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ISO High end sound card. No price limit.

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

Okay. So here is the low-low. I just got done building a $2,000 gaming PC in which I turned around and added another thousand in a custom watercooling loop I am build. This is all the Jolly-Rodger and all except I don't know a good sound card if I see one.

 

For audio I have the Astro Mix Amp Pro, Objective 2 Amp, AKG Q701, and the vPulse bass ear buds. I also have a Klipsch THX 2.1 hooked up to my computer. So what is a good 7.1, surround sound, DH, etc, etc, sound card that I can use for music, gaming, and movies. 

 

 

-Thanks.

post #2 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaSushi2 View Post

Okay. So here is the low-low. I just got done building a $2,000 gaming PC in which I turned around and added another thousand in a custom watercooling loop I am build. This is all the Jolly-Rodger and all except I don't know a good sound card if I see one.

 

For audio I have the Astro Mix Amp Pro, Objective 2 Amp, AKG Q701, and the vPulse bass ear buds. I also have a Klipsch THX 2.1 hooked up to my computer. So what is a good 7.1, surround sound, DH, etc, etc, sound card that I can use for music, gaming, and movies. 

 

 

-Thanks.

Ultimate gaming card is the Creative Labs X-Fi Titanium HD (PCI-E)

Just need to plug the Objective 2 into the Titanium HD's RCA outputs

 

I prefer the Asus Xonar Essence STX, comes with a headphone amplifier rated up to 600-Ohm.

Dolby Headphone 7.1

post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Ultimate gaming card is the Creative Labs X-Fi Titanium HD (PCI-E)

Just need to plug the Objective 2 into the Titanium HD's RCA outputs

 

I prefer the Asus Xonar Essence STX, comes with a headphone amplifier rated up to 600-Ohm.

Dolby Headphone 7.1

Thank you thank you! basshead.gif

post #4 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Ultimate gaming card is the Creative Labs X-Fi Titanium HD (PCI-E)

Just need to plug the Objective 2 into the Titanium HD's RCA outputs

 

I prefer the Asus Xonar Essence STX, comes with a headphone amplifier rated up to 600-Ohm.

Dolby Headphone 7.1

Definitely replace the OPAMPs though.  Although, the Xonar DS is far cheaper, and with an upgraded OPAMP and shielding it sounds pretty darn good.

post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 

So which is better for what? RTS, RPG, FPS, Adventure, Movies, Music...

post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxid10t View Post

Definitely replace the OPAMPs though.  Although, the Xonar DS is far cheaper, and with an upgraded OPAMP and shielding it sounds pretty darn good.

 

Replace which OPAMPs with what? (Unless there's only one socketed OPAMP, but the higher-end cards tend to have several.)

 

At the very least, I've found that replacing the JRC OPAMPs in my Titanium HD with LME49860NAs resulted in a horribly steep V-shaped frequency response. Ridiculously boosted bass and treble, terribly recessed mids. Thus, it's not something to be done aimlessly.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaSushi2 View Post

So which is better for what? RTS, RPG, FPS, Adventure, Movies, Music...

 

The basic gist of it is that any game that uses DirectSound3D or OpenAL will sound better on a proper X-Fi card because of how CMSS-3D Headphone uses the 3DPA data, and also because of the games that use those APIs also frequently using EAX 3/4/5, which you can't get proper implementations of on non-Creative-based hardware.

 

However, that's mostly covering games from 2006 and prior. 2007 and onward brought a rise in XAudio2 + X3DAudio and FMOD Ex usage, mixed and processed all in software, so it doesn't really sound any different (no missing reverb/chorus/occlusion/etc. effects like if your card didn't support EAX) between audio devices. Unfortunately, you're limited to virtual 7.1 at most no matter what you go with, whereas it was possible to get proper binaural audio with the old APIs. This also eliminates CMSS-3D Headphone's binaural advantage over Dolby Headphone, making them play on the same field.

 

I still like the good old games, thus I consider good DS3D/OAL/EAX support a priority. Not all people share my appreciation for old PC games, though (not even hits like Unreal Tournament and Battlefield 2), and thus such things are of little importance to them. They don't feel any particular incentive to get an X-Fi card if most of those gaming features go unused in the games they play anyway.

 

That said, the X-Fi Titanium HD has great analog RCA outputs, making it a viable analog output card regardless. It'll feed your Objective2 very nicely.

post #7 of 51
I have the x-fi fatal1ty titanium pro + fiio e9 + hd600s and everything is great. I play fps mainly, but have played all you mentioned.

Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2
post #8 of 51

i've used the X-Fi Extreme Music since 2005 it was released (Retail) but the Soundquality is nothing against The Essence STX, i'm way glad i've bought this Card months ago.

Apart from that, i dont play Games, so i am way happy with stereo, don't need 5.1, 7.1, THX, Dolby Theatre and -whatever....

post #9 of 51
Thread Starter 

So which of these 2 sound cards preforms better in what areas. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100008658&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&CompareItemList=57%7C29-102-033%5E29-102-033-TS%2C29-132-019%5E29-132-019-02%23

 

I'm guessing one does positioning better while the other does in game ambient and music better, etc. What is the difference anyways? I think I mostly play RTS games on my PC and use my xbox for FPS though I do play some FPS on pc.

post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaSushi2 View Post

So which of these 2 sound cards preforms better in what areas. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100008658&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&CompareItemList=57%7C29-102-033%5E29-102-033-TS%2C29-132-019%5E29-132-019-02%23

 

I'm guessing one does positioning better while the other does in game ambient and music better, etc. What is the difference anyways? I think I mostly play RTS games on my PC and use my xbox for FPS though I do play some FPS on pc.

Price wise the Titanium HD is $150, the Essence ST is $205, over all audio quality should be a little in the Essence ST favor (the Essence ST audio quality is a little better then the Essence STX).

post #11 of 51

Those prices are a bit high. Ever checked Amazon?

 

X-Fi Titanium HD, Xonar Essence STX, Xonar Essense ST, and as a bonus, HT Omega Claro Halo (if you're willing to consider PCI cards like the Essence ST already)

 

Going by the impressions of people who have used both the Titanium HD and the Essence cards, it seems like the real differences are more in sound signature, with the Titanium HD skewing a bit more toward "warm" (slight bass emphasis). Such things are easily adjustable with EQ. Any differences in analog output quality would be subtle at best; it's really good either way.

 

Still, this is a high-budget gaming computer, so the Titanium HD wins out. Any incremental improvements in analog sound quality won't make up for older games having completely missing reverb/chorus/occlusion effects because other sound cards didn't support them.

post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Those prices are a bit high. Ever checked Amazon?

 

X-Fi Titanium HD, Xonar Essence STX, Xonar Essense ST, and as a bonus, HT Omega Claro Halo (if you're willing to consider PCI cards like the Essence ST already)

 

Going by the impressions of people who have used both the Titanium HD and the Essence cards, it seems like the real differences are more in sound signature, with the Titanium HD skewing a bit more toward "warm" (slight bass emphasis). Such things are easily adjustable with EQ. Any differences in analog output quality would be subtle at best; it's really good either way.

 

Still, this is a high-budget gaming computer, so the Titanium HD wins out. Any incremental improvements in analog sound quality won't make up for older games having completely missing reverb/chorus/occlusion effects because other sound cards didn't support them.

I was leaning towards the Titanium because I hear it's actually better. I also hear CMSS is better than Dolby.

post #13 of 51

I have had both the STX & the Titanium HD & still have the Titanium HD as the STX went dead, I have modded both, The STX was warmer- richer sounding than the Titanium HD with out of box settings & the Titanium HD more detailed but very unforgiving-distorted sounding at the top end. My mods correct these things & puts these cards on very near equal footing. High frequencies smooth out at the high end yet sound very extended & much more musical. Stock the STX was more musical sounding but both had some roughness at the topend though if I remember correctly the STX was less rough up there but also less detailed at the top when stock. Direct coupling the output of the STX smoothed things out a lot from the line out though does nothing for the headphone out as it is alread direct coupled on the STX. Power supply mods affects everthing & gives a lot more detail as well as smooths out the top end on both cards, very musical sounding now.

post #14 of 51

The guy is rich, why not the best of the best, 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ONKYO-WAVIO-SE-300PCIE-DIDRC-EAX-HD-5-0-X-Fi-7-1-S-PDIF-Audio-PCIe-PC-Sound-Card-/150749185883#ht_6743wt_942

(don`t know the seller!)

 

this blows away any opamp cards..

 

If I wanted a pc soundcard this would be the one, I don`t do that much gaming anymore so an external DAC is the choice anyway..


Edited by sonci - 7/9/12 at 6:15am
post #15 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post

I have had both the STX & the Titanium HD & still have the Titanium HD as the STX went dead, I have modded both, The STX was warmer- richer sounding than the Titanium HD with out of box settings & the Titanium HD more detailed but very unforgiving-distorted sounding at the top end. My mods correct these things & puts these cards on very near equal footing. High frequencies smooth out at the high end yet sound very extended & much more musical. Stock the STX was more musical sounding but both had some roughness at the topend though if I remember correctly the STX was less rough up there but also less detailed at the top when stock. Direct coupling the output of the STX smoothed things out a lot from the line out though does nothing for the headphone out as it is alread direct coupled on the STX. Power supply mods affects everthing & gives a lot more detail as well as smooths out the top end on both cards, very musical sounding now.

So how did you mod it? I'm new to soundcards and I was talking to my dad about it yesterday. He's techniquely a sound engineer so he knows top quality parts when he sees them, except he doesn't know about PC soundcards. He is more on the professional side with TV engineering and musician/band support sound quality.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonci View Post

The guy is rich, why not the best of the best, 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ONKYO-WAVIO-SE-300PCIE-DIDRC-EAX-HD-5-0-X-Fi-7-1-S-PDIF-Audio-PCIe-PC-Sound-Card-/150749185883#ht_6743wt_942

(don`t know the seller!)

 

this blows away any opamp cards..

 

If I wanted a pc soundcard this would be the one, I don`t do that much gaming anymore so an external DAC is the choice anyway..

That shyte is hardcore: 

"Onkyo releases a new WAVIO Audio Card powered by Creative’s X-Fi Technology"

 

http://en.akihabaranews.com/90573/audio-systems/onkyo-releases-a-new-wavio-audio-card-powered-by-creatives-x-fi-technology

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