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Does Sound Card Need Preamp or can it act as one?

Last response: in Home Audio
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September 22, 2012 3:43:38 AM

Hi, I picked up a refurbished Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD PCIe direct from Creative Labs for a ridiculous deal. Using my headphones I can tell a good difference between onboard.

However I want to take it to the next level. I notice the card has two RCA jacks for R and L. I was wondering if I could connect that straight to a Krell Evolution 2250e or would I need to connect it to a preamp before connecting it to an amp. Can the sound card act as a preamp? The amplifier does not have volume control so if it works, I'd have to depend on windows volume control.

More about : sound card preamp act

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September 25, 2012 10:30:59 AM

You can connect it straight to the Krell.
see that the volume is down when you connect it.
The soundcard is a preamp.
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September 25, 2012 5:30:00 PM

Computer audiophiles would say that using the volume control in windows will degrade the sound since you would loose bits as the volume is decreased. Connect it now as you plan but down the road getting an outboard DAC with analog volume control and preamp out would be an improvement. Given that you are using a high end amp it would be worth it.
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September 25, 2012 8:36:36 PM

Sounds like audio snobs to me.
yes you can put an analog volume between the sound card and the amp.
or use the volume controls that are ON the amp already.
if there are any...
but any analog control also affects the sound quality.
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October 3, 2012 2:28:22 AM

Man talk about being lazy. I was too lazy to disconnect my Krell downstairs because of how heavy that thing is and the clutter.

So I just went and bought a used Rotel RB-1080 Power Amplifier and connected it to the the computer. It works! I see no downgrade of quality. Everything is clear, sound stage is wonderfull, good separation, and warm and filling sound.

I see no downgrade in audio quality when using Windows volume control. Good thing my keyboard (Logitech G510) has a volume scroll and mute button.

Thanks for all the help guys! Now I just need to get a pair of B&W 804D speakers for the computer and it'll be done.

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October 11, 2012 3:31:38 PM

Best answer selected by sqlagent.
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October 14, 2012 3:38:17 AM

sqlagent said:
Man talk about being lazy. I was too lazy to disconnect my Krell downstairs because of how heavy that thing is and the clutter.

So I just went and bought a used Rotel RB-1080 Power Amplifier and connected it to the the computer. It works! I see no downgrade of quality. Everything is clear, sound stage is wonderfull, good separation, and warm and filling sound.

I see no downgrade in audio quality when using Windows volume control. Good thing my keyboard (Logitech G510) has a volume scroll and mute button.

Thanks for all the help guys! Now I just need to get a pair of B&W 804D speakers for the computer and it'll be done.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8034/8049145541_14f366eec4_c.jpg


Krell is killer amp but you need forklift to move it.
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