Tweaks for Computer Audio

Here are some suggestions for improving your computer setup:

1. Music XP Optimisations Look at Tuning Tips, Hardware and Services

2. Creative Optimisations Enter 'SID6516' in search field

3. Remove (power and data cables of) your CD/DVD ROM drive if not used. I found this to be most offensive component ito of noise pollution

For item 2, I don't suggest ACPI change as this requires Windows reinstallation and see Music XP (item 1). BIOS stuff is easy todo and other suggestions are sensible like removing unused cards / devices.

If there are other tweaks, please post them.

Dear Moderator - is it possible to not expire this thread? This is a rapidly growing subject with lots to learn and do.
I take "slot-blanks" and drill two holes in them. Take two female RCA chassis sockets and fit into two holes.

Solder shielded cable to sockets and onto sound-card L & R outputs - usually on the underside of card near mini-jack socket.

This provides a sturdy interface between sound-card and amplifier.

Be careful, but do enjoy,
Dewald Visser
Your best tweak is to not use a PCI card. Use an external USB with an ungrounded laptop or use a Wi-Fi adapter. This eliminates most of the computer noise. Then power the adapter from battery.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
You're right as long as USB device is powered externally and not via computer motherboard, eg. your wifi USB suggestion. Your point on grounding is very important - I use a filter that legally cleans ground and prevents grunge from going back.

I speak under correction: best interface is no audio output device at all. That is, use a DAC capable of USB or Ethernet input. I haven't tried this but would be great if others can share experiences.

USB DACs (unfortunately limited to 16/48):
1. Bel Canto DAC 3 ('reclocks' data to minimize jitter)
2. Apogee mini-DAC
3. Wavelength Audio (multiple)
4. Audionote DAC kit 2.1

Ethernet DACs:
1. Slim Devices Transporter and SB3 (Transporter is an interesting choice for minimal jitter - you get digital outs that can be slaved to another DAC's clock, eg. Emm Labs DCC2 SE).

I hope other manufacturers get this going, esp. USB 2.0 - that way you bypass poor internal samplers and send 24/192 from computer. Challenge is jitter: if DAC doesn't 'reclock' data, you need high quality clock in audio device - I doubt there's anything better than USB Offramp Turbo 2.