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Spent days choosing a sound card. Opinions from the best?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well, I recently picked up some PC360s, for about two years now I've simply had some A30s. They don't sound bad by any means but I know there is better, and I did my research to know the 360s are a great bang for buck in the headset department. Now my only other concern came to sound card, I've had reasonably good luck with Asus in the past on a lot of products, and I only hear death threats about Creative for all of my life. But when you start to really look into it I feel like Asus gets just as much horrible mentions when it comes to their cards in many similar areas.

 

But at the same time I've been comparing mostly the Xonar STX, Titanium HD and the new Creative Z. Now I would no brainer get the Titanium HD as I found it for a fantastic price, except I hear awful things about them dying within one to two years and I also don't wish to gamble support from Creative making those things actually work on Windows 8 and above. The STX I've so far heard fairly flawless things just looking to pay price premium over what I would for the Titanium HD. So far the Creative Z is very interesting, but also at the same time seldom on the reviews and still warry as it is still half of the abomination known as Recon3D. I do hear that they stack up fairly well against the Titanium HD, big point being apparently people don't hear bleeding they did on the Titaniums.

 

Would love some input, if people think the STX would be worth it over the Z and Titanium HD which I'm looking to get at relatively similar pricing. I'm fairly big on gaming, but at the same time I think music holds close to my heart as well. IF it makes any different, mostly looking at heavy metal/progressive.

post #2 of 16

Before I go into any detail, I've always been partial to Asus :)

 

I'm big into PC gaming (BF3 fan) myself and spend countless hours playing online. I wanted to upgrade my audio and was in the same boat as you ar right now. I ended up going with the STX, mainly because I was planning on pairing them with either a 250ohm/600ohm pair of cans in the future.

 

Another deciding factor was the option to swap out the OPAMPS on the STX. I can't remember if the Titanium/Creative support that off the top of my head. This gives you more flexibility in the perfect sound you are looking for. 

 

Once installing the card, I ended up with the Klipsch THX ProMedia 2.1 setup and I was impressed at the sound quality, it was amazing!


For a Christmas present to myself, I ended up purchasing the Beyerdynamic DT990's (600ohm) to pair with my STX card. I've never been more pleased with my music/gaming experience to say the least. I'm still tweaking the EQ a bit in Xonar Audio Center to get the sound I want, but I'm extremely happy with the STX and wouldn't look to get anything else. 

post #3 of 16

The M-Audio Audiophile 2496 card has some good specs and is less than $100. I've been using one for several years and have had no problems.

post #4 of 16

Both are nice cards. However i preferred the STX over the Titanium HD when i had both.

 

If you got your HD for under $120 then it's a steal.

 

Tim
 

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well, I'm currently price point looking at an STX for 159.99, the Titanium HD for about 101.34, and of course the Creative Z for about 105 although I'm sure the STX and Titanium are above that. I appreciate the responses, being pushed towards the STX just because I'm also partial to them, and have found them to be overall reliable.

post #6 of 16

Both the STX and TitanHD are great cards for the price points.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Holy crap, Robscix replied to my topic! I did bite the bullet and spent the extra on the STX, did get a good check and it just seemed overall better for myself. I appreciate the help all the same.

post #8 of 16

Good choice.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Very last question, do you got any good recommendations when it comes to the STX OP Amps if I wanted to replace them?

post #10 of 16

Big question, look through the threads to see what other people have been using.

post #11 of 16

Asus was offering an OPAMP upgrade kit, but appears to be a deactivated item now on Newegg. I chose a pair of LME49720NA's, which are the same ones you would get if the upgrade kit was still offered. I've noticed the bass more pronounced, punchier, but not in a sloppy way. The soundstage has widened massively. Maybe its just my ears :) Either way, they are cheap and a recommended upgrade. 

post #12 of 16

Try the metal can versions, they offer more.

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdd3068 View Post

Asus was offering an OPAMP upgrade kit, but appears to be a deactivated item now on Newegg. I chose a pair of LME49720NA's, which are the same ones you would get if the upgrade kit was still offered. I've noticed the bass more pronounced, punchier, but not in a sloppy way. The soundstage has widened massively. Maybe its just my ears :) Either way, they are cheap and a recommended upgrade. 

THIS.

 

soundstage and bass punch is wayy better on the LME49720.

Separation increases along with detail and transparency.

 

Like ROBSCIX, i recommend the metal cans.

 

Tim

post #14 of 16

You'd be losing out in DirectSound3D and OpenAL support, for which I would have suggested the X-Fi Titanium HD above the others (especially if you're more into older Battlefield games like I am), but at least you've got a FiiO E9 sort of amp built-in (they use the same chip).

 

As long as you're enjoying what you've got, though, that's what really matters.

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cssarrow View Post

THIS.

 

soundstage and bass punch is wayy better on the LME49720.

Separation increases along with detail and transparency.

 

Like ROBSCIX, i recommend the metal cans.

 

Tim

Do you have a link to where this is sold?

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