PC Audio and the Behringer DEQ 2496

As mentioned in other threads, I use this device to switch between PC and HDTV inputs for a desktop system, with generally good results.

As I wonder about upgrading amps and monitors, however, I am experimenting to see how good the PC audio really might sound.

Do I understand correctly that the optical input on the Behringer is the least desirable way to input digital data?

Because unfortunately, I am currently going USB out of a netbook, to a passive USB hub, which then connects to a "cheapo" Behringer interface, and exports with an optical cable to the DEQ2496.

Having said that, it all sounds suprisingly good for my desktop.

I also have a Hagtech USB to SPDIF interface, but the Behringer does not have a coaxial input, only an AES EBU input, other than the optical input.

Therefore, can anyone please advise or update the possiblities for using the DEQ 2496 and PC audio successfully?

Thank you,

Thank you for all the information - this is very helpful.

Is there any consensus on "high end" USB cables or glass fiber cables?

Or have the Siltechs of the world not gotten involved yet?
Re USB, in my opinion, as long as it is shielded, it should be fine. There is a guy on Audiogon selling "Silver" USB for $50. It is shielded. Also you can add ferrite cores at the end to remove high frequency noise. If you are DIY guy, the USB cable is very simple, with 4 wires. Braiding does not work for USB. I found a braided USB with Ferrite core at the end to use - about $30. If DAC's would have buffering like in the Mark Levinson DAC, that would be the best! Otherwise Asynchronous USB to SPDIF/Toslink will be very helpful (M2tech $150).

A reasonable company for Glass Fiber will also work. I am not sure a $1 glass fiber has the quality and the other extreme of $200+ in my opinion is too much. Siltechs are always good but margins on cables are 80% and up, so you pay a lot for the name. I had Audioquest for $100 and went to the Amphenol Ultra Premium Optical Glass TOSLINK at 16 ft so I could put the computer in the closet. This is longest Toslink specs allows. Having the computer in the closet removes the physical noise and perhaps electrical noise - I use another outlet with a filter.
Cwlondon,...buy a PC board (e.g. 24/96 Soundblaster) and use it's audio out to connect fibre-optic DIRECTLY to the Behringer. Works fine for me...
I currently use a Behringer 2496 for it's PEQ. I'm confused by what people are doing with it with regard to PC Audio playback? I'm under the impression that people use PC Audio as a convenience vs. creating the ability to download hi-rez music.

I hope this isn't so far off topic as to be irrelevant, but I'm curious about why I might rip all my CDs and go to the music server idea. I have a macbook pro laptop and the time capsule backup module. I have no discrete DAC and have no music currently on my computer. Just CD, SACD and vinyl.

My interest would be in chasing hi-rez playback, and I have been reading various forums about PC Audio, but I can't decipher what the benefits are after all is said and done.

In my case, I use it as a decent, but cheap and versatile device to switch between cable HDTV and PC based sound on my desktop.

Its not state of the art, but surprisingly good, and fun.

If I were trying to build a single use, dedicated 2 channel audio system using PC as a source, I might not use the Behringer.

Or any Behringer.