Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › HTPC - Help for recommendation on'high end' multi-channel sound card for less than 1k
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HTPC - Help for recommendation on'high end' multi-channel sound card for less than 1k

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

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:

  1. RME HDSPe AIO with the analog expansion card
  2. Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe with H6 daughter card
  3. 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.

 

Kind Regards,

 

William

 

post #2 of 2
24/192 into multi is relatively rare outside of the pro world. For true multimedia, any of the current Xonar, Recon3D, or X-Fi products will be suitable. There's really not a lot of difference in quality or fidelity between competent audio cards. Pro boards get you more (and better) inputs, and more flexibility for I/O routing and hardware control.

Honestly I'd just go HDMI into a receiver or SSP with an auto-cal feature that you can tweak via PC, and be happy. Marantz AV7005 with the installer kit is a perfect example of such. Actual bass management, time alignment, and channel leveling will be the next step up quality wise for what you have. The ideal center is another BeoLab 3, placed at the same height as the L/R main, and equidistant. If they come two to a box, you now have 6.1.

Depending on room size and the specs of the sub, a second one will make sense.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › HTPC - Help for recommendation on'high end' multi-channel sound card for less than 1k