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Upgrade soundcard/dac

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by elephanttlk, Apr 7, 2008.
  1. ElephantTLK
    Hi

    For a year or two i am using Creative X-Fi Platinum. But now is time to upgrade my source because i think that X-Fi is not very good card for music. I don´t play games any more. Or maybe 5% of all time spent on PC. So performance in games is NOT important. Now i wan´t to improve the sound quality for just listening to music. But i actually don´t know what will be the best option.
    I was thinking about:

    - Auzentech X-Fi Prelude (last option)
    - Asus Xonar
    - E-MU 0404
    - M-Audio?

    Or is there any good alternative? What about usb dac? Wich one?
    So what is the best choice? As i said i need to improve sound/source.
     
  2. ElephantTLK
    Anyone? I know that you guys know what is good option for computer as a source. I am asking again. Do i go & buy good soundard or just usb dac? Ant what to buy? Oh and i forgot something.

    I am using:

    - Vista Home Premium 32bit
    - Creative X-Fi Platinum
    - Darkvoice 336i
    - DT880
    - HD595

    How to improve source?
     
  3. jh4db536
    how much do you want to spend?
    also, are you into DIY?
     
  4. ElephantTLK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jh4db536 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    how much do you want to spend?
    also, are you into DIY?




    Not too much. [​IMG] Really. But i think that my limit is around 300$ for now. But here is another problem. I live in EU so shipping costs from US is BIG (customs...). I think that the best option would be an USB DAC or very very good sound card. But i don´t know where to start. Any recommendation? An no DIY for now. Or maybe...
     
  5. donaldekelly Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ElephantTLK /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    But now is time to upgrade my source because i think that X-Fi is not very good card for music....Now i wan´t to improve the sound quality for just listening to music.



    You call King Crimson music?

    Just kidding - great avatar and music! Courts and Discipline are great!

    I just ordered an E-Mu 0404 PCI $60 plus shipping off ebay. Echo Indigo DJ is a cheaper alternative to what you mentioned for a laptop.

    I don't have much wisdom here - but wanted to affirm your taste in music!
     
  6. ElephantTLK
    King Crimson is great band! I just love them. [​IMG] I really like "old" music. It´s just so great.
    I found something while browsing. Headstage Lyrix Is this good thing? Or is there something better? Now i´m narrow it down to E-MU 0404 & some usb dacs.

    Edit: this is amp too (headstage lyrix). Can i connect this to Darkvoice336 or is better idea to find just an USB DAC without amp?
     
  7. ElephantTLK
    Ok lets try another way. What about this?

    Edirol UA25
    E-MU 0404 USB
    E-MU 0202 USB
    M-Audio ???
    Ausu Xonar
    Auzentech X-Fi Prelude...

    All must have Vista support.
    OR a USB DAC. What is better? And wich usb dac to buy? I need some information because i will sell my X-Fi Platinum soon.
     
  8. WittyzTH
    how about headroom micro DAC? I'ver tried once and it's pretty good. [​IMG]

    or used X-DAC v3 from UK.
     
  9. triggerc
    I think the most likely suggestion will be the E-Mu 0404 USB, or if you can get it, I hear that the Onkyo SE-U55X is better.
    PC soundcard-wise, the Xonar D2X and the Auzentech X-Meridian are among the best sounding CMI8788-based sound cards. I personally feel that the CMI8788 is superior the X-Fi based cards. But keep in mind, even though the Prelude is an X-Fi based card, it has swappable OPAMPs, no soldering involved.
     
  10. ElephantTLK
    @WittyzTH

    I was already looking at Headroom Micro DAC. But it´s available only from US i think. Thats just too expensive (shipment & customs).

    @triggerc

    I was already looking at E-mu 0404. Is it really that good? Anyway here is new list:

    E-MU 0404
    Fubar II
    Edirol UA25
    Xonar D2X
    Audiotrak Prodigy HD2
    Audiotrak The Prodigy 7.1
    ESI JULI@

    Still dont know what to choose.
     
  11. Singapura
    I'm currently using a GoVibe DAC from Jaben.net as alternative for my Soundblaster SX. I must say if this <$80 DAC already sounds so good (much better then my iPod rig) I wonder what the more expensive DACs sound like [​IMG]
     
  12. ElephantTLK
    One last question. I think that soundcard will be good for now. What would you guys buy in terms of SQ and Vista support.

    ESI Juli@, Audiotrak Prodigy HD2, Prodigy 7.1 HiFi, E-MU 1212, E-MU 0404, M-Audio Audiophile 2496, Audiophile 192...

    Thanks
     
  13. vulc4n
    I've been on the lookout for a new soundcard for my system as well. Ideally I'd have an internal soundcard that also has an external breakout box. (like the X-Fi Elite Pro)

    I haven't had much luck with that, so I'm not sure what to get...
     
  14. ditzydj
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ElephantTLK /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    One last question. I think that soundcard will be good for now. What would you guys buy in terms of SQ and Vista support.

    ESI Juli@, Audiotrak Prodigy HD2, Prodigy 7.1 HiFi, E-MU 1212, E-MU 0404, M-Audio Audiophile 2496, Audiophile 192...

    Thanks




    OK, the M-Audio cards look to have Vista32 drivers - 12/17/2007 5.10.00.5065 Delta_V32_5.10.00.5065.exe same driver for both the 2496 and 192 - tthe Vista64 are Beta, wouldn't hold my breath.

    The Audiotrak and ESI? I almost bit on an Audiotrak 7.1 HiFi myself. There's grumbling on both sites' forums about lack of support and drivers for Vista. Just an FYI. So that kind of threw me off.

    The Xonar is apparently having some issues if you're using an NV chipset - I know the DX is - read that on the Asus forum. Also, the Xonar needs the extra molex connector (not included) and if you have a floppy drive in your comp, you'll need an adapter. Customer Reviews Of ASUS Xonar D2X 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express Interface Sound Card - Retail

    E-MU ... well, I know they're supposed to be very good, but at this point anything that's on creative's main site I won't touch. I'm not sure if they messed with the drivers/software on the E-MU series like they did the X-Fi's

    Personally, I'm waiting for a Chaintech AV-710 to arrive for my older do everything computer and I'm seriously considering the 2496 for this, my main audio stuff computer.
     
  15. ElephantTLK
    While searching on net i found one more DAC. The Beresford TC-7510.
    Home HIFI
    Is this good DAC to use in my system? Is it worth the money?

    And what do you think of combination with E-MU® 1212M or Auzen X-FI™ Prelude 7.1 or M-Audio Audiophile 2496? Maybe Asus Xonar D2X.

    Thanks
     

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