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Old 22nd April 2004, 05:15 PM   #1
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Default tell me the best of three bad choices...

I have decided to make a PC music source for one of my Gain Clones. So here's the line up of the best of the worst stuff floating on top in the toilet bowl...

1. Yamaha XG YMF724F-V PCI Sound card
2. SoundBlaster Live! with SPDIF in and digital out (alas, I have no DA stuff) in addition to standard mini-RCA outs. PCI
3. Creative CT4810 PCI

Your thoughts, please.
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Old 22nd April 2004, 06:07 PM   #2
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I have a card in computer now with a Yamaha XG chip in it but I have only been using it for the digital out for the last year or so, as before, there used to be a lot of noise present on the signal from all of the computer fans and HDD present in my PC. One thing that I also noticed on going to the external DAC was that the bass improved a lot more than any other area so you may want to make sure you have an easy load for the card if you do get this one (but that probably goes for the other two cards as well).
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Old 22nd April 2004, 07:40 PM   #3
lucpes is offline lucpes  Europe
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Default Re: tell me the best of three bad choices...

Quote:
Originally posted by chipco3434

1. Yamaha XG YMF724F-V PCI Sound card
2. SoundBlaster Live! with SPDIF in and digital out (alas, I have no DA stuff) in addition to standard mini-RCA outs. PCI
3. Creative CT4810 PCI

Your thoughts, please.
1. Yamaha XG : Does not have such great SQ. Built for midi

2. SoundBlaster Live!. Resamples everything internally to 48kHz. Geared towards games & EAX effects, you might have some 'good' results using drivers from http://www.kxproject.com , the rear output and a player that can resample with a good algorithm to 48kHz and bypasses windows' kMixer ( http://www.foobar2000.org ).

3. Does not resample, but needs Kernel Streaming (see player for 2 ) to sound at it's best. Maybe pick a good pair of headphones and listen to 2. and 3. to decide which one is best.
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Old 22nd April 2004, 07:50 PM   #4
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Default Flush 'em

chipco,

Your awesome gainclone (check it out in BrianGT's gallery) deserves better! Can you spend $150 for a better sound card?

M-Audio 24/96 several versions is a good choice and there are some more.

Easy setup and at the same time, tweaking potential is high.

You WILL love the sound.

-Robert
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Old 22nd April 2004, 08:06 PM   #5
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I can't bring anything home that even resembles something new. Between the line arrays and the clone projects...

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...532#post368532

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...369#post377369

I want to see if I like the whole idea of "PC sourcing". The last thing I think I might want to do is look a Windows UI.

...and then there's the "plastic mistress" who just loves new clothes (sails).
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Old 22nd April 2004, 08:36 PM   #6
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Default Understood

chipco,

We read you now very clearly.

You will have to wait until next week in other words

Regarding your question, I will admit to everyone that I have truly enjoyed for the last few years an SB Live playing music and game sounds into a 7kW theater system with nice Krell A/V in a 100% acoustic controlled room. Even my ears can acknowledge the defects in the sound, but I would be lying to claim that it was so bad that it wasn't enjoyable. Anyone who still enjoys FM radio should have no trouble with that.

Try out each of the cards in your setup. It doesn't take long.

And there's still next week coming along.

-Robert
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Old 22nd April 2004, 08:54 PM   #7
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Computer soundcards are not as awful as everyone makes then out to be, yes they cant match a dedicated CD player, note they will match budget and above IMO, but they are fine for most applications. ESP if you copy the music as uncompressed waves then play thru a good player.

Things start to get even better when you add an external DAC.

I use uncompressed Wavs, foobar2k upsampling to play files, a sound blaster live, then a TEAC D-T1 DAC to feed the hifi.

The computer set up like that does a better job of feeding zeros and ones into the TEAC DAC then the T1 transport did.
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Old 22nd April 2004, 09:25 PM   #8
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OK then. The SB Live! is in, but not without the usual Windows bullship virtual device driver nonsense and the blue screens and some beef about vsynth.vxd being whacked. Uninstall the remnants of the SB real mode drivers, sprinkle in a dash of kxproject and a couple of blue screens and everythings great.

Toggle the front rear speaker CODECS (courtesy of the nice people at http://www.kxproject.com) and next thing ya know, ol' Jed's a millionaire!

OK now somebody sell me a DA project. One where I don't have to wait on backordered Avel transformers.

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Old 23rd April 2004, 12:35 AM   #9
roibm is offline roibm  Romania
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There is another card better than the CT4810(I have compared them both).
I don't know exaclty what is it's unique code(CT4700?) but it's a creative pci128 just like the CT4810.
It looks like this one:
http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...tem=4125365986

What is a bit special about it is that it uses AK4531 as a codec thus sounds better(or this is my explanation).
If you get one like this, you may change the caps on the rails that supply the AK4531(4 caps, 2 digital, 2 analog)
Those are the 4 caps on the right side of the card, one under another.

Some other tweaks are: the opamp for line out, I changed it for an AD8066 and the DC-decouplin caps which are some 10uF on the 8-caps column in the middle of the board.

what is another plus for the board is that is uses two grounds, one for digital one for analog(or so it looks).

The results of the tweaking are really good, kicks the *** of the two sblive I listened to. but then again, maybe the tweaked sblive will sound better, never tried tho.

btw, I use M-Audio 2496 and I really like it, but I am thinking about getting an E-MU 1212M
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Old 23rd April 2004, 02:43 AM   #10
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Thanks roibm, but this is a -0- dollar project. More like a treasure hunt as we pulled hard drives and ram out of some old machines at work. So the basic premise was no cash outlay. Run what ya brung out of the junk pile.

We also took this opportunity to throw away any AT cases, VESA local buss video & contollers, ISA sound cards & modems, not to mention ISA Ethernet 10Base2 cards. It's out on the curb now ~ chumming for geeks as it were.

So when we are talking about the SoundBlaster Live!, we are talking about the very best of the best in the old manure pile. Lastly, you have given me the inspiration to see what small tweakage can be performed on this unlikely suspect.

PS I've been to Achern & Gamshurst. Have you ever visited Wisconsin?
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