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PC for Multichannel Music Playback - What's your Setup?

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GOS

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Have you checked to make sure your HDMI/Denon AVR is still the default audio playback device?

I'm not sure which version of Windows you're using, but in Windows 7 (while your AVR is on/connected) right click on the speaker icon in your taskbar, pick 'playback devices' and you should get a window with the various outputs from your computer ('speakers', 'headphones' and hopefully your HDMI out). Right click on the HDMI/AVR output and select 'set as default device' - once you do this a little green circle with a checkmark in it should appear next to the device. It should (obviously there are no guarantees in Windows, as in life) from then on switch your output to the HDMI/AVR whenever the device is connected.
I wish that were the problem. But, yeah. The AVR is the default, and that never changes.
 

Spock

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This happened to me some time ago, but suddenly it stopped. Then there was a period when the avr switched to stereo when I played multichannel video on to the tv (with audio through the avr) - but suddenly it stopped and always played multichannel.

May have something to do with the windows updates or the main (mother)bord updates that I reguarly do?

The audio/hdmi can be a mainboard thing - maybe check for updates? Always good to have the latest bios version too. Does your avr have the latest SW update?

Just wondering - do you use the 96k 24 bit sound option in the sound settings? And does it hold?

Cheers Gene :) :brew
 

Spock

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Now upgrading my desktop for the third time since I become a member here. :yikes This time it's a new 4 TB internal HDD and a 5 TB external HDD for backup. The desktop will now have a total of 2x2TB + 2x4TB internal HDDs for storage - and I will have 2x5TB external HDDs for backup.

It's the latest ripping of my concert dvds and blu rays that takes a lot of space.
 

ubertrout

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I built myself a HTPC about 6 years ago and it's still running great, although I find I use physical media more often. I did a thread on building it here with pictures, for those interested: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/core-i3-2100t-in-a-small-case.2155549/

It uses a low-voltage Core i3 chip coupled with 16gb of RAM and a 2TB Hard Drive coupled with a 40 GB SSD (small, I know - I got it for free). I don't bother to back it up per se because all media is backed up from my desktop. The optical drive is also one of the last Blu-Ray/HD-DVD drives made by LG, so I maintain complete backwards compatibility. OS is W7 Home, and I use Foobar coupled with WASAPI output over HDMI for audio. Total cost when it was built was $600 - I'd probably use something smaller now, but I like its versatility.
 

Spock

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I built myself a HTPC about 6 years ago and it's still running great, although I find I use physical media more often. I did a thread on building it here with pictures, for those interested: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/core-i3-2100t-in-a-small-case.2155549/

It uses a low-voltage Core i3 chip coupled with 16gb of RAM and a 2TB Hard Drive coupled with a 40 GB SSD (small, I know - I got it for free). I don't bother to back it up per se because all media is backed up from my desktop. The optical drive is also one of the last Blu-Ray/HD-DVD drives made by LG, so I maintain complete backwards compatibility. OS is W7 Home, and I use Foobar coupled with WASAPI output over HDMI for audio. Total cost when it was built was $600 - I'd probably use something smaller now, but I like its versatility.
That is a very small and cool pc!

I bought my pc in 2009 - it was a prefabricated HP. As time went by I upgraded different parts of it. After I last year got a new case for it - there was not anything left of the original HP :confused:

There was no plans earlier to use the pc for viewing video, but I am happy to see that my old Core i5 4570 runs 1080p video with 5.1/7.1 sound over hdmi using less than 30% load (I don't have a graphics card). It is very nice to just start a concert with a mouse click.
 

Spock

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The new HDD is in! Very easy to install, no tools needed, just snap it in place and plug it in. I use a Corsair Graphite mid (ATX) tower case, with no graphics- or soundcard it's a lot of spare room, very easy to change components.

Nothing fancy - except the power supply maybe, very oversized - a gold sertified 650W to insure stability. Core i5, 8 GB ram, run Win 10 on a 120 GB SSD. Stock cpu fan and only one quiet case fan placed in the rear. Have not used any effort to make it pretty on the inside, with cable and stuff - so don't mind the mess!! :yikes



The last HDD takes the last HDD bay,:



Front:



Rear connection panel:



The desktop is placed under a side table by the sweetspot/listening position, hooked up to the AV prossessor with a 15 meter hdmi cable - and from there to tv and projector.
 

ubertrout

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The new HDD is in! Very easy to install, no tools needed, just snap it in place and plug it in. I use a Corsair Graphite mid (ATX) tower case, with no graphics- or soundcard it's a lot of spare room, very easy to change components.

Nothing fancy - except the power supply maybe, very oversized - a gold sertified 650W to insure stability. Core i5, 8 GB ram, run Win 10 on a 120 GB SSD. Stock cpu fan and only one quiet case fan placed in the rear. Have not used any effort to make it pretty on the inside, with cable and stuff - so don't mind the mess!! :yikes



The last HDD takes the last HDD bay,:



Front:



Rear connection panel:



The desktop is placed under a side table by the sweetspot/listening position, hooked up to the AV prossessor with a 15 meter hdmi cable - and from there to tv and projector.
Nice! It's a different approach than I would take - I actually got the inspiration for building my PC from seeing a mini-ITX motherboard while wandering around Fry's while vacationing in CA with a ladyfriend (it's good show of them being a keeper if they understand getting excited about a motherboard) and realizing I could finally build the small form-factor HTPC without compromises I always wanted. You could probably fit/power 6 hard drives in that case without a problem... (edit to add - oh hey, you've got 5 in there and you've probably maxed out your SATA ports - also good)

How's the noise level from the fans?
 

Spock

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Nice! It's a different approach than I would take - I actually got the inspiration for building my PC from seeing a mini-ITX motherboard while wandering around Fry's while vacationing in CA with a ladyfriend (it's good show of them being a keeper if they understand getting excited about a motherboard) and realizing I could finally build the small form-factor HTPC without compromises I always wanted. You could probably fit/power 6 hard drives in that case without a problem... (edit to add - oh hey, you've got 5 in there and you've probably maxed out your SATA ports - also good)

How's the noise level from the fans?
Ladies who understands tech stuff excitement are something special :banana:

Can't hear any noise from the case fan, but can hear the cpu fan when it revs under heavy cpu load, but not under normal use. Even if fan noise is no problem, I will go for a completly silent solution next time I upgrade mb/cpu/ram - just because it is possible without spending to much cash.
 

DuncanS

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I've just bought a new Desktop PC (i7-7700 based), so that frees up my old (i5-650 3.2GHz with 8GB DDR3) 2010 vintage PC to be moved downstairs and incorporated into the surround system (via its HDMI) to play FLACs off the NAS. The Oppo & the Panasonic are good but they just display text. That's all its going to have to do, so its like I'm putting it out to live the rest of its natural life grazing happily in a pasture of 5.1 FLAC!

So the question is what software do you all recommend I use for playback under Windows 10, any extensions to go with it?
 

bmoura

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I am using Jriver on a W10 pc with Jremote on the phone for playback control. In my case USB output to DAC, but you can set up using HDMI too, as far as I know.
Same here.

JRiver Media Center with Windows 10 + JRemote for remote control.
Works great with Stereo and Multichannel DSD (up to DSD 256) and PCM music downloads and files.
 

humprof

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Wondering if I can get a little help from Foobar2000 experts.

I recently got a 4TB USB 3.0 hard drive so that I could consolidate all of my multi-channel audio files onto it, connect it to a laptop (Toshiba Satellite C55t), connect the laptop to my AVR (Marantz NR1607) via HDMI, and have a one-stop Mch media player. I installed Foobar and basically set it up a la Lizard King's specs in post #20 of this thread. I loaded up the HD with FLACs I've purchased online, quad tapes & LPs transferred/converted to ISO and FLAC, backup ISOs of DVDAs and SACDs, and a variety of DSD files (some from retail sites, some sourced from backup ISOs in order to get acquainted with the ISO-to-DVD software program).

Things are working fine--with one exception: those backup ISOs & DSD files sourced from SACDs. They stutter and hiccup and generally sound like hell. Everything else plays fine, including both the backup DVDA ISOs and DSD files purchased online. (Out of curiosity, I copied some of the misbehaving DSD files onto a USB thumb drive and plugged it into my Oppo 103, which plays them without a hitch. I've also tried copying the files onto the laptop's own hard drive and playing them from there; makes no difference.)

Anyone else run into this problem or have an idea as to what's going on? Sorry if this belongs--or has already been addressed--on some other thread.
 

Snood

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Wondering if I can get a little help from Foobar2000 experts.

I recently got a 4TB USB 3.0 hard drive so that I could consolidate all of my multi-channel audio files onto it, connect it to a laptop (Toshiba Satellite C55t), connect the laptop to my AVR (Marantz NR1607) via HDMI, and have a one-stop Mch media player. I installed Foobar and basically set it up a la Lizard King's specs in post #20 of this thread. I loaded up the HD with FLACs I've purchased online, quad tapes & LPs transferred/converted to ISO and FLAC, backup ISOs of DVDAs and SACDs, and a variety of DSD files (some from retail sites, some sourced from backup ISOs in order to get acquainted with the ISO-to-DVD software program).

Things are working fine--with one exception: those backup ISOs & DSD files sourced from SACDs. They stutter and hiccup and generally sound like hell. Everything else plays fine, including both the backup DVDA ISOs and DSD files purchased online. (Out of curiosity, I copied some of the misbehaving DSD files onto a USB thumb drive and plugged it into my Oppo 103, which plays them without a hitch. I've also tried copying the files onto the laptop's own hard drive and playing them from there; makes no difference.)

Anyone else run into this problem or have an idea as to what's going on? Sorry if this belongs--or has already been addressed--on some other thread.
Taking it you downloaded all the component decoders Lizard mentioned..... make sure you have them installed correctly and they are updated versions. That is the easiest answer

But it probably something else hmmmmm - might be your hdmi cable? Are you using Hdmi 2.0 or 2.1 cable - just spitballing :mad:@:
 

sjcorne

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Wondering if I can get a little help from Foobar2000 experts.

I recently got a 4TB USB 3.0 hard drive so that I could consolidate all of my multi-channel audio files onto it, connect it to a laptop (Toshiba Satellite C55t), connect the laptop to my AVR (Marantz NR1607) via HDMI, and have a one-stop Mch media player. I installed Foobar and basically set it up a la Lizard King's specs in post #20 of this thread. I loaded up the HD with FLACs I've purchased online, quad tapes & LPs transferred/converted to ISO and FLAC, backup ISOs of DVDAs and SACDs, and a variety of DSD files (some from retail sites, some sourced from backup ISOs in order to get acquainted with the ISO-to-DVD software program).

Things are working fine--with one exception: those backup ISOs & DSD files sourced from SACDs. They stutter and hiccup and generally sound like hell. Everything else plays fine, including both the backup DVDA ISOs and DSD files purchased online. (Out of curiosity, I copied some of the misbehaving DSD files onto a USB thumb drive and plugged it into my Oppo 103, which plays them without a hitch. I've also tried copying the files onto the laptop's own hard drive and playing them from there; makes no difference.)

Anyone else run into this problem or have an idea as to what's going on? Sorry if this belongs--or has already been addressed--on some other thread.
I have pretty much the same setup as you except my laptop is connected to a USB 5.1 soundcard that feeds my old quad receiver. Foobar is very cool as it can be extensively customized with various bells and whistles as well as handle pretty much all surround formats. As for your issue with DSD and SACD ISO, I've seen the same problem and the likely cause is your laptop's RAM. DSD playback seems to take up a lot more memory and probably requires a machine with more horsepower. The fact that they are variable bit rate is probably also slowing down the PC. My advice? Convert to FLAC or DVD-A (@ 88.2/24) with a fixed bitrate for direct playback and save the original file elsewhere. Doubt you'll hear the difference and will play without a hitch.
 

humprof

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Taking it you downloaded all the component decoders Lizard mentioned..... make sure you have them installed correctly and they are updated versions. That is the easiest answer

But it probably something else hmmmmm - might be your hdmi cable? Are you using Hdmi 2.0 or 2.1 cable - just spitballing :mad:@:
Thanks, Snood. (And I've got no problem with spitballs.)

I thought about swapping out the HDMI cable for another one, and may yet. (I just grabbed a spare one lying around the house. Not sure how to tell the difference between them.) The curious thing, though, is that DSD files downloaded commercially play fine--at 64fs and 128fs, anyway; haven't tried 256--but those that I've ripped at home don't.
 

humprof

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I have pretty much the same setup as you except my laptop is connected to a USB 5.1 soundcard that feeds my old quad receiver. Foobar is very cool as it can be extensively customized with various bells and whistles as well as handle pretty much all surround formats. As for your issue with DSD and SACD ISO, I've seen the same problem and the likely cause is your laptop's RAM. DSD playback seems to take up a lot more memory and probably requires a machine with more horsepower. The fact that they are variable bit rate is probably also slowing down the PC. My advice? Convert to FLAC or DVD-A (@ 88.2/24) with a fixed bitrate for direct playback and save the original file elsewhere. Doubt you'll hear the difference and will play without a hitch.
Interesting; thanks, sjcorne. Strangely, the DSD files I've downloaded commercially (well, for free, so far--courtesy of NativeDSD and their free samplers) play fine, no matter what the rate. It's just the ones I've ripped myself that won't play. But if those downloads are fixed-rate r/t variable, then that might be the answer...?

Edit, a couple of hours later: brilliant, sjcorne--you seem to have hit the nail on the head. It plays constant-bitrate DSD fine, but variable-bitrate DSD...not so much. (Still odd, maybe, that it has no problem with variable-bitrate DVDA ISO, but maybe that's just because the bitrates involved are so much lower and pose less of a strain on the processor.)

Sonore IS to DSD doesn't have an obvious "constant bitrate" setting, so I guess I either convert my existing DSD rips to FLAC or just return to the ISOs and re-rip those directly to FLAC. (Any software suggestions? Does Foobar's own converter encode FLACs at a constant bitrate?)​
 
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atrocity

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The curious thing, though, is that DSD files downloaded commercially play fine--at 64fs and 128fs, anyway; haven't tried 256--but those that I've ripped at home don't.
Load up the different types in Foobar2000 and check the properties. I wouldn't be surprised if the ones that play for you are shown as DSD64 while the ones that don't show as DST64.

The ripping software I think most of us use creates DSD files for stereo Giant+File + CueSheet, DSD files for individual stereo files and DSD files for individual multichannel files. But it creates DST64 files for multichannel GiantFile + CueSheet unless you tick the box to convert DST to DSD.
 

humprof

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Load up the different types in Foobar2000 and check the properties. I wouldn't be surprised if the ones that play for you are shown as DSD64 while the ones that don't show as DST64.

The ripping software I think most of us use creates DSD files for stereo Giant+File + CueSheet, DSD files for individual stereo files and DSD files for individual multichannel files. But it creates DST64 files for multichannel GiantFile + CueSheet unless you tick the box to convert DST to DSD.
Interesting theory, and thanks for the suggestion. Just tested it, and all of my DSD files--both purchased and ripped-at-home--display as DSD64. (The ISO files I ripped do display as DST, however.)

Bafflingly, the behavior I was complaining about isn't consistent. For instance, just now, every DSD file I tried, no matter the source, played without a hiccup, at least initially. (This was just after I booted up the computer.) But once I tried playing an ISO, the stuttering began--on both ISOs and, subsequently, on homemade DSDs, as before. Donno if there's a "cache" (or other) setting in Foobar I could change, or whether it's just a question of things getting fouled up once a number of processes have started running and clog up the laptop's memory, or what.

(By the way: what software do most of you use?)
 
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