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I can't afford Xonar, what are my other options?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

 

I cannot afford a Xonar STX/ST so what are my other options? I was looking at

Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1 Low, which I can get for $60.

 

My budget is $100, I have a JVC HAX700, I play games and every now and then I want quality music, once I have enough funds I'll get the Xonar ST.

 

I currently have a Asus Xonar DG.

 

Thanks in advance.


Edited by hifiact - 12/9/12 at 6:47am
post #2 of 45

At that price, the Auzentech X-Fi Forte is quite a good deal. It has proper gaming audio support and as good sound quality as price competing products.

 

Further down the line, you would do better to upgrade to a Creative X-Fi Titanium HD instead of an Asus Xonar Essence ST, both cards being on the same level, with the Titanium HD having a slightly better DAC and full gaming audio support.

post #3 of 45
Thread Starter 

forte is the best option in <$100 range?

post #4 of 45

For your listening habits, and providing all features and processing options, yes.

post #5 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

For your listening habits, and providing all features and processing options, yes.


Thanks.

 

 

Waiting for more opinions?

post #6 of 45
Not that I have used one but th titanium hd is only $105 on amazon. It was $90 for black friday and has been in flux since from $100 to $124.
post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by alv4426 View Post

Not that I have used one but th titanium hd is only $105 on amazon. It was $90 for black friday and has been in flux since from $100 to $124.

 

That's an excellent price, and it's truly the best card for the OP. Last time I saw the prices, they were roaming the $125 mark.

post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post
with the Titanium HD having a slightly better DAC

 

In exactly what way ?

post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

In exactly what way ?

 

Less distortion. You can check the specs.

post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

Less distortion. You can check the specs.

 

Where can I find those specs (not of the DAC chip, but the entire card) ? I have only found 0.001% for the line output (backed up by some Audio Precision measurements), and that is worse than that of the Xonar STX (and even D1), even if inaudible and not really an issue in practice. The Creative card seems to have a very slight bass roll-off, too. One area where I see potential for the Titanium HD to be better is noise at 44.1 kHz, but I did not find any measurements of it at 44.1 kHz/24-bit.


Edited by stv014 - 12/9/12 at 9:11am
post #11 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

 

Less distortion. You can check the specs.

I don't think they use the same measurement techniques for THD.

 

They're both way below audible levels either way. At the .00X% level it's already well below what's needed.

post #12 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

Where can I find those specs (not of the DAC chip, but the entire card) ? I have only found 0.001% for the line output (backed up by some Audio Precision measurements), and that is worse than that of the Xonar STX (and even D1), even if inaudible and not really an issue in practice. One area where I see potential for the Titanium HD to be better is noise at 44.1 kHz, but I did not find any measurements of it at 44.1 kHz/24-bit.

 

Like I said before, the Titanium HD DAC chip has lower THD than Essence STX DAC chip, which is what I was referring to.

 

Marginal differences can still be accounted for. After all, we're on Head-Fi, are we not?

 

Noise levels are better at 24/48 and 24/96, rather than 24/44.1.

post #13 of 45

Xonar DSX is around $50 in Canada with a MIR, and the DS about $10 less than that. Is this for gaming, audio/multimedia?
 

post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

Like I said before, the Titanium HD DAC chip has lower THD than Essence STX DAC chip, which is what I was referring to.

 

The analog specs in the datasheets seem to be the same for both, the main differences are in the digital interface. In any case, the implementation is more important, that is why I prefer to see actual measurements of the device, not just the chip specs copied and pasted (based on those alone, the NuForce uDAC2 would be great, for example).

post #15 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

The analog specs in the datasheets seem to be the same for both, the main differences are in the digital interface. In any case, the implementation is more important, that is why I prefer to see actual measurements of the device, not just the chip specs copied and pasted (based on those alone, the NuForce uDAC2 would be great, for example).

 

Fair enough, implementation is indeed important. Still, chip choice is also relevant, with both chips being very similar.

 

However, the Titanium HD continues to be a better option for the OP, if he can get one at the price alv4426 mentioned.

 

Ah, the not so lovely channel imbalance of the uDAC2. It's a shame the remarkable review of it by a certain member can't be linked here.

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