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Auzentech X-fi Bravura 7.1 Sneak Peek - Page 13

post #181 of 445
Should I get this to go with my 555?
The mode change system thats on the card, is there a need to use that with 555? How good is this with music when compared to Xonar ST? (Atleast Bravura is 1/3 cheaper and I have pretty tight budget)
post #182 of 445
Thread Starter 
The Bravura is a very nice sounding card. I used it with the HD595's and I set it to the mode that sounded the best to my ears. Each mode is outlined in the manual and on the site.
post #183 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
Are you asking if the card has a control panel like that or if the card decodes DD or DTS streams?

DD or DTS streams.

And a few more questions:
Also, what kind of "speaker virtualization" is it capable of?

Did you encounter any software glitch worth mentioning?
post #184 of 445
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kumaiti View Post
DD or DTS streams.

And a few more questions:
Also, what kind of "speaker virtualization" is it capable of?

Did you encounter any software glitch worth mentioning?
No, there hasn't been any modern cards that I can think of off hand that decodes S/Pdif streams for DD or DTS.
The Bravura has similar virtualization as other X-fi cards althoguh this is a software card. Such as CMSS3D and CMSS-3D for headphones...etc

No troubles...actually the drivers installed smooth and realy no glitches or bugs showed. I tested the card for quite awhile before I put down any words.
post #185 of 445
damn, it would have been the *perfect* soundcard for my current needs.

How would you compare the amp section on the Bravura with the amp on the Forte and the STX?
Does it compare to a standalone cheap (~$100, let's say) non-tube amp?

The "recording" specification from the review applies to the SPDIF-IN also?
In fact, did you do any testing with the SPDIF-in, can you comment anything about it?
post #186 of 445
Thread Starter 
The recording ADC on this card is OK, nothing fancy as I guess they wanted to keep the price down. The amplifiers on the Auzentech cards is discrete, meaning it is built from discrete components. The sound signature of both amps are different but electrically the amplifer has tons of power if you need it.
The amps on the Auzentech cards are known to sound quite good for an onboard amplifer. That being said you have to keep the price of the entire card in perspective in comparison to an external amplifer.
S/Pdif input is usually not noted in specifications as normal specificaitons that apply to analog have no place here. In short, providing there is nothing wrong with the input you shoudl get an exact copy on the input that was present on the output.

I usually do simple tests on digital I/O meaning if it works, all is well. If there is dropouts and glitchiness in the sound I will make a note of it for the reader. I have the S/Pdif output connected to a DAC as we speak for testing.
To note, the S/Pdif output on these cards is great though as it is transformer coupled and that is the prefered design for S/pdif output for many.

What are your needs?
post #187 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
The amps on the Auzentech cards are known to sound quite good for an onboard amplifer. That being said you have to keep the price of the entire card in perspective in comparison to an external amplifer.
I would like to criticize the bolded part, if I may.

First: for an onboard amplifer.
I am not an audiophile, I am completely new to this "hobby". I have absolutely no experience with enternal amplifiers of any kind. And considering the review is posted in a computer-oriented website, I am very sure the vast majority of the readers are at the same level as I am.
Maybe I should be posting these questions at Guru3D, but I digress...

Keeping that in mind, let me make a comparison: if someone says "the sound is good for an onboard soundcard", anyone who has listened to an onboard and discrete soundcards of the same generation will know that it is a good sound but not nearly as good as the sound from a discrete soundcard.

What if one didn't? Then he can't make any comparison. All he can do is turn to people who DID listen to both and have experience and ask.

Now, let me ask: what does that "for an onboard amplifier" mean? Does it mean that, like an onboard soundcard, the sound is just "reasonable" but never as good as discrete soundcard?

In short: can you elaborate more from your experience with dozens of external amplifiers (come on, I am sure you had your share of cheap amps...) to give us "computer people" a better idea of the value of these cards as an alternative to a external amp?

Second: you have to keep the price of the entire card in perspective in comparison to an external amplifer.

Again, let me point you to your audience on Guru3D: we are from all around the world. And it is not all around the world you can find amps at all price ranges.
So, sometimes it is necessary for us to compare parts that are of different price ranges. For example: here where I live I am stuck between a STX at $185 or a very very simple external amp at $160. And since return policies here are basically non-existant, I have nowhere to turn other than the reviews to ask "THE" question: how does it compare? Is the STX (or Forte or Bravura) as good as an amp at that price? Is it MUCH worse?
ANd that is something that only someone with lots of experience with amp can honestly tell.


In short: sometimes a simple "this is a very good amp but not as good as a $100, or even a $50 external amp" or "this amp is very close to a $200 amp I have here" can be EXTREMELY useful for your audience to evaluate the value on these cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
What are your needs?
Very shortly: other than being a good soundcard, be able to plug my xbox and make use of the built-in amp when gaming on it.
post #188 of 445
Thread Starter 
I said the sound is good for an onboard AMPLIFIER.
OK, the amp and card sounds great, just saying that if you are asking if it will surpass a high end expensive can amplifer it won't. That being said I find it sounded really good and enjoyed the sound very much on my cans.

You can plug in a S/Pdif signal from a gaming console but you will have to use normal PCM no encoded Dolby Digital or DTS.
post #189 of 445
What about a low-end like this:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f137/p...o-ject-372497/


Or maybe the cheapest Little Dot MK, which is better know in this forum?
post #190 of 445
Thread Starter 
I have never heard that unit. What cans are you using?
Another great aspect of the Amp in the Bravura is the swappable opamp. You can tune the signature to your taste or to have a better synergy with your cans.

I think if you just want something to go from your X-Box to a set of headphones you might want to go with a DAC/AMP or a set of "gamer" type cans with a built in Dolby Decoder.

If this is your intended use, you have to consider signal latency also on a soundcard.
As it is possible the latency would be higher of a signal coming from the digital input routing through the card -adding any effects you want- then on to the amplifer.
post #191 of 445
sound from the xbox is just part of the needs. Actually, it would be just icing on the cake because I already have a dolby decoder. It is a looooong story which is just plain OT, so I will just leave that at.

I have considered a DAC/AMP. Deciding between a DAC/AMP and one of these high-end soundcards (which cost less than half of the cheapest DAC/AMP I can find around here) is the main reason I am trying hard to understand how good is the amp on them.
And I don't have any noteworthy headphones. I plan to get one together with the "source". Probably an ATH-AD700 or an AKG 271mkII.


Back on topic:

Does the input from the SPDIF go straight to the DAC?
post #192 of 445
Quote:
I have never heard that unit.
Well, any other unit between $100 and $200 that you have access would be a nice comparison. I know it is not on the same price level as the card, but an interesting comparison nonetheless for the reasons I mentioned before.
post #193 of 445
Thread Starter 
The card has good sound, from the line outs or the amplifier.
If it has features you want grab it up...if not look at something else.

No the S/Pdif input would NOT go straight to the DAC. It would go through the chipset first
for any processing or routing.
That's why I said there may be a issue with latency with such a setup as I have seen it before with other cards.
post #194 of 445
Is it ok (safe) to connect a stereo amplifier to the headphone output, in order to benefit from the better DAC? I did it and everything seems allright, but I just want to make sure. Thanks.
Great review ROBSCIX!
post #195 of 445
Thread Starter 
NO. You can do it but you can overdrive your amplifers inputs.

The front "speaker" outputs on this card are called Line-level outputs. They are industry standard for conencting to other gear such as amplifers.
If I was you I woudl use the front line outputs.

Thanx for the kind words.
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