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Audiophile Sound Card.

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June 29, 2008 1:16:53 AM

I'm looking for an audiophile sound card that i can use the jack output to hook it up to an external dac/amp,that then sends the sound to my earpieces.

I want the sound to be decoded as perfectly as possible before it leaves the card and heads to the dac/amp.

So what do you got?

More about : audiophile sound card

June 29, 2008 1:40:15 AM

I run an X-fi from my notebook to an external receiver (Denon 2808). I use an optical (digital) out though, so the sound card isn't doing any of the actual work at all. Honestly, if you run a digital out from the sound card, sound card quality is not tremendously important, as the receiver/amp can then do the decoding.
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June 29, 2008 2:11:50 AM

That one would be a good one alright, except they are known to not play nice sometimes with Nvidia motherboards. If you have an Intel board, it would be a good choice (given sufficient budget)
June 29, 2008 1:15:26 PM

Is there really not another sound card more obscure possibly that does better?I dont have naything with creative but just because it has most of the market share as far as pci sound cards go does that mean it is also the best?

I will place the sound card on a 780g gigabyte mobo if that info is of any use.

If creative is the way to go which is the latest and the greates?

I can only see that the elite xfi pro is the most expensive but as far as i know it was produced back in 2005,am i right?

What about x-fi platinum and titanium fatality -blah blah here goes more name- models?(Sorry but couldn't they make the names more comprehensive and meaningful?)
June 29, 2008 1:34:58 PM

Try an asus xonar, they had excellant reviews. Don't knw if it suites your purpose tho
June 29, 2008 1:41:58 PM

I want to have the best sound leaving my card and into an rsa predator dac/amp i plan to get.

Asus got good reviews but its their first sound card and i dont know if their experience cuts it.Creative has been out for years on the other hand.
June 29, 2008 1:46:05 PM

if you're looking for a true audiophile card, take a look at m-audio's products. m-audio makes recording studio-grade hardware.
June 29, 2008 3:06:22 PM

It may be asus' first, but you can expect even better from the future, just look at how the diversified and improved the Eee line
June 29, 2008 4:19:23 PM

Well maybe they will improve it in the future,but what about now?

Also what do you mean about the eee?
June 29, 2008 8:10:44 PM

It's not just music,it's the audio coming out of the PC.May that be audio files,audio from video files or even gaming.Although this PC is not intended for gaming.But as far as audio and video files go,i want to get what's best.

Auzentech and Sonar are matching the Xfi's?

How can i be aware of what more they have to offer and what they dont?It's hard to decide when people say,go definitely for the xfi and then others come and say that Xonar And Auzen are better.

There's no level for comprehension as i dont know what's better an what isnt between its card?

But as I said,so far i may not have plans for 5.1 or 7.1 speakers although someday i will,but for now i want to hook up an amp and then feed my earpieces.
June 29, 2008 9:59:36 PM

Auzentech and Asus look good - I haven't tried them, but they definitely seem like they could be pretty nice.
June 30, 2008 3:22:06 AM

I really like the Auzentech soundcards for what you're looking for... While most audio coming from your PC will not be of "audiophile" quality, I've found it just fine for parties, home media server, and regular listening.
June 30, 2008 10:11:17 AM

HT Omega Claro cards are very good. But if you really want the best try using m-audio, they're expensive but worth it imo.
June 30, 2008 12:41:45 PM

I'm running an Auzentech Prelude 7.1 into an NAD T775 via the optical - so using NAD's D/A converter - and out through a good Polk Audio (7.1) setup. Doesn't *quite* get the same dynamics and imaging as source material (CD and HD-CD), but it's close.
July 6, 2008 10:23:39 PM

How do you figure that it doesn't match the source?Optical is supposed to be bit perfect i thought.
July 7, 2008 6:16:44 AM

Isn't expectation bias an amazing thing?
July 12, 2008 12:16:52 PM

therock003 said:
How do you figure that it doesn't match the source?Optical is supposed to be bit perfect i thought.


Basically a computer will not put out as decent sound quality as a dedicated CD player. Even using high-end decoding software the sound will still not be as good as it's possible to get from a decent CD player.
July 12, 2008 12:38:53 PM

If you want creative, there is only one to go... X-fi elite Pro, the only external sound card from creative, if you dont count those poor usb based... If you want to have good sound without his and noice chose one of those externals in the market. The Elite Pro is not perfect, but it's good compromice for game / music. Most other good external sound cards are good mainly for music. They can cost a lot, but they definitely have good parts and hifi-quality sound. Elite pro is not hifi-component, but it's guite near for gaming sound card. It all depends on what you want to do with it.
July 12, 2008 3:07:54 PM

If you want true "audiophile" sound from your PC, your not gonna get it from an internal soundcard or even most external soundcards for that matter. Theres a few reasons for this, the first being that most soundcards are made for gaming and/or HT surround sound with little attention paid to quality 2-channel stereo. The other reason that most sound cards dont produce audiophile quality sound is that they are located inside an electrically noisey PC case with a power supply that is not optimal for good sound. An external soundcard solves some of these issues but not all and most are still mainly for gaming. The exception to this is the "pro-sumer" recording soundcards from RME, LYNX, EMU....etc. So for high quality 2-channel sound the only reasonably priced soundcard i would reccomend is the EMU 1212m. The other way to go and my reccomendation is an external USB DAC. Since you say ur going to be using headphones, check out the stuff from Headroom. The Headroom desktop amp would be perfect for what you want to do and will sound far better then any soundcard, it is basically a heaphone amp, pre-amp and DAC rolled in one. Good Luck and Happy Listening
July 12, 2008 11:39:16 PM

quantumsheep said:
Basically a computer will not put out as decent sound quality as a dedicated CD player. Even using high-end decoding software the sound will still not be as good as it's possible to get from a decent CD player.

Actually, it could be better. Optical outputs the digital bit stream, and your receiver does all the decoding and D->A conversion. A CD player does the D->A itself, and outputs analog. If your receiver is decent quality, it could do a better job than your CD player by a decent margin. Certainly it isn't any worse.
July 13, 2008 4:18:51 AM

It's cos I don't rip bit for bit
July 13, 2008 4:51:19 AM

That would do it.

I keep my main collection as lossless WMA (ripped straight from the CD), so it is exactly what is on the CD. I also have them (a second copy) as 128kbps WMA pro, for smaller file sizes if I need that, and they are quite good, but can't quite match the lossless.
July 13, 2008 3:47:34 PM

cjl said:
Actually, it could be better. Optical outputs the digital bit stream, and your receiver does all the decoding and D->A conversion. A CD player does the D->A itself, and outputs analog. If your receiver is decent quality, it could do a better job than your CD player by a decent margin. Certainly it isn't any worse.


Doubt it'd do a better job than my Audionet ART really and generally receivers (i believe you're talking about AV receivers?) aren't as good as dedicated music Amps at putting out sound in the first place.

I think later i'll try outputting from my PC to my AV receiver (Arcam AVR350) and compare it to the sound if i used my ART and AVR350, then compare that to my usual Music system (Audionet ART and Audionet SAM amp with Nordost cabling).
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