Re: does the computer matter to the audio quality
Reply #1 – 2022-11-01 08:11:36
The .wav is the .wav is the .wav. It is a grab of the data on the CD as is, will be the same wherever it comes from, and the drive used to read it is immaterial.
Any difference in reproduction will be down to the audio conversion in the player PC (or whatever). The quality of the resulting audio depends on the quality of the sound card and the analogue signal path. While the audio remains uncompressed digital, there will be no difference whatever is handling it. The problems occur in the conversion from digital to analogue and then routing to the audio jack, because (ignoring problems which are universal to D-to-A): The digital to analogue conversion circuit may not be precise to 16 bits and introduce errors in the analogue value; Sample timing jitter; Noise (hiss) introduced by the components in the analogue path; Noise picked up from the rest of the computer circuity - high speed processing, power supply hum; Hum loops created between the computer and audio equipment downstream. Items 1-3 are a function of the quality (cost) of the sound card. CD audio is two channels of 16-bits at 41kHz, but using a 24-bit card should ensure a cleaner output because the interpolation of values for over-sampling gets rid of even 16-bit quantization, and the DAC is more accurate anyway. Also, higher quality op amps or whatever have less inherent noise. Item 4 is inherent to the construction of the PC itself - how careful has the manufacturer been to isolate the audio output path from sources of induced noise? I've had trouble with item 5 with a notebook PC feeding a mixer, using a specific power brick (and not another). I discovered the OK brick did not connect the earth through to the PC itself, but the not-OK brick did. One way to avoid items 1-4 is to use an external USB sound card. That way the digital audio leaves the PC in the digital domain, and you can choose a specialist DAC/sound card with specifications to suit your budget, and operate it well away from noise sources. All that said, not being an audiophile I have no problem with the audio output jacks from my notebook and netbooks.
Last Edit: 2022-11-01 08:17:26 by fooball