Topic: Hello, I want to build an audiophile system


It will be used for nearfield listening, i.e. in front of the computer. So I am planning to spend say 600 dollars on small bookshelf stereo speakers, and 1000 dollars on integrated amplifier.

I don't plan to record music nor will I do any professional audio stuff. Just listen to music.

Will a "cheap" RME improve sound for critical listening?

Re: Hello, I want to build an audiophile system

I had the same dilema but using the RME (AES 32) card for Home Theater and multichannel playback. I found the instalation to be quite complicated and I still to get a good audio. At this stage the analog connection works much better...for me!

Saying this, I had a friend who is using RME together with J River for 2 channel (stereo) playback and is extremely happy.
If I was you, I wouldn't spend money on RME card and try to use the On board Audio (Realtek HD Audio?). I am sure that you will be quite happy with this. Digital is Digital..Lossless is lossless, isn't it?
Hope this will help. Good luck.

Re: Hello, I want to build an audiophile system

Hello, thanks for answering.

It seems the problem with RME, especially if you are not a pro user, is in the configuration. Because it's not very straighforward for common applications, such as watching movies or listening to music. For a Home theather it seems a better idea to build an AV receiver, than to buy one of those cards.

Stereo playback of movies seems far simpler than doing a home theather or multichannel playback installation. So I am not sure how sound is your advice in this case, as I want to play music, nothing more complicated.

Thanks for mentioning your friend's experience.

Re: Hello, I want to build an audiophile system


The Babyface (USB) or HDSPe AIO (PCIe) interfaces are the ones I typically recommend for this type of application, I don't think you can go wrong.

There are a lot of good values in Pro Audio, compared to "audiophile" products. You may get better bang for the buck with powered nearfield monitors instead of bookshelf speakers and amp separately.

Jeff Petersen
Synthax Inc.