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Auzentech X-fi Bravura 7.1 Sneak Peek - Page 7

post #91 of 445
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incognito73 View Post
... so effectively one can choose how to ground the card.
LOL, I just said that.
post #92 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
Yes, LME49720NA.....NA is the DIp8 version.
But you post said HA unless you meant you put HA's in it. And I was just confused.
post #93 of 445
To these who have got their hands on this card, how is this when compared to Xonar ST/X when listening with headphones? Is Xonar worth paying 70e more? And yes, only for headphone use, music and movies no gaming.

I have Sennheiser HD 555 atm so would I get much improvement from the amp that comes with the card? At least source gets much better because im using integrated so there should be a great difference in the sound right?
Thanks.
post #94 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
LOL, I just said that.
Indeed ... just realised I left my reply window open for ages without noticing if anyone posted something new ...

Anyhow, I did play with the card briefly this morning (front channel/speaker out only, stock set-up) ... it's fatiguing crystal clear, detailed and punchy (all sound enhancements are off) although not enough warmth - I'm probably used to Audiotrak. I left the card to loop the break-in flacs until I'm back later tonight so I may pop in LM4562 from Audiotrak too. At least to have some controlled environment for comparison. It's too early for any firm statements.

I did noticed briefly that noise isolation is quite good. No usual noise from surrounding PC components. Actually, my active speakers do have slight static noise when powered on ... but I couldn't audition any change in static noise pattern (or noise add-on) when the card is on/off. That's quite positive, for a change. I think that drivers are unstable atm. There is a loud pop/click when starting/stopping audio streams and/or skipping tracks (WASAPI or DS doesn't matter). It's quote annoying. Also, WASAPI playback is somewhat unstable for me @ 24/96. Need to fiddle more.

At the end, speaker out is quite hot. I didn't measured the voltage, but at volume 10 my system is already loud. Volume is really kicking in. Didn't test the headphone out ... but if it's the same case there, I feel that this card shouldn't have problems to drive demanding headphones.

There are no more "creative audio modes". It's just entertainment mode now . Finally. I hate mode switching with passion.

By the way, Bravura is in my HTPC used for music/movies only.
post #95 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incognito73 View Post
There is a loud pop/click when starting/stopping audio streams and/or skipping tracks (WASAPI or DS doesn't matter).
I mentioned the exact same thing in my mini-review. It is at least comforting to know that I'm not the only one to experience this. The loud click sound, combined with a little noise, makes the headphone output useless for me when my Benchmark DAC1 PRE and even Denon AVR-4306 performs much better in this regard. I wonder what the issue is.

I also agree with you about the lack of warmth and extremely high volume.
post #96 of 445
Thread Starter 
You have this pop/click when starting music tracks? Are you using the proper sampling rate for the tracks?

It is just this card that has the entertainment mode as it is a different chipset.
post #97 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
You have this pop/click when starting music tracks? Are you using the proper sampling rate for the tracks?
Ah yes, upsampled or not ... doesn't matter. I had this from foobar via WASAPI. Interestingly enough, ASIO4ALL is OK and only had those damned pops when changing something on the audio driver level (for example changing the ASIO4ALL settings, changing the creative settings, sample rates etc). I'm 100% positive it's the driver stability. It's first driver release anyway.

As there is no native ASIO, Bravura is working nicely with ASIO4ALL. By using ReaRoute and REAPER itself as a decent VSThost, I managed to map all sound card channels, route LFE to the sub channel (Creative bass management is useless) and reactivate all my VST filters . Audio streams routing from WDM/MME to ASIO is not possible, of course. Boy, I miss ESI DirectWire. Only option is VAC (Virtual Audio Cable) but that give me terrible pops/crackle/skips when paired with ASIO4ALL. I think that I've read in the manual that you can make an S/PDIF loopback by jumpering the pins 3/4 positions (digital out/in pin on the card itself). That's only (possible) alternative for internal audio routing.

Quote:
It is just this card that has the entertainment mode as it is a different chipset.
Yeah, that's OK ... in a good way. I never realised why Creative enforced those useless modes "entertainment/games/creation". Completely unnecessary. Just give me one "good" mode with all APIs and extensions and I'm good.
post #98 of 445
Thread Starter 
Just figured you may be hearing a lick if the card is changing sampling rates on the fly...
I have seen that happen with some other cards.
No ASIO is a bit of a bummer, but oh well. Card sounds pretty good from what I have heard.
post #99 of 445
Yes, it does. Surprisingly good stock quality for analog outputs (still didn't test the hadphone amp) ... and boy this card is LOUD. Really pumping a lot of omph. Still have to fiddle with I/O modes. I'm very pleased with the interference-free sound. In my humble opinion, this is the first audio solution in PC land (i've auditioned) that it's free from PC interference "special effects".

It is a bright sounding solution, lively and involving ... but it does luck the warmth and character, which can be cured with different opamps probably and to suit personal preferences. (well, that's the point anyway with opamp sockets). For now, I can only test with LT1364/LT1361 and LM4562 (some left overs I have). Sadly, don't have any OPA627 or AD797 to possibly infuse some laid back warmth.

I wonder if dedicated headphone circuit is usable as preamp?!
post #100 of 445
For those wondering, I should clarify that I do not hear the awful clicking sound via SPDIF output; it is just the analog speaker and headphone outputs. Over SPDIF, this card has been working like a dream. Digital output with WASAPI is still completely stable and reliable for me.

As for loudness over analog, that really needs to be addressed. Prospective buyers need to know that they have to be VERY careful when first using this card's analog section by first turning the volume all the way down. I don't want anyone damaging their hearing and/or losing their speakers or headphones because of this.
post #101 of 445
Thread Starter 
The card is not said to have loud outputs, they are still within line level specs.
Are you refering to the headphone output?
That may have something to do with the modes.
I will check with Auzen and let you know hat I find in regards to the outputs.
Auzentech has made cards with "hot" outputs before but they usually make note of it.
post #102 of 445
People, Bravura is fantastic! Not sure if it's the break-in period or just that I settled down with working drivers/asio/wasapi configuration (or both)... but sound settled down. It's less harsh, more involving, more dimensional sound scape. It's still very bright, but not more on the fatiguing level. Even with stock JRC opamps, it's punching out way beyond it's weight. Just finished brief headphone amp auditioning and I'm overwhelmed! ... almost on the speechless side of things. It's driving my HD600 wonderfully and with such weight and detail (thanks LM opamp). I didn't even cross the 40% headphone volume. This is the first time in my life that I have pitch black background with PC sound card. Background noise and interference is most noticeable on the headphone outputs , but I can tell you that Bravura is pitch black. Absolutely no background noise! New no-noise power circuit is not marketing gimmick.

Not sure if anyone mentioned, but headphone amp is visible as separate sound device in windows, so you have completely separate control over the volume and configuration. Also, you can use headphone out as preamp ... no probs, but be careful with the volume! Output is hot and volume adjustment is advisable. Still have to do broader auditioning, but first impression is that headphone amp circuit kicks some serious ass.

I still didn't touch I/O modes. Not sure what's the default set (probably SET1 ... who knows). Still have to play with I/O modes, opamps ...

Oh yes, S/PDIF loopback works! You just need to short the pins 3-4 on the digital extension connector (topmost on the right). No more need for Virtual Audio Cable or other acrobatics. I can route WDM/MME streams via loopback to the ASIO input for further processing. Effectively, DirectWire simulation. It's working very well.

It's fantastic how much technology you can bay nowadays for just shy over 100EUR. I would say that this card is really good value for money. You have excellent headphone amp, high end power circuit, 4 usable stereo/analog channels (6 with headphone amp), swappable opamps for all channels, decent HTPC/movies support and even gaming twist!

Off to play more
post #103 of 445
indeed this card looks money! do you have a XP box around by any chance? I'd like to know whether KS is automatically bit-matched

w/ some AD797B it would kill I think, a friend of mine is amazed by the X-Fi Forte 7.1 on his K701(he used to own an STX, then a ST, then a Prodigy HD2 Advance Deluxe), he's put a burson on his Forte: http://hfr-rehost.net/http://self/pi...5a95b328b.jpeg
post #104 of 445
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incognito73 View Post
People, Bravura is fantastic! Not sure if it's the break-in period or just that I settled down with working drivers/asio/wasapi configuration (or both)... but sound settled down. It's less harsh, more involving, more dimensional sound scape. It's still very bright, but not more on the fatiguing level. Even with stock JRC opamps, it's punching out way beyond it's weight. Just finished brief headphone amp auditioning and I'm overwhelmed! ... almost on the speechless side of things. It's driving my HD600 wonderfully and with such weight and detail (thanks LM opamp). I didn't even cross the 40% headphone volume. This is the first time in my life that I have pitch black background with PC sound card. Background noise and interference is most noticeable on the headphone outputs , but I can tell you that Bravura is pitch black. Absolutely no background noise! New no-noise power circuit is not marketing gimmick.

Not sure if anyone mentioned, but headphone amp is visible as separate sound device in windows, so you have completely separate control over the volume and configuration. Also, you can use headphone out as preamp ... no probs, but be careful with the volume! Output is hot and volume adjustment is advisable. Still have to do broader auditioning, but first impression is that headphone amp circuit kicks some serious ass.

I still didn't touch I/O modes. Not sure what's the default set (probably SET1 ... who knows). Still have to play with I/O modes, opamps ...

Oh yes, S/PDIF loopback works! You just need to short the pins 3-4 on the digital extension connector (topmost on the right). No more need for Virtual Audio Cable or other acrobatics. I can route WDM/MME streams via loopback to the ASIO input for further processing. Effectively, DirectWire simulation. It's working very well.

It's fantastic how much technology you can bay nowadays for just shy over 100EUR. I would say that this card is really good value for money. You have excellent headphone amp, high end power circuit, 4 usable stereo/analog channels (6 with headphone amp), swappable opamps for all channels, decent HTPC/movies support and even gaming twist!

Off to play more
Yeah, she sounds pretty good. The power design is similar to what people use in recording studios with all senstitive components using the same grounding point. I have been testing this card out for quite awhile now and have enjoyed the sound quality a great deal in both headphones and the multi channel outputs. I also tested the card with many great opamps.
The headphones amplifer circuit uses the LME49720NA for a signal buffer then uses discrete transistors for the amplification. Give it great sound and a whole lot of power.
post #105 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
do you have a XP box around by any chance? I'd like to know whether KS is automatically bit-matched
No, Vista x32 I'm affraid. Although, I would be mostly pleased to switch to Linux, but Auzentech driver support sux there

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
Yeah, she sounds pretty good. The power design is similar to what people use in recording studios with all senstitive components using the same grounding point. I have been testing this card out for quite awhile now and have enjoyed the sound quality a great deal in both headphones and the multi channel outputs. I also tested the card with many great opamps.
Well, your post timing couldn't be better ... as I was just about to source some opamps for a test. I have readily avaliable LM4562 from AudioTrak, but I can source usual suspects OPA627AU or AD797BR. I don't want to experiment too much (as it would probably from the economical point of view reach the costs of the actual card itself) ... so according to your tests any guidance what's the most "suitable" high end opamp for this card is much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
The headphones amplifer circuit uses the LME49720NA for a signal buffer then uses discrete transistors for the amplification. Give it great sound and a whole lot of power.
Yeah, correct. I wonder do I need to touch this opamp at all. I mean, I can upgrade front l/r and sub channel ... that's what I'm using atm, apart from headphone amp.
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