatively decent components, but the software side of them is light and leaves you wanting more customization, which is how they can make decent receiver for so cheap.
++ Sometimes you don't always want to be touching the receiver to make fine tune adjustments, it can get annoying when you can just press a couple buttons on the computer screen. As he stated the soundcard is already available to him, and to not use it, in my opinion would be a waste.

Yamaha gives you alot for your money, can trust me on that one, i own both vintage equipment from them circa 1975 ( turntable and receiver) and a newer receiver and speakers for my tv/pc, thier $100-$200 line has alot of features most wouldnt in that range.
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post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCSarge View Post

Yamaha gives you alot for your money, can trust me on that one, i own both vintage equipment from them circa 1975 ( turntable and receiver) and a newer receiver and speakers for my tv/pc, thier $100-$200 line has alot of features most wouldnt in that range.

Like I said, I don't have much experience with Yamaha receivers, and I was speaking from the fact that it is purely 100$, a lot of receivers that you would buy have less features on them than 60$ sound cards do.

Plus a lot of people find it easier to use a GUI interface than having to deal with the onscreen settings on a receiver.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagoom View Post

It really depends on the receiver he buys, I have no experience with the Yamaha that he is referencing, but from my past experience, sometimes a sound card doing the manipulation from the source is better than manipulating it at the receiving end.
Most of the receivers that are marketed around 100$ have relatively decent components, but the software side of them is light and leaves you wanting more customization, which is how they can make a decent receiver for so cheap.
++ Sometimes you don't always want to be touching the receiver to make fine tune adjustments, it can get annoying when you can just press a couple buttons on the computer screen. As he stated the soundcard is already available to him, and to not use it, in my opinion would be a waste.

that soundcard outputs "colored" audio, then you will feed it to the receiver which will then color the audio again, that will sound terrible. you want neutral sound to go into your reciever, not colored
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the answers guys, much appreciated. The receiver is actually used for $100 and I've been told its pretty decent for its price range.
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post #10 of 20
I have the HTR 5650 which is basically the same thing and heard no difference between optical and 2.0 out of the soundcard. Maybe because i dont have my speakers positioned properly..below ear level.. . havent had a proper desk since i finished school 4 months ago.

dont think there should be a notable difference tho

PS. dont use the enhancement on the receiver it sounds terrible when on 2.0+ from the soundcard.

WHY are you getting powered monitors and a receiver>? might as well buy a powered SUB and ditch the receiver yo!
Edited by Danker16 - 9/19/12 at 10:50am
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