Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 Deluxe Analog thread - AVS Forum
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Since the main Official thread seems more orientated to to HDMI bitstreaming capability of the card which is great but that's only part of it's capability.

So I am starting this thread for those of us that purchased this card to use the Analog outputs to supplement our older AVR's which don't have any support for the new HD audio formats.

Here let's report what works, what doesn't and what is needed to fully support our needs.

Please, No bashing!

I suggest listing the following in the posts:

CPU and speed
Motherboard or computer brand & model
Installed memory
Graphics Card
Graphic driver version
OS 32 or 64 bit & Service pack level
HD-ROM Drive used for playback
HDAV driver version
TMT Version

Here is my take:

1. Xonar HDAV Center should have under "Analog Out" drop-down
- 6.1 speakers

2. Some positive "Feedback Indicator" as to what "Audio Format and Sample Rate" is being decoded.

3. Automatic selection of the best "Sample Rate" based on stream being decoded. But leave manual controls to override if necessary.

4. Ideally complete HD DVD support for True-HD and DTS-MA but at the very least a more graceful way to playback audio via analog outputs. As it stands
now you must select Digital Output and use spdif out to playback.
No analog output support at all!

Yes, I know it's the loosing format but it is one of the reasons I purchased the TMT retail version, to have dual format support. But now having to use Asus TMT version in order to use the Xonar; this unnecessarily limits and complicates TMT's HD DVD playback.

I for one have some HD DVD's and don't see the need to have to replace them for BD versions as their HD video quality is certainly as good as any BD I have watched and the sound formats are the same.

As far as BD is concerned the disk's I have played seem to decode quite well; I put it this way as I can only subjectively say it sounds a lot better seeming fuller and much richer than before. "NEED Decoding Format Indicator" as one would get on a AVR to validate.

DVD formats of DD, EX and DTS 5.1 / ES seem to work.

At this time I do not use the HDMI In/Out for video, as it interferes with several other apps I use by making my system read as a dual monitor system at all times. The two apps are DirecTV2PC and PDVD8.

Instead I still use my mon2 to feed my VisionHDP scalier and then the MITS HD4000 PJ. Which works very well. No lip-sync errors so far.

Rew

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HDAV - R1757 RC01
TMT - 20081129

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Old 12-06-2008, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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One more very important thing is a "Speaker Delay Setup" section in the HDAV Driver Control Panel.

This should be settable either in Feet or Meters with at least a 0.1 resolution.
And is very important for proper analog playback.

Rew

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Old 12-06-2008, 10:42 AM
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Specs:

Windows Vista 64bit Ultimate SP1
Processor AMD Athlon X2 3,2GHz
Matherboard ASUS Crosshair
Graphics 2x nVidia Geforce 8800GTX 768 in SLI drivers 180.48 WHQL
Xonar HDAV deluxe
Onkyo SR 805
Projector Infocus IN83 1080p24Hz fully capable.

Latest drivers for Xonar
TMT .125 Asus

Chain:
1st branch: 8800GTX -> IN83 via DVI
2nd branch: 8800GTX -> Xonar -> SR 805 -> IN83 via HDMI 1.3a

Old Audio:

S/PDIF from main card to SR 805
8x cinch cable from main and doughter card to multichannel in of SR 805

Results:

Bitstreaming:
True HD - splendid
DTS MA 7.1 [Rambo] - huge stuttering [unwatchable]
LPCM uncompressed - huge stuttering [unwatchable]
DD - splendid
DTS - splendid
24Hz via DVI direct to IN83 and bitstream via Xonar - huge stuttering and only 1/4 of picture. [unwatchable]

Analogue:

Pretty the same as HDMI wierd, isn't it?

The same setup except:

Drivers from CD Xonar
TMT .123
DD+ splendid
True HD - splendid
DTS MA 7.1 [Rambo] - splendid
DTS MA - splendid
LPCM uncompressed - splendid
DD - splendid
DTS - splendid
24Hz via DVI direct to IN83 - splendid

Only issue I found is huge stuttering and some slowness in BD's Cars and Behind Enemy lines.

Kamil
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:17 PM
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Hello kamil,
so not problems at all with the analogue output...
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cattivik View Post

Hello kamil,
so not problems at all with the analogue output...

Except the two films I mentioned, no problems. But I think it will be TMT problem, I'll try under XP 64 PDVD 8 and will see...
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Watched 'Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" last night. IT has a DTD-MA sound track which was very good sound effect wise but a little hard to understand the dialog at times due to the Brit and Spanish accents. Will have to watch them both again but it was pretty good.

Main thread has a post indicating Asus Team has responded over on the Asus forum; it sounds promising.

Rew

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Old 12-07-2008, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Another useful feature would be:

Separate Equalizers Settings for each Speaker!
It could be implemented using existing display just have a Speaker selection drop-down box and store each speakers settings.

Rew

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Old 12-07-2008, 09:56 AM
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Separate Equalizers Settings for each Speaker!

Sound great...+1
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:33 PM
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The latest set of Beta driver released provide full resolution Blue-Ray audio over analog conenction. This is great news for HDAV 1.3 Deluxe owners as there is no more downsampling to worry about. These driver have been released for both XP and Vista. Of course all has been fixed on teh HDMI digital side of things and all formats are said to be working but I knwo many have bought the card for analog output so this should be of good news to many of you with the Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe.

The driver comments are as posted:
Xonar HDAV1.3/Deluxe driver for Vista 32/64-bit Version
Release Notes:
1.Support Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus HBR audio bitstream via HDMI output under PAPS
2.Support Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus 24bit/192KHz LPCM playback via HDMI or analog output under PAPS
3.Requires to install TotalMedia Theatre player v.2.1.13.125 to support Blu-ray disc HBR audio functions
4. Please uninstall existing Xonar HDAV driver/GamerOSD/Splendid driver (if any) before installing
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:36 PM
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So whats the update on this guys?
Does the analog now support HD DVD in full lossless audio?
Can we have seperate speaker profiles saved?
Any other new features?

I am looking at buying this card, but want to be sure about capabilites..
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
3.Requires to install TotalMedia Theatre player v.2.1.13.125 to support Blu-ray disc HBR audio functions

Which killed HD DVD audio and eliminated the 10' GUI .

Vern
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:38 PM
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Hi guys,

Thought you might be interested in this, a new FAQ post in the Asus HDAV forum:
http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?...onar%20HDAV1.3

Q1. Does the audio still have to pass through the Windows mixer since I am using analog?

A: No, HD audio from Blu-ray disc will not go through Windows Mixer or audio stacks for both analog and HDMI output. It will go through Protected Audio Path directly between TMT player and our audio driver. Therefore, it can fulfill the Full-HD audio fidelity without Windows' interference.

Q2. Is the full native audio resolution of the disc (ex. 24/96) being converted to analog?

A: Yes, the native HBR audio from Blu-ray disc will be played to Digital-to-Analog converter chips (support up to 24bit/192KHz) if you choose analog output mode. It could be passed through to analog DAC or HDMI all under Protected Audio Path by user's selection. Just be careful to set the audio sample rate in the Xonar Audio Center right matching with the audio content format (You can refer to the audio information displayed in TMT Player screen).

Lilo loves my HTPC ... ^_^
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:57 PM
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Are you administrator?

"The purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis." Spock, Mark of Gideon, TOS
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:12 AM
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Thank You for starting this thread. I'm interested in the Deluxe card because I plan to build a HTPC/Music Server on the Dell XPS 420 with OCUR cable cards. Haven't order the Dell yet so any thoughts or inputs from you guys will be helpful. This will be sort of an all in one type player. Something that has my interest is the option to upgrade the op amps. Has anyone tried this? Does there appear to be enough room for the upgrades on the card?
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Old 12-24-2008, 09:20 AM
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I'm wondering whether my Creative Gigaworks S750 7.1 speakers will work probably with this card or not?

Are we talking TrueHD / MasterAudio capabilities?
At the moment I've got some huge issues with this card to work at all, I'm just getting these "Power unplugged!" messages no matter what I do!!
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Old 12-25-2008, 03:26 AM
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The analogue option of this card is something I am very interested in and am struggling to find much info on this side of the card as everyone seem to be hooked up on the HDMI side of it.

If anyone knows and site/forums with some good info on this side of the card could you please let me know.
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoX View Post

The analogue option of this card is something I am very interested in and am struggling to find much info on this side of the card as everyone seem to be hooked up on the HDMI side of it.

If anyone knows and site/forums with some good info on this side of the card could you please let me know.


What do you need to know? The analog output on the HDAV 1.3 Deluxe is the best out of the current Xonar soundcards. THe Essence STX will surpass it when released.

The analog output on the HDAV 1.3 is very good and now you have full analog support for Blu-Ray etc... lookover that last few posts.
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Old 12-25-2008, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

What do you need to know? The analog output on the HDAV 1.3 Deluxe is the best out of the current Xonar soundcards. THe Essence STX will surpass it when released.

The analog output on the HDAV 1.3 is very good and now you have full analog support for Blu-Ray etc... lookover that last few posts.

I agree, I have the analog outs feeding my Denon AVR-3805 and it certainly is as good as my 3805 for older formats and of course the bounus is the new formats which also sound very good.

Driver still need some honing for analog, that is specifically Speaker Delay settings and hopefully individual speaker equalizer settings would put the icing on the cake.

I don't think anyone has worked with different op-amps yet.

Rew

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Old 12-26-2008, 12:01 AM
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So am I going to get the proper playback using powerdvd for do I need TMT ?

I have tried both but I have had no sucess with TMT.
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Old 12-26-2008, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoX View Post

So am I going to get the proper playback using powerdvd for do I need TMT ?

I have tried both but I have had no sucess with TMT.

Assuming you have not read the threads on HDAV it only works for the new Audio formats using Asus version of TMT.

It does seem to work in PDVD for the older Audio formats, just not the HD ones.

Sometime in the the (hopefully) near future, Arcsoft has indicated they may include support for HDAV in the retail version.

My guess is when the HDAV driver is finalized and stable.

Will PDVD? Not sure but I hope so.

Are you using Vista or XP? Vista seems to work better for me. Xp has proved to have some issue.

Rew

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Old 12-26-2008, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for starting this thread. This is EXACTLY what I am looking for, the other thread is mostly about HDMI

Anyway, here is my situation:
I have a very good (but old) Pre-amp processor (an Anthem AVM20). It has 5.1 analog inputs. No HDMI on it.
I want to have full rez audio on my setup. I guess this Asus card is the only way, right?

Now for my question:

How good are the D/A and audio out stages (op-amps) on this card?

I have an older Creative Audigy 2 card, its analog output is nowhere near my Anthem's quality. For example :
1. use the Audigy to decode (DD on DVDs) and use its analog outputs to feed my Anthem, vs
2. Use the motherboard's S/PDIF connector to output digital audio to my Anthem

The sound in case #2 is much much better than the #1.

Hence I suspect that it may be better to upgrade the Anthem to a HDMI equipped processor INSTEAD of getting this Asus analog out card.

What is your take on it?

-Rajiv
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajdude View Post

Thanks for starting this thread. This is EXACTLY what I am looking for, the other thread is mostly about HDMI

Anyway, here is my situation:
I have a very good (but old) Pre-amp processor (an Anthem AVM20). It has 5.1 analog inputs. No HDMI on it.
I want to have full rez audio on my setup. I guess this Asus card is the only way, right?

Now for my question:

How good are the D/A and audio out stages (op-amps) on this card?

From the spec's on the card and having used them to feed my AVR-3805 I would say they are at least equal to a very good AVR.


I have an older Creative Audigy 2 card, its analog output is nowhere near my Anthem’s quality. For example :
1. use the Audigy to decode (DD on DVDs) and use its analog outputs to feed my Anthem, vs
2. Use the motherboard’s S/PDIF connector to output digital audio to my Anthem

The sound in case #2 is much much better than the #1.

Hence I suspect that it may be better to upgrade the Anthem to a HDMI equipped processor INSTEAD of getting this Asus analog out card.

What is your take on it?

If you are playing BD's on your present computer via TMT and it works well for you I would say the HDAV is a good solution.

Upgrading your AVR would cost more then the HDAV and there is no garentee it will work any better for the new audio formats.

You did not mention what you are displaying your HD video on.

Rew

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Old 12-26-2008, 08:57 AM
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Ya, HDAV surely is cheaper than upgrading my pre-pro (mine is not an AVR) but I am a dyed-in-the-wool audiophile.
I want the best possible audio from my HTPC (within reasonable costs)

Is there anyone who values audio very highly and has tested/compared the analog audio output of the HDAV to a high-end AVR or a pre-pro decoding HD-Audio?

BTW, the display is a Projector (A Sony G70 CRT projector) in a dedicated Home Theater room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rew452 View Post

If you are playing BD's on your present computer via TMT and it works well for you I would say the HDAV is a good solution.

Upgrading your AVR would cost more then the HDAV and there is no garentee it will work any better for the new audio formats.

You did not mention what you are displaying your HD video on.

Rew


-Rajiv
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Old 12-26-2008, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajdude View Post

Ya, HDAV surely is cheaper than upgrading my pre-pro (mine is not an AVR) but I am a dyed-in-the-wool audiophile.
I want the best possible audio from my HTPC (within reasonable costs)

Is there anyone who values audio very highly and has tested/compared the analog audio output of the HDAV to a high-end AVR or a pre-pro decoding HD-Audio?

BTW, the display is a Projector (A Sony G70 CRT projector) in a dedicated Home Theater room.

I think if you read the spec's listed below you will find it will more than fulfill your quest. It at least matches most receivers whether they are AVR's or dedicated Pre-Amps. Anything else is subjective based on the listener.

Audio Performance Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted):
Up to 120 dB for all channels dB dB
Output THD+N at 1kHz:
Up to 0.0004% (-108dB)
Frequency Response (-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input):
<10Hz to 46kHz
Sample Rate Conversion Quality:
Almost lossless, high-fidelity floating-point filters, with:
-140dB THD+N (typical value for 44.1K->48KHz, 24bit)
145dB Dynamic Range (typical value for 44.1K->48KHz, 24bit)


Beyond that I think you will have to try it for yourself to really answer your question.

Rew

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Old 12-26-2008, 10:03 AM
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Thanks Rew, the specs are impressive.

But as is true in the high-end audio world, specs dont tell the whole story. For example, CD players with identical listed specs will sound different. IMHO, the difference is very real and demonstrable.

It becomes subjective ONLY when double blind tests show there is no difference. And of course, such products exist!

$1000 Cable elevators, anyone?


Back to topic, I can guess that since Asus made the op-amps replacable....that means they may be serious about sound quality on this card.
Of course it also means that replacing op-amps with better ones may increase the sound quality of the HDAV. Has anyone replaced those op-amps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rew452 View Post

I think if you read the spec's listed below you will find it will more than fulfill your quest. It at least matches most receivers whether they are AVR's or dedicated Pre-Amps. Anything else is subjective based on the listener.

Audio Performance Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted):
Up to 120 dB for all channels dB dB
Output THD+N at 1kHz:
Up to 0.0004% (-108dB)
Frequency Response (-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input):
<10Hz to 46kHz
Sample Rate Conversion Quality:
Almost lossless, high-fidelity floating-point filters, with:
-140dB THD+N (typical value for 44.1K->48KHz, 24bit)
145dB Dynamic Range (typical value for 44.1K->48KHz, 24bit)


Beyond that I think you will have to try it for yourself to really answer your question.

Rew


-Rajiv
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:46 PM
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No, I have felt no need to do so. I migrated from an Auzentek X-Meridian which also uses replacable opamps. Using 7.1 analog connectionis through a Yamaha Z9, I find the new card has a more open and airy high end than the X-Meridian and really think the card sounds excellent.

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Old 12-26-2008, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajdude View Post

Thanks Rew, the specs are impressive.

But as is true in the high-end audio world, specs dont tell the whole story. For example, CD players with identical listed specs will sound different. IMHO, the difference is very real and demonstrable.

It becomes subjective ONLY when double blind tests show there is no difference. And of course, such products exist!

$1000 Cable elevators, anyone?


Back to topic, I can guess that since Asus made the op-amps replacable....that means they may be serious about sound quality on this card.
Of course it also means that replacing op-amps with better ones may increase the sound quality of the HDAV. Has anyone replaced those op-amps?


The specifications don't tell the whole story but they are a definate factor in deciding which soundcard to buy and unitl somebody comes up with a better measurment system this is the industry standard and the way companies gauge audio devices. You should always use your ears as the final judge. Since you asked, I have changed out opamps on the HDAV 1.3 using higher quality OPA627/637 and others.

I am unsure if it will surpass your AVR for straight sound quality, as your comparing apples to oranges. Perhaps you can find somebody who has one to test with.
You could always purchase the card and try it out and if it works for you keep it, if not returm it and get your money back.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by lilohtpc View Post

Q1. Does the audio still have to pass through the Windows mixer since I am using analog?

A: No, HD audio from Blu-ray disc will not go through Windows Mixer or audio stacks for both analog and HDMI output. It will go through Protected Audio Path directly between TMT player and our audio driver. Therefore, it can fulfill the Full-HD audio fidelity without Windows' interference.

Hi,

Just a question about the implications of this remark and volume control:

Right now i use an Auzen X-Meridian with the analogs out driving a few Beolab speakers, no A/V reciever in between. This means i need windows to control volume.

1: Does using the analogs out with this card mean you loose volume control through windows (since PAP will bypass Windows Mixer)?
2: Will i need a A/V reciever to take over volume control?

Kind Regards, Roy
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hoogeslag View Post

Hi,

Just a question about the implications of this remark and volume control:

Right now i use an Auzen X-Meridian with the analogs out driving a few Beolab speakers, no A/V reciever in between. This means i need windows to control volume.

1: Does using the analogs out with this card mean you loose volume control through windows (since PAP will bypass Windows Mixer)?
2: Will i need a A/V reciever to take over volume control?

Kind Regards, Roy

No, windows volume control still works and if I understand correctly it is really the HDAV's volume / mixer that is being controlled.

Set it to 50 and it is supposed to be about 0db out on the analog outputs.

Rew

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Old 12-30-2008, 07:12 AM
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did the replacement op-amps make any difference?


Unfortunately I dont have a high-end BD player with analog outs and full HD-audio decoding to compare this card's output with.

hence even if I buy it I wont be able to compare it with anything. [........well maybe my old sound card ]


Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

The specifications don't tell the whole story but they are a definate factor in deciding which soundcard to buy and unitl somebody comes up with a better measurment system this is the industry standard and the way companies gauge audio devices. You should always use your ears as the final judge. Since you asked, I have changed out opamps on the HDAV 1.3 using higher quality OPA627/637 and others.

I am unsure if it will surpass your AVR for straight sound quality, as your comparing apples to oranges. Perhaps you can find somebody who has one to test with.
You could always purchase the card and try it out and if it works for you keep it, if not returm it and get your money back.


-Rajiv
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