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,
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.
Bogartgl - one of the biggest advantages of PC audio is convenience. Don't underestimate this. It might be easy to think that loading CDs one at a time is no big deal. But when you have your entire library at your fingertips, controllable from your sofa with an ipod or itouch, you find yourself listening to music you haven't heard in years. Another advantage is space - once your CDs are ripped, they can be moved into storage (or sold, if you should choose). Another convenience is portability. If you rip to an external harddrive, you can take your entire library with you (be sure you have a backup plan, with your music existing on at least two different drives). Lastly, sound quality can be spectacular if you pay attention to it. With the right choices in gear, you can get superb sound, and have the ability to chase the Hi-Rez stuff.

Your 2496 has a respectable DAC built in. Just take analog out of it to your preamp, and you're off to a good start.

I used the 2496 for a long time for its digital EQ capabilites. I recently changed to a DEQX which is definitely a bit cleaner, but the 2496 is quite a device.