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Terratec SoundSystem DMX 6fire 24/96 any good?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well, someone has offer me a Terratec SoundSystem DMX 6fire 24/96. I am very tempted to buy it but just like to seek out advice or comments on this soundcard before I jump into the bandwagon of audiophile grade soundcard. I have to say I really hate the SBLive Value in my case, it hiss like a pig when I connect it to an int. amp. I am desperate for a replacement. My requirements are:

1. Slient background sound;
2. Audiophile quality RCA output at least on par to a USD200 CDP or any high end PCDP.
3. With lots of audio outputs: at least 2 optical (toslink/RCA) outputs, 1 for my MD deck and one optical out for me to connect to a 5.1 amp for DVD watching;
4. 2 sets of standard stereo RCA connectors: 1 for int. amp and the other for my HP amp so don't I don't have to connect cables in and out daily.
5. No requirement for audio inputs. I don't record/ play with midi
6. Let me play a bit of not-so-fancy games if I am in the mood.
7. Doesn't post that much resource drain on my already a been outdated PC

To sum up, sound presentation matters. So is it wise to get the Terratec SoundSystem DMX 6fire 24/96 that my friend is offering or should I take a look a USD DAC such as the stereo-link instead. So, fella, suggestions and advices please. Also will greatly appreciate if any head-fier can point me to a nice review of the captioned product on the net. How much would be a fair 2nd hand value for the item?
post #2 of 7
i love mine. it works/sounds great.. haven't really done many a/b comparisons though, i was just sooo happy to get rid of the live! **** i had. it sounds much much better than my sb live! platinum, if that's any help.

it has one set of rca outputs (line out) on the front panel, but you could probably use the speaker out too if you needed to. i use the line out into my headphone amp.

it only has one optical line out, but it has one coxial line out as well (which universally sounds better, i hear *pun*). so you can probably use both with your equipment.
post #3 of 7
I recently bought the 6Fire to replace my SBLive card and im very happy with the upgrade.

The sound quality is a lot better than the SBLive and it doesnt have the hiss problem. It is detailed without being harsh or grainy.
I cant compare it to standalone cdps as I dont have one.

As far as the outputs are concerned they are more than sufficient for me. But 6 Fire has only one output for each type of connector. ie 1 optical, 1 coax digital, 1 RCA so it doesnt support 2 outputs as you want.

6Fire supports EAX2 and sensura APIs but I havent tested it with games so I cant comment on the performance

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the input, RawHit. You sum up the 6Fire's capability quite well and I found it consistent with what I read online. Can you please also comment on the abiliy of decoding DTS/AC3 from DVD. Is this software decoding or hardware?

For others who have the same dilemma as me. I found a review at www.tomshardware.com where the reviewer compares 6Fire with Adiugy.
post #5 of 7
<in addition to RawHit and grinch>

katsudon1: I don't know a single soundcard, that would fulfill all of your desires at once. But as grinch said, you could abuse the speaker out as second line out, too. For doubling the optical out (if you can't connect your your digital surround amp by electrical s/p-dif) you could use an optical splitter or optical switcher.

One thing to beware: The 6fire offers no Soundblaster compatibility for DOS games - so if you are into these, you'd better go the Audigy Platinum or Hercules Game Theater XP route...

Sound quality compared quite well to a HK standalone dvd player, when I tested the 6fire. Neverlessless, hiss is not only soundcard-, but also pc-dependable.

And AC3 decoding is done in software - like with most other other soundcards, as long as you don't chose S/P-DIF-RAW-output. Then the soundcard leaves the decoding up to the external decoder (well, actually the DVD player software tells the sound driver to switch the soundcard to S/P-DIF-RAW-output - and the sound driver is smart enough not decode anything, when raw digital output is needed... ).

And if you tell me about your hardware, I might even be able to tell you, whether your machine is fast enough, because Sensaura and its emulations are also done in software with the 6fire... I'd recommend to use at least a Pentium III/Athlon 600 MHz class machine.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
post #6 of 7
DTS/AC3 decoding is done in software (WinDVD/PowerDVD etc)unless you use the raw output mode in which case the card passes on the bitstream to the external decoder.
works fine on my ancient system with PIII 500 + 192 MB RAM

though I did not face any problems like hissing it might depend on other hardware in the system

post #7 of 7
Unless the 6Fire has 6 channel output, there is no reason to do AC3/DTS decoding. I don't see how that would do anything considering that it would still need to output it digitally, and therefore would require to be decoded anyways. All the 6Fire needs to do is pass on the encoded information.

As for two toslink outputs, you don't really need it. Generally, the only devices that requires toslink are MiniDisc players. Coaxial is actually better, so you should connect your 5.1 amp to that (must reciever have coaxial also).

If you need two analog outputs, how about connecting one of them to the 5.1 amp or int. amp? I suppose there would be some signal degradation...but some amps have direct pass-through outputs (allowing the signal to pass through the amp with little distortion). The difference could be indestigishible. Acutally, your 5.1 reciever may even have a better DAC than the 6Fire, so you could even use that for all your analog outputs (and get better sound than the 6Fire).

But if you don't want to do this, there is another option that comes the mind...use an Art DI/O. connect it to the coax digital output and then you would have an additional analog output and another coax. You would also get much better analog output from the DI/O compared to the sound card directly. The digital should be relative untouched.

I also don't suggest using the speaker outputs. The internal amp in the sound card must be really bad, so you'd get pretty bad sound. The impedance and power coming out of those jacks are also not suitable to be fed into another amp (it could really damage it).
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