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justo316

Any point getting a Soundcard?

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As the topic suggests, just wondering if it's worth getting a soundcard to go with my Logitech Z5500's?

 

I've got an Auzentech lying around but can't fit it as my SLI rig takes up too much space. I'd have to look at getting an internal card that uses those small PCI-E slots or a USB one.

 

The only other thing I need to worry about is ease of connecting my headset. I don't want to have to unplug the speakers then plug my headset in. Ideally, if I could still plug them into the front audio ports, that would be great, or some other way I haven't thought of yet.

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a cheap soundcard is worth it, e.g. an asus DG or DS

i got a free DS, but my motherboard doesn't support it.

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I noticed a diff from onboard to xonar dg. Sounds where clear and crisp. Its the only sound card ive had. Ive only got z2300s and a shitty old set of headphones that sennheiser made in 1925.

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Yeah usually I notice 'depth' in my music compared to onboard. Though my preference for 'cheap' cards is a decent brand USB2.0 breakout card. Mainly because it guarantees an escape from 'mouse drone' on your speakers. If you've ever had this, you know what i'm talking about.

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Yeah usually I notice 'depth' in my music compared to onboard. Though my preference for 'cheap' cards is a decent brand USB2.0 breakout card. Mainly because it guarantees an escape from 'mouse drone' on your speakers. If you've ever had this, you know what i'm talking about.

Are you referring to when moving the mouse makes noise out of the speakers? I have this and even though its barely noticeable, it drives me insane sometimes Edited by justo316

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just wondering if it's worth getting a soundcard to go with my Logitech Z5500's?

Quite simply, yes.

 

I have the same system and noticed a pretty big difference between the on-board card and the one I installed (see my sig).

 

Most of the Sound Blaster line up these days uses PCIe x1, the smallest PCI slot on your mobo.

 

Also you should be able to connect the PCIe sound card to the front panel audio header of your case, you just have to work out the pin layout - a quick Google search usually does the trick. That's what I've done with mine. As soon as I plug my headphones into the front panel, it mutes the speakers, reduced the volumes, changes to the profile to 'headphones' and adjusts the equaliser. Then when I unplug my headphones is does the opposite.

 

If you end up getting a PCIe sound card, just make sure it has 3 x 3.5mm output jacks (Front / Rear / Centre & Sub) so that you can connect it to your Z5500's. Flick the little switch on the back of the speaker control unit to '6-channel' and the change the input mode to 'Direct'.

 

If you have any more questions, just ask :)

 

Are you referring to when moving the mouse makes noise out of the speakers? I have this and even though its barely noticeable, it drives me insane sometimes

That's generally caused by the ground of the sound card being connected to the same ground as the USB ports. This creates a ground loop which gives you the static / feedback through your speakers. Try muting your 'line-in' connections as sometimes that is the cause. Edited by Electr0

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just wondering if it's worth getting a soundcard to go with my Logitech Z5500's?

Quite simply, yes.

 

I have the same system and noticed a pretty big difference between the on-board card and the one I installed (see my sig).

 

Most of the Sound Blaster line up these days uses PCIe x1, the smallest PCI slot on your mobo.

 

Also you should be able to connect the PCIe sound card to the front panel audio header of your case, you just have to work out the pin layout - a quick Google search usually does the trick. That's what I've done with mine. As soon as I plug my headphones into the front panel, it mutes the speakers, reduced the volumes, changes to the profile to 'headphones' and adjusts the equaliser. Then when I unplug my headphones is does the opposite.

 

If you end up getting a PCIe sound card, just make sure it has 3 x 3.5mm output jacks (Front / Rear / Centre & Sub) so that you can connect it to your Z5500's. Flick the little switch on the back of the speaker control unit to '6-channel' and the change the input mode to 'Direct'.

 

If you have any more questions, just ask :)

 

Are you referring to when moving the mouse makes noise out of the speakers? I have this and even though its barely noticeable, it drives me insane sometimes

That's generally caused by the ground of the sound card being connected to the same ground as the USB ports. This creates a ground loop which gives you the static / feedback through your speakers. Try muting your 'line-in' connections as sometimes that is the cause.

 

Cheers, I've disabled my Line In. Will see how that goes over the next few days.

 

Yeah, I wasn't sure if soundcards had the front header pins. I had a look on my Auzentech card and it didn't but I'll make sure my next card does. Considering the Creative ZX at this stage. Going to be using it mainly for gaming, but would like to be able to use it for music recording as well and the 1/4" jacks will help there. I would have preferred the old school front box thing that fits in a drive space, but it it seems clutter is the way of the future.

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Yeah, I wasn't sure if soundcards had the front header pins. I had a look on my Auzentech card and it didn't but I'll make sure my next card does. Considering the Creative ZX at this stage. Going to be using it mainly for gaming, but would like to be able to use it for music recording as well and the 1/4" jacks will help there. I would have preferred the old school front box thing that fits in a drive space, but it it seems clutter is the way of the future.

The Sound Blaster Recon3D Champion comes with the front drive bay, although the RRP is another $100 more. But I'm sure you could find it a lot cheaper somewhere on the net. I guess you'd just have to do a bit of a Google search to see if the ZX has front panel header connections.

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Yeah usually I notice 'depth' in my music compared to onboard. Though my preference for 'cheap' cards is a decent brand USB2.0 breakout card. Mainly because it guarantees an escape from 'mouse drone' on your speakers. If you've ever had this, you know what i'm talking about.

Are you referring to when moving the mouse makes noise out of the speakers? I have this and even though its barely noticeable, it drives me insane sometimes

 

Thats what I mean. Its RF in the case getting into the analogue output.

 

External soundcard pretty much guarantees a fix.

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Well, happy to report my new Soundblaster Z makes a difference over the built in motherboard sound. You can really tell the difference at either end of the spectrum.

 

I was going to get the ZX model for the breakout volume knob and 1/4" inputs but they didn't have it in stock over here so I went with the plain Z to test out.

 

I was happy to find it had a connector for the front panel inputs on my case, but then was disappointed to find that while headphones worked, the mic would not get picked up. But, I found that I can have my headset plugged into the headphone and mic ports out the back, and then I can just switch between them and my speakers through the software pretty easily.

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I got an xonar dgx recently as it has a built in headphone amp, makes a massive difference in driving good headphones. I wouldn't think it would make much of a difference in other situations, but its only a $30 card.

Had a load of issues getting it to work without constantly BSODing my machine but seems to be sorted now.

 

Glad you're liking the sound blaster, any reason you went with that model?

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Glad you're liking the sound blaster, any reason you went with that model?

As in why Soundblaster? Just cos....liked the look of it :P hahaha nah there's nore to it. The one time I strayed away from Creative and got an Auzentech card....I ended up getting super annoyed with the lack of updates and poor software. Originally, I needed (wanted) a separate box or drive bay caddy type control unit which I don't remember seeing anyone else really do which is why I focussed on the creative cards again. Then when it came to get this particular card, I didn't bother looking into any others cos I knew this would be fine.

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Glad you're liking the sound blaster, any reason you went with that model?

As in why Soundblaster? Just cos....liked the look of it :P hahaha nah there's nore to it. The one time I strayed away from Creative and got an Auzentech card....I ended up getting super annoyed with the lack of updates and poor software. Originally, I needed (wanted) a separate box or drive bay caddy type control unit which I don't remember seeing anyone else really do which is why I focussed on the creative cards again. Then when it came to get this particular card, I didn't bother looking into any others cos I knew this would be fine.

 

chose creative for quality of software? lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol :)

 

sorry, i've had very bad experiences with creative software and support

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The only other thing I need to worry about is ease of connecting my headset. I don't want to have to unplug the speakers then plug my headset in. Ideally, if I could still plug them into the front audio ports, that would be great, or some other way I haven't thought of yet.

For this I use a USB sound card. In my case it came as part of my Plantronics Gamecom 777 headset.

 

 

As for needing an add in soundcard at all?

If you dislike the onboard audio then yes, if the onboard audio is ok then no. It's that simple.

 

Are you referring to when moving the mouse makes noise out of the speakers? I have this and even though its barely noticeable, it drives me insane sometimes

Ye had this on a couple of PCs and it it was bloody irritating, big time. That was the original reason I bought an add in soundcard.

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I use a FLAC rip of Daft Punks AERODYNAMIC to test.

That corrupted\compressed guitar solo at the start (1:025, to be exact), I know off by heart. I can tell instantly if something has changed, the sound is SO unique its easy to tell IMO.

 

Im yet to find somewhere a sound card hasn't helped. That extra $20 is just dollop of cream on your cake. Your cakes awesome without it; but its the presentation that matters, and it does slightly affect the taste :)

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Glad you're liking the sound blaster, any reason you went with that model?

As in why Soundblaster? Just cos....liked the look of it :P hahaha nah there's nore to it. The one time I strayed away from Creative and got an Auzentech card....I ended up getting super annoyed with the lack of updates and poor software. Originally, I needed (wanted) a separate box or drive bay caddy type control unit which I don't remember seeing anyone else really do which is why I focussed on the creative cards again. Then when it came to get this particular card, I didn't bother looking into any others cos I knew this would be fine.

 

chose creative for quality of software? lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol :)

 

sorry, i've had very bad experiences with creative software and support

 

Yep, well I only had issues with Creative when we got Vista. And that was a case of certain extra functions not working. In contrast, my Auzentech card gave me more grief and then wasn't supported properly by Windows 7 for ages so I ended up leaving it out of my build.

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Yeah usually I notice 'depth' in my music compared to onboard. Though my preference for 'cheap' cards is a decent brand USB2.0 breakout card. Mainly because it guarantees an escape from 'mouse drone' on your speakers. If you've ever had this, you know what i'm talking about.

Are you referring to when moving the mouse makes noise out of the speakers? I have this and even though its barely noticeable, it drives me insane sometimes

 

Thats what I mean. Its RF in the case getting into the analogue output.

 

External soundcard pretty much guarantees a fix.

 

I've had all sorts of problems with this in the studio setup. Even some USB soundcards have the problem (M-Audio fast track when using RCA outputs), not found it with firewire however.

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Sledgy;

 

RFI getting into the USB input, getting into the Analogue audio out.

M-Audio stuff is fature packed and cheap; but shielding is sub par. I know because I always add my own to my m-audio gear.

 

I'd wager if you snapped a ferrite choke to that USB cable it'd have gone away (unless it was getting in somewhere else in the RCA cable, and your firewire device had a filter cap built in)

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A friend has an M-Audio external box for his mac and it is the biggest pile of shit I've ever had to work with. Completely unacceptable levels of noise when I tried recording his band with it.

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ferrite all cables.

ALL of them.

 

There is a lot more to do to maudio gear to get it 'quiet'; unfortunately untill Bheringer come out with something; nothing can match the features at the price point.

Quality suffers though :(

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The M-Audio gear has been fine for most things, is only when I connect it to my mixing desk I was getting noise. Better solution is to use a isolating transformer or what I did and just disconnect it completely. Wasn't being used and the desk had USB onboard which doesn't have an issue.

 

For features to price ratio is hard to pass up on Focusrite. Leaves both M-Audio and Bheringer (except for a few specific items) for dead.

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