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Advice on buying a new sound card

fullinfusion

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#26
If you are serious about driving professional headphones, then a regular "consumer" soundcard won't cut the mustard, unless it has a separate and decent analogue amp section - which can be quite costly to implement.

This card might be a gimmick, but it has the right visual features... earthed cage to reduce interference, large caps, quality connectors. I'm not specificially recommending this product, just look at the picture to get an idea (ESI Prodigy 7.1 ). ESI do some pretty good external soundcards too.

http://gzhls.at/p/532686.jpg
Review of another model http://www.ixbt.com/multimedia/esi-juli@-en.shtml, an older card, but still good, and available cheap on ebay.

Nonetheless, you would probably get better sound with a dedicated amp like this: http://www.scythe-eu.com/produkte/audio-zubehoer/kama-bay-amp-mini.html

++++++++

Otherwise go PRO, and get yourself something interesting. There are many products to choose from. Look for M-Audio, ESI, MOTU Microbook. Here are 2 new things totally different from what you are currently thinking about... but who knows... might get you started:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov12/articles/prism-lyra-preview.htm
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar12/articles/apogee-duet.htm

Here is a review of some: http://soundcards.almeros.com/
And here is just one vendors selection to browse
http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/category/computer-music/audio-interfaces/
Thanks :toast:

now I'm totally over whelmed :banghead:

Thanks for the links
 
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#27
What kind of amp we talking about? a home stero amp? Im not into having a huge amp sitting beside me. Do they sell PC (small) amps to hook into the current sound card?
Any amp would do. Something as cheap as http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001P9EQH8/?tag=tec06d-20
Or if you want to throw some money around you could consider a higher end amp.

Digital sound won't improve very much just by upgrading a sound card. When listening to music you'll be wanting to completely bypass the DAC anyway because that just muddles things up.
 

fullinfusion

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#28
I've narrowed it down to these two and would like to order one of them within the hour.

What one guys?

Xonar Essence STX PCI-E Sound Card LINK

OR

ASUS Xonar Essence ST 7.1 Channel PCI Sound Card 24BIT Headphone AMP 124DB SNR LINK

OR

Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD PCIe Sound Card LINK
 
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#29
Essence
 

fullinfusion

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#30
Added on more card to my above post.
 
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#31
The only difference between the ST and the STX is the bus, it's up to you if you prefer PCI or PCIe.

The Essence and the Titanium HD, are both great cards. You can't go wrong with any of them.
 
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#32
the Titanium HD doesn't really have a dedicated headphone amp and the output impedance is pretty high.

regarding the Essence ST vs STX. the ST is supposed to have better clocks and it can work with the Asus Xonar H6.



there is an open box Essence ST on NCIX for $186. grab it.
 
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#33
+1 for The Essence ST or STX, really great and powerful
 

fullinfusion

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#34
the Titanium HD doesn't really have a dedicated headphone amp and the output impedance is pretty high.

regarding the Essence ST vs STX. the ST is supposed to have better clocks and it can work with the Asus Xonar H6.

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/2844/imageviewphpq.jpg

there is an open box Essence ST on NCIX for $186. grab it.
For $199 I can grab it new from Direct Canada... I've been stung on open boxes before so id rather spend a few more dollars and know it's all good.
 
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#35
if you want to return a product to NCIX you have to include everything. I order open boxes once in a while and haven't got one where it was damaged or missing anything. sometimes the corners or edges of the box are banged up but it's no big deal.
 
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#36
I can't recommend the Essence enough, great sound for the price. The analog out is very high quailty if you decided to upgrade to dedicated headphone amps too.
 

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#37
the Titanium HD doesn't really have a dedicated headphone amp and the output impedance is pretty high.

regarding the Essence ST vs STX. the ST is supposed to have better clocks and it can work with the Asus Xonar H6.

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/2844/imageviewphpq.jpg

there is an open box Essence ST on NCIX for $186. grab it.
Well I ordered the Essence ST :D I hope it's here on Friday.



Thank you so much guy's for the help on the purchase of my new sound card.
 
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#38
Hope you enjoy it!

Tells us how it sounds!, better than the DX i hope:D
 

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#39
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#40
I wonder if I should get a sound card.
I definitely wouldn't spend $200 on a sound card though. I mean, it's not like I could turn it up.

And anyway if you want good sound, just hook it up to a $50 receiver and then you have excellent sound and surround sound too.
 
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#41
I wonder if I should get a sound card.
I definitely wouldn't spend $200 on a sound card though. I mean, it's not like I could turn it up.

And anyway if you want good sound, just hook it up to a $50 receiver and then you have excellent sound and surround sound too.
turn what up?

receivers have a tuner, multi-channel power amplifier, pre-amp, dac, adc, headphone out, hdmi switching, equalizer, dsp, video processor, docks, internet connectivity, etc. they are value boxes and have to cut corners. the headphone out doesn't have a lot of driving power.
 

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#42
I wonder if I should get a sound card.
I definitely wouldn't spend $200 on a sound card though. I mean, it's not like I could turn it up.

And anyway if you want good sound, just hook it up to a $50 receiver and then you have excellent sound and surround sound too.
Chomp on some Psilocybe cubensis and tell me why not TO SPEND 2 BILLS just to hear what normally cant be heard at a hammering Db!! hahahahahah

read my 1st post bro and you'll figure it out! :toast: :respect:
 

fullinfusion

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#43
Be posting some short reviews on this card over the DX one.

Thanks for following and the recommendations guy's :respect:
 
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#44
I'm not saying to buy one but i own the creative HD card and it was worth every penny, I think you will be happy with what ever choise you make.

I have it hooked up to my home amp and am using my old kef coda 3 speakers and the sound is realy nice.
 

fullinfusion

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#45
:peace::peace:
I'm not saying to buy one but i own the creative HD card and it was worth every penny, I think you will be happy with what ever choise you make.

I have it hooked up to my home amp and am using my old kef coda 3 speakers and the sound is realy nice.
Good deal man! :peace:
 

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#46
Hmmm?

Wat vid to watch?
 

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#47
Hope you enjoy it!

Tells us how it sounds!, better than the DX i hope:D
Well to start off, I ordered the wrong card! I ordered the Asus Essence ST and its a PCI card! :slap: I thought..... Well never-mind lol :wtf:

I thought my board had the slot but no go.
All it has is PCI-E slots. So after being on the road all week and having the wife ring me saying my package arrived on Monday I was so looking forward to hooking it up today.
Well like I said WRONG card hahah.

So after getting a RMA from from the other online retailer,
I drove to Winnipeg. A 2hr drive to Memory express and got the LAST Asus Xonar Essence STX and all I must say is FUCK! Pardon my french but really?! I never knew a headset could sound so damn good! In all honesty I know these Sennheiser's PC 350's are rated @ 150 Ohms and if I set the HP advanced setting to the middle setting of +12dB for 64-300 ohms this headset sounds absolutely beautiful... I've been listening to some tunes tonight I normally listen to and I've been hearing sounds I never heard before! If I set the HP advanced setting to Extra high gain +18dB for 300-600 ohms and if I crank up the sound I'll go bloody deaf lol... Honestly vibrates the hell out of my ear drums. Im thinking Im going to need to mod these cans to let them breathe proper :roll:

Any ways a pic of the new sound card... the 1st shot is the PCI ST model and the darker ones is the STX in the rig atm...

I love this card but I wish it came with one extra adapter... the 3.5mm-to-6.3mm adapter..
One for the headset and the 2nd for the mic :cool:

On well Im sure future shop or the Source have the plug im looking for :)



 
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#48
Glad to know you like it:toast:

I experienced the same when i switched my old X-fi Titanium for a Titanium HD.