I've built a quiet pc for my video and audio library and am quite happy with it with exception of the sound card and am wanting to upgrade it. The setup is
- it runs on windows 7 64bit on a SSD (fast boot time).
- it is currently is hooked up to 2 pairs of B&O BeoLab 3 and a Velodyne subwoofer (ie all active speakers) via Creative Audigy 2 Platinum. I will add a centre speaker once I decide what to get.
- I use XBMC but am trialling JRiver Media Centre with an Andriod tablet for 2 way remote. This pc will one day drive a 84inch TV (when the new LG or Sharp LCDs finally get to Australia)
I was wondering if I could get some recommendations for a great multichannel soundcard (for movies) for less than 1k. I considered adding DAC but its rare to find a mulitchannel DAC and I'm not sure if its feasible to run 2 DACs for front and rear. FYI the BeoLab 3 are great speakers (to me anyway), very detailed, neutral with high clarity and I would like to get something that would do it justice.
FYI my requirements are:
- great sound stage,details - hopefully approaching Linn audio products. I listen to classical music, pop etc plus love movie
- multichannel (5.1 is enough)
- PCI Express
- windows 7
- support for 192KHz @16/24bit
- minimum number of power supply i.e. prefers not to buy a prepro/AV receiver
My current shortlist are:
- RME HDSPe AIO with the analog expansion card
- Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe with H6 daughter card
- Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe with H6 daughter card with OPamps on the h6 swapped to Burnson HD Audio Opamp
I would greatly appreciate recommendations. Also any comments on how pro audio DA converter (eg RME) sounds and work in multimedia consumer environment would be much appreciated.