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Terratec DMX 6 Fire first impressions

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Im still a newbie audiophile so go easy on me

I got this card to replace my SBLive (now I know why its crappy).
This is the first time I have hooked my Grado 325s to a decent source and all I can say is WOW.
6 Fire is a big leap over the SBLive in almost all respects.

Installation was smooth and installation of hardware and software took less than half an hour. Conrtary to what I had heard before I had no problems using this card in my machine running Windows XP

Very nice looking front module with allmost all kind of digital and analog in/out connections you would want. As the front module is installed further away from the other components like video cards etc it provides a cleaner output too.

Sound is much cleaner than SBLive througout the frequency spectrum. It is more detailed and yet smoother sounding at the same time. Imaging is lot more acurate and instruments donot sound smeared as with SBLive.


The only disappointment was the headamp in the front module. It doesnt seem to be as powerful as the specs (100 mW ) say.
I think high impedence phones will be better of driven by a dedicated headamp.

its not a perfect audio card (compared to the HiFI sources people here have) but very good for the price and im really enjoying it a lot

cheers
RawHit
post #2 of 11
Hello!

Happy to see you like your new card. I have the same card too and I'm really happy for selecting it to replace my old Live! Platinum which suffered from a horrible hiss and resampling to 48 kHz just to name a few. The headphone out from the front panel is not particularly strong but it's enough to drive my Koss Sporta Pro -heaphones when gaming. I use those heaphones because they have a great bass and give quite a good sound for the meager price.

Remember that when you plan to do some line in / digital in -recording set the master clock to external. It took a little time for me to figure this one out

Maxi
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Maxi
thanx for the tip.
By the way did you notice any burn-in effect for the card? ie did the card sound better after some usage?

cheers
RawHit
post #4 of 11
i have this card and i think it sounds great as well. i don't understand how a rumor got started about their drivers either, as i can't see anything being worse than drivers from creative's sound blaster liveware crap. my install was totally clean, although i do use windows 2000 professional.

yeah, the headphone out kinda sucks.. but it works and it's pleasant enough if you don't have a headphone amp around.

i have now pretty much designated the ra-1 to this duty. i plug it via the line out rca's on the console and listen away and it sounds really good. someday i may hookup my msg dac to the digital outs on the front.. i bet that'll sound even better.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by rawhit
Maxi
thanx for the tip.
By the way did you notice any burn-in effect for the card? ie did the card sound better after some usage?

cheers
RawHit
I don't know if it was phychological or not but with me it took some time getting use to the card's sound after the SB experience. I also modified my EQ settings (at Winamp) so I don't know what exactly got burnt-in (the man or the card).

I haven't used the (analog) line-in so I don't know if setting the master clock to external (in the settings -page of the front panel -program) is required there. What I do know is that you will have to do it when recording via digital in.

And about the driver problems...I may have something to do with this. I bough the card quite early when it was released and experienced some horrible playback problems (crackling) which I reported to them (Terratec) and to some web boards. Later I found out that it was actually the combination of my old SB Live! card + VIA chipset which was the root of the problem. Apparently the SB hogged the PCI-bus of resources so the new card didn't even have a chance of working right. Anyway, after removing the Live! card the new Terratec card lost the playback problems which I though were driver issues. I feel bad about the entire thing which was not the new card's fault to begin with.

Maxi
post #6 of 11
thanks for your comments on this card, maxi. My SB Live! POS is long overdue for removal, however at $250 I won't be getting this card anytime soon.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Maxi thanx for your input. I am also running both Live and Terratec cards at the same time in my system but I did not face any problem.

Grinch u've got an awesome collection of toys man. How does the 6 Fire compare to the other sources you have?

I will be getting a Creek OBH11SE soon so I wont be using the headphone out of the card. Ive heard only good things about the Creek + Grado combo. Till then I will have to do with the headphone out of of the card which is ok though its not outstanding

FYI Terratec has released new drivers just 10 days ago which are available for download.

cheers
RawHit
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by rawhit
Maxi thanx for your input. I am also running both Live and Terratec cards at the same time in my system but I did not face any problem.
As said I think it's the SB Live! + VIA chipset (motherboard using this chipset) combo that was the real problem behind my proble. But I suspect that it also depends on what other cards do you have in your system and how they interact with each other. Also you might be lucky one that has the critical settings (BIOS, DMA, IRQ) right from the start. I'm happy that I didn't have to go there in order to correct my crackling-problem because that would probably end up with me reinstalling the operating system (= not fun).

Edit: Rawhide, thanx for the heads-up but already downloaded

Maxi
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally posted by rawhit
Grinch u've got an awesome collection of toys man. How does the 6 Fire compare to the other sources you have?
quite frankly, i have not been using my home computer at all lately. when i originally bought the dmx 6fire, it sat in the box for a few months. then i was bored one weekend and installed it and played with it a bit, and i really like it. i just haven't been using my computer at all lately; no internet connection at home (posting with my workstation at work.. i usually work, i swear..).

but anyway, this is a long poor-excuse for me not having a/b'd the 6fire against my other sources. i haven't brought over any nice interconnects to plug into the ra-1 either, but someday i will.

however, for me it's really more of a convenience than anything else. listening to high-quality mp3s is always more convenient for me; i am the laziest man ever. a few simple clicks and i have a whole new album to listen to, as oppose to getting up, going to my cds, finding the one i want, putting it in my rega, etc. i'm just lazy. and i really really wanted to tear my sb live! **** card out of my wonderfully running computer (before liveware that is..).

anyway, i'm really happy with terratec's drivers and i'll be sure to upgrade as soon as i can remember to. thanks for the reminder. hope i helped some.
post #10 of 11

I love Terratec!

I've been a bit of a Terratec fan for a while, having heard two of their older cards a while back. I've been think of upgrading my SB Live! "sound" card for a while now, and I've been eyeing the DMX 6 fire for a while now. I think I am convinced.

post #11 of 11
Neruda: If you don't need the front module, you could also consider the LT version - it's available over here for ~ 145 Euro (incl. 16 % vat).

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
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