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I was skeptical, but ASIO made a huge difference

post #1 of 74
Thread Starter 
I don't like snake oil. I'm not big into expensive cables. I stay the course. I read everything and rarely post. But I have to say that using ASIO in Winamp and Foobar 2000 made a huge difference in the sound of my PC based audio system!

Essentially, I've been piecing together an audio system in my office for the last 12 months or so. I previously had a system made up of Klipsch Promedia 2.1's being driven by the built in sound on my PC's motherboard using itunes. I'm not sure why I dealt with this so long since I've spent thousands on my main system at home, but I did.

I bought a Trends TA-10.1 amp that sat in my closet for 6 months. Then I bought some Tekton Design 4.5" full range speakers. Then an E-MU 0404. And finally, I switched to using both Winamp and Foobar 2000 last week. Up until yesterday, I didn't bother loading up the ASIO plugins. But when I did, it was like that Claritin commercial where they have a fuzzy filter over the image and then remove it after the person takes a Claritin. It was amazing! I can't believe what I was missing. I even had my wife do a blind AB comparison last night. And if she can tell a difference than it for sure isn't just a placebo effect.

Anyway, I just wanted to spread the word to those who haven't spent the few minutes making ASIO work. It made a significant difference in the sound quality on my system. Hopefully it will do the same for yours.
post #2 of 74
Hmm, what is this ASIO and where can I get it? I did a search on Google for "Winamp ASIO" but came up with nothing.
post #3 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by cps View Post
Anyway, I just wanted to spread the word to those who haven't spent the few minutes making ASIO work. It made a significant difference in the sound quality on my system. Hopefully it will do the same for yours.
Yup, I would dump my music server today if I couldn't use ASIO. BTW, are you using Win XP or Vista?
post #4 of 74
cps

A slight side-step, but how do you like the Tektons. I had been looking at those exact ones for a while and not sure if I would like them. TO give you a frame of reference I have Martin Logan Monoliths upstairs and $600 Audes 2ways on my desk, but listening so clode and quitely as I do while working the music sounds a bit lifeless and disjointed. How do they sound to you - good and bad points. Thanks.
post #5 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L View Post
Yup, I would dump my music server today if I couldn't use ASIO. BTW, are you using Win XP or Vista?
I'm using XP and I couldn't be happier. I'm not opposed to using Vista but XP is still viable and doing everything I want it to do.

Nice eyecandy in Vista though...
post #6 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gyrodec View Post
cps

A slight side-step, but how do you like the Tektons. I had been looking at those exact ones for a while and not sure if I would like them. TO give you a frame of reference I have Martin Logan Monoliths upstairs and $600 Audes 2ways on my desk, but listening so clode and quitely as I do while working the music sounds a bit lifeless and disjointed. How do they sound to you - good and bad points. Thanks.
Well I've heard of the Martin Logan Monoliths but I haven't heard them. Same goes for the Audes.

Since this is my first experience with full range drivers, my point of view is somewhat narrow. But, I can only the describe the Tektons as a breath of coherent fresh air. For my office (15x20), these little Fostex drivers are amazing. They have a sizeable soundstage with great imaging. They also sound more cohesive than anything else I've heard in a while. In my opinion, they have a little trouble with hard rock and any music with too much going on. Things seem to get lost a bit. Oh, and one more thing, they sound fine on their own, but I believe a small sub is almost necessary. I almost bought the 6 1/2" version, but the designer felt so strongly about the 4 1/2" drivers that I went with his suggestion.

My office enviroment has some issues mainly with too many hard surfaces (hard wood floor, large 7' desk, lots of glass from framed art on the walls). So I've had to work on that with strategically placed space rugs. I'm still working on a way to reduce the surface of the huge desk itself.

FYI, I am listening from about 7' away from the speakers themselves.
post #7 of 74
Personally I was skeptical about using Vista with ASIO as opposed to XP with ASIO. I prefer Vista hands down. I can actually hear how sucky the inbuilt soundcard is on my laptop.
post #8 of 74
In regards to the Tektons, Fostex sells all their drivers to the DIY market along with plans for recommended cabinet designs. As far as I know all the Fostex speakers are straight full range designs with no crossover. Just the speaker, and wood (MDF in this case) for that they seem kinda expensive (they do look well made however).

It's not for everyone; but if you build the cabinet yourself you could have have the same speaker for a fraction of the cost. You could probably have a professional cabinet maker build them from hard wood to spec and it still probably be cheaper (and they wouldn't be orange).
post #9 of 74
Okay, you guys convinced me to tinker around with the ASIO foobar2000 plug-in until I got it working...

Wow, that is a noticeable difference! So glad I finally took the time to get it working!

Too bad most of the time I need to use iTunes though...
post #10 of 74
I would assume you are listening to lossless files that were ripped from CD using EAC (Exact Audio Copy)?

Welcome to club foobar2000/ASIO!
post #11 of 74
I always suspected that ASIO's performance gain comes mostly from it being louder. My experience with ASIO was favorable initially until I realized that I can't tell the difference when I use DirectSound in WinAmp with max volume on all the controls.

- DoA
post #12 of 74
What version of Foobar are you using. I tried the last one with Asio and the sound quality was disappointing.
post #13 of 74
Couldn't hear any improvements using asio4all with mediamonkey, so I just switched back, for crossfade & gapless playback.
post #14 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesL View Post
Couldn't hear any improvements using asio4all with mediamonkey, so I just switched back, for crossfade & gapless playback.
That's a bummer. But that's why I said it made a difference on my system.

With the latest version of Foobar 2000 or Winamp, all lossless FLAC files and the above mentioned hardware in my system, there is a noticeable, non volume related difference in the quality of sound produced.

I had neighbor over yesterday and he confirmed the same in a blind AB comparison. For those of you who can't hear a difference or hear something worse, maybe its related to your hardware?

I hope others have a chance to load the ASIO plugin or DLL and see for themselves.
post #15 of 74
my foobar stops if it;s trying to play songs with different sampling rate. is there any way to make it skip those songs rather than give error and stop the playback?
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