Which current card has the best analog output?
Sep 3, 2009 at 3:27 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

tasque

New Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Posts
1
Likes
0
Hi everyone, despite the fact that there is tons of data I've been able to google, I'm not sure exactly have much stock to put in them all, and I'm still pretty much a novice audiophile. I picked up some decent speakers and a power amp and there wasn't much left over for an external DAC so until I can afford a Bel Canto DAC3 I'll have to rely on a soundcard.

Thanks in advance
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 4:30 AM Post #2 of 15

anetode

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Posts
2,050
Likes
312
ASUS Xonar Essence STX with swappable op-amps. Ridiculously high snr & onboard rca outs
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 11:43 AM Post #3 of 15

k2snowboards88

Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Posts
55
Likes
0
Everything I've read agrees with the last poster. I have heard that the analogue outs are great, but not as great as the headphone out and if you use an amp with it, you should get an adaptor for the headphone jack.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 1:32 PM Post #4 of 15

joe_cool

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 8, 2002
Posts
1,151
Likes
13
I think you have to consider the driver/software side of the situation to answer the OP's question. I think some of us are disappointed in the drivers of the Xonar line, as well as Creative and some others.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 6:02 PM Post #5 of 15

magma79

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Posts
13
Likes
0
the OP and i have a very similar requirement
i hope this helps the OP too

heres my query


i have a query for a setup i would like some help with
i have planned to use a desktop PC as source using CMP and CPlay or Foobar with Asio depending on convinience

i am looking for a good soundcard for 2.0 channel audio
the soundcard is to be connected to a NAD 325 BEE stereo int amp which is further connected to a piar of PSB bookshelves

i would love to have the Asus Xonar Essence ST ( PCI version)
however im unable to procure it,
i am offered only the STX
frown.gif


i have come across the following other PCI cards in my budget
MAudio Audiophile 2496
Emu 0404 PCI
ESI Juli@

please advice on a soundcard

requirements : must be PCI not PCI express.
and at least one SPDIF OP would be preferred
also prefer the card to work on ASIO4ALL drivers

looking forwad to everyones help
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 6:13 PM Post #6 of 15

ROBSCIX

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Posts
6,173
Likes
42
Quote:

Originally Posted by k2snowboards88 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Everything I've read agrees with the last poster. I have heard that the analogue outs are great, but not as great as the headphone out and if you use an amp with it, you should get an adaptor for the headphone jack.


I think I have to say the opposite is true.
If you compare that specs for the line out compared to the Headphone output, the line outs have better specs across the board.

Using a can amp to drive another can amp is not such a good idea as you will be raising the distortion and lowering the SNR.
You choice though, try out both but the line out has a SNR of about 124db and the can amp is about 117dB..IIRC.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 6:15 PM Post #7 of 15

ROBSCIX

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Posts
6,173
Likes
42
Quote:

Originally Posted by magma79 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
the OP and i have a very similar requirement
i hope this helps the OP too

heres my query


i have a query for a setup i would like some help with
i have planned to use a desktop PC as source using CMP and CPlay or Foobar with Asio depending on convinience

i am looking for a good soundcard for 2.0 channel audio
the soundcard is to be connected to a NAD 325 BEE stereo int amp which is further connected to a piar of PSB bookshelves

i would love to have the Asus Xonar Essence ST ( PCI version)
however im unable to procure it,
i am offered only the STX
frown.gif


i have come across the following other PCI cards in my budget
MAudio Audiophile 2496
Emu 0404 PCI
ESI Juli@

please advice on a soundcard

requirements : must be PCI not PCI express.
and at least one SPDIF OP would be preferred
also prefer the card to work on ASIO4ALL drivers

looking forwad to everyones help



If your interesed in the ST, I would wait. If you don't want to wait, there are other cards around that are stereo output and should be PCI. Models from Onkyo.. ESI..M-audio,EMU..etc..etc.
Good luck on your gear hunt.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 6:30 PM Post #8 of 15

magma79

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Posts
13
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBSCIX /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If your interesed in the ST, I would wait. If you don't want to wait, there are other cards around that are stereo output and should be PCI. Models from Onkyo.. ESI..M-audio,EMU..etc..etc.
Good luck on your gear hunt.



sir
im very interested in that card
been waitiing for 2 months now to get hold of it in america
a bit frustrating!

any insideknowledge on when i might be able to buy one in the US?

i was looking for advice about which card is preferred from the 3 options ive given
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 6:35 PM Post #9 of 15

joe_cool

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 8, 2002
Posts
1,151
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by magma79 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i have come across the following other PCI cards in my budget
MAudio Audiophile 2496
Emu 0404 PCI
ESI Juli@



In my humble experience...
AP2496 is a good card with very good drivers but the analog output is not the best.
E-MU 0404 PCI is very good hardware but the drivers are complicated and inconvenient.
Juli@ is very good overall both hardware and drivers. Also it has balanced and unbalanced outputs if you need that.

All of these cards have drivers that support ASIO so no need for ASIO4ALL.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 6:41 PM Post #11 of 15

ROBSCIX

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Posts
6,173
Likes
42
All three of the cards you suggested are recording cards and entry level at that.
Given this fact if your not used to them the drivers can be somewhat complicated depnding on the internal routing and signal options.
The AP2496 is quite old...is considered ok for input but not too good for output.
EMU-0404 seems to get great marks around here from users but as was mentioned the drivers can be a bit much if your not used to recording drivers.
Juli@ gets very high marks around here from users so maybe this would be your best bet out of your chosen cards.

Maybe download and look over the spec sheets and manual for each model and see which fits your needs the best.

To bad you can't test out each with your ears to decide.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 3:47 AM Post #12 of 15

magma79

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Posts
13
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by ROBSCIX /img/forum/go_quote.gif
All three of the cards you suggested are recording cards and entry level at that.
Given this fact if your not used to them the drivers can be somewhat complicated depnding on the internal routing and signal options.
The AP2496 is quite old...is considered ok for input but not too good for output.
EMU-0404 seems to get great marks around here from users but as was mentioned the drivers can be a bit much if your not used to recording drivers.
Juli@ gets very high marks around here from users so maybe this would be your best bet out of your chosen cards.

Maybe download and look over the spec sheets and manual for each model and see which fits your needs the best.

To bad you can't test out each with your ears to decide.



thanks for the advice
much appreciated

Robscix is there any card im not considering or one that you would prefer over the Juli for my need ( 2.0 stereo with external int amp)
P.S below 150$ though
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 5:31 PM Post #13 of 15

ROBSCIX

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Posts
6,173
Likes
42
No. You got a pretty good list there.
However, there are some other 2.0 cards out there, so if your in no rush you can keep looking as you may stumble onto something you like better based on features.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 8:25 PM Post #14 of 15

anetode

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 8, 2008
Posts
2,050
Likes
312
For PCI, try the HT Omega Claro Halo. It shares many features with the STX, it is also based on the same chipset and has superb 2ch out & a headphone amp.
 
Sep 9, 2009 at 3:24 AM Post #15 of 15

joe_cool

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 8, 2002
Posts
1,151
Likes
13
Quote:

Originally Posted by anetode /img/forum/go_quote.gif
For PCI, try the HT Omega Claro Halo. It shares many features with the STX, it is also based on the same chipset and has superb 2ch out & a headphone amp.


Agreed, but this sells for about $200 plus shipping.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top