OK. If this is true, please explain why when I run my Sony laptop off its power supply when I connect it through USB to my DAC, I hear mush superimposed on the music being played. This noise is at the same level regardless of the volume setting on my DAC. If I remove the Sony's PSU, the noise disappears.
I don't know.
It's most strange though. I've never experienced that before and there's no logical reason (that I know of) why the PSU would effect the digital output. I'd quite like to have a look at your laptop to see if I could work out what's happening.
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Is it due to faulty earthing of your laptop's power supply? It is very strange and certainly not normal.
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Why do you think that?
I'm not saying PCs will be obsolete before streamers - I'm saying if it did happen, I'd not be surprised. Why wouldn't I be surprised?
1. I know very few people who still use a PC
2. Most people now use a laptop (at home at least).
3. If I go into a shop like John Lewis, the number of PCs for sale is minimal - I'd say that there are more Apple desktops machines for sale than Windows-based machines & vastly more laptops or Macbooks available.
4. A great deal of what was once done on a PC (or laptop for that matter) can now be done from an iPad, tablet or phone.
5. My own experience of using my iPad or iPhone is that they rarely crash, lockup etc but I cannot say the same about Windows-based machines. My main reason for running Windows is for photo editing. My beef regarding running iTunes via Airplay (my chosen method) is not the effect on SQ but the fact that iTunes sometimes refuses to start, usually due to something else hogging resources.
PCs have so much more competition from other devices these days. Although I don't own a streamer & don't plan on owning one, I can understand that many people prefer them. I can understand why many people don't care that they can't send emails from their streamer & I understand why many people like the idea of a streamer precisely because its a single purpose deviice & feel that's a strength, not a weakness. I don't take streamer ownership by anyone personally!
In 2012 PCs outsold Macs by a ratio of about 20 to 1. While this is only half of what it used to be it's still a huge lead for Microsoft.
I agree that tablets and smart phones are replacing traditional desktop computers for many people but I still think that they'll be around for a long time yet. This is because having a physical mouse and keyboard still has some advantages over a touch screen. I use both, the tablet is portable and convenient to use when I'm lying on the sofa or in bed but the desktop computer is much easier and faster to use but it forces me to sit at a desk when using it. Both tablets and desktop computers have pros and cons.
As for which is best a computer or a dedicated streamer? IMO they both work well and they're both able to output a bit perfect digital audio stream so people should just go for whichever fits their own needs best. Personally I'd like to have both to give me the option of being able to listen to music without having to turn the computer on first.
One thing everyone is forgetting 95% of music today in produced on a computer!!.. A computer is as good as the sound card used to do the recording... Also solid state drives are now dwn in price. I use a solid state hard drive connected to my oppo105 & get brillilant results. Thats why I think the oppo is a well thought out machine.. Just connect a solid state drive to it & you ready to go!!... No drivers, software, or Windows. It will play just about any thing on your hard drive. From Movies to photos to any kind of music files.. But i keep mine simple just music files only.
Anyone who has not tried a solid state drive should do so & you may just be surpirsed..
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What's more, a laptop IS a PC. There is no distinction.
And the silly folk who talk about "Post PC world" are forgetting a few things.
Most people still own at least one PC / Mac.
The longevity of PCs is far greater than that of most tablets. Apple among others have started to build in obsolescance with the use of non-replaceable batteries, non-upgradable parts.
I still have a nearly 10 year old Dell XPS laptop which works fine.
People are hanging on longer to their laptops and desktops because they still work. Only avid gamers and creatives (developers, artists etc) need to upgrade more than once every 3 or 4 years, whereas the way they are steering tablets is to be past it after 2.
So, we get the boom in tablets, and a continued boom as they don't last as long. Meanwhile back in the real world, people still use laptops and desktops when they want to actually get something done.
Post-PC world my hat.
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That figure you've quoted doesn't surprise me but the ratio of Laptops/Macbooks to desktop machines is probably a lot higher. However, I won't over-emthasise the distinction between PCs & laptops in the context of this thread.
As for your last paragraph, I couldn't agree more. Both are perfectly valid choices & both have certain advantages. I also share CNO's curiosity on which would sound better if compared directly even if I did expect there to be no difference on a properly set up PC/laptop into the same DAC even if my own experience of using USB has problems. If I run the music app off my iPad using the Camera Connection kit, I get great SQ but I cannot connect the PSU at the same time.
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I'll get my multimeter out & check the earth continuity between the PSU's earth pin to DC out connector. I'll also check the M-DAC etc while I'm at it. As for how common this problem is, I just don't know. There has been discussions on the PFM M-DAC threads regarding using galvanic isolators to cure RFI so I can only presume the issue isn't unique to me. It's just as well I don't need to use USB!
I'm trying to remember if my friend's rPAC had this issue, I don't think it did.
I Dnt really see the piont of the argument.. Every recording studio you visit has either got a PC or a MAC... Actually piont about noise from a computer does not add up.. Most recording studios prefer computers as suppose to hardware these days.. By using software, this eradicates the need of so many hardware items connectioned to the mians, hence less noise floor.
How can the computers die out first, when it is the main source of music production we listen to today.
Who said anything about computers dying out? I didn't - this is what I wrote: "I would not be that surprised if PCs became obsolete in homes long before streamers but predicting the future of anything is always amusing through the gift of hindsight." I hope you agree that it's not the same thing. It's not a prediction but a statement on how I'd feel if it happened: unsurprised!
Ok i get your piont Busb.. But you must also understand that most music producetion these days are also done from a home studio.People self promote thier material. But I understand were you coming from.
I agree that some music is being created at home, completely bypassing the need for record companies in many circumstances. I was predicting the demise of HMV years ago:
Although I walked through HMV in Reading the other evening, the number of CDs compared with DVD/BR is still dropping. I think DVDs will go the same way as CDs to the degree that most discs being spun will be LPs - that's a prediction & an ironic one if proven to be true. People will be streaming all media off the internet to a greater degree as is happening now. HMV will probably die as will video rental companies.
I also predict that record companies will contract considerably. Not all music can be produced at home so recording studios will still be around & many are independant of record companies now. Classical music production may also change to the point where orchestras effectively become their own labels who sell to on-line distributors. Some sort of agency that supervise the production of classical chamber music, jazz, rock bands etc will be needed & be possibly what existing record companies end up being. The internet means that middlemen like the record companies as they exist today wil just not be needed to the degree they were. Indivual musicians & bands can promote themselves on social media or talent shows so the way money for production will change. We forget just how big a revolution the web is - it is changing the way we "comsume" everything from books, music, film, buy food, Hi-Fi, play games find partners, book doctors appointments & so forth. Look what it done to the Post Office!
The demise of CDs, VHS tapes etc will be slower in parts of the world where there's little or no internet access. I bet music cassettes still get played even in this country in fair numbers but will die out. Must check that my portable Sony MD recorder still works!
I like the HMV and Eyesite photos.
I used to own a Beresford Caiman USB DAC which was noisy when connected between my Acer PC and my old (earthed) Audiolab 8000A amp. I think I may have "cured" it by disconnecting the earth from the amp but I can't be sure and I can't confirm it as I no longer have the Beresford or the Audiolab.
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