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Thread: Sound card question...

  1. #1
    Certified SG Addict Indy's Avatar
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    Sound card question...

    In the process of putting together a new computer right now, but want more than just the onboard sound provided by the motherboard. What I'm looking for is what would be considered the best sounding card out right now that will work without hassle in XP and vista64, as I'll probably have the computer dual booting both. Not entirely happy with the problems that creative has had with vista drivers, so I may be looking at other manufacturers...
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    “The most beautiful thing we can experience in life is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: for his eyes are closed.” - Albert Einstein

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    Senior Member Easto's Avatar
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    Are you looking for Surround or just Stereo. Look into some of the cards by RME and Echo Audio. These are professional cards and will require multiple output connections for surround but they will blow you away with the sound. They will also require an outboard amp.

  3. #3
    Certified SG Addict Indy's Avatar
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    I'll be looking for surround...I'll check out the RME and Echo Audio cards...any problems with vista64 that you know?
    ------
    “The most beautiful thing we can experience in life is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: for his eyes are closed.” - Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
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    For onboard, RealTech HD makes a pretty decient chipset. I don't think they support ASIO though, if you need that to bypass the dreaded Windows Kmixer.

    I've also not read anything yet on if Kmixer is still in Vista.

    If the card supports ASIO, and drivers actually exist for it, you can bypass Kmixer if you need too.

    Some cards from companies that I was impressed with.

    Bluegears cards.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829127002

    http://www.bgears.com/b-enspirer.html#

    A review...

    http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/ind...1&limitstart=6

    Ok I've not tried this card specifically but an older model with a CMedia chipset.

    It looks like drivers are indeed available for both 32 and 64 bit Vista.

    The bad? If you need a digital out, optical is your only option on this card. Other than that, hey, the cost insn't bad and the older model I had, imho, the upsampler on it was the best I've ever listened to in a non pro card. Simply amazing.

    The other company that nones heard off...


    Auzentech


    The latest offering is a Creative chipset and I've never had a chance to listen to one but I would guess that Creative is making the drivers for it.

    However...They still offer the Explosion and you can still find an X-Mystique. I've had the Mystique and had problems getting it to pass a DTS signal at times through the digital out. Really there are few people who would ever want to do this but hey...and I'll also mention that the software needed to do this is also problematic.

    I'm sure that drivers for both 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows can be found for the cards.

    Both cards use a CMedia chipset.

  5. #5
    Certified SG Addict Indy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by downhill View Post
    For onboard, RealTech HD makes a pretty decient chipset. I don't think they support ASIO though, if you need that to bypass the dreaded Windows Kmixer.

    I've also not read anything yet on if Kmixer is still in Vista.

    If the card supports ASIO, and drivers actually exist for it, you can bypass Kmixer if you need too.

    Some cards from companies that I was impressed with.

    Bluegears cards.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829127002

    http://www.bgears.com/b-enspirer.html#

    A review...

    http://www.elitebastards.com/cms/ind...1&limitstart=6

    Ok I've not tried this card specifically but an older model with a CMedia chipset.

    It looks like drivers are indeed available for both 32 and 64 bit Vista.

    The bad? If you need a digital out, optical is your only option on this card. Other than that, hey, the cost insn't bad and the older model I had, imho, the upsampler on it was the best I've ever listened to in a non pro card. Simply amazing.

    The other company that nones heard off...


    Auzentech


    The latest offering is a Creative chipset and I've never had a chance to listen to one but I would guess that Creative is making the drivers for it.

    However...They still offer the Explosion and you can still find an X-Mystique. I've had the Mystique and had problems getting it to pass a DTS signal at times through the digital out. Really there are few people who would ever want to do this but hey...and I'll also mention that the software needed to do this is also problematic.

    I'm sure that drivers for both 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows can be found for the cards.

    Both cards use a CMedia chipset.
    I'll have to take a look at those...

    Interesting that you bring up ASIO - came across an article about it in a magazine I was reading while I was on vacation. Have you had a chance to use it and is there really a discernable difference using it?
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    “The most beautiful thing we can experience in life is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: for his eyes are closed.” - Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ ♫♪ downhill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indy View Post
    I'll have to take a look at those...

    Interesting that you bring up ASIO - came across an article about it in a magazine I was reading while I was on vacation. Have you had a chance to use it and is there really a discernable difference using it?
    Depends I guess. Yes I use it all the time for digital out. Here's why. Kmixer upsamples everything to 48 kHz. That doens't mean the sampling rate code is very good to do so. Depending on who makes it and really, windows doesn't do a very good job of it. I'd also add that if you upsample a DTS signal, you ruin the encoding. All you'll get is whitenoise.

    So for audio, you either want to leave it alone or use software/hardware that includes a very good upsampler and really I'd not be too concerned about it unless you need to pass a digital signal to your stereo equipment.

    There are other workarounds for that too. You can buy equipment that connects to a USB port and with it's own software, can send a wifi signal to another unit connected to your hifi equipment. No Kmixer involved.

    Now if your a musician, that's another can of worms. You need ASIO for recording and playback.



    For gaming? Nah, have fun.... The soundfields in games are made to pull you into the game. The companies making the games, also know that Creative still complies with the Kmixer deal with Windows.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Easto's Avatar
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    ASIO drivers will lower latency when recording. Latency is not as much an issue with playback.

    If you don't already have it, Download...

    RightMark Audio Analyzer

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