What soundcard is the best for music?
Feb 20, 2007 at 4:00 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 54

Gurra1980

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I am planing on buying eather a Cd-player like Marantz SA7001 or a great soundcard and play all my music from the computer.

How good is a high-end soundcard compared to a cd-player.

There is so many soundcards out there (hard to search and find here on the forum) and I don't know anything about them, which ones are supposed to be the best.

I am probably going to use it with Amp Marantz PM7001 and speaker Monitor audio rs6 or gs10 and Sennheiser HD-595.

Price max: 600-700$
 
Feb 20, 2007 at 5:12 PM Post #2 of 54

Joshatdot

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Feb 20, 2007 at 5:38 PM Post #3 of 54

Gurra1980

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Joshatdot /img/forum/go_quote.gif
For 00ber high-end I would guess E-MU 1616M PCI


Is this really the best?
It looks more like a device to use if you want to do your own music and I don't have any interrest in that.

But if it is good for listening to music so why not, it's quite cheap, you don't get a very good Cd-player for that money.
 
Feb 20, 2007 at 5:51 PM Post #4 of 54

Joshatdot

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I just picked E-MU's top of the line PCI Audio Card. Others may reply that the E-MU 0404 USB is best cause its an external DAC. Internal PCI cards can or might get interference while inside the computer.

Also others might suggest Creative's X-Fi XtremeMusic or X-Fi Platinum or X-Fi Elite Pro
http://www.soundblaster.com/products...ubcategory=208
 
Feb 20, 2007 at 5:56 PM Post #5 of 54

003

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If you want computer audio a sound card is not the way to go. None of them will compare to a good cd player. You need a sound card with a good bit perfect digital out which you can hook up to an external DAC.
 
Feb 20, 2007 at 5:59 PM Post #6 of 54

Uncle Erik

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Nah, the really high end sound cards come from companies like M-Audio and RME. There are other ones, as well. Pro cards will run several hundred dollars, if not more, and these are what are used by studios and in professional recording. They are very good, however, you already noticed that these are mostly for recording and production work.

Your solution is to buy an inexpensive soundcard ($30-$50) that offers digital output, either via TOSLINK or coax. Then spend the bulk of your money on a DAC. The quality of the soundcard matters little, but a good DAC will do wonderful things to your music.

In your price range, take a look at a used Benchmark DAC1, a used Musical Fidelity A3.24, the PreSonus Central Station, the Bel Canto, and the DAC from Channel Islands Audio. I've probably forgotten a few good ones, but someone else here will probably list them. Take a look at those and you'll find what you're looking for.
 
Feb 20, 2007 at 8:29 PM Post #9 of 54

oqvist

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You don´t need a DAC... My X-Fi even beats many more expensive CD players...

I guess if we are talking 1000$ cd players they start to get better...
It depends on your preferences though. I like the cold sound out of my X-Fi for some and the warmer sound from the denon stereo above for others...

But I would say the X-Fi certainly beats most 100$ cd players. and if you then go up a step to the EMU line and X-Meridian
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Feb 20, 2007 at 9:49 PM Post #11 of 54

nuhi

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Better yet the lately popular Transporter
And if you have a mobo with the digital out use that for movies and games connected to this same device (it has digital in).
edit: But since you're on a budget their Squeezebox with some external DAC will suffice and fit to your bill.

I have E-Mu 1212m and even through external DAC the sound has sibilance, which isn't there when I connect a CD Player via same DAC. Gonna order Transporter very soon and throw in some comparison first hand.
 
Feb 20, 2007 at 10:08 PM Post #12 of 54

cotdt

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even the Lynx Two which is the king of all soundcards can't match up against even mid-fi external DACs. however, if you're handy with a soldering iron, you can mod your X-Fi to beat out some really expensive DACs.
 
Feb 20, 2007 at 10:23 PM Post #13 of 54

Gatticus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by uzziah /img/forum/go_quote.gif
screw the card; get a dac


get an av710 or some cheap bitperfect output like a usb pc-link


zhaolu's, dac-ah's and am's and all that



Wouldn't an EMU-0404 USB be better than one of those DAC's? EMU 0404 USB is an external DAC and a soundcard, plus it has a Class A headphone amp. For the money I doubt one of those DAC's you list can beat it.
 
Feb 20, 2007 at 10:25 PM Post #14 of 54

Gatticus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cotdt /img/forum/go_quote.gif
even the Lynx Two which is the king of all soundcards can't match up against even mid-fi external DACs. however, if you're handy with a soldering iron, you can mod your X-Fi to beat out some really expensive DACs.


What mod is that?
 
Feb 20, 2007 at 11:41 PM Post #15 of 54

Gurra1980

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Quote:

Originally Posted by oqvist /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You don´t need a DAC... My X-Fi even beats many more expensive CD players...

I guess if we are talking 1000$ cd players they start to get better...
It depends on your preferences though. I like the cold sound out of my X-Fi for some and the warmer sound from the denon stereo above for others...

But I would say the X-Fi certainly beats most 100$ cd players. and if you then go up a step to the EMU line and X-Meridian
smily_headphones1.gif



The cd-player I am looking at if I don't choose to use the computer as source is Marantz SA7001 wich costs 840$ I guess it's hard for a soundcard to beat that one. (the reason I can get it cheaper, around 700$ is that I in such case buy it together with speaker and amp)
 

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