Computer to Stereo

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  • 06-09-2007, 05:46 AM
    jhan1959
    Computer to Stereo
    First off, I'm a new user to this forum, so thanks for having me. I'm hoping someone can answer a few of my questions. My question regards hooking up my computer (where I have MP3 files) to my stereo (Yamaha RX396 receiver) I purchased some cable to hook up from the audio out on my computer to an auxilary jack on my receiver. The problem I'm having is that there is a humming sound when I play music through there. My pc is on the other side of the room from my stereo, about 15 to 20 feet I guess, I don't know if the distance is the problem, but i can't move them any closer due to the lay out of the room.
    Any ideas? The cable i bought is just a regular stereo cable that I got at radio shack.
    Thanks.
  • 06-09-2007, 05:57 AM
    Luvin Da Blues
    First off, welcome to this forum.

    I was getting a lot of hum when I had my computer hooked up the way you do and never could get rid of it. I finally bought a external sound card with Toslink outputs to completely remove any ground path and now enjoy clean clear signals from the computer.

    One other suggestion , if I may, I also bought a 320GB external hard drive and have just finished re ripping all my CD's in lossless format...huge difference to MP3's. Cheers
  • 06-09-2007, 07:03 AM
    jhan1959
    Thanks for the info, I'm not exactly sure what an external sound card is, but i'll look into that. I've also been thinsking of buying an external hard drive, not sure what kind though, to store music, videos, photos. How do you hook one of those up to your stereo? is a simple plug in? What drives the music in that senerio?
    Also, don't know of lossless format?
  • 06-09-2007, 09:06 AM
    Luvin Da Blues
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jhan1959
    Thanks for the info, I'm not exactly sure what an external sound card is, but i'll look into that. I've also been thinsking of buying an external hard drive, not sure what kind though, to store music, videos, photos. How do you hook one of those up to your stereo? is a simple plug in? What drives the music in that senerio?
    Also, don't know of lossless format?


    Well, A external sound card is the same as your built-in one except it hooks up via a USB or Firewire port. The card has a internal DAC (Digital to Analogue Converter) which is of better quality than I have in my computer. Of course you can buy high quality internal sound card to. By having an external card I can place it next to my sound system and run a USB cable from my computer to the card (this keeps it in the digital domain longer and the analogue outputs are kept as short as possible), by using the Toslink (Optical) output I have completely removed any possible ground loop between the computer and receiver and now utilize the receivers DAC. I am using a Philips Aurilium but there are more to choose from.

    As for the external hard drive, it is hooked up to the computer via a USB port and currently I am using Winamp as a media player. All the file associations are pointed to the external HD. When you rip CDs in lossless there is no compression applied to the file, there for little or no lost data in the ripped file.

    Hope this helps.
  • 06-09-2007, 05:41 PM
    Mike Anderson
    I highly recommend getting a Squeezebox instead of a sound card:

    http://www.slimdevices.com/pi_squeezebox.html

    These things rock.
  • 06-09-2007, 07:25 PM
    Smokey
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jhan1959
    My question regards hooking up my computer (where I have MP3 files) to my stereo (Yamaha RX396 receiver) I purchased some cable to hook up from the audio out on my computer to an auxilary jack on my receiver. The problem I'm having is that there is a humming sound when I play music through there. My pc is on the other side of the room from my stereo, about 15 to 20 feet I guess.

    Hum is probably caused by ground [reference] differentiation of your reciever and computer (probably due to being powered from to different AC plugs). Computer's ground is slightly higher or lower than Reciever's ground, and when connectd by an interconnect, the differenec will cause a ground current to flow from one component to another. This unwanted current (also called ground loop) which have 60 hertz cycle, will cause the hum.

    To prevent the hum, we need to prevent this current. And following device from RadioShack (that goes between the computer and reciever) should do the trick. It is called Ground Loop Isolator.

    And be sure to use good quality shielded RCA cable for such a distance.

    http://rsk.imageg.net/graphics/produ...160121w345.jpg

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...entPage=search
  • 06-09-2007, 07:33 PM
    mlsstl
    I second the motion for the Squeezebox. That is now how 99% of my serious listening at home takes place. The basic Squeezebox 3 (SB3) is $300 and is an excellent value. It hooks to your home computer network with wireless or ethernet cable as if it were another computer. You can control it with the included remote, from the computer that stores the music, or remotely from a third computer (e.g., a laptop or Palm TX or similar.) Sound quality of the basic unit is very good for the money. If you choose to upgrade the basic model with modifications or an external DAC the sound quality is superb.

    The nice part is that once you're set up, the operation can be as user-friendly and non-computerish as you like. The remote and SB3's display let you find your music quickly and easily without going near the computer.

    Check it out.
  • 06-14-2007, 07:12 AM
    recoveryone
    Thanks for that info smokey, I been using my laptop for DJing parties and the battery life is always a issue. When using the AC plug I would get static hum, like the HD spinning up. I hope this will work and I can keep the laptop plugged in.

    Oh by the way SQUEEZE BOX ROCKS......aint no party like a squeeze box party, cuz the squeeze box don't stop.......lol
  • 06-15-2007, 06:35 AM
    recoveryone
    Smokey, your ideal worked like a charm. Funny how we forget some of the old ways as we keep moving forward with all this technology. Something that I would have thought of 30 years ago without blinking. I went into good old Radio shack and there it was, the last one on the rack (properly only one). It was perfect, the clerk was busy running her mouth with a friend, so I was able to look without disruption.
  • 06-17-2007, 06:01 AM
    Smokey
    You welcome recoveryone. I am glad it worked out for you.

    I had the same problem as the original poster (looks like he/she disapeared) where my computer was cross the room and had a nasty hum when connecting to my stereo. But that device from Radioshack eliminated the hum.
  • 06-17-2007, 09:02 AM
    jhan1959
    Thanks to everyone. not sue which sugestion I'll act on first, but I certainly appreciate all the info.