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Soundcard Change - Feedback/Input welcome!!

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by FreedomEclipse, Oct 16, 2012.

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Which Soundcard should I get???

Poll closed Oct 20, 2012.
  1. Creative XFi Titanium Fatality Pro

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Asus Xonar D2X

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. Asus Xonar Pheobus

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  4. Neither - Go with a 'Home Cinema Package' - Looking at some Onkyo's

    2 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    Well, Ive been thinking about this for a while and to be honest ive deviated from the path by deciding i needed to go with a complete home entertainment system for my 5.1 needs....

    That is still an option however but thats not what this topic is about.


    Ive decided to get rid of my Xonar STX since i dont use any headphones with it. nor have I used ANY headphones with it since its purchase about a year or two back or intend to in the near future.

    With that in mind i decided to go back to the days of analogue and let the card do all the audio processing instead of just using SPDIF going to my Z5500's.

    I have spent a few hours already picking out suitable candidates and I have narrowed it down to about 2-3:

    Creative Xfi Titanium Fatality Pro - not the shitty Recon3D crap - Also the cheapest option here. Having owned one of these in the past I am familiar with it and the sound quality is generally quite pleasant and balanced but nothing special by any means.

    Asus Xonar D2X - I had one of these a few years back, but i sold it off... I regret it now. These cards are pretty much EoL and there are very very few of them available online, but they do sound great - Price is roughly the same as the Creative. Also as a plus i get to use 3rd party drivers which are better than Asus ones so its less trouble.

    ROG Xonar Phoebus - this is my first choice, Its pretty expensive but its a good alternative to the D2X which is no longer available. The other thing that holds me back apart from the price is the reports im hearing about it having issues with games, namely BF3 which has been fixed now according to a few websites. There are quite a few games that dont like the Phoebus and that drags me back to the days when i first bought the Xonar D2X - my games totally hated the EAX Emulation and it totally drove me up the wall so Im not looking to experience that all over again.

    -OR-

    I could just pull the STX out, maybe sell it off even and plug directly into the motherboard while i pursue the idea of buying a 5.1 surround sound home entertainment system so i can use one of the HDMIs on my graphic cards to hook up to the audio receiver.


    Id like to hear your thoughts on this.

    I'll also throw up a vote for those who dont really care to comment but have enough time to click something.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2012
  2. Solaris17

    Solaris17 Creator Solaris Utility DVD

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    i love my D2X it gets my vote.
    FreedomEclipse says thanks.
  3. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    if you buy a Onkyo receiver package make sure you have the room because they are not near-field satellites like the Logitech Z-5500 and Z906.
    FreedomEclipse says thanks.
  4. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    I have plenty of room for the the satellites. probably not for the sub depending how big it is. The sub on this Z5500 sits right under my desk which is about 18 inches below my PC case.

    With this logitech sub its a fight for leg room!
  5. Lordbollo

    Lordbollo New Member

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    +1
    I recently upgraded from an X-Fi fatality pci-e to the Phoebus and could not be happier with the change. I also run it through a set of z-5500d and they sound so much better compared to the x-fi.
    The problems with BF3 and punkbuster have been fixed with the 7.0.1.20 drivers which are the beta ones currently on asus's website. I have had no issues with any other games either ranging from neverwinter night 2 (playing throught the game co-op with a mate), up to the latest such as borderlands 2, diablo 3 and dishonored.
    FreedomEclipse says thanks.
  6. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    and the worst thing is you guys have it about $40-50AUD cheaper then us in Europe :cry::cry:
    looking at some comparison sites and it says cheapest is around $215AUD, average price is $220
  7. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    put the sub where your chair is. play something with deep bass. start walking around the room until the bass doesn't sound too exaggerated or withdrawn. when you find a spot move the sub there and sit in your chair. if the bass sounds like where you were standing then you found the right spot.
    FreedomEclipse says thanks.
  8. sttubs

    sttubs

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    With the Onkyo you can still have sound from the TV without the HTPC on.
    FreedomEclipse says thanks.
  9. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    would love to but my bed is right behind my chair and moving the sub would mean i gotta move the control pod and I have absolutely no where to put it lol.

    sadly I have a limited amount of floor space given the strange layout of my room. there is not any suitable places within reach of the optical cable where i could but put but underneath my desk. Hence one of the reasons im going back to using analogue cables - they are generally longer than optical cables.
  10. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    I meant if you buy a Onkyo receiver package. home theaters have no business in bedrooms or offices :(
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  11. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    oh and if you have a hard time trying to figure out if the bass is too exaggerated or withdrawn try getting closer to the ground like crouching.
    FreedomEclipse says thanks.
  12. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    I was gonna say....

    [​IMG]

    but then again you really do know your stuff when it comes to home audio so it would be pointless to argue :p

    If i could get a HDMi cable long enough I could place the sub else where. Even on the workshelf behind me perhaps but that would be kinda weird seeing such a long thick cable snaking around the edges of my room.

    Sounds like its gonna be a Xonar Phoebus then unless otherwise
  13. Lordbollo

    Lordbollo New Member

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    Damn and I thought we were ripped off here in australia.

    I got mine for $219 from pccasegear and love it.

    Was worth the extra for me as I had an issue with my x-fi and my ssd where the sound card would not start on boot up and i would have to reinstall the creative drivers. I tried several different drivers (eg pax and danielk) that claimed to fix the issue but no go.

    If you decide to go with it I am sure you wont regret it. I know i havent and that is after 12+ years of running creative cards.
    FreedomEclipse says thanks.
  14. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    it's up to you. if you have the space a Onkyo receiver package is a good upgrade over the Logitech Z-5500. put the receiver on your desk. might need a LFE extension cable.
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  15. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    An Onkyo receiver package is definitely pretty high up on my 'baiii eeettt naaaaooowwww' list but at the moment its just not really feasible given my current budget.

    rest assured its all in the works and I will definitely be consulting you for your expertise when I have it all unboxed and plugged in. :toast::toast::toast:
    BumbleBee says thanks.
  16. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    aww thanks. just try not to spend too much on a sound card.
  17. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    I'll be selling off my STX to recover some of the costs. If things go as planned i should only be paying $80 out of my pocket, Im happy with that for the time being. maybe I can use my christmas bonus for the Onkyo when the new year sales hit.
  18. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    the Logitech Z-5500 are not the greatest speakers in the world... and whatever you buy will eventually collect dust once you upgrade to a Onkyo receiver package. you should be able to trade the Asus Xonar Essence STX for the card you want.
  19. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    even the secondhand tech stores here stopped selling soundcards a long long time ago. Unless its a secondhand shop no high street tech retailer is willing to accept part exchanges. I can try putting up a post in the trade section but id still have to pay for shipping and id probably end up paying about the same anyway.
  20. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    yeah I meant swap with a member here or elsewhere. the Asus Xonar Essence STX might not be a multi-channel sound card but it's still probably the best on the market.
  21. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    Its multi channel if you go through Coax or digital/TOSLINK.

    well its worth a gamble to see what people have available. I dont really expect much as the pheobus is still quite a new card
  22. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    the Xonar Phoebus is a repurposed Xonar Xense. audiophiles are more interested in the Xonar Essence STX trust me :)
  23. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    well I'll make a new thread tomorrow and see how it goes.

    I gotta dig out the box too and im not sure where that is. I dont even want to think about GBP to USD conversions and cost of shipping....


    I'll worry about it in the morning as i should really hit the sack now.

    Please keep voting and helping me to decide what to go for! even though I do want the Pheobus, nothing is quite set in stone just yet.
    BumbleBee says thanks.

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