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[Gaming] Auzentech Forte vs Essence STX + which OS? - Page 3

post #31 of 53
Not that I can think of. Not from a S/Pdif digital input.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicHSAD View Post
Why is it too close? I'm sure it would fit perfectly on the top of the video card. It will be close, but they wouldn't be putting slots there if you could not use them.

If you do not need the multi channel capabilities of the D2X, then yeah, I think paying a little extra for the Essence would be well worth it. Again, better sound quality and you get an headphone amp..

You can get Essence STX for 197$ + 10$ next day shipping here: ASUS Xonar Essence STX PCI-E1 SPDIF Sound Card 124DB SNR W/ Headphone AMP - DirectCanada

That's where I ordered mine a couple of months ago.

Edit: Even cheaper here: 1click2computers - Buy Mfg's Part-#:XONAR ESSENCE STX online in Canada
Well Im sort of a noob so this might sound stupid:

My Logitech Speakers (Z5500's) have digital coax and optical, and also have 6 channel direct (green black orange) analog. So my question is, I will be able to hook my DT770's up to the headphone jack and then connect my Z5500's up to the optical out jack, and still be able to listen to music and watch movies on my z5500's in surround sound and have the capability for headphone sound as well?

Another card I was looking at was the HDAV 1.3 Deluxe, with that additional DAC. Is it a decent card worth looking at for a hefty price, or since Ive been semi-content with my xfi extreme audio for a while then maybe Im better off saving some bucks and going with the Essence STX? Its just, all I want to be able to do is have my headphones set up as well as my 5.1 Z5500's through optical out and be able to listen to my headphones or my 5.1 depending on what I feel like without having to switch wires around every time?
post #33 of 53
You can decide whether you want the card to output to the headphone jack or the speakers, so no cable switching needed. Since you would be using optical, you would also be able to output to both the headphone jack and the digital out at the same time.

I had the Z-5500 before, but I never used them through optical. I'm really not sure how they would react to a stereo source through optical or even a game configured to output surround sound. Kind of a shame to be using the digital out though because you'd be bypassing the Essence's excellent DAC for the one on your speakers.
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicHSAD View Post
You can decide whether you want the card to output to the headphone jack or the speakers, so no cable switching needed. Since you would be using optical, you would also be able to output to both the headphone jack and the digital out at the same time.

I had the Z-5500 before, but I never used them through optical. I'm really not sure how they would react to a stereo source through optical or even a game configured to output surround sound. Kind of a shame to be using the digital out though because you'd be bypassing the Essence's excellent DAC for the one on your speakers.
A shame? That way he can use dolby digital live on his soundcard and the Z-5500 little receiver as a decoder and have DD 5.1 surround. I think it will be much better for games.
post #35 of 53
But I thought the DAC only did 2 speaker, no 5.1 analog?

*Edit: Post #666
post #36 of 53
Since the speakers are 5.1 then obviously going digital will be much better as you wouldn't get 5.1 sound out of the Essence's analog output. I guess I was just saying that had they been stereo speakers, going analog would be better.
post #37 of 53
Alchemy is so difficulte to use, you have to have the game supporting OpanAL in the 1st place, than enable it in the Alchemy... while Xonar just need a single button.

Anyways, to me they are all SW simulations, not sure why still think Alchemy is better than Xonar, if there's any, probably due to the closeness of Creative on it's proprietary stuff, and I really hate them for that, even Microsoft allowed all HW vendors to make DirectX compatible HW.
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbieyao View Post
Alchemy is so difficulte to use, you have to have the game supporting OpanAL in the 1st place, than enable it in the Alchemy... while Xonar just need a single button.
.
Eh? OpenAL games don't require Alchemy at all. Plus you only have to set AlChemy once for each game. With Xonar you may need to change every time you change games.

In other news my SU-DH1 has arrived so should be able to give it a listen over the weekend. That was quick. Japan to the UK in 3 days. Didn't get hit by customs either.
post #39 of 53
I had to manually configure Alchemy for half of the games that I wanted to play when I had my X-fi. The Essence just does everything on its own. Not that I ever use EAX though.
post #40 of 53
Well a quick test of Xonar D2 vs Victor SU-DH1 indicates that their dolby headphone implementations are pretty close to identical. Any sound quality differences are close enough to put down to differences in DACs etc. Importantly for me, I consider musical performance to be adequate on the SU-DH1 when using DH without PL2.

For music it's essential that bit-matched PCM is used if using a digital connection to the SU-DH1. Anything else sounds tinny.

For some reason, the SU-DH1 won't work with 96KHz PCM if using the AC adaptor (I'm using a 3v adaptor from a Sony Minidisc Walkman). It's fine on batteries. That's a bit annoying really. Any idea why that would be?

I think I'll go ahead with swapping in the X-Fi. To be honest, the sound from the Xonar is marginally superior but there's not a lot in it.

Edit: Prologic IIx on the Xonar is far, far superior to Prologic II on the SU-DH1 but I hardly ever use it anyway.
post #41 of 53
Gah. Nuts. Installed my OEM Xtreme Music and it works very well for about 5-10 minutes then pretty soon it's snap, crackle, pop all over the place. Same with analogue connection, DDL or DTS connect. Renders it pretty much unusable. I'm pretty sure it's the old X-Fi 4GB Vista x64 issue rearing its ugly head. So currently changed BIOS settings to run at 3GB. Marginally better than the last Creative X-Fi I had, which steadfastly refused to play any sound at all with 4GB.

This X-Fi doesn't output PCM over optical, which is really annoying too. The only way to get digital sound out of it is with the DDL/DTS Connect Pack.

Tried every driver going. The ones that came on the CD just didnt' work (same glorious silence I had with the previous Creative X-Fi). Been through latest Creative (snap crackle pop), plus DanielK modded (snap crackle pop), DanielK Forte (snap crackle pop) and DanielK Beta Prelude (no compatible hardware)...

Just ordered a 2nd hand Prelude on ebay as I had one before and I know it should work with 4GB RAM and output PCM. This isn't quite the cheap sidestep I'd envisaged...

By the way - when it's briefly working - X-Fi to DDL to SU-DH1 sounds fantastic in games. I fired up Assassin's Creed, an EAX4 title. The reverb effects aren't as heavy as on Xonar but the X-Fi's MacroFX and Elevation Filter make positioning sound more natural. Better than Xonar with DH and gives me that fantastic DH out of head experience that I never got with CMSS-3D headphone alone.
post #42 of 53
Prelude is in. All working fine with 4GB. A quick check in Assassins Creed indicates that games sound notably better. X-Fi working fantastically with Dolby Headphone.

Bit matched PCM from SPDIF output to SU-DH1 with DH1 sounds great for music.

Happy days.
post #43 of 53
The Prelude and Forte are pretty much the tops cards for hardware based gaming.
Enjoy.
post #44 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ear8dmg View Post
By the way - when it's briefly working - X-Fi to DDL to SU-DH1 sounds fantastic in games. I fired up Assassin's Creed, an EAX4 title. The reverb effects aren't as heavy as on Xonar but the X-Fi's MacroFX and Elevation Filter make positioning sound more natural. Better than Xonar with DH and gives me that fantastic DH out of head experience that I never got with CMSS-3D headphone alone.
So I take it that means the EAX implementation works better on the X-Fi in combination with DH?

Also how are you doing bitmached? Foobar wasapi or something else?
post #45 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post
So I take it that means the EAX implementation works better on the X-Fi in combination with DH?

Also how are you doing bitmached? Foobar wasapi or something else?
It's difficult to describe the difference between Assassins Creed on Xonar and on X-Fi. Reverberations sounds more natural on the X-Fi and distance perception is better. Dolby Headphone on Xonar sounds like you're in a room with a very good surround speaker setup. Combining Dolby Heapdhone with X-Fi sounds like you're in the environment.

I'm not sure if it's EAX that's doing it, or if X-Fi is just able to do 3d positioning better.

The difference is certainly Xonar -> X-Fi rather than Xonar -> SU-DH1 as I tried A/B with on Xonar with both the soundcard and the SU-DH1 doing the processing.

As for bitmatched, I'm essentially using SPDIF as a transport (it's a separate device in Windows sound manager, other than speakers). Set it as the default sound device prior to starting your media player and set bit rate accordingly. Dolby digital live needs to be turned off on the prelude to get it to work. At the moment I'm having to flick through settings manually to do it. It's a bit of a pain, and you can't apply any X-Fi processing (which for music isn't a bad thing IMO). I accidentally listened to some music with the Crystallizer turned on. Overwhelming bass all over everything. Horrible.

I did briefly try out CMSS-3D headphone again and it's as I remembered. No sense I'm wearing anything other than headphones and no sense of distance in front of me. Dolby Headphone clearly suits me better.

Edit: I could be wrong about macroFX and elevation filter. The Prelude won't let me turn them on unless I'm using CMSS-3D Headphone. Maybe they're headphone only. I think I could turn them on with speakers on the Xtreme Music. Mystery...
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