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Upgrading from Audigy 2 ZS to HT Omega

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello, all. Long time lurker, first post. So, I'm on the verge of overhauling the audio setup in my computer. I'm currently using (and have been using for quite some years) an Audigy 2 ZS outputting to an Altec Lansing MX5021 system. I'm looking to upgrade to the HT Omega Claro Halo sound card and the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers.

 

My uses are primarily music. I'm a music comp major, it's evident based on listening to music with colleagues that I do have the ear necessary to discern high-quality audio. So, music quality is paramount, because I do hear the difference. Music aside, though, I do minor gaming, but I'm in no way concerned about audio quality there. Movies, as well. I don't watch enough movies at all, really, to be concerned about that, let alone movies on the computer. So, this is strictly being done with high-quality music playback in mind. That all being said, I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with the things I'm used to and the things I'm likely moving to. How much of a leap upwards in quality I can expect? Are there some alternatives that I've overlooked that would be better? Or as good for less money?

 

I was trying to decide between DAC or sound card, but if I go the DAC route, I'd prefer to have that output to something like the AudioEngine A5+ system, but I just don't have the money for those and a DAC right now. Though, this is why I chose the Claro Halo. I'm imagining, in the future, I'd use the optical out to connect a DAC. I would love for this whole upgrade to cost sub-$400. The sound card can be had for $200, I'm seeing the Klipsch speakers for $130. So, that's a very satisfying number. But, I might consider just jumping into the A5+ if I can be convinced that those on an Audigy ZS 2 wouldn't be a waste of good speakers. Because I can't afford to configure the A5+ with anything else at the moment, and it'll be some time before I can afford to spend money on audio equipment again. Priorities. Y'know.

 

Anyhow, thanks all for your eventual input!

post #2 of 5

You might be able to find a used Asus Xonar Essence STX sound card for around $150.

 

Monoprice 5" studio monitors, $168.

I think the Monoprice monitors would provide better detail, over the Klipsch Promedia 2.1

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=115&cp_id=11504&cs_id=1150401&p_id=605500&seq=1&format=2

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

I compared the ASUS and the HT Omega. I liked the idea of the molex connection to clean the interference from the power supply, but I haven't heard anybody complaining about interference with the HT. So, since everyone's saying the two cards sound nearly identical and cost the same (new), I'd rather go with the HT. I like the outputs better.

 

The Monoprice monitors do look very interesting. I'm not sure I'm a fan of the two separate volume controls for each speaker, though. I feel like that adds a lot of complication to volume adjustment. Am I overestimating the complication there, or is there some sort of volume panel I can add on, or...?

 

Also, I see, looking at the M-Audio BX5s, on which clearly the Monoprice monitors are based, you can later add a subwoofer to the M-Audio monitors. Can you do the same with the Monoprice monitors?

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstarr3 View Post
 

I compared the ASUS and the HT Omega. I liked the idea of the molex connection to clean the interference from the power supply, but I haven't heard anybody complaining about interference with the HT. So, since everyone's saying the two cards sound nearly identical and cost the same (new), I'd rather go with the HT. I like the outputs better.

 

The Monoprice monitors do look very interesting. I'm not sure I'm a fan of the two separate volume controls for each speaker, though. I feel like that adds a lot of complication to volume adjustment. Am I overestimating the complication there, or is there some sort of volume panel I can add on, or...?

 

Also, I see, looking at the M-Audio BX5s, on which clearly the Monoprice monitors are based, you can later add a subwoofer to the M-Audio monitors. Can you do the same with the Monoprice monitors?

The Monoprice studio monitors only come with one volume knob on each monitor. the other knob controls the HF level.

I would "assume" that any sub-woofer that works with the M-Audio BX5s would also work with the Monoprice.

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

The Monoprice studio monitors only come with one volume knob on each monitor. the other knob controls the HF level.

Sorry, I meant that each speaker has its own volume knob. I phrased that poorly. That seems like a pretty big inconvenience to me, having to do all my volume adjustments in Windows. But, maybe I'm overestimating the inconvenience? Does it make sense to turn the knobs on both speakers to, say, 80% and never touch them again and do all my volume adjustments in Windows? Or should I set the speakers lower and then turn them up individually for the moments I want extra volume? The latter just sounds like a hassle to me.
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