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Soundcard recommendations


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#1
GarethE

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So I'm getting tired of the subpar quality from the onboard audio from my P5W DH Deluxe, and I'm thinking I want to get a PCI sound card as a replacement. What would be the best choice, compatibility-wise? I preferably would want something that I can keep my speakers (Logitech x-530) and headphones (Sennheiser HD-515) plugged into at the same time.

#2
mtotho

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Subpar? i think it is pretty good.. i use the digital port though. And also i want 5.1 for gaming and not just watchign movies.. I heard the creative 24 bit external live usb thing is pretty good.

#3
GarethE

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Maybe it's just the driver, but it doesn't seem to handle bass very well. I'm not using the digital output, that probably doesn't help.

#4
nate256

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I have a Creative USB Sound Blaster Card and it is working very well!
i have 5.1 speakers too. the only volume controll you have is on the speaker or the sound level on the computer.
Under System preferences it says The selected Device has no out put controlls. but it works fine other wise.


~Nate~

#5
mtotho

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@nate.. if you have no control options then surely it isnt 5.1.. with my digital i can get sound through all 5 channels and the subwoofer but that doesnt mean it is 5.1 surround. With the 24bit external.. is there a way to make it surround for lets say.. a game? or whatever. or is it just all channels. or mainly center channel? thanks

actually it looks like you can set up 5.1

http://forum.insanel...showtopic=87336

i was able to use quad speakers (only 2 sound outputs worked).. i took it off... but i atleast figured out how to do it.. i just dont know how it would perform in a game or whatever.

#6
Redalert

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So I'm getting tired of the subpar quality from the onboard audio from my P5W DH Deluxe, and I'm thinking I want to get a PCI sound card as a replacement. What would be the best choice, compatibility-wise? I preferably would want something that I can keep my speakers (Logitech x-530) and headphones (Sennheiser HD-515) plugged into at the same time.



same here even i was wondering if i could get some pci soundcard working in leopard, i guess creative live 24bit internal should work but i did prefer x-fi or audigy series instead & having single sound device compatible with both vista & leopard. ther was a driver development in progress for audigy somtime in 2006 they stopped midway due to lack of commitment, it was active in the same forum try searching it!

i hate external usb/firewire sound devices is okay if one is using laptops.

#7
vaporATX

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i guess creative live 24bit internal should work but i did prefer x-fi or audigy series instead


None of those will work. Just because the live external works doesn't mean the internal does. Check the HCLs.

i hate external usb/firewire sound devices is okay if one is using laptops.


Why? The finest sound devices on the market are external. You don't think pro sound people and serious a/v enthusiasts use an x-fi, do you? Internal cards are garbage.

#8
Redalert

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okay i got that one wrong creative live 24bit internal is not supported i just took a guess, well as for external scards hw do u think it is going to aid in increasing pc's performance?? it jus simply cant achieve it, if u really want to take advantage of audigy/x-fi processors it better be inside u r pc (with the present day architecture) to experience the ultimate in sound quality.

Edit: s i do understand studios/professionals use external devices but again it is linked through internal proprietary cards & not usb or firewires

#9
vaporATX

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Edit: s i do understand studios/professionals use external devices but again it is linked through internal proprietary cards & not usb or firewires


Well, yeah. If you're talking really high end. All I'm saying is that if you want a quality pro level sound solution without spending many thousands of dollars that there are options. An x-fi or audigy isn't that solution. Why? Because they are bascially made for gaming, are not supported with drivers, and sound like crap unless you just output digital straight to your a/v equipment. They're not an option on a real Mac much less a Hackpro, are not supported with drivers, and I wouldn't expect them ever to be.

#10
omol

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Edit: s i do understand studios/professionals use external devices but again it is linked through internal proprietary cards & not usb or firewires


Huh? I don't know about you, but to me, http://www.focusrite...oducts/saffire/ is pro. So does http://www.rme-audio...w_firewire_list, or to a lesser degree http://www.m-audio.c...ID=FWinterfaces.

A mastering engineer who happens to use Mac + M-Audio firewire interface.

#11
vaporATX

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Huh? I don't know about you, but to me, http://www.focusrite...oducts/saffire/ is pro. So does http://www.rme-audio...w_firewire_list, or to a lesser degree http://www.m-audio.c...ID=FWinterfaces.

A mastering engineer who happens to use Mac + M-Audio firewire interface.


Exactly.... thank you. This fellow doesn't have a clue what he is talking about. I have a M-Audio FW 410 and use that to output to my a/v reciever. It sounds like god. Given the choice between using a cobbled together driver for some internal card that may give you some analog i/o and sound like a bomb hitting a guitar factory, and a fully functional external that... well... the choice is easy for me. I don't suggest everybody run out and buy a $400 pro level solution, but you can look for one used like I did ($180). Even the cheap Live 24 external is gonna sound better than the garbage built-ins with cobbled together drivers on most motherboards, and is supported.

#12
omol

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Exactly.... thank you. This fellow doesn't have a clue what he is talking about. I have a M-Audio FW 410 and use that to output to my a/v reciever. It sounds like god. Given the choice between using a cobbled together driver for some internal card that may give you some analog i/o and sound like a bomb hitting a guitar factory, and a fully functional external that... well... the choice is easy for me. I don't suggest everybody run out and buy a $400 pro level solution, but you can look for one used like I did ($180). Even the cheap Live 24 external is gonna sound better than the garbage built-ins with cobbled together drivers on most motherboards, and is supported.


The reason to use external i/o is simple, b'cos all kinds of interference inside the computer case. Even the top of the line RME card still can't beat a decent and cheaper external i/o, either firewire or usb. Glad that you like your M-Audio i/o. I have been using their gears since when they were called Midiman. They have been like workhorse to me, midi interface or i/o, and not to mention they don't cost you an arm or a leg.

#13
vaporATX

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The reason to use external i/o is simple, b'cos all kinds of interference inside the computer case. Even the top of the line RME card still can't beat a decent and cheaper external i/o, either firewire or usb. Glad that you like your M-Audio i/o. I have been using their gears since when they were called Midiman. They have been like workhorse to me, midi interface or i/o, and not to mention they don't cost you an arm or a leg.


It's just a no brainer for me to use external sound. I'm constantly trying new mobos and chips, and with osx86 it once less thing to worry about. Why people like to tear they hair out trying to get some crappy analog jacks to work is beyond me.

#14
omol

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It's just a no brainer for me to use external sound. I'm constantly trying new mobos and chips, and with osx86 it once less thing to worry about. Why people like to tear they hair out trying to get some crappy analog jacks to work is beyond me.


Well, to be frank, I prefer analog to digital. However, for consumer or even a pro-sumer grade product, forget about analog. For me, I just connect my firewire i/o directly to a pair of Genelec 1029a using some very generic cable and cannon connecters. Fully balance, nothing fancy. For a pc that's already has hd audio codec builtin, I see no reason to shell out some $$$ to get a X-Fi, a la game card, cos' the sound is too much coloring, and you just gain maybe 3 to 4 fps at most. If the people insist on sending money to Creative, at least try their professional card E-MU, not the crappy SB/Audigy cards. No, I don't use E-MU cards or i/o, I only use their synths and samplers.

#15
vaporATX

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Well, to be frank, I prefer analog to digital.


No arguments from me here. Digital just fits better into the a/v nature of computers and home theater setups. When I want to listen to real music I go in the other room and turn on the old Conrad-Johnson PV-6 preamp, the heavily modified Dynaco ST-70 amp, cue up an album on the Linn, sit down in front of the Spendor SP-1s, and melt. ;)

#16
GarethE

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Thanks for the responses. Looks like I'm now in the market for a a/v receiver, any recommendations there? vaporATX, which receiver do you use, out of curiosity?

#17
vaporATX

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I have an Onkyo TX-NR905. Run you about $1500-$1600 new. I got mine for $1100 used. The 605 and 705 are also very nice and cheaper.

#18
bonk13

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RME HDSP 9632 works just fine, but may a bit to expensive for casual listening. Around $550.

http://www.rme-audio...s_hdsp_9632.php





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