Amplifier for a PC sound system

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Amplifier for a PC sound system

Postby Arancaytar » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:55 pm UTC

My last amplifier (a Technics SU-Z45, possibly around 40 years old) has finally breathed its last, and my hardware skills are sadly insufficient to try to fix it. So I'm trying to pick out a new one. The problem is that the price range is extremely broad and I have no idea what I need. If I try this without some research, I risk buying either cheap trash or something far out of proportion.

My speaker boxes are pretty old too (though I built in some newer ~30W bass speakers), and while they sound clear I suspect they're far from high-fidelity. The typical pieces from my music collection are 160kbps Ogg Vorbis, with only very little 256kbps or lossless stuff, and I was fine with how it sounded on the old system up until it broke.

Basically, I'm trying to determine whether I should look more closely at the 50-100$ or the 150-200$ range, or somewhere in between. Any pointers?
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Re: Amplifier for a PC sound system

Postby psykx » Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:24 am UTC

Audio gear can get very expensive very quickly, I'd say you should spend as much as you can afford, although you might not care enough about the sound quality. What speakers do you have? What sound card do you have?
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Re: Amplifier for a PC sound system

Postby Moose Anus » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:38 pm UTC

Looks like you can buy the repair manual. I also saw some of these on ebay where it might be cheaper or something. ... =M71762897
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Re: Amplifier for a PC sound system

Postby LikwidCirkel » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:40 pm UTC

If your PC has a S/PDIF output, I would highly recommend getting an amp which supports this along with Dolby and DTS. It's a pretty standard feature nowadays, so I think amps should exist in your price range. It's also one of most trouble-free ways to get encoded surround sound working for movies - even on Linux. It will work better than analog 5-line surround, because many Linux distros lack the ability to decode Dolby Digital, and if you have S/PDIF, the encoded audio is passed directly to the receiver and the PC doesn't have to know anything about decoding, and it usually just works. It's also fewer cables to run.

I got a new receiver a few months ago, and started using S/PDIF for the first time, and wow, is there ever a difference! It's even more worthwhile if you're used to using shitty analog audio integrated into a motherboard, as some boards introduce a pile of noise on analog audio outputs.

Even if you just use this for music, it should still make everything cleaner. Don't worry about coax versus optical S/PDIF as the data is the same in either case and there is no quality difference at all.. the optical S/PDIF thing is just marketing hype.

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Re: Amplifier for a PC sound system

Postby mosc » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:02 pm UTC

Title: It was given by the XKCD moderators to me because they didn't care what I thought (I made some rantings, etc). I care what YOU think, the joke is forums.xkcd doesn't care what I think.

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