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Sh1mmy 18th May 2008 08:33 AM

Sound Cards
 
hey all, not sure if this is the right place to put this thread, but here goes.

I'm looking at making set of Fonken's, and probably power them with the LM1875 kits.

However, I'm planning on hooking it up to my computer, which has a creative audigy in it, which is utter crap.
So I'm looking at getting a new one but am unsure which one, so far I've looked at the Auzen X-Plosion Cinema, Bluegears B-Inspirer, and Asus DX.
I've also thought about an external DAC but had a quick look and couldn't find a decent one to fit within my budget.

Now it is going to be mainly used for music, and gaming (gaming not as much), and the odd movie chucked at it every now and then.
I'm not really sure which card i should get or what would be suitable or if I'm not even looking in the right area.

I am looking more into the Auzen X-Plosion Cinema because of the upgraded/upgradeable OpAmp's.

Any help would be very appreciated.

Cheers.

terranigma 18th May 2008 08:59 AM

Auzentech merged Creative's most advanced X-Fi controller with sophisticated AK4396 DACs in their last "X-Fi Prelude" model.

cuibono 18th May 2008 12:38 PM

You didn't specify which interface format - PCI, USB or firewire. Similarly, you want an idea of how many channels out you'd use - just stereo? Will you use surround sound? SPDIF? The other question is budget.

I've been using a number of different soundcards over a couple of years (consumer recording types), and as long as they work decently, they all seem about the same to me. Avoid 'off' brands like Phonic, I had one of their devices, it sucked. Bad design, bad support.

Lots of people suggest Emu 0202 or 0404, if you need stereo only, or with SPDIF, respectively. I use a M-Audio Delta 1010LT mostly right now. Soundcards are becoming cheaper and cheaper, but I'd want to read a lot of user reviews before I bought a really cheap one - when a soundcard doesn't work well, its really annoying. And its hard to fix.

My feeling is that as long as the card is made by a company that knows what its doing, for the most part, different cards will 'sound' about the same.

Pjotr 18th May 2008 12:43 PM

Donít know if you are looking for multi channel or just for 2 channel stereo. For just 2 channel have a look here: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_u...2496-main.html

Sells for under $100, sounds really good and has a load of tweaking possibilities.

Cheers ;)

john blackburn 18th May 2008 01:07 PM

I have the M Audio 2496. I installed it over 4 years ago and have had to do nothing with it since, no driver issues or flakyness at all.

I can't say how it compares to others as I've only heard a Soundblaster Live of similar vintage and the M Audio. It plays nicely with Cubase and everything asio and the price is right

Neither sounds as good as my playstation mindst.

John

lohk 18th May 2008 01:16 PM

M-Audio Transit USB 24bit/96khz
for basic needs - much better than many inbuild soundcards - and cheap too

Pjotr 18th May 2008 01:24 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by lohk
M-Audio Transit USB 24bit/96khz
for basic needs - much better than many inbuild soundcards - and cheap too

True, have that thing around here too. But that wacky 3.5 mm jacks are :bawling: It helps a lot to keep PC related noise and spurs down by powering it from a separate powered hub. But that holds for most USB powered cards.

;)

Sh1mmy 18th May 2008 02:24 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by cuibono
You didn't specify which interface format - PCI, USB or firewire. Similarly, you want an idea of how many channels out you'd use - just stereo? Will you use surround sound? SPDIF? The other question is budget.

I've been using a number of different soundcards over a couple of years (consumer recording types), and as long as they work decently, they all seem about the same to me. Avoid 'off' brands like Phonic, I had one of their devices, it sucked. Bad design, bad support.

Lots of people suggest Emu 0202 or 0404, if you need stereo only, or with SPDIF, respectively. I use a M-Audio Delta 1010LT mostly right now. Soundcards are becoming cheaper and cheaper, but I'd want to read a lot of user reviews before I bought a really cheap one - when a soundcard doesn't work well, its really annoying. And its hard to fix.

My feeling is that as long as the card is made by a company that knows what its doing, for the most part, different cards will 'sound' about the same.

hmm, now i look at it I didn't put much info in the original post.

I would prefer PCI, but could handle a USB.
At the moment its just stereo, but would like the option of going surround sound later.
I will be using analog, since thats what the amp/s is, and i dont really see myself going with spdif for quite some time.
Budget wise, the X-Plosion is worth around $130-$150AU, i was hoping not to have to spend much more than that.
I already had all intentions of avoiding odd brands.

I have the Emu 0202 on the 'list' but wasn't sure what they are worth.

I have a Creative Audigy Value right now, and really wanna get rid of iit, it is utter crap, pathetic drivers, and its starting to break down (only 12 months old), and on top of that it doesn't do what its supposed to 'out of the box'

One main reason i was looking at the X-Plosion was that i know its a reasonably well respected brand with some people, and it has interchangeable OpAmps.
Also, would the sound quality depend more on the OpAmps or the on board processor?

I'm not after the 'best', just something that can bring some justice to these speakers.

Quote:

Originally posted by Pjotr
Donít know if you are looking for multi channel or just for 2 channel stereo. For just 2 channel have a look here: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_u...2496-main.html

Sells for under $100, sounds really good and has a load of tweaking possibilities.

Cheers ;)

nice, thanks.
Another one on my list was actually their Revolution 5.1, but hadn't read too much of them yet.

what it would be used for is, Music 50%, Games 40%, Movies 10%, or there abouts, sometimes more music sometimes less, but it is the main thing it would be used for.
I have no plans for recording at all.

The 'list'...

M-Audio Revolution 5.1 (if i can get it for a good price)
M-Audio Audiophile 2496
E-MU 0202 (depending on price)
Auzentech X-Plosion Cinema
Trends UD-10 USB (depending on price)
Bluegears B-Inspirer

thats all i can think of right now.

Thanks.

Geek 18th May 2008 09:28 PM

Yamaha DS-XG cards are really nice and you can pick up older ones for rather inexpesive.

Cheers!

cuibono 18th May 2008 11:52 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Sh1mmy


Also, would the sound quality depend more on the OpAmps or the on board processor?


I've never seen that option on a board before - pretty interesting that they would cater to the DIY crowd. Some people claim swapping opamps makes no difference, others say they can hear it. I don't know, but with that card you could try it. Its really interesting they use LM4562 opamps for the frontend, and 5532's in the other channels - sounds to me like one of their designers pays attention to the audiophile world. Those two chips are on opposite ends of the 'cool in audio' world, having them both in there would make comparison pretty easy.

In your list, some of those cards are for people who record, others, like the AuzenTech, are meant for playback only. Seems like you get more of what you'll want when you buy in the latter category.

In my experience, the designers follow very closely the chip manufactures suggested circuits, so different cards tend to be very similar in design. I'd doubt I could tell a lot of the ones I've heard apart.

IMO, capacitors and opamps are a ways down the list when it comes to what makes for good sound quality. In my Delta, I put in a clean power supply, and built a better clock circuit. At some point, I'll bypass the analog section, and build discrete class A I/V and buffers for the in/out right at the DACs. I'll also probably build a separate box for the PCI card, to isolate it from the computer's electrical noise. All those would come before opamp and capacitor swaps, but are a bit more trouble.


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