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post #271 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by AVOpus View Post

I can understand your comments. The lessened amount of warmth is the one are that you will notice and if this is critical to your listening or perhaps not a good match for your speakers then I can see that.

I would be severely shocked if you said that you had less detail with the XM and the LM4562 though. My speakers are not necessarily bright as well using a Danish designed silk dome which many find less fatiguing than the titanium or alloy counterparts. What I get out of it is substantial though. I hear the brush of the arm across the guitar while being played, the individual breaths before each sung note, the minor amount of reverb present in a smaller recording room. All of these were improved at least with my speakers. Who knows, the Revels might emphasize these already which would make the output of the XM / LM4562 overkill.

Some things may work better in systems than others. When I say less detail, I mean there are certian thump associated with fingers in a bass that are not resolved as well by the XM/LM4562. The XMLM does boot the upper midrange and treble but in a way that I find less full and natural with my system.

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post #272 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 11:29 AM
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when you do your X-FI Extreme Music comparison, please keep in mind that that card is inferior to the Elite Pro version.


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post #273 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by RichB View Post

Some things may work better in systems than others. When I say less detail, I mean there are certian thump associated with fingers in a bass that are not resolved as well by the XM/LM4562. The XMLM does boot the upper midrange and treble but in a way that I find less full and natural with my system.

- Rich

I would LOVE you to hear my modded card. Nothing unnatural about it.

I suspect that you will not like the stock OpAmps compared to the LM4562s. They wont lose much of the high frequency energy, just some of the dynamics are lost. The BurrBrown 2227s might be a better fit for you system. You probably miss the "slam" that you get with a more gererously power fed preamp. Many , including myself have noticed that the XM competes in many areas with very good pre-amps except in the realm of overall dynamics. The sudden bursts of high energy are a bit more subdued. You also comment that the sound of the mid/upper doesnt sount as full. Again, this points to the low freq deficit. It's the same thing for me when I hear hear a good tweeter with vocals. I associate the breathy vocals as good midrange, when actually its the high frequencies giving me that impression. A good low/mid bass response will greatly color the mid/upper frequencies as a whole.

FYI, I actually had the Revel F12s in my house next to my Swans when I was auditioning speakers for purchase. Granted, its their low end model, but I preferred the tweeters on the Swans. How do the F12s compare to your models ? I also compared JMLabs Cobalts, Martin Logan Ascent, and Axiom M80 v2. Each had their own strenths and weaknesses like most audio equipment. The Logans bar none had the best soundstage, but you had to be the EXACT right position. They sounded like poo if you moved too much off the sweet spot. Anway, I apologize for the side track here... back to the cards.
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post #274 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jimwhite View Post

when you do your X-FI Extreme Music comparison, please keep in mind that that card is inferior to the Elite Pro version.


Which I had..
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post #275 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 12:30 PM
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I have completed my tests. This was limited because I do not have a lot of time so it was Diana Krall Love Scenes.

RDC7: Integra RDC7 Preamp in direct mode.
XMLM: X-Meridian with LM4562 OpAmps
XMST: X-Meridian with Stock OpAmps
X-FI: X-FI Xtreme Music

Midrange and high Frequency:
RDC7: 10
XMLM: 6
XMST: 7
X-FI: 8

Mid and Low Frequency:
RDC7: 10
XMLM: 6
XMST: 6
X-FI: 8

These comments are about my system and personal preferences so I can understand why others may get a different result. Perhaps there are aspects about the input that the RDC7 just works better with one than that other.

So for me, I will keep the X-FI and sell or return the X-Meridian for the following reasons:

- Better low end performance and resolution is better for HD movies which will be its primary job.

- None of the cards can match the clear vocals, detail, and natural sound of the RDC7.

- I found a way to get DVD-Audio playback working by setting the Creative DVD-A player to have an affinity for CPU0. Apparently, it is a blue-screen-of-death generator on any Multi-cpu or core system.

I think these are all good cards and you mileage may vary.

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post #276 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVOpus View Post

I suspect that you will not like the stock OpAmps compared to the LM4562s. They wont lose much of the high frequency energy, just some of the dynamics are lost. The BurrBrown 2227s might be a better fit for you system. You probably miss the "slam" that you get with a more gererously power fed preamp. Many , including myself have noticed that the XM competes in many areas with very good pre-amps except in the realm of overall dynamics.

I've been following this thread with great interest for awhile. Thanks for all the excellent information.

I don't quite follow the logic of this post. You seem to imply that the more powerful power supply in a preamp will give you better dynamics. How does this work? Isn't the power supply simply providing the proper voltages for the analog and digital sections of the preamp? Isn't the most important feature for the preamp's power supply to provide stable voltages and isolation between the analog and digital components? Why would it effect the dynamics of the analog section if the soundcard's power supply is stable and providing the right operating voltage? Is the PC's power supply that much of a problem?
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post #277 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVOpus View Post


FYI, I actually had the Revel F12s in my house next to my Swans when I was auditioning speakers for purchase. Granted, its their low end model, but I preferred the tweeters on the Swans. How do the F12s compare to your models ? I also compared JMLabs Cobalts, Martin Logan Ascent, and Axiom M80 v2. Each had their own strenths and weaknesses like most audio equipment. The Logans bar none had the best soundstage, but you had to be the EXACT right position. They sounded like poo if you moved too much off the sweet spot. Anway, I apologize for the side track here... back to the cards.

Here is the F12
Here are the Salons
Quote:


In-room Frequency Response: ± 1 dB from 25 Hz to 12 kHz
Low Frequency Extension: -10 dB @ 17 Hz, -6 dB @ 20 Hz (-3 dB @ 24 Hz)

The F12's are the top of the low end line. The Salons are the top of the current line, but there is the new Salon2's which I am sure best them. Too rich for my blood, I will not be upgrading

One person said the Vista brought out the best in the XM. I am running XP Pro, what OS are you running. I do not really want to upgrade because of the trouble it could cause me with MyHD and AnyDVD.

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post #278 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor22 View Post

I've been following this thread with great interest for awhile. Thanks for all the excellent information.

I don't quite follow the logic of this post. You seem to imply that the more powerful power supply in a preamp will give you better dynamics. How does this work? Isn't the power supply simply providing the proper voltages for the analog and digital sections of the preamp? Isn't the most important feature for the preamp's power supply to provide stable voltages and isolation between the analog and digital components? Why would it effect the dynamics of the analog section if the soundcard's power supply is stable and providing the right operating voltage? Is the PC's power supply that much of a problem?

Its more the supply voltage to the OpAMps that is an issue. The characteristic of OpAMps change drastically as the input voltage is altered and many OpAmps operate at their peak efficiency around 15v of input. The LM4562 will also have differernt characteristics if they are fed more volts. This is card design and has nothing to do with the output of the PC's power supply. (unless that is starved which is unlikely).

This is yet another reason why the XM will behave a bit better with replacing OpAmps though. The Creative cards will feed the OpAmps 5v +/- while the XM feeds it 8v.

Pro grade cards are even better here.
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post #279 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post

Here is the F12
Here are the Salons


The F12's are the top of the low end line. The Salons are the top of the current line, but there is the new Salon2's which I am sure best them. Too rich for my blood, I will not be upgrading

One person said the Vista brought out the best in the XM. I am running XP Pro, what OS are you running. I do not really want to upgrade because of the trouble it could cause me with MyHD and AnyDVD.

- Rich


LOL..quite a bit of difference there. I wouldn't dream to even place my Swans in the same room as those monsters. Stunning speakers. I think I might have heard them in passing at the dealer, but only with half an ear due to them costing as much as a decent car.

The XM might truly not be an option for you here. I think it is an amazing "value" and from what I have tried blows away consumer cards in its price class, but I don't think you are interested in "value". You probably just want the best sound period based on your equipment and the XM could quite possibly(and VERY likely) be outclassed here.

I'm running Vista. Honestly, I have never A/B'd the two and there was too much time between my upgrade and listening to give a fair impression if the SQ improved any.
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post #280 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVOpus View Post

LOL..quite a bit of difference there. I wouldn't dream to even place my Swans in the same room as those monsters. Stunning speakers. I think I might have heard them in passing at the dealer, but only with half an ear due to them costing as much as a decent car.

The XM might truly not be an option for you here. I think it is an amazing "value" and from what I have tried blows away consumer cards in its price class, but I don't think you are interested in "value". You probably just want the best sound period based on your equipment and the XM could quite possibly(and VERY likely) be outclassed here.

Yes, well, I bought them in a different life, the one where I was not married, did not have a mortgage and 2 children. In this new life, I must once again consider value

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post #281 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post

Yes, well, I bought them in a different life, the one where I was not married, did not have a mortgage and 2 children. In this new life, I must once again consider value

- Rich

I'm only 1 child behind ya. ..and several thousand dollars in stereo gear.
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post #282 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

DO you guys running XP find any issues with the drivers? I mean bad things?

I'm having the exact same issue as Abstrakt.... it's definitely a pain in the ass. Good thing that the card's sound is so damn good.... it'll help me to be patient and wait for some new drivers. Has anyone heard of when the new XP drivers (if any) will be available?
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post #283 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 05:50 PM
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P.S. $50 reward to whomever can figure out my problem in this post: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=817085
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post #284 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVOpus View Post

......
Pro grade cards are even better here.

Please do tell..... I've dug high 'n low looking for 'pro grade cards' but can't seem to find a good place to start. Even asked in this thread I believe.

In a $ is no object scenario, well under 1-2k, what is the absolute best card on the market? I REALLY want to keep my htpc setup for music, but do not want to sacrifice anything on the processing side. It's just way to handy to keep everything on the central server these days.

And yeah, those salons are amazing! Killer choice there.
I remember auditioning them about a year ago, prior to buying new home, and it was only the prodding by my 'better half' that kept me from leaving with them. They're still VERY high on my radar though, and I'm only a decent deal away from jumping. My Monitor Audio gr60's are like computer speakers compared to the swans, but such is life.

And... I give up, finally going to break down and install vista32 this weekend so I can hear what my new card can do. No way I'm waiting another 45 days for 64bit. Will def switch back after new drivers are out though. I'm totally hooked on the speed of 64, and downgrading just to have drivers kinda sucks but what do ya do.

My 'theater for 2' mini setup
e6600 oc'd to 3.6
nvidia 680i
8800gts sli
x-meridian (modded opamps, cap bypass)
4gb corsair pc8500
raptor raid boot
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post #285 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamhost View Post

Please do tell..... I've dug high 'n low looking for 'pro grade cards' but can't seem to find a good place to start. Even asked in this thread I believe.

In a $ is no object scenario, well under 1-2k, what is the absolute best card on the market? I REALLY want to keep my htpc setup for music, but do not want to sacrifice anything on the processing side. It's just way to handy to keep everything on the central server these days.

And yeah, those salons are amazing! Killer choice there.
I remember auditioning them about a year ago, prior to buying new home, and it was only the prodding by my 'better half' that kept me from leaving with them. They're still VERY high on my radar though, and I'm only a decent deal away from jumping. My Monitor Audio gr60's are like computer speakers compared to the swans, but such is life.

And... I give up, finally going to break down and install vista32 this weekend so I can hear what my new card can do. No way I'm waiting another 45 days for 64bit. Will def switch back after new drivers are out though. I'm totally hooked on the speed of 64, and downgrading just to have drivers kinda sucks but what do ya do.

Sounds to me like you're looking for the Lynx Two B audiophile sound card found here: http://www.lynxstudio.com/lynxtwo.html It runs about a grand or so.
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post #286 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamhost View Post

Please do tell..... I've dug high 'n low looking for 'pro grade cards' but can't seem to find a good place to start. Even asked in this thread I believe.

In a $ is no object scenario, well under 1-2k, what is the absolute best card on the market? I REALLY want to keep my htpc setup for music, but do not want to sacrifice anything on the processing side. It's just way to handy to keep everything on the central server these days.

And yeah, those salons are amazing! Killer choice there.
I remember auditioning them about a year ago, prior to buying new home, and it was only the prodding by my 'better half' that kept me from leaving with them. They're still VERY high on my radar though, and I'm only a decent deal away from jumping. My Monitor Audio gr60's are like computer speakers compared to the swans, but such is life.

And... I give up, finally going to break down and install vista32 this weekend so I can hear what my new card can do. No way I'm waiting another 45 days for 64bit. Will def switch back after new drivers are out though. I'm totally hooked on the speed of 64, and downgrading just to have drivers kinda sucks but what do ya do.

Well.. I consider the Lynx2b to be "pro grade". No typical consumer is going to pay $1k for a sound card.

http://www.lynxstudio.com/lynxtwo.html.

I have heard nothing but great things about this card on several forums. I don't know if it's what you are thinking when you say 'pro grade'. It's certainly what I think anyway.

lol..just realized dbossa posted the same card the same time I did.
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post #287 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 06:38 PM
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Will you be using it for surround movies? Usually, pro cards (LynxTWO at $1000 is a great place to start your search and is generally the card others are judged against) aren't ideal for HTPC setups. They are generally for recording and playback of tracks of audio rather than playback and decoding of movie files. For two channel music, they should work perfectly fine.

Most people are more inclined to use cheaper soundcards as transports to receivers or pre/pro setups for improved performance over consumer sound cards.
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post #288 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 06:39 PM
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wow, 3 replies of the same card at near the same time. I have to stop reading this thread so often.
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post #289 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by dweekie View Post

Will you be using it for surround movies? Usually, pro cards (LynxTWO at $1000 is a great place to start your search and is generally the card others are judged against) aren't ideal for HTPC setups. They are generally for recording and playback of tracks of audio rather than playback and decoding of movie files. For two channel music, they should work perfectly fine.

Most people are more inclined to use cheaper soundcards as transports to receivers or pre/pro setups for improved performance over consumer sound cards.

About 50-50 movies/music.
As I have yet to find a receiver that will decode the new hd-dvd/blue ray audio formats, I'm going to stick with the htpc for now. Frankly when properly setup I have yet to match the picture quality of the htpc with my standalone equipment. I can tweak each movie individually and try to attain 'perfection' for my system. My 3910 does not even come close to my old mce2k5 box with ffdshow setup.

On the music side, I have ripped everything I own lossless to hd's, and it's so easy to access that giving that up would be painfull. The only downside is I have yet to find a software player for sacd/dvd-audio, which I have a ton of. (heard rumor about a dvd-audio player somewhere). I sent my denon 3910 in for some pretty serious mods to help with the audio and it made a huge difference. I may even consider a new 5910ci upgraded if there is never going to be support for software sacd/dvd-audio in the future. Heck if I could find drivers, I'd have no prob ripping the drive out of the 3910 and putting it into a pc, though never heard of it being done before.

My music listening sessions are weird in that I change artists/songs all the time. I almost never sit down and just listen to a cd straight through. It gets annoying having to always get up and change disks, kinda kills the relaxing environment. Hence I'm trying the pc route, though I do miss the quality right now.

Please don't take any of my comments as being negative to xm, heck I've had it a week now and it's still in it's box due to drivers. I'm just trying to reach audio nirvana on a pc is all, and willing to spend decent money to get there.

My 'theater for 2' mini setup
e6600 oc'd to 3.6
nvidia 680i
8800gts sli
x-meridian (modded opamps, cap bypass)
4gb corsair pc8500
raptor raid boot
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post #290 of 2138 Old 03-09-2007, 11:13 PM
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Wow, your computer sig is very impressive. You must do some serious gaming to have that pair of vid cards in there.

Windvd and Powerdvd actually do support MLP/DVD-audio. I have heard that support is a little spotty due to the requirement of obtaining keys, but you should definitely look into that further. I do not know of any sacd players. I hope the x-meridian works out for you.

I do find it quite interesting that RichB found the X-Fi better in his incredibly high end (to me) system than the X-Meridians, even though the X-Fi was not the pro version. I guess that says a lot about synergy and musical preferences since nearly all comparative reviews I've read favor the x-meridian.

Anyone else with $20k+ systems want to chime in for us?
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post #291 of 2138 Old 03-10-2007, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by dreamhost View Post


And... I give up, finally going to break down and install vista32 this weekend so I can hear what my new card can do. No way I'm waiting another 45 days for 64bit. Will def switch back after new drivers are out though. I'm totally hooked on the speed of 64, and downgrading just to have drivers kinda sucks but what do ya do.


I thought all the benchmarks have shown 64 bit versions to actually be SLOWER. I don't think you will get much of a speed benifit from 64 bit (if any).
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post #292 of 2138 Old 03-10-2007, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by dweekie View Post

Wow, your computer sig is very impressive. You must do some serious gaming to have that pair of vid cards in there.

Windvd and Powerdvd actually do support MLP/DVD-audio. I have heard that support is a little spotty due to the requirement of obtaining keys, but you should definitely look into that further. I do not know of any sacd players. I hope the x-meridian works out for you.

I do find it quite interesting that RichB found the X-Fi better in his incredibly high end (to me) system than the X-Meridians, even though the X-Fi was not the pro version. I guess that says a lot about synergy and musical preferences since nearly all comparative reviews I've read favor the x-meridian.

Anyone else with $20k+ systems want to chime in for us?

Yeah, the only thing I can think is that his speakers must already be hyper accurate and that the sound from the XM could make the highs overblown or not balanced with the rest of his system. His equipement certainly is very very nice. I appreciate his comments here. My sound must be wildly different from his, and it probably should be for the price difference.
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post #293 of 2138 Old 03-10-2007, 05:03 AM
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Will a X-Meridian 7.1 with LM4562 OpAmps be a good match for a Nad M25 power amplifier? Dali Ikon 7.1 speaker set btw...

Im going with vista mce (waiting for hd-dvd an blu-ray support inside mce)...

Will I be able to control volume without loss in sound quality digitaly for mce?

I read that the analog output level was very high. Can I set it to a level when I turn the volume up to 100% in Vista mce it just outputs 50%?

And will stereo files like mp3 and flac playback in 2.1 mode while movies and stuff in 5.1/7.1 without having to switch manually?

Can I use Vistas room correction with this card and how good is this versus the room correction in my current reviever (Denon 3806)?

Very thankful for answers!
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post #294 of 2138 Old 03-10-2007, 05:32 AM
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ref the choice of the X-FI Extreme Music, I believe he said that was based on its surround sound performance.... surely not in stereo only mode .... but then again...

it should be noted that comparing sound cards to high-end external equipment is fraught with peril under XP. KMixer. It contains the worlds worst Sample Rate Converter, and the sound of lossless 44.1khz rips SRC'd to 48khz by KMixer will, shall we say, be less than stellar. In the above comparison, the XM is crippled by KMixer, while the X-FI lower-end model is not, it has it's own very accurate sample rate converter !! And under Vista, the landscape changes since the Vista SRC is similar in performance to the X-FI's....


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post #295 of 2138 Old 03-10-2007, 05:35 AM
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Will you be using it for surround movies? Usually, pro cards (LynxTWO at $1000 is a great place to start your search and is generally the card others are judged against) aren't ideal for HTPC setups. They are generally for recording and playback of tracks of audio rather than playback and decoding of movie files. For two channel music, they should work perfectly fine.

Lynx TwoB works excellent in both 2-channel AND multichannel. I use it with J River Media Center for music and Theatertek (mostly) for Dvd's..
It is "only" 5.1, but since I run 4.1 thats no problem..
But I think you can add more Lynx-cards if you want/need 7.1..check their supportforum, www.lynxstudio.com.
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post #296 of 2138 Old 03-10-2007, 05:56 AM
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ref the choice of the X-FI Extreme Music, I believe he said that was based on its surround sound performance.... surely not in stereo only mode .... but then again...

it should be noted that comparing sound cards to high-end external equipment is fraught with peril under XP. KMixer. It contains the worlds worst Sample Rate Converter, and the sound of lossless 44.1khz rips SRC'd to 48khz by KMixer will, shall we say, be less than stellar. In the above comparison, the XM is crippled by KMixer, while the X-FI lower-end model is not, it has it's own very accurate sample rate converter !! And under Vista, the landscape changes since the Vista SRC is similar in performance to the X-FI's....


Excellent points Jim. And I have to admit that I'm a bit shocked!

I would have expected you would have been jumping all over us poor XM'ers after Rich's review. I think we all have to agree that soundcards, like speakers are personal taste and some match your environment and tastes better than others.

Anyway.. thank's for taking the classy route and even providing some good tips. Cheers!
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post #297 of 2138 Old 03-10-2007, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jimwhite View Post

ref the choice of the X-FI Extreme Music, I believe he said that was based on its surround sound performance.... surely not in stereo only mode .... but then again...

it should be noted that comparing sound cards to high-end external equipment is fraught with peril under XP. KMixer. It contains the worlds worst Sample Rate Converter, and the sound of lossless 44.1khz rips SRC'd to 48khz by KMixer will, shall we say, be less than stellar. In the above comparison, the XM is crippled by KMixer, while the X-FI lower-end model is not, it has it's own very accurate sample rate converter !! And under Vista, the landscape changes since the Vista SRC is similar in performance to the X-FI's....


I upgraded to Vista last night with the X-FI card in place. I was a bit miffed that I do not see the new mixer and bass management anywhere. Am I missing something or has Creative replaced all of it with their *stuff*?

Under Vista the X-FI still has a nice low end. Unfortunately, I cannot play DVD-Audio again, I had the working under XP. I have to say Creative software feels like an early beta. Arghhh.

I cannot play these games during the day, but I may try the XM in Vista tonight, just to see if I am nuts

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post #298 of 2138 Old 03-10-2007, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by CHA View Post

Lynx TwoB works excellent in both 2-channel AND multichannel. I use it with J River Media Center for music and Theatertek (mostly) for Dvd's..
It is "only" 5.1, but since I run 4.1 thats no problem..
But I think you can add more Lynx-cards if you want/need 7.1..check their supportforum, www.lynxstudio.com.

This Lynx is a bit more than I wanted to spend right now. Is it supported under windows Vista? I cannot use the balanced output are standard RCA preamp outputs available?

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post #299 of 2138 Old 03-10-2007, 06:15 AM
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Will a X-Meridian 7.1 with LM4562 OpAmps be a good match for a Nad M25 power amplifier? Dali Ikon 7.1 speaker set btw...

Im going with vista mce (waiting for hd-dvd an blu-ray support inside mce)...

Will I be able to control volume without loss in sound quality digitaly for mce?

I read that the analog output level was very high. Can I set it to a level when I turn the volume up to 100% in Vista mce it just outputs 50%?

And will stereo files like mp3 and flac playback in 2.1 mode while movies and stuff in 5.1/7.1 without having to switch manually?

Can I use Vistas room correction with this card and how good is this versus the room correction in my current reviever (Denon 3806)?

Very thankful for answers!

I can't answer you first question because as we have seen with RichB's comments some systems might not mate well with the XM. I think it greatly depends on the character of your speaker and the room acoustics. The XM is EXTEREMELY revealing in detail. More detail than any consumer card I have tried and all my other analog equipment. It lacks some of the deep bass slam though. A good sub can compensate for this. I really like the soundstage the XM creates with the LM4562 though. Very defined.

There isn't nearly as much loss in quality under Vista with lowered volume. I personally can't tell any difference as a raise or lower volume in Vista (except of course the volume level!).

I don't think you can "cap" the volume at a set level so that 100% becomes 50%. I could be wrong here.

Yes, it works that way in Vista.

Yes, you can use Vista's room correction and its good, but not as good as the Audyssey based systems as they use more variables such as multiple room positions in their computations. You will find instructions on how to apply this a couple of pages back in this tread.
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post #300 of 2138 Old 03-10-2007, 06:26 AM
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I cannot play these games during the day, but I may try the XM in Vista tonight, just to see if I am nuts

- Rich

I wasn't going to say it, but I think it's obvious that you are a barking mad lunatic.

Make sure all of those DSP modes are turned off. They will greatly color the sound in a negative manner. No mode that I tried kept any sense of realism when enabled.
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