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Recommend me a good soundcard

Zehnsucht

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#1
Only two-channel will be used, both for head set and music/video. For music/video I use H/K amp with floorstanding 25kg QLN speakers.

For gaming I'm currently using Koss porta pro, but will eventually buy the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (32 Ohm version).

I'm looking for a sound card that is a good balance in games and general audio listening.
 
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#2
ASUS makes the best sound cards. They have some very good mid range ones for 80-90$ in PCI and PCIE flavor :) I'd advise against Creative, I've never had any luck with them in Vista.
 
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#3
does your amp accept digital input if so buy any old thing that does digital to it as sound cards only used to reproduce analogue ...

if not buy something M-audio, emu1212, auzentech or asus
 

h3llb3nd4

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#4
Anything from Auzentech or Asus;)
 

Zehnsucht

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#5
No, it's a completely analogue two-channel amp (HK 670, costed 500$ back in the day).

There wasn't any Auzentech available here, but some Asus.

I went on the Asus website, http://event.asus.com/audiocards/2009/xonarfamily/index.htm
For gaming they recommend the Asus Xonar DX, and for music the Asus Xonar Essence. The price difference is twice as much for the Essence.

Is EAX 5 good? Is it like positional audio processing such as the virtual haircut? (use headphones, http://onemansblog.com/2007/05/13/get-your-virtual-haircut-and-other-auditory-illusions/ )
 
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#6
If your looking for clean high quality audio right off the back buy an HT OMEGA Plus or an ASUS card, better opamps/other components go a long way
 
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#7
The usual suspects come to mind --> HT Omega, ASUS, Auzentech. Get the DT770 80 ohm version instead it is more balanced and you will still be able to run it off a sound card with good results.
 
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#8
I can't really recommend any sound cards other than get a decent one over onboard, but I haven't had any problems with my X-Fi using Vista.

But I do recommend getting one, If I had the money I would go for an Asus Xonar :D
 
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#9
Is EAX 5 good? Is it like positional audio processing such as the virtual haircut? (use headphones, http://onemansblog.com/2007/05/13/get-your-virtual-haircut-and-other-auditory-illusions/ )
No it is not, the virtual haircut is a binaural recording. You cannot create the effect with two channel stereo material such as game sounds, and ordinarily recorded music. Making a good binaural recording is quite difficult because you need two microphones that emulate "ears".
 
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#10
HT Omega. Having to change "modes" on the Asus, Creative, and Auzentech cards gets real old real fast.
 
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#11
I used to have a Audigy 2 ZS gamer. Used to have trouble on vista but fixed it. Now I have the new Xfi titanium pro pci-e. The driver install is indeed unintelligent. Vista puts on its default high def driver and the audigy install wont write over them. You have to force on some other old crappy device driver. Then install creatives stuff, it will write over those.

After that its been smooth sailing. Most of the negatives ive seen on newegg are people who cant figure out whats wrong with the drivers. I just told you so yea ez pz.
 
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#12
Thats what I hate about creative drivers if you install a higher version sometimes it will say its not gonna install and you have to remove the drivers the hard way

they do it because sometimes creative is stupid and makes drivers that can unlock features in other cards and have to fix it.
 

Zehnsucht

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#13
Thanks for all the input!

I decided that the Asus Xonar XD/DX was the way to go, as I'm not an über hifi person (so I don't think I'll miss out on the Essence model) and I like the emulated EAX 5 mode on the DX/XD for gaming. Test reviews seem to say that it is pretty good. Hopefully it will work good on W7 :)