I have an audiophile quality stereo, im wondering if the sound output from these cards can now rival high end stereo CD units (in other words can I use my computer to drive my killer sound system). Ive resisted so far as i didnt think sound output caould rival a top end CD player. If it can, the advantages of running my music off my hard drive is obvious.
If you are an audiophile, then no. But you could easily run an optical output to your receiver as an AUX or something.
There are a lot of degraders bewteen the imprecise motor of the CD drive and the actual sound card. A high end CD player D/A conversion and low-pass filter will smear an impulse over approximately ±.1 or .2 ms. Good luck getting that with an Audigy 2. Plus your high-end CD player is going to have high throughput outputs like XLR, TosLink, ST-glass, in addition to S/PDIF.
I don't have a high end CD player. I use my Sony DVD player. I can say my Audigy 2 sounds better than my DVD player. Also you can use the creative drivers to give you a little more high end if you need it. Does it sound as good as my records? No but I like the high end I can get now with the creative card. Although it is still that kind of harsh CD high end. I think I'm going to try to run my record player through the Audigy 2 and see how it sounds.
These specs are here so I don't have to repeat them. P4 2.4c @ 3.0 ASUS P4P800 dx Geil pc4000 2.5,3,3,6 250FSB 1:1 Radeon 9500 non-pro 2 Maxtor 60gig 7200rpm 8mb cach in raid 0 SB Audigy 2