Improving TV audio

mattij

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Dear all, I have the following:

TV: LG OLED 55"
Integrated Amp: Arcam A65
CD player: Arcam CD62
Turntable with phono stage
DVD player
B&W DM603S2 speakers
Chromecast audio (Spotify Premium.....yes I know....)

Currently my TV audio connects to my amp with an RCA cable from the headphone jack at the rear. My question relates to improving TV audio.

- TV has HDMI eARC output but my amp has no input for this
- TV has optical output but again my amp has no input for this

I was looking at using the optical out from TV to a DAC, then into my amp.
Then I thought why not get a streamer with a DAC, and use Optical out from TV into streamer, then into amp. And I also have a streamer.

I called Richer Sounds and they thought this is a bit convoluted, and suggested a combined amp/streamer e.g. Cambridge Audio EVO 75 or 150.
My problem is that I'm happy with my Arcam kit, the EVO doesn't have enough inputs for my kit, and I don't think a combined amp/streamer will be as good quality as my analogue amp.

What would you do?
Cheers,
Matt

PS I can pick up the Cambridge Audio CXN V2 for just over 600 quid.....
 

mattij

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Your CD player has coaxial and optical digital inputs and, you can select the appropriate input using the remote control, so you should be able to use it's DAC for the TV. I would at least try that to see how well it works.

Thanks for getting back so quick. I saw this suggestion online, but unfortunately my CD player only has optical digital output from what I can see, no input. Cheers
 

daytona600

Well-known member
Ampster TV II is utterly brilliant used in the manner in which Tangent intends and it has an excellent HDMI ARC implementation.


 
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jjbomber

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I called Richer Sounds and they thought this is a bit convoluted, and suggested a combined amp/streamer e.g. Cambridge Audio EVO 75 or 150.
My problem is that I'm happy with my Arcam kit, the EVO doesn't have enough inputs for my kit, and I don't think a combined amp/streamer will be as good quality as my analogue amp.

What would you do?
Cheers,
Matt
I would avoid that Richer Sounds to start with! They sell the WiiM Pro Plus and that is the perfect solution. So why did they try to sell you something you don't want? Well, Richer Sounds own Cambridge Audio. That person was selling what is best for the store, not what is best for you. So I would buy the Wiim Pro Plus from somewhere else. Peter Tyson online would be my choice, but I have no idea what shops are close to where you live.
 
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I think you need something called an ARC Audio Extracter. I see there are several for around £30 on Amazon, and doubtless other places too.

As the name implies, it takes the audio signal from your LG telly, and converts it to analogue outputs, or optical if that suits. In your case you’ll need a spare input on your Arcam amp from the RCA outputs and you’re done. I’d be checking the lengths of the various connections you’ll need, and those I’ve seen require you to provide the mains charger.

Please check for yourself, however. I am looking myself as I’m in a similar boat. We have an old sound base that does not lip sync with our newish LG OLED telly (2021 model), even though the previous LG (2011 model) worked perfectly. Apparently the ARC connection is what I need to use, but the sound base predates that design.

I would welcome input from anyone using such a device, or can confirm I’m barking up the correct tree.
 
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mattij

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If you want to go the streamer = DAC route, also consider the WiiM Pro / Pro Plus as they have optical in (and a third of the price of the Cambridge). Other alternative is a CYP-AU D3 DAC which would be an inexpensive way of bridging the two.

I think you need something called an ARC Audio Extracter. I see there are several for around £30 on Amazon, and doubtless other places too.

As the name implies, it takes the audio signal from your LG telly, and converts it to analogue outputs, or optical if that suits. In your case you’ll need a spare input on your Arcam amp from the RCA outputs and you’re done. I’d be checking the lengths of the various connections you’ll need, and those I’ve seen require you to provide the mains charger.

Please check for yourself, however. I am looking myself as I’m in a similar boat. We have an old sound base that does not lip sync with our newish LG OLED telly (2021 model), even though the previous LG (2011 model) worked perfectly. Apparently the ARC connection is what I need to use, but the sound base predates that design.

I would welcome input from anyone using such a device, or can confirm I’m barking up the correct tree.
very useful thanks...I'm veering towards one of these extractors....I also like the look of the iFi Zen Air...Cheers
 

Juzzie Wuzzie

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I have the HD Fury Arcana "Arc Extractor" which takes my signal (FireTV) and splits it into image (projector) and sound (soundbar). A fantastic piece of kit, but not cheap.

Given your TV has an optical output; and you'll be listening in stereo (making surround sound redundant) I'd suggest the CYP aproach is better VFM.
 

My2Cents

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I love the way Richer Sounds just went straight for the £1,100 / £2,000 route! Good salesman... he probably mentioned the 'spread the cost' payment method too!
The little DAC's on Amazon for around $30 (or equivalent £'s) work well, some of them (e.g. Mii BO3 at around £70) even have decent ESS DAC's in them... however, with this particular model, if you feed it an optical signal it can only output an optical signal, so be careful!
Unfortunately the 'lip sync' problem can surface no matter what gear you use and is often dependent on the TV, it can even occur when using eHDMI.
Personally I would just try a WiiM pro and see if you get lip sync issues with your TV (you can always return it if your concience doesn't object).
I mostly listen to my TV through headphones and have a cheap DAC connected to the TV's optical out and use the little DAC's headphone out... good quality sound (with some old Bose QC 35's) and no lip sync issues (and my neighbors are happy too).
ARC (audio return channel) is a type of HDMI which allows the 'extractor unit' to seperate the audio from the picture signal. The cheap little DAC's on Amazon (like the one I use) are not actually ARC extractors as they are simply taking the optical audio out and converting it to analog.
 
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mattij

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Yes, ifi make some great stuff, but surely that model doesn’t connect to your TV, does it? If it does, which connection are you using?
Tnx. I'm on a steep learning curve here...I think I'm going with nopiano's recommendation and just going for something simple like the below - this gives me options on HDMI ARC out, or optical out.....I understand that as i'm kicking to stereo amp, not surround sound, optical probably suffices. Matt

 
Tnx. I'm on a steep learning curve here...I think I'm going with nopiano's recommendation and just going for something simple like the below - this gives me options on HDMI ARC out, or optical out.....I understand that as i'm kicking to stereo amp, not surround sound, optical probably suffices. Matt

That’s the type of product i think will work. Ironically, after posting last night, i reconnected my Canton sound base with the optical link and it seemed fine. But i was assured previously that eARC is the more dependable route. However, I note @My2Cents cautionary tale above, for which many thanks.
 

mattij

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That’s the type of product i think will work. Ironically, after posting last night, i reconnected my Canton sound base with the optical link and it seemed fine. But i was assured previously that eARC is the more dependable route. However, I note @My2Cents cautionary tale above, for which many thanks.
OK....so I'm still figuring this out....and thanks @My2Cents for the post - how do you even know that optical in will only give optical out!?? I'm still of a mind to have a unit which will accept both ARC and optical from my TV (may have surround sound in the future), and kick RCA to my stereo amp. At a minimum, something which takes optical input and RCA out. Where does leave me in terms of choice. Thanks for all this guys, and sorry for all the questions! Matt
 
OK....so I'm still figuring this out....and thanks @My2Cents for the post - how do you even know that optical in will only give optical out!?? I'm still of a mind to have a unit which will accept both ARC and optical from my TV (may have surround sound in the future), and kick RCA to my stereo amp. At a minimum, something which takes optical input and RCA out. Where does leave me in terms of choice. Thanks for all this guys, and sorry for all the questions! Matt
The suggestion I made in post #6 was after finding an ‘extractor’ on Amazon for about £33. It had eARC input and three output choices. I’m not sure I see why you’d want optical in and out at the same time, as nothing is being extracted! You may as well connect as I’ve done - one optical lead from tv to sound base.

The point of the extractor cum DAC is surely to convert to analogue stereo, or take eARC input to optical output (my case)?

This is the one I saw, but I’m not recommending it - more that it is simply an example of which there are various permutations. https://amzn.eu/d/7UykHr1
 
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My2Cents

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OK....so I'm still figuring this out....and thanks @My2Cents for the post - how do you even know that optical in will only give optical out!?? I'm still of a mind to have a unit which will accept both ARC and optical from my TV (may have surround sound in the future), and kick RCA to my stereo amp. At a minimum, something which takes optical input and RCA out. Where does leave me in terms of choice. Thanks for all this guys, and sorry for all the questions! Matt
Hi Matt,
The 1Wii BO3 (which is not an ARC extractor, just a DAC Bluetooth xmitter/receiver) apparently advertises itself as having a unique feature, quote from their product description:
"1. - Splitter for Wired and Wireless
B03 supports you to hear from wireless headphones and wired Speakers / sound bar at the same time. This allows the headphone user to listen at a different volume level when watching TV with families; a perfect solution for family use.
NOTE: This function only works with the same type of input / output. i.e. the input of B03 with aux audio cable, then please make sure the output of B03 also with aux audio cable. Or OPT input to OPT output."

I've noticed with these products that it's a bit of a minefield. I'm guessing that if not used in wired/wireless 'splitter' mode the optical in and analog out can be used, but they way they describe their product features is somewhat confusing?
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
Dear all, I have the following:

TV: LG OLED 55"
Integrated Amp: Arcam A65
CD player: Arcam CD62
Turntable with phono stage
DVD player
B&W DM603S2 speakers
Chromecast audio (Spotify Premium.....yes I know....)

Currently my TV audio connects to my amp with an RCA cable from the headphone jack at the rear. My question relates to improving TV audio.

- TV has HDMI eARC output but my amp has no input for this
- TV has optical output but again my amp has no input for this

I was looking at using the optical out from TV to a DAC, then into my amp.
Then I thought why not get a streamer with a DAC, and use Optical out from TV into streamer, then into amp. And I also have a streamer.

I called Richer Sounds and they thought this is a bit convoluted, and suggested a combined amp/streamer e.g. Cambridge Audio EVO 75 or 150.
My problem is that I'm happy with my Arcam kit, the EVO doesn't have enough inputs for my kit, and I don't think a combined amp/streamer will be as good quality as my analogue amp.

What would you do?
Cheers,
Matt

PS I can pick up the Cambridge Audio CXN V2 for just over 600 quid.....
If you are in the market for a streamer, the WiiM Pro Plus has optical in that will work for you. There are some notes about lip-synch. The WiiM has an auto latency set-up, I think you can manage it manually too, if not you should be able to do it with on the TV.

If you decide not to bother with a streamer, you could just get a DAC. There are options with HDMI inputs which will be better that optical.
 

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