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andyhoughton

Sound cards

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Hi all,

 

I've never owned a discrete sound card. A friend purchased one recently and said he had noticeably better sound (A creative soundblaster for $70 odd)

 

From what I've read EAX is dead which used to be the main reason for going discrete.

 

Are sound cards still popular? Should I bother or are there better things I can throw my cash at (pc related)

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depends what speakers you have and what connection you use to them

 

i had been using audigy 2 to z-680 but then swapped to optical from the mb due to driver problems with the creative card

then i was using optic to a pioneer 5.1 home theater but it sounded flat and dull like a low quality mp3 so i am now using hdmi out from the gpu trouble is it detects the amp as a monitor and i am running a extended desktop which i cant see

 

so i am also looking at a soundcard now and have been looking at these cards first is a gpu with hdmi out

 

PowerColor ATI HD5450 PCIE2.0, 512MB, DDR2, 64bit, DL-DVI, HDMI $50.60

http://www.centrecom.com.au/catalog/produc...oducts_id=46037

ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 $249

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...roducts_id=8826

Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD $284

http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=12429

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I'm using a pretty decent Sony stereo. Nothing massive but cost about $600 when i bought it - sounds pretty good

Looks very similar to this

Posted Image

 

Just using a 3.5mm Stereo jack to RCA

 

Should I bother?

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Nope, I wouldn't bother.

 

If you had a decent 5.1 system or something it may be worth while, but with a stereo system like that I don't think you'll notice a huge difference.

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if that player can take a cd toss one in then compare it to the cd sound coming from the pc and see what you think of the difference

if the pc sounds noticeably worse then i would look at a soundcard ~$80-150

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a $20 xfi would make it sound better, doesn't mean its worth while though.

 

He could get the same increase in sound quality buying a decent 2.1 setup for $150.

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fair point but i wouldnt mind betting most 2.1 pc speakers will sound worse than them although obviously they are lacking the oomph of a woofer

to be sure of beating them with a pc speaker upgrade i think you would want some Audioengine speakers and there $249-399 + more if you want a sub

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I think you're underestimating some of the Logitech/Creative etc. 2.1s that can be had for quite cheap.

 

Would sound shit to an audiophile, but to most people they'd sound quite good. I'm not that fussy when it comes to audio though, so some people may notice more of a difference than I do :)

Edited by nukejockey

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Nope, I wouldn't bother.

 

If you had a decent 5.1 system or something it may be worth while, but with a stereo system like that I don't think you'll notice a huge difference.

Bullshit.

 

He should hear a difference no problem..........even with a cheap XFi.

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ASUS or the Auzentechs are damn good quality cards. I owned a creative x-fi xtrememusic... driver issues a-plenty.

 

For the two nominated brands, anything $100 or above is a good improvement over onboard. There are people out there that don't give a crap about sound and there are those that do. as a gamer i enjoy a game that takes the full potential of sound effects i.e. dead space, bad company 2. im no die hard audiophile but i still enjoy the clarity.

 

im actually tossing between getting an Auzentech x-raider (~$85) or ASUS DX Xonar (pcie ~ $105) for my main rig eventually.

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Nope, I wouldn't bother.

 

If you had a decent 5.1 system or something it may be worth while, but with a stereo system like that I don't think you'll notice a huge difference.

Bullshit.

 

He should hear a difference no problem..........even with a cheap XFi.

 

I didn't say he wouldn't, as a matter of fact I went on to say in another post that a cheap Xfi will give a difference over onboard, however what I did say was that its problably not worth spending the money for a hi-fi system like that.

 

Just my opinion though, its something that I wouldn't do personally, I'd rather spend the money on a decent set of 2.1 speakers.

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I think you're underestimating some of the Logitech/Creative etc. 2.1s that can be had for quite cheap.

no but you may be underestimating the speakers he has

i dont really know what it is but if he paid $600 for it fair chance the speakers are half decent but then there sony which tends to make overpriced crap so who knows

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Same old argument. People are subjective when it comes to personal preferences for speakers and audio.

 

The argument that one type of speaker is better than another is purely personal preference.

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Same old argument. People are subjective when it comes to personal preferences for speakers and audio.

 

The argument that one type of speaker is better than another is purely personal preference.

Or maybe different source material?

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Same old argument. People are subjective when it comes to personal preferences for speakers and audio.

 

The argument that one type of speaker is better than another is purely personal preference.

Or maybe different source material?

 

 

Agreed. That too.

 

Source material can make a huge difference. I try to collect as much audiophile-quality music and hi-fi & surround demonstration material as possible because I have a (relatively) high-end sound system (just the speakers alone cost $25,000). An MP3 has never been played on the system, as I won't allow anything less than uncompressed audio to be played on it. That said, I will happily play lesser-quality content on my PC, which only has Logitech Z-5500D speakers and a Creative X-Fi Elite Pro sound card. However, when I plug my PC into the home theatre system, the difference in the quality of sound produced is so amazing that's impossible to describe in words. You just hear ... more. It's like when I ask friends to bring their favourite CD over, when they come to visit, so they can listen to it on my home theatre system. They always comment that they had no idea there was so much "more" in the song/music that they never knew existed because they had never heard it on their own hi-fi system. Sorry... I tend to prattle on when the subject of hi-fi and music quality comes up, because it's something I really enjoy.

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Well, so do I!

 

That was my point too. If you listen to crap, good speakers won't help you much.

The worst thing is that people get used to the sound of crap.

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Nothing much wrong with that little hifi system.

Probably better than Logitech's

Agreed, and without reservation, that little Sony hifi system would be superior to any Logitech speakers when looking at music playback :D

 

My 2c

 

or is it only 1c worth :P

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Thought it worth mentioning that my $50 creative card is much better than onboard audio - sound is 'crisp' and 'tight'

Will always have discrete sound from here on in

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I use an old Marantz stereo amp and 2x 3way Kenwood speakers for sound - there was a very noticeable difference in the sound when I went from the onboard sound to soundcard (SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio)

there was more volume, more bass, mid, and highs, all in all, a vast improvement.

if you listen to a lot of music, I'd suggest using anything except speakers that come in plastic enclosures, just because they 7:1, or 5:1, doesn't mean shit if they're inferior crap - 2x decent speakers will always sound better than multiple crappy speakers - you only possess 2x ears anyway.....

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Hay OBA :)

 

Marantz made some very nice amps.

 

I'm in the "On-board Sound sucks" camp, I really don't even use my PC for music any more, bastard won't spin my vinyl :P but if I had to I would defiantly use a separate card, or a DAC :D

Edited by datafast69

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And they reckon us old cunts are deaf!

Who? those young-ins?

I think It's just that the young-ins have damaged eardrums from the inherent distortion of MP3s, so don't understand how us old cunts can hear so good :P

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