X-fi and Cmoy-Szekeres Amp to supplement HD650
Mar 2, 2006 at 6:35 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3


Mar 1, 2006
Hi all,

I currently have onboard sound and I'm considering to get the HD650s, but I'm not sure which DYI amp and soundcard would be best for it. At this moment I'm think that I'd get an X-fi extreme music as a soundcard and then I think i'll build a cmoy for the HD650s. I was considering possibly getting a pro soundcard, but most aren't readily available in Canada, particularly the GTA region.

For soundcards, I considered the M-Audio 5.1 Revolution and maybe the Chaintech AV-770, but I overall I think that the X-fi is a much more versatile card than the previous two if the audio quality difference is negligable. But unfortunately I can't say anything but I haven't tried either out.

I guess I was also wondering how the sound quality of the X-fi would compare to the 5.1 Revolution and pro cards like the EMU 0404. Personally money isn't that much of an issue, but I'm looking more so for value. I'd rather have a card that has a good DSP and is slightly worse sounding than a Pro card.

Also I was thinking about building using a 2 stage Cmoy-Szekeres amp, but I'm unsure where to get a good power supply and the FET.
Mar 2, 2006 at 5:22 PM Post #2 of 3


100+ Head-Fier
Jul 6, 2004
If you want a card with a good DSP, you pretty much have to go with Emu/Creative. They are the only company in the reasonably priced arena that does DSPs on their cards. Avid has cards with DSPs but, well, you really don't want to know the price. Now of those cards, only the SoundBlaster lineup, that is the Lives, Audigies and X-Fis, have DSPs targeted at general system use. The DSP on the EMUs is the same as on the Audigies, but is more targeted at things like realtime FX support for pro software than general sound enhancement.

So, as always, I say get an X-Fi. The Extreme Music is a great card for not too much money. If you want better output and money is truly no object, the Elite Pro is nice, and has a dedicated headphone jack, but is $400.

For an amp, I'd look at something better than the Cmoy. I don't know that it would offer you much over the included amp on the X-Fi (it's front channel will drive headphones). Get a Pimeta, PPA, or M3 maybe. More expensive, but they'll do your headphones right. Instead of a Cmoy, I'd get an X-Fi Platinum. It's got a bay with a headphone amp in it that's probably at least Cmoy quality.

Also, if you are willing to drop serious cash, you can get an X-Fi and use it's digital output to a DAC to get as good a converter as you card to afford while still getting all the X-Fi effects (all processing is done prior to output). The only thing you can't do is DVD-A playback as it is disallowed over digital connection by licensing.
Mar 3, 2006 at 7:36 AM Post #3 of 3


500+ Head-Fier
Feb 28, 2006
Someone just posted an awesome deal on the Chaintech card in the lounge. www.ncix.com is selling them for $20. I'm really thinking I'd like to replace my SB Live Value with this.

edit: oops, didn't realize that my post would be a reply to your post rather than the thread starter. I've never been on a board that did that before.

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