anyone knows whether KS works on XP SP3 w/ the Teralink-x(not x2) when using either of these drivers? C-Media CM-108 | Catalog - X-DRIVERS.COM
If you are looking to get the best sound from the (old) Teralink-X, I would advise against installing the c-media driver which is a poor quality driver that is not even bit perfect.
Below are some the comments/measurements I have done concerning the c-media driver.
I have tried 3 drivers with the Teralink-x: the stock driver that automatically installs, then the CM-108 Driver v.184.108.40.2069, and finally the Ploytec usb asio.
The CM-108 Driver v.220.127.116.119:
I tried after a few weeks of using the Teralink and I found the sound horrible. I tried to disable all the dsp effects but there was always a loss in resolution and sound quality. I did some research and found out it had only 14 bits of resolution vs. 16 bits of the stock windows drivers. I uninstalled it and went back to using the stock windows drivers.
The stock windows drivers that installs automatically:
This is a good driver. I did most of my listening with this one. However, the sound is the on warm side of neutral compared to all the other converters. After trying many digital cables to get a better perception of its sound, I noticed that there is a "dulling" of the sound and a smoothing/slowing of the transients. It has a pleasing effect but it is not accurate. The soundstage is very big but not very well defined.
Anyway, I am sure that people who like the "tube" sound will prefer it to most other settings or even converters for that matter. As for me, once I detected the added warmth, I could not continue to appreciate it.
The Ploytec usb asio driver :
This one improves the sound to a more neutral balance. There is less "dulling" of the sound. The soundstage size remained the same but the imaging improved.
This driver is closer in tonal balance to the sound of the Musiland and the Hiface which leads me to believe it is closer to the "truth".
Overall, I think that not all people are looking for "cleaner" sounding sources. In my experience, lowering the jitter (improving the quality of the transport) result in the following results : Bigger soundstage, less mid-bass warmth/bloat, more defined and deeper bass. Usually, you get less mid bass and more deep bass (if your equipment let you hear that) which might not be what people expect or want to hear.
I read about the cmedia drivers here : Homebrew CMI 8738 drivers - Hydrogenaudio Forums
By the way, when I chose to uninstall the CMedia drivers the first time I tried them it was based only on my subjective listening. You can read my comment about them here : http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/rev...ml#post6042974
Also, since I was in a curious mood today, I did some RMAA measurements this morning for both the generic/stock driver of the Teralink and the CM-108 Driver v.18.104.22.1689.
I put the results in a Zip file if anyone is intersted in them.
First, how did I test it ? I used to the EMU 0404 usb to record the output of my audio-gd dac-100 using the Teralink as a transport.
Since I have tested the EMU with a SNR of 113 db (the SNR drops to 96 db when tested in 16bits which is to be expected) and since the audio-gd dac-100 has a SNR over 100db, if anything is done wrong in the digital domain it would show in the analog stage. If data is lost somewhere in the path it cannot be retrieved.
For what is it worth, my findings are as follow :
The generic windows drivers do not seem to mess with the data.
The CM-108 Driver v.22.214.171.1249 seem to have trouble outputting correctly 16/44 without messing with the data. The SNR is worse by a 4 (and up to 6db) compared to the best results I had with the generic windows drivers.
To my surprise, the 24/96 test with the CM-108 Driver v.126.96.36.1999 drivers improved the results in SNR over 16/44. However the drivers are limited to 48khz. There is a cut-off at 48 khz.
After trying 24/48 and 24/44 I concluded that the benefits comes from going to 24 bits rather than from "upsampling" to 96.
I read in the Valab thread people linking the 24/96 upsampling with the CM-108 drivers. Since I don't own a NOS DAC, I cannot comment on that. All I know is that there is a real loss in transparency using the CM-108 drivers in my system. I understand however that some people might like the "sonic signature" of the CM-108 drivers, but it is not the most accurate driver in my opinion.