Soundcard.....
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zachary80

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I am looking to buy a new soundcard to be used in addition to my Game Theater XP, mainly for my headphones (speakers are Klipsch ProMedia 4.1). Right now, the Sony CDP365 sounds much better than my computer.

Uses: Music; if it wouldn't work alongside my GTXP it would need to be able to do some gaming.

Headphones: Sennheiser hd580, Sony mdr7509. I never plan on upgrading to any higher dollar headphones.

Amp: Lower-end PiMeta. May be upgraded in the future.

Price: Basically $200 and less. Value is more of a concern for me (must be significantly better than GTXP and take headphones into account).

Right now, I am considering these cards:
1) CHAINTECH AV-710. $24 @ newegg
2) Audigy 2 (non-zs). $69 @ newegg
3) M-Audio Revo. $99 @ newegg
4) Emu 1212M. $199 @ zzounds

Here are my computer parts (for any known issues):
A7N8X Deluxe
XP2400+ @ 2.379
ATi 9800
512mb XMS PC3500 Platinum
GTXP
WINXP Pro
 
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Stephonovich

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The Revo would probably give you the easiest setup and most bang for your buck, but if you don't mind fiddling a bit, there's been a lot of people recently enamored with the Emu. I've got the Chaintech AV-710, and through a CMoy, my HD 280s sound beautiful. But with a budget like yours, you might as well go better.

Quote:

Originally Posted by zachary80
I never plan on upgrading to any higher dollar headphones.


Oh ye of little faith...


(-:Stephonovich:)
 
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zachary80

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I thought that I read that the Revo sounded no better than the AV710? Could someone confirm this?

I have no problem messing with drivers/software and such, but I would consider sending it to someone to mod it (for a total under 200 of course).

I never plan to upgrade to higher headphones because I just cannot justify the price. Depending on how I like the hd580's, that means I might try out some Grado's and may convince myself I need to buy some canalphones (low like e2 or er6). Of course, any other headphone would not be purchased this year at all. Who knows, I wouldn't be surprised if I got myself banned on purpose or just blocked head-fi for a while
 
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Stephonovich

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Most people agree that the Revo sounds somewhat better than the AV-710. Not a huge jump, mind you, but enough that people are justifying the $70 price difference.

Personally, I don't like middle of the road stuff. I either want top of the line or cheap. I'd say go for the Emu, and maybe have it modded. But unless you find a kind soul, or get one used, you won't be finding one for < $200.

(-:Stephonovich:)
 
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Iron_Dreamer

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Incredible value, good to very good sound = Chaintech

Great value, great sound = EMU

Best sound = Modded EMU

The GTXP was my first soundcard, and the Revo was my second, and I was blown away by the difference. I think you will be happy with any of these cards, but the Chaintech and the EMU are the only ones that really make sense to me, I would get the EMU if you can afford it, if not the Chaintech is killer value.
 
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Earwax

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Quote:

Originally Posted by zachary80
I thought that I read that the Revo sounded no better than the AV710? Could someone confirm this?



Who's actually heard both of them? As far as I know, it's just speculation based on chipsets and DACs that says the Revo is a little better.

We really need ahead to head comparison. Anyone up for it?
 
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mega

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Would the Emu be worth it even if i just used it just for listening to cd's and mp3's on winamp? Or would that be overkill? Im currently trying to get the best source for my computer...and if the emu is worth 200, then i might as well get it..or if its overkill and i don;t notice a difference, then should i get a terretech 2496?
 
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ReDVsion

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mega
Would the Emu be worth it even if i just used it just for listening to cd's and mp3's on winamp?


Kinda depends on the mp3 quality, now doesn't it? If you wanted to be logical about it, you could just grab the E-mu, because, since you're already here on head-fi, it's obvious that EVENTUALLY you'll be anal-retentive about the quality of your music files.

Otherwise, I'd just grab the Chaintec, if you don't have something better already. Then, when you feel audiophilia creeping up on you, save up, and grab the E-mu. I agree with Iron_dreamer, any of the other cards aren't really logical purchases.
 
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mega

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Yea..ive started to download only 192kbit files...but the problem is that i have hundreds of mp3s taht are 128, only because i didn't really care or know about the quality of my music. Now im all about the quality of my music. If i do get the EMU, would i need to know all about the settings and the options on the card? I most likley will not know what to do with all the settings and options...i am a newbie when it comes to things like that.
 
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lan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mega
Would the Emu be worth it even if i just used it just for listening to cd's and mp3's on winamp? Or would that be overkill?


I believe it's worth it. I'm a believer that a better source makes anything sound better.
 
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zachary80

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Well, I finally got my hd580's, and my computer is just too loud to justify a $200 card. I went as far as putting it inside the desk, turning the cpu fan down completely, and reducing it down to one hard drive (moved the rest to a server in a closet) yet it still bothers me.

Has anyone had any luck moding the AV-710?
 
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Asmo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mega
Yea..ive started to download only 192kbit files...but the problem is that i have hundreds of mp3s taht are 128, only because i didn't really care or know about the quality of my music. Now im all about the quality of my music. If i do get the EMU, would i need to know all about the settings and the options on the card? I most likley will not know what to do with all the settings and options...i am a newbie when it comes to things like that.


I wouldn't bother with emu 1212m if your only listening to mp3s, even 192kbits don't compare to cd quality / lossless playback, and espeically if you are DOWNLOADING them, not ripping them yourself, quality is varying to quite a degree, regardless of how high the mp3 was encoded, i've demonstrated this to friends by downloading 3 192 kbit encoded mp3s of the same song from diff sources, and each song sounded very different, some worse than good encoded 128kbit mp3s. I would not waste your time on good quality sound gear if your source is total crap (ie mp3).
 
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