HTPC sound issue (i don’t believe this has been posted prior to this)

Home Forums General Home Theater Discussion HTPC sound issue (i don’t believe this has been posted prior to this)

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    Hello everyone, 

    I am new to the forums (just signed up). I have been doing lots of research into building HTPC’s and i really would like to start building mine. I will start building it soon and the only answer i have not been able to find yet is this:

    I want to build an HTPC that i can hook top of the line Home theater speakers to. my problem is that if i hook these up directly (I.E. no AV reciever or amplifier) i will most likely not have any sound produced from them. With that note, I do not want to have an AV reciever as my HTPC will be able to do all of the functions and then some. I would prefer to find/locate a 7.1 channel home theater amplifier (Connection series: HTPC > AMPLIFIER > SPEAKER STACKS), However i have had no such luck locating such an amplifier that is not also a reciever other than a 
    Simplifi Digital 7075AB ADAT Input Media Center Amplifier, which has been discontinued?? since roughly 2009.

    Any suggestions would be very appreciated. I am hoping i can locate an amplifier to suit my needs as i do not want a reciever.


    Thanks for your time guys.

    Aaron Ledger

    This question comes up every so often. There have been some efforts in the past to have internal amplifiers for PCs, but they have gone away. Those weren’t such a great idea, primarily due to the heat, bulkiness and power requirements of the solution. When it comes to external amplifiers, you can find dedicated amplifier only solutions, however, these are typically aimed at the high-end audio market and generally cost much more than a receiver. Your best bet really is a receiver. You also will generally have improved audio experience all around by going with a receiver as PCs just aren’t that good out-of-the-box. PCs typically will feature inferior DACs and not have a lot of nice audio features found in receivers (or do those features as well or conveniently).


    If i did go the reciever route could you recommend a good quality reciever with enough power to drive the cerwin vega xls series speakers properly?

    On the topic of the amplifiers, how much would a nice external 7.1 amplifier cost? $1000??

    Aaron Ledger

    You can get a great receiver for less than $500 these days. Those speakers are fairly sensitive. I would feel confident in any mid-range receiver from a manufacturer such as Denon or Onkyo unless you’re setting them up in a concert hall 😉 I purchased a Denon 2112 about a year ago and am pleased with it. Some of the benefits you realize from a receiver like that are easy to setup Audyssey room correction and dynamic volume along with ability to decode and cleanly amplify compressed and HD audio sources that are bitstreamed in from the PC or aother devices.


    You might want to check out The Audiophiliac.  He reviews a lot of very high end equipment, but he also reviews some high-quality budget gear too.  Last week he reviewed a 125 Watt-per-channel Outlaw 7.1 channel amp for $1000, or you can get the amp and DAC for $1400.  If you search his blog you might find some other dedicated amps.

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