Originally Posted by lag0a
I don't really want to learn all the specifics but just get some straight forward knowledge and answers/testimonies enough to satisfy my curiosity. Any little information helps.
Ok, here's a simple testimonial - I use a $75 modified EMU 0404 PCI to feed a $800 headphone setup at work and use a $50 modified X-Fi XtremeMusic to feed my $5000+ headphone and speaker setup at home.
Though I am looking at getting a slightly better I2S source, but getting it configured with my DAC at the moment is a serious "work in progress"; check back in a few months and I'll tell you how I got everything solved.
As pure transport, there are lots of good, super low jitter, perfectly timed, bit-perfect, pulse transformer-coupled sound cards (such as EMU 0404 PCI, ESI Juli@ and with a little modding, most X-Fi cards for that matter). I've compared about 10 sound cards so far and my conclusion has been that I prefer coax over optical and that pulse transformer coupled sounds best.
Originally Posted by obobskivich
its about that time of month FA, you get the goat, I'll get the axe
LOL! Something makes me thing tha lag0a
should run fast, looks like you already have his head lined up for the chopping block!
Not for any unjust reason by the way; lag0a
- you want to learn a little the nature of what you're asking about before asking incredibly vague and over-simplified questions or you won't understand the response and basically make it hard to answer your question. Here's a good analogy - I'm sure you know a little about cars so what's better, a Hummer or a Ferrari? I'm sure you'll give me a blank stare and ask "in which way?" on-road or off-road, in terms of towing capacity and room or aerodynamics and probably another thousand factors to judge by. Well, you just asked the same thing in terms of audio.
There is no such thing (as far as I know and this may be arguable) as an "external sound card", but there are DACs that have "plug and play" functionality with common computer operating systems. I'd also swear that none of them have the same capabilities as internal soundcards, just look at the X-Fi engine for gaming effects.