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smakme7757

ASUS Xonar DX

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I picked up one today for $30 which seems like a bargain as they go for around $120AUD here. It's only 3 months old with all the accesories still sealed up in their plastic bags. My motherboard came with a Realtek ALC892 which was pretty decent, but i figured the Xonar was so cheap, so why not.

 

Anyhow i've installed it and got it up and running. I can't really hear a massive difference in audio quality, but i've noticed the following things:

 

1. I can play music louder without distortion

2. Certain songs are clearer, background instruments seem to come through a lot more.

 

What i'm wondering is if there is anyone here with a similar card that can offer any tips. I've never had a dedicated soundcard before so i don't want to be missing out on anything :). So far all i've done is changed:

 

PCM to 192Khz

Audio Channels to 8

FlexBass to On

 

I've got some Creative Gigaworks T20 speakers hooked up to the PC, so nothing ground breaking.

Edited by smakme7757

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Get good speakers/headphones, get good music, turn off all EQ and 'enhancements'.

What constitutes "good music"? Where do i get "good music" from?

 

I guess there are hundreds of threads about headphones so i'll just go and have a search :)

Edited by smakme7757

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Usually good music in a nutshell is having your songs in a higher bit rate. Helps pick up certain things like the chime of bells or a piano in the background a lot easier.

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For music, 256kbps *minimum* for compressed music, though I personally rip all my CDs in lossless ALAC.

I'd recommend a really nice set of speakers/headphones, I use Audio Technica ATH-AD700's for headphones which can be found for $150, and AudioEngine A2 speakers, which blew me away with their quality for the size/price.

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I went and bought a Asus xonar DG or whatever the 30$ one is a while back, noticed the instant the windows sound when i logged on was so much clearer and fuller. battlefield sounded fuller with deeper bass and sharper sounds. ill never go back to standard onboard.

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Try grabbing the highest sampling frequency and bitrate music your card can handle (24 bit 192KHz, etc). Yes, that'll probably mean no lossy compression.

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Thanks for the information.

 

I buy most of my MP3s from Amazon MP3 or Itunes and they come mostly in 256kbps. It doesn't seem possible to buy music in high quality, but my uncle has a few CDs that he has ripped which are in FLAC format and over 1000kbps. So i'll grab a few of them.

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There are websites out there hosting free FLACs (legit ones : p Some bands/artists etc), but if you were looking at getting the new Muse album anyway, http://muse.mu/store/product,the-2nd-law-h...ownload_367.htm might be a consideration.

 

FLAC 24bit 96khz audio files. Please note these files do not play in iTunes/Windows Media Player and iOS devices

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Thanks for the information.

 

I buy most of my MP3s from Amazon MP3 or Itunes and they come mostly in 256kbps. It doesn't seem possible to buy music in high quality, but my uncle has a few CDs that he has ripped which are in FLAC format and over 1000kbps. So i'll grab a few of them.

256kbps is 'good enough' to be honest. I've got the odd album/single I've bought on iTunes and it is very hard to pick the difference, especially when I don't have a CD to make direct comparison with.

 

I have found a lot of artists offer lossless on places like BandCamp or their own websites. So nice, especially BandCamp which even lets you download in ALAC so I don't have to convert from FLAC to play in iTunes.

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The bitrate is a little arbitrary, TBH. For MP3 (at least, and probably other formats), it depends on the level of complexity in the music at any given moment (and how efficiently the encoder can handle it and break it down, and how good the psychoacoustic model is), but that's not the whole story. There are certain types of sample that produce artefacts for different formats. Off the top of my head, MP3 suffers from some reverse echo issues from some kinds of cymbal hits, for instance.

 

At this point in time, I daresay that most psychoacoustic models are decent enough to use VBR over constant bitrate encodes. And in that case, you pretty much give it lots of headroom for really difficult parts, but it won't need to use it often. Tho' I believe that's not as trivial as it used to be, now that a lot of encoders use 'quality' levels, rather than dealing with actual bitrate numbers up-front.

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Just wondering if you'd noticed any strange happenings with your DX, mine has randomly been doing weird shit like on boot magically outputting at about 3000 x louder than normal as in running at 1% volume is uncomfortably loud and anything louder is enough o blow your bloody head off.

Also If I leave microphone boost on I get reports of strange interference occasionally but if I turn it off I have to boost all the outputs to max and put the mic practically in my mouth to be heard.

 

On the plus side the SNR is great, I don't hear any interference anymore like onboard used to put out.

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Just wondering if you'd noticed any strange happenings with your DX, mine has randomly been doing weird shit like on boot magically outputting at about 3000 x louder than normal as in running at 1% volume is uncomfortably loud and anything louder is enough o blow your bloody head off.

Also If I leave microphone boost on I get reports of strange interference occasionally but if I turn it off I have to boost all the outputs to max and put the mic practically in my mouth to be heard.

 

On the plus side the SNR is great, I don't hear any interference anymore like onboard used to put out.

Mine has been working fine. I haven't noticed any strange happenings with mine to be honest.

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There are websites out there hosting free FLACs (legit ones : p Some bands/artists etc), but if you were looking at getting the new Muse album anyway, http://muse.mu/store/product,the-2nd-law-h...ownload_367.htm might be a consideration.

 

FLAC 24bit 96khz audio files. Please note these files do not play in iTunes/Windows Media Player and iOS devices

I got that Album, really good actually i hadn't ever listened to Muse before ;). I use Winamp so i can play them just fine on both PC and phone.

 

I played the first song, Supremacy, in spotify and then in Winamp with the downloaded FLAC file and the FLAC file seemed to make the streamed media from Spotify sound more "flat" without actually having a better word for it.

 

There certainly is a difference although subtle it is there. Definately an enlightening experience as i'd never really thought about it before!

 

It's a pitty more artists don't offer FLAC downloadable content..

 

I also came across this site: https://www.hdtracks.com

Edited by smakme7757

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