Good, Cheap USB DAC or Sound Card
Mar 23, 2008 at 7:43 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11


Headphoneus Supremus
Mar 5, 2008
I swear it's that time of the year again, the time when everything breaks. First my Etys start to disintegrate (left driver likes to cut out with great regularity, and the cord is fraying) now my sound card kicks the bucket. TV died a few weeks ago. Stove has been acting up. Bedroom night-stand lamp developed a loose connection. Vacuum cleaner burned the motor out when I brilliantly ran over the end of a spool of monofilament line.

You get the idea.

For some reason my Chaintech AV710 isn't registering at all. Just randomly today I turned my PC on and the sound card was mysteriously missing, and the computer was behaving very oddly (freezing, running very slow) until I removed the card. Tried everything to get it to show up and clear the other odd behavior, but nothing. I'm using my computer's onboard sound for now but it's pretty noisy and doesn't sound very good.

Apparently the AV710 isn't available anymore so I'm looking for either a new sound card or a USB DAC to replace it. Suggestions in the "cheap-fi" range, please. (Under 100 dollars).

This wouldn't be so bad if everything didn't decide to break all at once. =/
Mar 24, 2008 at 1:36 AM Post #4 of 11
FWIW, X-Fi Xtreme Music's are at for a little under $40 right now. Great deal for that card.
Mar 24, 2008 at 3:29 PM Post #5 of 11

Originally Posted by Chipp /img/forum/go_quote.gif
FWIW, X-Fi Xtreme Music's are at for a little under $40 right now. Great deal for that card.

Just be warned, has a VERY checkered past of losing peoples financial information.
Mar 25, 2008 at 5:07 PM Post #9 of 11

Originally Posted by jilgiljongiljing /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Depends on which one, I believe the general consensus is to stay away from the Xtreme series. Think the Platinum series is supposed to be good

It is the XtremeAudio that you should stay away from. The XtremeGamer and XtremeMusic are great and just as good as any other X-Fi with the exception of no Xram, but nobody uses that anyway. If you want to mod it and replace the caps, you would want to stay away from the XtremeGamer though. Everything above the XtremeMusic can be modded.
Mar 25, 2008 at 6:12 PM Post #11 of 11
Has anyone used the Headphonia USB Dac cable? Also, they appear to be releasing a new version "at the end of the month." Don't know what it will cost. I emailed them, and they just said the new version "has an output opamp which increases the performace of the DAC." So it remains to be seen what is released and how much it costs. It's certainly an interesting option.

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