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x-fi xtrememusic vs m-audio audiophile 24/96

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
the title says it all . Which one is better for music ? ( not games)

thank you , I have senns 595
post #2 of 33
The 2496 is comparible to the emu0404. 2 years ago, i chose the emu0404 blindly over the 2496. I can say the emu0404 is astonishing.
X-fi is more of a package soundcard, bought emu and copied their chip.
Hell, why not consider the emu over the 2496. Unless the 2496 is more appropriate with the rca outputs?
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
dont know really ,

I just want a good analog output , I just bought my new senns 595 and I dont want to spend right now some money on external dacs but I was wondering for those cards I mentioned above

thanks
post #4 of 33
Well the sound you'll be getting directly out of a soundcard wont be too great. You obviously need some amplification.
post #5 of 33
You could just get e-mu 0202usb (around $100) or 0404usb (around $165). Both have built-in headamps which should be sufficient for HD 595. Not to mention an external card is a lot more convenient ("real" volume knobs, etc.)
post #6 of 33
X-Fi drives 595 very easily, so does my Santa Cruz, I expect M-Audio would too.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatticus View Post
X-Fi drives 595 very easily, so does my Santa Cruz, I expect M-Audio would too.

With no amplification? Surprising. I just wouldnt think it'd be too dynamic.

Ahriman-the external 0404 sounds good. Was going to replace my internal 0404 but then though I'd save for a system. The 0202 even better at that price, but not sure of the sound quality difference. If its follows anything of the 0404, it cant be bad.
post #8 of 33

My 25 cents...

I find the M-Audio 2496 to sound a little dull. It is quite smooth and accurate but the newer PCI cards have more detail. I mean like the E-MU 0404, M-Audio AP192, and the M-Audio Revolution 5.1.

The Revo has a good price (<$100) and sounds quite good if you bypass the output caps. They are mounted thru-hole so it's not too difficult to remove and replace them with wire jumpers. And it has a dedicated headphone jack with a decent amp, dual op-amps per channel and 25 ohms output impedance. The other 6 channels have single op-amps and 50 ohms output impedance.

Oh, and 192khz playback for stereo, 96khz for 6 channels, ASIO capable. Good coax SPDIF output and good stereo line level recording up to 96/24.

I don't work for M-Audio, I just tried a lot of cards, including an E-MU 1212m (great detail, low jitter, inconvenient software) and the Revo5 works best for me with PC music, both headphones and speakers.
post #9 of 33
Thats a lot of specs in the revo. I'll vouch for a lot of detail with the 0404. I dont know what I'd do without the patchmix dsp software with it though. It works wonders for equalisation.
What cambridge soundworks speakers do you have?
I used the fps1000 from 2000 to this time last year. They served me well for what they were.
post #10 of 33
Thread Starter 

:)

thanks

So what about meridian and other cards ? ( like esi juli@ for example ) I just want to buy one card and sound great with my headphones , are the above cards any better than the x-fi xtrememusic which can be bought for very cheap ? Is it going to really matter the dac of the soundcard , opamps etc ?

Thanks for your inputs
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by mer View Post
thanks

So what about meridian and other cards ? ( like esi juli@ for example ) I just want to buy one card and sound great with my headphones , are the above cards any better than the x-fi xtrememusic which can be bought for very cheap ? Is it going to really matter the dac of the soundcard , opamps etc ?

Thanks for your inputs
The Julia I was told at my local music store where I got my 0404 from was a 'nice card'. The guy there said they sound all similiar. Not exactly specific but thats the best I can give you.
the extreme music isnt just for music really. You have to remember that creative has a lot of marketing to their products.
I would purely advise on getting the 2496 or the 0404 because I have the 0404 and can say its utterly amazing. I'll never get rid of it. Not if you paid me.

Regarding dac and opamps. Of course these matter, some people have modded emus opamps. I wouldnt know what one looks like or bother messing around. The DAC on emus are brilliant.

Go 4 the emu!!!!!!
post #12 of 33
Julia has no headamp and also has no headphone jack. Investigate ESI maya--it has a dedicated amplified headphone out. I can only compare x-fi to e-mu 0404 usb, and x-fi sounded a bit more metallic in the highs, a bit more smeared in the bass, and overall the timbre is less pleasant and there is a tad less detail. However, in absolute terms the differences are fairly subtle. Juli@ is slightly less detailed than 0404usb, if the digit-life review is to be believed (and I don't see why not, their testing equipment far exceeds what 99% of head-fiers have). At the same time, the difference may not be as noticeable on HD 595. Also, it seems Juli@ has more stable drivers.

Overall, I think you'll be fine with any of these cards. Just keep in mind that Juli@, 1212M, 0404 (internal) will not properly drive your headphones without an amp, not sure about audiophile 2496.
post #13 of 33
Thread Starter 
"Just keep in mind that Juli@, 1212M, 0404 (internal) will not properly drive your headphones without an amp, not sure about audiophile 2496."

Is this true ? My 595 are 50 ohm why shouldn't they be driven properly ? I currently have a very old and cheap hercules fortissimo soundcard and max volume is VERY loud . Does this mean that there is enough "juice" to drive them ? Maybe just because I get enough volume doesnt mean they are driven properly ?

I just want a mp3->sound card->headphones . I believe there are some soundcards that are on par with external dacs . External dacs have nothing better except they are ... ugh external . If they used the same dacs on soundcards and external dacs and compared them ... only if there would be very much electrical noise would one understand the difference ... I think
post #14 of 33
Line outs are not designed to drive low-ohm loads. Line inputs have impedances on the order of 10K Ohm, and that's what line outs should be connected to. Doesn't mean that there is no freak exception, but on most soundcards, you'll experience bad bass rolloff and distortion if you connect headphones directly to line out. Loudness has nothing to do with quality. Plus, the cards I mentioned just have no headphone jack, period. You'll have to buy/build TS/minijack adapter or something, and the quality will still be subpar. Not sure why you want to invest in a nice card and cripple it like that.

Juli@ and so on deserve better than MP3, as well. If you don't plan to use lossless files, just get a revo 5.1--new revisions should be at least on par with audiophile 2496.
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
why you say there is no difference ... I am sure there is some better card out there or some of those I mention that have a better analog output + headphones . My hercules fortissimo 3 have a headphone out ( which is only for headphone out ... no other use... you can select from the software control panel whether you want headphone output or line output ) and it's driving my senns 595 very good as volume is concerned and it's a very old and cheap card . I am sure some card out there have a proper output for 50ohm headphone output and the quality is for the analog out part of the pcb and the dac and op-amps ... so maybe the auzen have some better offerings there ? Dont know

btw playing mp3 at 320kbits and flacs can show the soundstage of the overall quality etc...

thanks
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