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Old 16th July 2007, 08:40 PM   #1
cjv998 is offline cjv998  United States
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Default Upgrading from Audigy 2ZS?

Hi everyone, I've been debating upgrading my sound card lately. I currently have an Audigy 2 ZS, and the main things that bother me are as follows:

Resamples to 48kHz
Creative is dishonest about its true capabilities (not true 24 bit, etc.)

Anyway, it sounds like the M-Audio cards are good, particularly the Audiophile 2496 (in my price range, at least). However, I think I'd like to keep open the possibility of upgrading to surround sound some time in the future (it just doesn't seem wise for me to commit myself to only stereo playback), also, I like the EAX effects in games, which the Audiophile card doesn't claim to support. So this got me looking at the Revolution 5.1 (I never caught on to 7.1, and thought it was more of a gimmick than anything; also, it doesn't seem to be very widely supported from the little reading I've done). Now the question is: is the M-Audio Revolution 5.1 significantly better than my Audigy 2 ZS, or are there other 5.1 cards in this price range that I'd be better off with; alternatively, should I just stick with the Audigy for now? Basically, would it be worth taking a $100 loss or so, after all is said and done, or would that money be better off put somewhere else, like saving up for a subwoofer that I desperately need?

Off-topic: I just picked up a pair of Paradigm Mini Monitor v5's. They sound great, except they have no bass (all of my previous systems have had a sub, so that doesn't help any). Therefore, I'm saving up to pick up a Hsu STF-2. But of course, once I get that, I'll want a center channel and new front speakers so I can have full 5.1 (the Mini monitors could become surround speakers quite nicely).

I figure I should also mention that I don't do any recording at all. Therefore, I don't need any special features there, the card will be used solely for listening to music and movies, and playing the occasional game.
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Old 16th July 2007, 10:45 PM   #2
cjv998 is offline cjv998  United States
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After a bit more reading, it sounds like the Revolution 5.1 will have noticeably better overall sound quality than the Audigy, but the Audigy is better for gaming (which I don't do much of). Basically, the Revolution 5.1 uses the same DAC as the Audiophile 192 and ESI's Julia card (AKM 4358, not the same as the Revolution 7.1 uses), but doesn't support EAX 3 or higher (whereas the Audigy obviously does). Also, the Revolution's drivers will redirect the bass to the subwoofer, even in 2.1 mode, whereas my Audigy has been aggravating me because it won't do that. I mean after all, why would setting the sound card specifically to "2.1 channel speakers" mean you want to use the subwoofer output? (I do realize most PC speakers simply reroute the bass from the front channels to the sub, but still this was frustrating, and Creative's customer "support" wouldn't help me a bit on resolving this issue). Anyway, has anyone listened to the two cards side-by-side, or have any direct expreience with the Revolution 5.1?

At any rate, I'm definitely leaning towards getting a Revolution 5.1 now, especially considering I can get one for $65 shipped from Newegg, which after selling my Audigy for $20 ends up putting me out $45.

P.S.: Sorry about this not being an edit of my main post, but it seems like after 30 minutes or so, I can't edit the original post anymore.

P.P.S.: Haha, should've added this in my original post, but anyway, Hsu has AMAZING customer support! I e-mailed them last Friday @ 5:45 P.M. Pacific time (they're in California) asking a recommendation between two of their subwoofers based on the room they'll be going in and my other speakers in the system, expecting to not receive a response from anyone until Monday. Anyway, at 9:30 P.M. that night (Pacific time again) I received an e-mail from Dr. Hsu himself (the customer support person forwarded it to him, I assume) recommending the STF-2 over the STF-1, since it will work less hard, and has lower frequency extension (my room size is right on the border of their size recommendations for the two models). Go on, try to find me another company where the president replies to e-mails on a Friday night.
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Old 16th July 2007, 11:38 PM   #3
coppa is offline coppa  Canada
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If your want to go to suround later that up to you, but its hard enough to get just 2 channels to sound right.

The dacs are not the only thing to worry about the output section of the soundcard will have great deal to do with sound quality aswell.

generaly soundcards that are used for recording will give you the best audio performance although only on 2 channels most of the time. The EMU 1212 had a signal to nise ratio of 120db! the so called "best" gaming card the xfi gets about 109db. These cards may have some strange drivers that might not go well with gaming tho.

the creative cards may not offer you the absolute best sound qualiy but they will work better for your gaming and surround applications.

Im looking for a recording card and Ill be getting the EMU 1212, because 1 i dont play games on the pc. 2 All i care about is the sound quality no matter how hard its gonna be to set up. 3. I only need 2 channels and no sub.

Now if you are using regular computer gaming speakers on your system right now i wouldnt even bother upgrading your soundcard. i have yet to hear a set of "gaming" speakers that sounded good, and if you upgrade to some "real" speakrrs going with more channels than just 2 is gonna cost A LOT of money. stereo sound is a lot better than most people realize it just that most people have never heard a real good stereo system do its thing.

you on;y have 2 ears after all
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Old 17th July 2007, 12:51 AM   #4
Chartal is offline Chartal  Canada
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Have a look at this one: Auzen X-Fi Prelude
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Old 17th July 2007, 02:41 AM   #5
coppa is offline coppa  Canada
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wow you can roll opamps . thats pretty neat!.
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