Replacing sound card; need suggestions
May 15, 2007 at 1:01 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

Wolfstan

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I put together a rig about a year ago, and the component that gives me the most trouble is the Audigy ZS 2. I'm tired of Creative's terrible drivers and megaton of memory-gobbling software, and I want something that I can rely on in the long-term.

When I'm not gaming, I'm listening to music. I need a card that satisfies both fronts well. I don't care about EAX. I need a card that has mini-optical jacks for my headphones(MS1), 2.1 setup(, and mic. Is there any sound card that fits the bill these days?
 
May 15, 2007 at 1:31 AM Post #2 of 22

DSlayerZX

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if you are going for a 2.1, then Juli@ would be an excellent choice, since you are rejecting creative products..
M-Audio is good too
 
May 15, 2007 at 3:18 AM Post #3 of 22

pompon

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Take a look for X-Meridian 7.1.
Sound is fantastic !

easy mod is replace the opamp for lm4562 (they are on socket on this card).

The SQ is considered better to the best x-fi.
 
May 15, 2007 at 7:45 AM Post #4 of 22

infinitesymphony

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How about... E-MU 0404 USB?
tongue.gif
 
May 15, 2007 at 8:46 PM Post #7 of 22

Joshatdot

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AV710 mebby?
 
May 16, 2007 at 3:17 AM Post #9 of 22

finaxe

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Do you want to hear an awesome quality of music coming from the analog output of your sound card?

Forget all these EMU things. You must take an Auzentech X-Meridian and put these little gems of LM4562 OpAmps on it. If you're listening your music with 2 channels, i.e. speakers or respectable headphones (Beyer DT990, Sennheiser HD650, ...), then you're having to change only one OpAmp. And, if you want to push the mods a little bit more, do DC coupled and change some of the capacitors for the Black Gate's ones.

Hint: You must not use any sound effects and use ASIO.

I assure you that you won't regret it! The quality of the sound of this card is approaching dangerously of the quality of an "Audio Research" sound system! Ouch! B-)

Very pleasing experience!
 
May 16, 2007 at 5:10 AM Post #10 of 22

infinitesymphony

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X-Meridian only supports up to EAX 2.0, so it's not necessarily the best for either gaming or music. Even the not-so-great Audigy SE has EAX 3.0 (EAX 5.0 is the current highest mode). The E-MU 0404 USB is the same price and has the same DAC, but a load of other input/output options. The 1212M is $50 less (or cheaper) and has arguably better converters (CS4398).

The real balance between gaming and music is the X-Fi Elite Pro, but that's way too expensive for most people to justify a purchase.
 
May 16, 2007 at 2:55 PM Post #11 of 22

Ahriman4891

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So let me get this straight, you still game, you are just willing to sacrifice EAX because you have trouble with drivers?

In that case, I would not recommend any of the "pro" cards. Not all of them have Directsound-friendly drivers, and setting them up could be a pain. Especially don't get EMU 0404usb--it has a really high CPU utilization (I suppose that's true for anything external).

You may want to try M-Audio Revolution 5.1 or maybe X-Meridian or one of the cheaper C-Media cards (X-Plosion, or something from Bluegears, etc.).
 
May 16, 2007 at 3:29 PM Post #13 of 22

escaflo

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Another Onkyo supporter here. Pretty much one of the few. =)

I've tried both their SE-90 and SE-150. They are exceptional soundcard. Just for a frame of reference, soundcards that I used to own:

Sound Blaster Live!
Sound Blaster Audigy (both running on Kx driver
Terratec Aureon
M-Audio Revolution 7.1
Chaintech AV710

and I think the Onkyo soundcard easily beats them in terms of sound quality and enjoyment. =) But that's of course, just my opinion. YMMV.
 
May 17, 2007 at 12:41 AM Post #14 of 22

Wolfstan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ahriman4891 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So let me get this straight, you still game, you are just willing to sacrifice EAX because you have trouble with drivers?


EAX never really meant much to me except more spacious, reverberating sound. Which I don't care for. It doesn't help my gaming.

Thanks for the suggestions so far, everyone. I'll be sure to take a look...
 

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