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Need a little help... Sound card or amp for desktop? - Page 3

post #31 of 37

I dont think he actually meant it quite that way when he say'd trashing. I think he meant trashing by throwing the speakers into the crash can.

I noticed yesterday that there is a new card from asus, its nearly identical to the Essence ST / H6 combo, but its a PCI-e slotted card.

Essence STX II 7.1 it has everything you actually need, headphone amp, true 7.1-channel surround. But not sure about the price.Still the Asus Xonar DG also fulfills your needs.

It has headphone amp, and true 5.1 channel surround. And its only around 30$

To be honest, if i was you i would get the Asus Xonar DGX or DG. It has everything you currently need, its very cheap. So you wont feel your wasting money if you want to upgrade later.

post #32 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

You came to this forum to discuss how to upgrade your setup for better sound quality and seem committed to looking at some of the very best options you can. So no one would be "trashing" your speakers to discuss various upgrade options and how their quality fits into it. The Logitech X-540 were in fact a $100 speaker setup when they were released back in 2006, and there are certainly better options now for that money. As you get used to the new X1s, you may easily find that the X-540s don't do it for you any more--there's a huge gap in sound quality between the two. Thus, I would not spend money on the STX H6 upgrade to support those speakers. You might find in a few months you are no longer listening to them much and/or are ready to upgrade them, and because you have an excellent open headphone, that you don't need the surround setup for speakers any more. Many head-fiers end up with 2.0 or 2.1 setups instead, and not spending the $85 would be a good start towards a budget to support such an upgrade.

Thank you for your input. I understand the reasoning behind getting a better speaker set up, I guess I just wanted to do things in steps not all at once; which it looks like, if I go with the stx, I may be forced to do. I noticed in my reading/exploration that Asus is in the process of releasing an stx ii. I think I will wait on getting the new stx until they figure out the driver issues that they seem to be having as of late and neither will I get the old model as Asus has said it will not be receiving updates going forward. So, in the meantime, I have decided to pick up a sound blaster z. I was trying to avoid creative, but this seemed like the best option to fit my budget (while still saving me some money) and it will still allow me to use my x-540s. I know that as I listen to my x1 more and more I will probably get tired of the x-540 but I can't afford to get a new 2.0 or 2.1 set of speakers ATM. So, I will be saving to get new speakers and a sound card and have already started collecting music in lossless formats--which I had unknowingly been doing for years because I had thought they sounded better than mp3s (guess I've always been an audio junkie, just didn't know it). I will be building a new PC in a couple years and will be setting aside a separate budget for audio equipment until then and will probably be building two separate computers, one for media and one for gaming and work.
Edited by MacGuyver - 4/9/14 at 3:47pm
post #33 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Notus View Post

I dont think he actually meant it quite that way when he say'd trashing. I think he meant trashing by throwing the speakers into the crash can.
I noticed yesterday that there is a new card from asus, its nearly identical to the Essence ST / H6 combo, but its a PCI-e slotted card.
Essence STX II 7.1 it has everything you actually need, headphone amp, true 7.1-channel surround. But not sure about the price.Still the Asus Xonar DG also fulfills your needs.
It has headphone amp, and true 5.1 channel surround. And its only around 30$
To be honest, if i was you i would get the Asus Xonar DGX or DG. It has everything you currently need, its very cheap. So you wont feel your wasting money if you want to upgrade later.

You got it right, I meant throw them away. I did see the stx ii, but Asus has not yet released it (just an announcement with no real date) and they haven't set a price. I am also still worried about the driver issues that Asus seems to be having. Think I will wait on this one, but it appears to be promising. For now I am sticking with the sound blaster z, which supports my x-540's, until I can afford an overhaul for all my audio equipment, x1s excluded wink.gif.
Edited by MacGuyver - 4/9/14 at 4:05pm
post #34 of 37
Quote:
 For now I am sticking with the sound blaster z, which supports my x-540's until I can afford an overhaul for all my audio equipment, x1s excluded wink.gif.

This is why i recommended the Asus Xonar DG / DGX.

It was not too long ago when people recommended to avoid Greative products becouse half of the settings did not work or made games crash.

If you are getting a greative, read if there are known issues before pulling the trigger.

post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGuyver View Post

Thank you for your input. I understand the reasoning behind getting a better speaker set up, I guess I just wanted to do things in steps not all at once; which it looks like, if I go with the stx, I may be forced to do. I noticed in my reading/exploration that Asus is in the process of releasing an stx ii. I think I will wait on getting the new stx until they figure out the driver issues that they seem to be having as of late and neither will I get the old model as Asus has said it will not be receiving updates going forward. So, in the meantime, I have decided to pick up a sound blaster z. I was trying to avoid creative, but this seemed like the best option to fit my budget (while still saving me some money) and it will still allow me to use my x-540s. I know that as I listen to my x1 more and more I will probably get tired of the x-540 but I can't afford to get a new 2.0 or 2.1 set of speakers ATM. So, I will be saving to get new speakers and a sound card and have already started collecting music in lossless formats--which I had unknowingly been doing for years because I had thought they sounded better than mp3s (guess I've always been an audio junkie, just didn't know it). I will be building a new PC in a couple years and will be setting aside a separate budget for audio equipment until then and will probably be building two separate computers, one for media and one for gaming and work.

Sorry for misunderstanding. redface.gif

The STX2 does make sense if you want to continue to have 5.1. Although I would imagine you could still use your Logitechs with the STX by just connecting the left/right speaker channels and using only those two speakers with the sub (try it by disconnecting the other speakers now and see how it sounds).

And I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner, but you can also get a preview of whether or not you like the surround features of the soundcards by experimenting with Razer Surround software. I think I've read that Dolby Headphone is better, but it would give you a sense of what virtual surround enhancement would do for the X1s. And you could use it right now. It's free! biggrin.gif
post #36 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Notus View Post
 

This is why i recommended the Asus Xonar DG / DGX.

It was not too long ago when people recommended to avoid Greative products becouse half of the settings did not work or made games crash.

If you are getting a greative, read if there are known issues before pulling the trigger.

I went ahead and looked at the known issues and it seams like most of them were concerning Battlefield 3 and conflicts with EAX 5; both of which are kind of dated now, and the drivers seemed to have been fixed. I would have gone with the phoebus but Asus seems content that the working drivers are still in beta and won't push the actual release. Plus the phoebus is twice the price and the benefits seem negligible. It also seems that for most applications the Z seems to outperform the DG and DGX since the driver issues have been resolved. 

 

Thanks for the head's up about the known issues though! If I have any issues I can always get an RMA from amazon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Sorry for misunderstanding. redface.gif

The STX2 does make sense if you want to continue to have 5.1. Although I would imagine you could still use your Logitechs with the STX by just connecting the left/right speaker channels and using only those two speakers with the sub (try it by disconnecting the other speakers now and see how it sounds).

And I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner, but you can also get a preview of whether or not you like the surround features of the soundcards by experimenting with Razer Surround software. I think I've read that Dolby Headphone is better, but it would give you a sense of what virtual surround enhancement would do for the X1s. And you could use it right now. It's free! biggrin.gif

 

I tried out that Razer software and it really does make a difference. You can really tell which direction the sounds are coming from.

 

Unfortunately I would not be able to use the STX with my speakers unless I get some sort of 5.1 to RCA connection due to the way the 3.5mm inputs are set up on the speakers. Logitech does make this (or used to, it's now discontinued) but it would probably not make sense to buy it if I plan on replacing the speakers anytime soon. My 5.1 system will probably still be used for my gaming/work PC, and the X1 for use with both. 

 

I went ahead and bought the Sound Blaster Z to satisfy my needs for now. Going forward this will be transferred to my Gaming/Work PC when I have to do a major overhaul (MoBo, GPU, CPU...) in a couple years. I have plans to build media PC with a nice surround system and quality speakers in the near future. If in a year or so the STX ii still seems like it's a good choice than I will put it in my Media PC that will run my home theater system. I'm planing on a remodel for a smallish media room in my home, I am gonna stick with budget parts until I can get this finished, Then I can go ALL OUT!

post #37 of 37
The Soundblaster Z should sound very good and be a nice improvement smily_headphones1.gif
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