moving from Cd Player to Digital storage [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums

PDA

View Full Version : moving from Cd Player to Digital storage



pdhanwada
11-03-2009, 02:35 AM
I have reasonably high end system

Paradigm Signature speakers,
B&K preamp and AMP
REL subwoofer
Technics 110 Cd changer

for my audio. I use the cd changer as a transport and the preamp works as DAC.

My cd changer is 10 years old and started giving me trouble so need to replace it soon.

Thinking ways of doing it.

One of the option I am considering is to buy a external DAC and digital storage and transport so that I can rip all the CDs into the digital storage and use it with the DAC.

It seems Digital storages seem to be pretty expensive. Can we make use of home computer to do so.

One other question is how to rip the CDs into computer. Do we need special software to do so.

Let me know.

Thanks
Pandu

poppachubby
11-03-2009, 03:20 AM
Most of the guys here like to store their digital files on an external hard drive. They will use a second HD for a back up drive. I think an HD with a tB costs around 100. As far as ripping goes you must decide which format you will prefer. If your ear is really exacting, you'll want lossless or wav, there are many programs which can do this for you including iTunes and Windows Media Player. If you're not too concerned about perfect quality, 320kbps MP3 files are of a very high quality and take up significantly less space on your drive. My personal suggestion would be to go MP3 which can be ripped by most media players.

I pretty much only use digital files and vinyl at this point. I have several hundred CDs but they're mostly used in the car now. I think it's definitely the way to go. Get yourself a quality "audiophile" soundcard for your computer. Creative Labs Sound Blaster make several varieties of varying cost and quality. This is what I and alot of guys on here have. With a super tough soundcard, you may find it difficult to get away from your digital music.
Check the Creative website and have a look, one of the best purchases I have made in the last couple of years, endless fun.

Hope this helps, I'm sure other guys will add to this. Good luck!!

noddin0ff
11-03-2009, 04:52 AM
I buy CDs. I rip them lossless to an external hard drive. I put the CDs in a box in a closet in the basement.

You certainly can use a home computer. It doesn't even have to be a good computer. My music server is a 9 year old laptop hooked to an external hard drive. You 'could' get a sound card for your computer (as pappachubby recommends) or you can send the signal to the DAC in your pre-amp as you currently do. You can also add external DACs between the two as I do.

If you have a computer, external HDs are relatively inexpensive. You can crudely estimate that a CD ripped with lossless compression requires 350MB storage. A 500GB drive gives you storage for 1400-1500 CDs. There is very good software for all of this, AND all of it can be obtained freely and legally.

You can get oodles of good advice on specifics on this board. Let us know where you want to go.

pdhanwada
11-03-2009, 05:55 AM
My computer has xp would like to live with it for now.

Cant we use the existing computer as a harddrive.

Can you suggest me good sound cards which have optical outs.

Thanks
Pandu

poppachubby
11-03-2009, 07:05 AM
Yes of course, you can use your comps hard drive. I just think if your goal is to have a large collection of digital files, you should protect them from the hazards of viruses, crashes and other typical computer problems. Imagine losing all those files!?!

I use a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum soundcard. It's considered "entry level". It features a wireless remote control for the drive bay. I can input analog RCA's, coax and toslink. It also has a mic input. I can output coax and toslink, headphones too. It's also 5.1 ready.

Let me clarify that my original post wasn't suggesting you would need the soundcard. You could get started without it. However, if you are really thinking about digital, the soundcard will open up a door like nothing else for you. I bought it originally for converting vinyl to digital, inputting my turntable. Let's just say that's the feature I now use the least. I actually have a direct drive TT hooked in for listening. It would rival any mid-fi and possibly some lower end hi-fi CD players no problem. I'm telling you, this thing has been the single biggest joy in audio for me for some time.

It will infinitely expand your possibilities, with your analog system, dac, headphones, whatever you're into!! Now that I own it, I would say that for me, it's become a "need".

If you want something above the Audigy Platinum, take a look at the X-Fi Pro. Really high end with a built in dac as well.

Obviously I am hugely biased, so take it with a grain of salt. I would suggest hitting a hi-fi store that sells these things and get yourself a demo.

Feanor
11-03-2009, 07:47 AM
My computer has xp would like to live with it for now.

Cant we use the existing computer as a harddrive.

Can you suggest me good sound cards which have optical outs.

Thanks
Pandu

Pandu,

You can certainly use you computer to rip your CDs to an internal or external harddrive. Many music players provide ripping capability. Personally I use dBpoweramp, (see HERE (http://www.dbpoweramp.com/), a free versions is available), to rip my CDs; I rip them to the FLAC lossless format. For a player I use Foobar2000, (see HERE (http://www.foobar2000.org/), freeware).

If you sound card has an analog output, (most do), you can hook it via RCA cables directly to your main amplifier or preamp. However typical sound cards leave a lot to be desired in terms of sound quality. Instead, for most people I recommend an external DAC with a USB connection to the computer. A huge variety of such USB-equipped DACs is available in many price ranges. A few at a lower price point but with pretty good reputation are these, (in no particular order):

Fathom NOS (http://www.pacificvalve.us/PVFathom.html), (also available on eBay, there know as 'Valab')
Musical Fidelity V-DAC (http://www.musicalfidelity.com/products/V-Series/V-DAC/V-DAC.asp)
Musiland MD-10 (http://www.pacificvalve.us/MusilandMD10.html), (also available from eBay sellers)
Cambridge Audio DacMagic (http://www.cambridgeaudio.com/summary.php?PID=320&Title=DacMagic)
Music Hall dac 25.2 (http://www.musichallaudio.com/detail.php?p=68)

pdhanwada
11-03-2009, 08:41 AM
Thanks guys for your detailed replies.

I have a B&K preamp which I can use it as a DAC if I can use the optical out of the sound card. I am looking for good sound card which has optical out.

The one poppachubby proposed looks good to me as it has a remote. The only concern I have is the price. It is at a higher end at close to $200. I thought may be the starting point is $50 to 100 range.

If there is no other good choices available for me may be I can go with that one.

Thanks

Feanor. I am postponing my upgrading of External DAC idea to next release. I will be happy If can start digitizing everything get it to work.

Thanks again.

Feanor
11-03-2009, 09:49 AM
Thanks guys for your detailed replies.

I have a B&K preamp which I can use it as a DAC if I can use the optical out of the sound card. I am looking for good sound card which has optical out.

The one poppachubby proposed looks good to me as it has a remote. The only concern I have is the price. It is at a higher end at close to $200. I thought may be the starting point is $50 to 100 range.

If there is no other good choices available for me may be I can go with that one.

Thanks

Feanor. I am postponing my upgrading of External DAC idea to next release. I will be happy If can start digitizing everything get it to work.

Thanks again.

Ah, yes, your B&K's built-in DAC should work fine for starters. I take it it has only opitical input? This is little unfortunate because coaxial output is a bit more common on sound cards. Coax is lower jitter than optical, on the other hand, the latter won't transmit RFI from the computer. Keep your optical cord as short as possible for best results.

poppachubby
11-03-2009, 11:22 AM
Hey, don't fret about the price, there are other cards and other options. Look hard at the Creative site for cards with less features, these will have your output needs but will not have the remote, etc. You haven't mentioned your budget and I hate asking, it's rude.

I actually bought mine for $40 CDN , used obviously, from an audio engineer who had completed a project and no longer had a use for it. Check Ebay and other avenues like Craig's List. If you're patient with cash in hand, when that deal pops up you can pounce right away.

Aside from that I can tell you that it seems like alot, but for everything you get back, it's a real steal!!

Edit: http://london.kijiji.ca/c-ViewAdLargeImage?AdId=164261879

a quick look at my local kijiji revealed the x-fi gamer card for 80 bucks. more suited to gamers however processes music in 24 bit and has optical output. I'm not saying this is a good choice, however, shows that for alot cheaper you can find something to fit the bill. Plus, Creative isn't the only gig in town...

Ajani
11-03-2009, 12:05 PM
Thanks guys for your detailed replies.

I have a B&K preamp which I can use it as a DAC if I can use the optical out of the sound card. I am looking for good sound card which has optical out.

The one poppachubby proposed looks good to me as it has a remote. The only concern I have is the price. It is at a higher end at close to $200. I thought may be the starting point is $50 to 100 range.

If there is no other good choices available for me may be I can go with that one.

Thanks

Feanor. I am postponing my upgrading of External DAC idea to next release. I will be happy If can start digitizing everything get it to work.

Thanks again.

I'd suggest checking out the M-Audio USB Transit:

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Transit.html

It costs $100, requires no hardware installation (just plug it into a USB port) and will give you a high quality optical output. It's also highly recommended by John Atkinson (Stereophile).

Feanor
11-03-2009, 12:28 PM
I'd suggest checking out the M-Audio USB Transit:

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Transit.html

It costs $100, requires no hardware installation (just plug it into a USB port) and will give you a high quality optical output. It's also highly recommended by John Atkinson (Stereophile).

Good suggestion, Ajani. Very relevant to our poster's situation.

frenchmon
11-03-2009, 12:57 PM
pdhanwada I like your gear. I Have always been interested in B&K amps and I am a big fan of Paradigm. How do you like the Sigs and what model do you have?

frenchmon

poppachubby
11-03-2009, 12:57 PM
Good suggestion, Ajani. Very relevant to our poster's situation.


Yes, nice product, but perhaps with a little more research, and a modest amount more money, the OP can enjoy the numerous benefits of a soundcard. Seems from $100, it might not be too far to go in terms of new. Certainly $100 would cover a used unit.

I think you should really research this thing pd...

We are all here to answer questions along the way. Ajani and Feanor are both wicked knowledgable as are a whole heap of other fellows on AR. No reason you shouldn't get exactly what you need/want within the confines of your budget.

I think for now you should put aside the soundcard and get rollin on your converting. It's going to take a while...during this time, you can do your research.

Feel free to PM me if you want...

poppachubby
11-03-2009, 01:47 PM
OK pd, this may be overkill, but I'm actually in a unique situation that mirrors yours somewhat. 2 things are impacting my normal set up:

1) Selling my dac to drum up cash for new one, leaving me dac-less
2) Main amp is being serviced for general health

My Marantz is filling in, but I haven't used it. I pulled out an old H/T amp and went direct from my soundcard to it's CD coax input. Set my cards output to 16b/48khz. Similar to your pre-amp scenario. I've had no jitter issues, however I am only at 48 khz.

I pulled out my BD and am switching back and forth from my DD. The BD adds a nice bit of soul to the digital sound. I keep the DD hooked up for conversion and playing.

Not one day has gone by that I've missed my amp. I'm now looking at ways to have my main system feed to the soundcard so I can enjoy the BD's abilities.

Some DIY speakers round it out, 2 mains and a sub, 2.1 essentially, and it sound nothing short of awesome. There's no doubt that I am listening to analog, but the card brings out the best in the vinyl.

Fun,fun,fun...I think most members are sick of this rant by me but I see you as fresh blood pd lol, here's a couple of pics...

poppachubby
11-03-2009, 01:54 PM
mmmmmmmmm

poppachubby
11-03-2009, 01:54 PM
llllllll

pdhanwada
11-03-2009, 07:21 PM
Last year I borrowed one of my friends IPOD connected it to my preamp thru RCA cables. I felt the ups and downs were pretty much rolled off.

I am not sure about the source of the data in the IPOD. Or may be the IPod preamp is not the best. I am certainly not looking for that kind of music.

Thanks
pandu

pdhanwada
11-09-2009, 06:08 AM
Hello guys,

I was looking thru the Audiogons discussion boards where in there were quite a few suggestion made by going directly to a USB DAC instead of a sound card.

The idea looks intresting and also cost effective.

Here is how it is

(COmputer) usb port -->usb port ( DVD player) optical port --> optical port (preamp) --> Amplifier.

Does this work.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks
Pandu

poppachubby
11-09-2009, 06:22 AM
Yep it'll work fine and should be good enough to get you going. In time, you will want more, so just wait until that point. Who knows, maybe that set up will be all you ever need. Try it out and let us know what you think.

noddin0ff
11-09-2009, 11:05 AM
Hello guys,

I was looking thru the Audiogons discussion boards where in there were quite a few suggestion made by going directly to a USB DAC instead of a sound card.

The idea looks intresting and also cost effective.

Here is how it is

(COmputer) usb port -->usb port ( DVD player) optical port --> optical port (preamp) --> Amplifier.

Does this work.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks
Pandu

Somethings not right. I don't think any DVD players convert USB to optical...

If you meant "DAC" instead of (DVD player) then it's still not quite right. DAC's convert are Digital to Analog Converters. USB to optical is digital to digital, you don't need a DAC for this.

The path revised would be

USB out -> USB DAC -> L/R Analog RCA out on DAC -> L/R Analog RCA in on preamp or amp.

If you want to use optical (toslink) to your preamp, you can get USB to toslink converters or your computer or soundcard would provide this function (toslink out). In your flow, your preamp is functioning as the DAC.

hope this helps

Feanor
11-09-2009, 12:03 PM
Hello guys,

I was looking thru the Audiogons discussion boards where in there were quite a few suggestion made by going directly to a USB DAC instead of a sound card.

The idea looks intresting and also cost effective.

Here is how it is

(COmputer) usb port -->usb port ( DVD player) optical port --> optical port (preamp) --> Amplifier.

Does this work.
...
No, that won't work. In the first place DVD players don't usually accept USB from a computer, typically only from flash drives.

However, as Ajani mentioned above, you have the alternative of the M-Audio Transit device that converts USB to S/PDIF optical:

computer USB port => M-Audio Transit => amplfier optical input.As you might recall, I talked about USB DACs earlier in the thread. But in that case you would go ...
computer USB port => USB DAC => RCA analog input to your amp.

pdhanwada
02-11-2010, 07:06 AM
I have reasonably high end system

Paradigm Signature speakers,
B&K preamp and AMP
REL subwoofer
Technics 110 Cd changer

for my audio. I use the cd changer as a transport and the preamp works as DAC.

My cd changer is 10 years old and started giving me trouble so need to replace it soon.

Thinking ways of doing it.

One of the option I am considering is to buy a external DAC and digital storage and transport so that I can rip all the CDs into the digital storage and use it with the DAC.

It seems Digital storages seem to be pretty expensive. Can we make use of home computer to do so.

One other question is how to rip the CDs into computer. Do we need special software to do so.

Let me know.

Thanks
Pandu

I got my CD changer fixed. I changed a small rubber band in it and all the trouble it was posing is gone.

Now comming back to the DAC, I am planning on Buying one of the MHDT TUBED DACS with usb input for future use. Lately this looks like a hot product on the Internet and seen lot of good reviews.

One interesting observation about Music and its enjoyment.

For example, If you take the good olden days music, which used to have less number of instruments playing at any single point of time compared to the current days music where in you see many instrumnets playing with lot of noise.

Can this cause the music to be little noisy thereby not so much enjoyable.

Can a TUBE DAC fix this problem. May be it is not possible to fix it completely until you but can we make it better than what it is right now with the DAC.

Give me your opinion

02audionoob
02-11-2010, 07:33 AM
Running a CD player out to a DAC can make a tremendous improvement in the sound quality. No doubt about it.

Feanor
02-11-2010, 09:45 AM
I....

One interesting observation about Music and its enjoyment.

For example, If you take the good olden days music, which used to have less number of instruments playing at any single point of time compared to the current days music where in you see many instrumnets playing with lot of noise.

Can this cause the music to be little noisy thereby not so much enjoyable.

Can a TUBE DAC fix this problem. May be it is not possible to fix it completely until you but can we make it better than what it is right now with the DAC.

Give me your opinion
In my experience difficulty handling complex music, (many instruments or voices), first of all requires excellent resolution and transparency. To generalize, a tube stage will smooth the sound and/or add a little warmth or sense of depth to the sound, but won't improve resolution or transparency.

02audionoob
02-11-2010, 09:55 AM
But surely the referenced tube DAC can outperform the resolution of the Technics CD changer.

rakeford
02-11-2010, 01:37 PM
I've got Winamp up and running on a Win2K PC. I'm still tweaking the system.

Next, I need to learn how to rip vinyl.

rakeford
02-11-2010, 01:56 PM
We never get tired of your ranting poppachubby. :biggrin5:


OK pd, this may be overkill, but I'm actually in a unique situation
....
Fun,fun,fun...I think most members are sick of this rant by me but I see you as fresh blood pd lol, here's a couple of pics...

poppachubby
02-11-2010, 02:30 PM
Nice to know Rake-doggy. If you need help ripping LP's give a shout or try 02audionoob, he's more knowledgeable than me.

I would lose the WINamp and get Media Monkey. It's leaps and bounds ahead in terms of fidelity.

rakeford
02-11-2010, 08:06 PM
Thanks, I'll try Media Monkey. Right now I'm in the R&D phase. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do. When I do I'll start my own thread for support.


Nice to know Rake-doggy. If you need help ripping LP's give a shout or try 02audionoob, he's more knowledgeable than me.

I would lose the WINamp and get Media Monkey. It's leaps and bounds ahead in terms of fidelity.

Luvin Da Blues
02-12-2010, 05:08 AM
Nice to know Rake-doggy. If you need help ripping LP's give a shout or try 02audionoob, he's more knowledgeable than me.

I would lose the WINamp and get Media Monkey. It's leaps and bounds ahead in terms of fidelity.

Pops, It's possible to get bit perfect from Winamp. The major problem with Winamp is that the volume control screws around with the signal. You can bypass this by going to "Options" ==>"Preferences" ==> "Output" and click on the output .dll your using and defeat the volume control there. You also need to configure the Windows audio stack so that the kmixer is bypassed. Another way is to use an ASIO driver if your soundcard/DAC supports it. I had installed foobar to compare and I can't hear any difference and since I like the Winamp GUI a lot better....

poppachubby
02-12-2010, 05:47 AM
Pops, It's possible to get bit perfect from Winamp. The major problem with Winamp is that the volume control screws around with the signal. You can bypass this by going to "Options" ==>"Preferences" ==> "Output" and click on the output .dll your using and defeat the volume control there. You also need to configure the Windows audio stack so that the kmixer is bypassed. Another way is to use an ASIO driver if your soundcard/DAC supports it. I had installed foobar to compare and I can't hear any difference and since I like the Winamp GUI a lot better....

Hey LDB. I haven't done any of the required tinkering with my Windows to get bit-perfect. My main comp is also the media server so my wife wants audio for things other than music. I have an older comp that I will ressurect so that I can shut off the crumby Windows sounds, etc. Just have to find the time and motivation to do it. Since everything sounds so damn good, I'm not encouraged to get on it.

So, for my comp being the way it is, I have found Media Monkey to have an exceptional player. I also have my Yamaha CDP plugged in via toslink, which I have been using alot lately.

Thanks for the info mate. When I am ready, I will nedd the exact path to access those things on the comp. I'll PM you or Feanor...

Luvin Da Blues
02-12-2010, 05:57 AM
It's pretty easy. Here's some instructions from another site.....

"Some people think that better than ASIO is to un-map the USB DAC device from the KMIXER. This is done as follows:

Go Control Panel => Sounds and Audio Device => Select Hardware Tab => Select USB Audio Device.

Click Properties Button => Select Properties Tab => Click the “+” to the left of [+] Audio Devices that will pop down USB Audio Devices.
Select USB Audio Devices and click Properties.

Check both Use audio features of this device and Do not map through this device.
==> [ Apply ] <==

That will unmap the KMIXER without using ASIO."

rakeford
02-12-2010, 07:20 AM
Thanks Luvin Da Blues


Pops, It's possible to get bit perfect from Winamp. The major problem with Winamp is that the volume control screws around with the signal. You can bypass this by going to "Options" ==>"Preferences" ==> "Output" and click on the output .dll your using and defeat the volume control there. ....
OK, I did this for 2 and 3 below. Questions- Which one of 2 or 3 should I be using? Or am I using one or the other depending on what my source or output is?
1. Nullsoft Disk Writer v2.14 [out_disk.dll]
2. Nullsoft DirectSound Output v2.49 [out_ds.dll]
3. Nullsoft WaveOut Output v2.12 [out_wave.dll]



...
You also need to configure the Windows audio stack so that the kmixer is bypassed. . ...
I don't know how to do this.



...
Another way is to use an ASIO driver if your soundcard/DAC supports it.
....
I tried an ASIO plug-in without success, I got no sound out of Winamp. I have an OEM sound card on a Dell Optiplex GX400 running Win2K. The sound card is made by Analog Devices Inc., model "SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio". I have no external DAC yet.



...
I had installed foobar to compare and I can't hear any difference and since I like the Winamp GUI a lot better....
I tried Foobar2000. It does not install on Win2K. Is there a version of Foobar that runs on Windows 2000? I really don't want to buy yet another flippin' OS from MicroSucks!

rakeford
02-12-2010, 07:24 AM
It's pretty easy. Here's some instructions from another site.....

"Some people think that better than ASIO is to un-map the USB DAC device from the KMIXER. This is done as follows:

Go Control Panel => Sounds and Audio Device => Select Hardware Tab => Select USB Audio Device.

Click Properties Button => Select Properties Tab => Click the + to the left of [+] Audio Devices that will pop down USB Audio Devices.
Select USB Audio Devices and click Properties.

Check both Use audio features of this device and Do not map through this device.
==> [ Apply ] <==

That will unmap the KMIXER without using ASIO."
I tried this too. I don't have USB Audio Devices.

"Me So Stupid" - ZZ Top circa 2003.

Luvin Da Blues
02-12-2010, 10:29 AM
Thanks Luvin Da Blues


OK, I did this for 2 and 3 below. Questions- Which one of 2 or 3 should I be using? Or am I using one or the other depending on what my source or output is?
1. Nullsoft Disk Writer v2.14 [out_disk.dll]
2. Nullsoft DirectSound Output v2.49 [out_ds.dll]<== I use this one
3. Nullsoft WaveOut Output v2.12 [out_wave.dll]



I don't know how to do this. <== see post #32 on this thread


This should work for any OEM or external SC/DAC.