The X-Meridian 7.1 Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2138 Old 01-22-2007, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I started this thread becasue for the most part all the info reagrding the X-Meridian is lost in other threads. This will make th info easiers to find. If you guys would like to continue the discussion here.

I see alot of people going to the LM4562's, I still have to wait for mine. I have since tried the 2134's, the 2227's and the 2107's. All those amps are better they ar very hard to compare to each other BUT I decided I liked the "color" of the OPA2107's the best. Of course I want to try the LM4562's when I get them. I am also very interested in the ideas behind these other mods users are trying.
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post #2 of 2138 Old 01-23-2007, 05:32 AM
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Thanks ROBSCIX for this thread. It's a good idea. My X-Meridian is scheduled to be delivered today. I have OPA2134s ready to go for it and OPA2107s on order. I still haven't found any supplier with LM4562s in stock, so I haven't been able to order those yet. Anyway, I probably won't get to any serious listening until this weekend.

I'll report back with my auditory impressions, compared to my OPA2134-modded Revo 7.1.

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post #3 of 2138 Old 01-23-2007, 02:53 PM
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I am in a diferant situation. Have LM4562's the X-Merridian is on backorder and ships friday.For now using a creative X-FI as a pre/pro into a 7 chanel amp. I have decided to stick with 5.1 . Can the side speaker outs be used with the front speaker outs with an active crossover software program in the digital domain for biamping the front left and right speakers? Also the crossover would have to remain active during 5.1. When listening to music I use musicmatch in 2.1. What software would one recomend as i would want to do this in the digital domain before the signal hits the opamps? Thanks Robscix as this will make tracking this thread easy.
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post #4 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 11:39 AM
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I installed my brand new X-Meridian today, and it's a complete no-go.

1. The card I received appears to be broken. It's a good thing I didn't just go ahead and hook its analog outputs up to my power amps and speakers - instead I connected its L and R outputs to my oscilloscope first to have a look at its output levels. (I was planning to build resistive pads to reduce the levels, as I had heard that its output level is 5 Vrms for a 0-dBFS input signal -- this is an outrageously high output level and would drive any power amp I've seen well into clipping.) Anyway, the analog outputs from this card are all rail-to-rail distorted hash whenever anything is playing. I would have surely blown some speaker drivers, and my ears, if I had it hooked up normally.

2. I did have a chance to play with the card's driver UI, and I don't like it at all. The main problem is that there are no distance or time delay adjustments for the L, R front speakers or the subwoofer. Delay adjustments are provided only for the center, side and rear speakers (and the sides and rears are adjusted in pairs, not individually). This means I can't adjust the phase of my subwoofer relative to the L and R main speakers for max level (minimum cancellation) at the crossover frequency. There's not even a way to invert the subwoofer output 180 degrees.

3. Lots of little things wrong with the driver controls:
- The few delay adjustments that exist are in milliseconds, not distance, so I have to measure the distances and calculate the time delays using the speed of sound in air.
- The individual speaker level controls are adjustable in 1-dB increments, which is too coarse for spot-on setups. It's also very hard to control the slider finely enough to get even those 1-dB steps easily. 96 dB of range is compressed into just a tiny space on the screen, and a tiny bit of mouse movement. I found no other way to set these levels except by moving the tiny sliders with my mouse.
- Gone are the nice individual channel level meters, and individual channel solo and mute controls of the M-Audio driver. There are lots of pretty pictures and wacko effects available (none of which I'd use) in the X-Meridian driver, but the pro-audio roots of the M-Audio folks are obvious in their driver's UI, and obviously lacking in the X-Meridian's.

At this point I'm not sure whether to return the card for exchange, or for a refund. The lack of subwoofer delay adjustment is a deal killer for me. If I can find how to do it easily on the Auzentech Web site, I'll send them a message with my issue, and we'll see if they will fix this egregious oversight in their driver just for me.

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post #5 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiophile View Post

2. I did have a chance to play with the card's driver UI, and I don't like it at all. The main problem is that there are no distance or time delay adjustments for the L, R front speakers or the subwoofer. Delay adjustments are provided only for the center, side and rear speakers (and the sides and rears are adjusted in pairs, not individually). This means I can't adjust the phase of my subwoofer relative to the L and R main speakers for max level (minimum cancellation) at the crossover frequency. There's not even a way to invert the subwoofer output 180 degrees.

3. Lots of little things wrong with the driver controls:
- The few delay adjustments that exist are in milliseconds, not distance, so I have to measure the distances and calculate the time delays using the speed of sound in air.
- The individual speaker level controls are adjustable in 1-dB increments, which is too coarse for spot-on setups. It's also very hard to control the slider finely enough to get even those 1-dB steps easily. 96 dB of range is compressed into just a tiny space on the screen, and a tiny bit of mouse movement. I found no other way to set these levels except by moving the tiny sliders with my mouse.
- Gone are the nice individual channel level meters, and individual channel solo and mute controls of the M-Audio driver. There are lots of pretty pictures and wacko effects available (none of which I'd use) in the X-Meridian driver, but the pro-audio roots of the M-Audio folks are obvious in their driver's UI, and obviously lacking in the X-Meridian's.

At this point I'm not sure whether to return the card for exchange, or for a refund. The lack of subwoofer delay adjustment is a deal killer for me. If I can find how to do it easily on the Auzentech Web site, I'll send them a message with my issue, and we'll see if they will fix this egregious oversight in their driver just for me.

I just order this card. but have not installed it yet. I read through the manual online before purchasing, and seen the screen for channel delay's, but never noticed that the Sub and Fronts can't be set! How much of a difference will this make at my listening position, being 12 feet from the fronts?? The delay being in milliseconds, isn't a real killer, because I think that 1ms = 1.1 ft approx., if that is wrong please correct me.

Also does anyone no if the Soundblaster X-Fi, has delay settings for all there channels?

That is a real bummer with the X-Meridian, I thought it was being marketed for HTPC, and not for PC use were you sit 6" from the fronts so it dosn't matter!

Hopefully this can be fixed.
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post #6 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 01:15 PM
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I can't change anything with my sub on my X-Fi either. Why do you need to change the front delay? You can use the front speaker as a reference and set the delay on the rear and centre speaker. I thought that a bass sound is non-directional(a 50Hz sound will have a period of 20ms) and you should also set your speaker symmetrical to the listening position. To invert the woofer output 180 degrees, just reverse the polarity of your cable. Btw you can change the volume level for a single speaker on X-Meridian accurately by clicking the "+" and "-" sign, using the slider is much trickier.
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post #7 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alg7_munif View Post

I can't change anything with my sub on my X-Fi either. Why do you need to change the front delay? You can use the front speaker as a reference and set the delay on the rear and centre speaker. I thought that a bass sound is non-directional and you should also set your speaker symmetrical to the listening position. To invert the woofer output 180 degrees, just reverse the polarity of your cable. Btw you can change the volume level for a single speaker on X-Meridian accurately by clicking the "+" and "-" sign, using the slider is much trickier.

The sub delay is not a killer, I can't set it with my current A/V reciever. I don't think that you can use the fronts as a "reference" for delay, but for setting the overall sound level it is true. Delay is the time from when the sound is proccesed to the time you here it. If you are sitting 20 feet away from a speaker, it will take approx. 20 ms for the sound to reach your ears. If you are watching a 5.1 dvd, and have the center set at 13ms or 13ft and have the fronts at 0, than a sound that is panning the front stage will not sound right, it won't be a smooth image.

It may be possible that the X-meridian software is referencing the center channel delay and using that for the fronts?
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post #8 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 01:48 PM
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The front speaker should be setup furthest away from you, the centre channel is a little nearer, and the surround channel is the nearest to you, the delay is used to make sure that the sound from all speakers reach you at the same time. Why do you still want to delay the front channels since they are supposed to be setup furthest away from you? If you don't use any delay on the centre and rear channels, the sound from your front speakers will be the last to reach you ears. On X-Meridian they use ms because it is the time for the sound to come out from the rear/channel speakers after the sound came out from the front speakers.
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post #9 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I may be differnt but I set my XM the way I want it then I set my player software and filters to dial in specific settings like bass level indiviual delays, individual volume setting etc. It would be nice to have these setting within the drivers. Truth be told I would love to have a whole mess of setting within my XM drivers becasue this card desearves to have such detailed settings for sound. Do we have any programmers out there?
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post #10 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alg7_munif View Post

The front speaker should be setup furthest away from you, the centre channel is a little nearer, and the surround channel is the nearest to you, the delay is used to make sure that the sound from all speakers reach you at the same time. Why do you still want to delay the front channels since they are supposed to be setup furthest away from you? If you don't use any delay on the centre and rear channels, the sound from your front speakers will be the last to reach you ears. On X-Meridian they use ms because it is the time for the sound to come out from the rear/channel speakers after the sound came out from the front speakers.

I think that I understand what you are saying now, it is just different than what I have done in the past. You are saying that for example:

Speaker Distance to Listing Position.

Left Front 10 feet - 0ms
Center 11 feet - 1ms
Right Front 10 feet - 0ms
Left Surround 12 ft - 2ms
Right Surroung 13 ft - 3 ms

You set delay relevant to the differance in distance from the mains.

One more question, can the delay for the surrounds be negetive ms, because in my setup the surrounds are closer to my seat than the mains are.

Thanks
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post #11 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 02:40 PM
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Damn, that makes no sense. I've always had my front three speakers equidistant to the sweet spot. The surrounds are a little closer, but I didn't have a choice.

I've always read that all speakers should be the same distance, with the same length of cable to all speakers. Subs of course are the only exclusion. But, if they can't be the same distance, that's what the delays are for.

And I always use my receiver to set delays.

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post #12 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 02:40 PM
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No, it is like this:

Left front and right front: 12ft 0ms
Centre: 9ft ~3ms
Surround: 5ft ~6ms

Your centre will always be nearer to you than the fronts(phytagoras). If you don't add any delay to your surround channels and centre, the sound from the surround channels will reach you first, then the centre and finally the fronts. Btw I didn't calculate how much delay it should be, I just make up the values above. IMO the cables don't have to be at the same length because electromagnetic waves are much faster than sound waves, the difference due to different cable length is negligible compared to the difference due to the different speaker distance.
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post #13 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, to everybody. If you could have any settings yo would like in the X-Meridian driver what would they be?
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post #14 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 03:41 PM
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Delay settings for alll channels, so I can set them the same way that I do for any A/V reciever on the market. Measurments in Feet from each speaker, to your main listning position. That is how delay is set.

If anyone else can please post there input on the delay topic, other than the biased opinions of myself and alg7_munif, it would be appriciated.

Anyway I hope the argument on delay settings, is not too off topic.
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post #15 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

If you could have any settings yo would like in the X-Meridian driver what would they be?

A check box for getting bit accurate sound! No resampling, no DolbyThis, no dtsThat, no equalizer, no delays, only volume adjust allowed by the DAC chips, with status for the current data size/rate! With the control panel, I'm not given good feedback that all the crap is off and I'm getting the most pure sound possible. I didn't buy it for all the logos on the box, damn it.
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post #16 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 03:52 PM
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When you set the measurements in feet, the receiver will set the time delay for you but on X-Meridian you need to set the time delay yourself. The delay means that how much time in miliseconds the sound will come out from the centre/surround speakers after the sound came out from the front speaker. Think it this way, if 5 people shoot you at the same time from 5 different locations just like the speakers are setup, the bullets from the "surround channel" will hit you first. To let all bullets hit you at the same time, the person who is shooting from the "surround channel" needs to wait for a while(delay) after the person at front channel has fired a shot.

Edit: To calculate how much delay that you need you can use this formula:
(distance from front speaker - distance from centre or surround speaker)/1.128

For example in this picture:

The delay for the surround speaker will be:
(12-5)/1.128
=7/1.128
=6.2ms~6ms

The delay for the centre speaker will be:
(12-9)/1.128
=3/1.128
=2.65ms~3ms
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post #17 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I mean settings in reagrd to setting up surround sound properly. Setting you would find on a top quality HT receiver. What settings would you want? Or perhaps what settings are missing that your used to seeing? Phase? delay? Maybe if we had a list of things we wanted we can get them added somehow.. I would think:
individual delays for all channels in feet or ms
Delay for sub and phase settings.
indivdual volume levels


what else?
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post #18 of 2138 Old 01-25-2007, 09:26 PM
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This is why you should be using the digital out, not set any delays at all and let your home theater pre-pro do the delay work since you should only need to set it once in there for all input sources since it uses the same output path (you presumably only have one set of surround sound speakers that the pre-processor is connected with).
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post #19 of 2138 Old 01-26-2007, 03:17 AM
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I can get a better sound using analogue than using digital with my X-Meridian and Onkyo receiver.
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post #20 of 2138 Old 01-26-2007, 05:56 AM
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wow !!!! it didn't take this thread long to degenerate.... less than 20 posts and already it's fallen into the bitperfect-digital/analog morass


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post #21 of 2138 Old 01-26-2007, 06:34 AM
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Is it wrong for people to like the analogue sound more than digital? Is it wrong for people to like a bit perfect output more than output with effects? Is it wrong for people to like the X-Meridian more than Elite Pro? I thought that audio is subjective.
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post #22 of 2138 Old 01-26-2007, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alg7_munif View Post

I can't change anything with my sub on my X-Fi either. Why do you need to change the front delay? You can use the front speaker as a reference and set the delay on the rear and centre speaker. I thought that a bass sound is non-directional(a 50Hz sound will have a period of 20ms) and you should also set your speaker symmetrical to the listening position. To invert the woofer output 180 degrees, just reverse the polarity of your cable. Btw you can change the volume level for a single speaker on X-Meridian accurately by clicking the "+" and "-" sign, using the slider is much trickier.

Not being able to set the subwoofer delay is a big deal, and should be for anyone who cares about extreme sound quality, which is supposed to be the audience for this sound card. Bass is indeed non-directional, but that has nothing to do with wanting the sound from the bass speaker (the subwoofer) to arrive at the listening position at the same time as the sound from the L,R front speakers. The defining case occurs at the crossover frequency itself, where by definition half the sound power comes from the subwoofer and half comes from the main L,R speakers (for any nitpickers, I realize that this is exactly true only for 2-ch stereo sources). The delay between the subwoofer output and the L,R mains must be adjustable to cause the sound from the sub to precisely sum (no cancellation) with the sound from the mains. (And this functionality needs to be in the sound card driver; having it in the individual apps (a) means that it must be set up multiple times, and be at the mercy of each app's functionality, (b) how do we get it in 2-channel playback apps like WinAmp? We still need the subwoofer vs. mains delay setting for 2-channel sound.)

For best sound, my subwoofer is in my room's front left corner. (Everyone's listening room will vary, but a corner is the generally accepted best place for the sub in a single-sub system, and in my room it happens to work out that way.) It is 13 feet away from my listening position while my mains are 8 feet away. So even if the electronics happen to get it perfect (same time delays), I need a delay offset to account for the distance difference.

If I just happened to need a 180-degree shift, in my case I would not be able to "just reverse the polarity" of my subwoofer cable. My sub is a Velodyne servo-controlled unit - it won't work with the cable reversed. I can make it do a 180-degree inversion, but it requires changing a jumper on a PC board inside. In any case it's unlikely that this is all I need for perfect summing of the signals at my listening spot. My point was that the X-Mer driver didn't even provide this simple functionality, not to say that this is what I needed.

Further, in many real-world rooms one can't place the side surrounds equidistant to the listening location. Same with the rear surrounds. The M-Audio driver allows distance settings for each individual speaker to adjust for this. The fact that the X-Mer driver allows the sides and rears to be adjusted only in pairs is yet another limitation.

Thanks for suggesting that I can set the speaker levels by clicking the + and -. I thought I had tried this; apparently I missed it. There's still the limitation of the 1-dB coarseness though.

And, to Fallen Kell: No, there is no reason why I want to use the digital output to a pre/pro. This thread is supposed to be about using the analog outs of the X-Mer card, testing different op-amps, etc. I don't have a pre/pro or receiver, and I don't want one. If I followed that path I'd use that Chaintech card, or even my mobo's SPDIF out.

I entered two support tickets with Auzentech - one for my broken card (maybe it's incompatible with my mobo's chipset?), and one for this driver issue. I forgot to bring the e-mail with the support ticket numbers with me to work, so it'll have to wait until I get home for me to check if they've responded.

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post #23 of 2138 Old 01-26-2007, 08:18 AM
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Are you sure that the card is broken or is it just the stock OPAMP is broken? Have you tried changing the OPAMPs? Btw have you tried lowering the volume, maybe the card has a design flaw.
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post #24 of 2138 Old 01-26-2007, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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@Radiophile, if your using analog out as your connection. I was gonna say wouldn't you just set these parameters in the audio receiver. Anyway, what are you gonna use for speakers?
If you using analog and no HT amp then you must be using PC speakers, Sorry I guess I am just not clear as how your rig is set up and what settings would you like to see in the driver? If we could get a list of setting speople want adn perhaps send them to the company they may add them to the driver...
Perhaps

Individual Channel volumes.
Individual Channel Delays with both MS and ft. Fine and coarse adjustments.
Phase settings for Sub, as well as Volume and delay settings.
and?
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post #25 of 2138 Old 01-29-2007, 10:26 AM
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Hmmm. No, I'm not using PC speakers. I'm using full-size tower speakers for my L & R mains, a separate subwoofer, and small bookshelf speakers (audiophile type speakers, not PC speakers) for my side L & R speakers. All the speakers are driven by audio power amplifiers (these are separate components - you can find them at better high-end hifi shops everywhere), which are driven directly from the analog outputs of the sound card. There's no pre/pro or A/V receiver in my system anywhere. My type of setup is not common, but I know from their posts in other threads that there are several others here on this forum with the same type of setup. It's what high quality analog outputs on sound cards are made for. I can't help but wonder what you're using that's different from this, and how you were planning to evaluate the sound quality of the X-Mer's op-amps with some other type of setup (headphones? PC speakers? passing through all the electronics is a receiver to muddy the sound? using the card's digital out so the signal doesn't even pass through its op-amps?)

BTW, Auzentech has not yet replied to my tech support tickets.

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post #26 of 2138 Old 01-29-2007, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiophile View Post

Hmmm. No, I'm not using PC speakers. I'm using full-size tower speakers for my L & R mains, a separate subwoofer, and small bookshelf speakers (audiophile type speakers, not PC speakers) for my side L & R speakers. All the speakers are driven by audio power amplifiers (these are separate components - you can find them at better high-end hifi shops everywhere), which are driven directly from the analog outputs of the sound card. There's no pre/pro or A/V receiver in my system anywhere. My type of setup is not common, but I know from their posts in other threads that there are several others here on this forum with the same type of setup. It's what high quality analog outputs on sound cards are made for. I can't help but wonder what you're using that's different from this, and how you were planning to evaluate the sound quality of the X-Mer's op-amps with some other type of setup (headphones? PC speakers? passing through all the electronics is a receiver to muddy the sound? using the card's digital out so the signal doesn't even pass through its op-amps?)

BTW, Auzentech has not yet replied to my tech support tickets.

I have used both analog straight to my Outlaw 7700 amp as well as to my Outlaw 990 Pre/Pro set in bypass mode to avoid ANY processing by the PreAmp. Both sound equally excellent. I understand that the end product by running it to the Preamp is using the OpAmps on the PreAmp, but a lot of the character of the source is still intact and I hear differences between all my different analog sources as well as the 3 different OpAmps that have been used in my card.

My speakers are Swans 6.2s which are quite capable of resolving differences in these various products.
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post #27 of 2138 Old 01-29-2007, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Speakers with amps directly connected to the soundcard. I see. I was just curious as to what you had connected to the card. Anyway the questions was if you could have the settings you wanted in the drivers what would they be?
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post #28 of 2138 Old 01-29-2007, 11:48 PM
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Does this card hold any value if it is being connected to a receiver via digital out? As I prefer my receiver to do the DD/DTS decoding would I be wasting my money buying the X-Merdian rather than using the digital out from my mobo? Thanks :-)
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post #29 of 2138 Old 01-30-2007, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jase76 View Post

Does this card hold any value if it is being connected to a receiver via digital out? As I prefer my receiver to do the DD/DTS decoding would I be wasting my money buying the X-Merdian rather than using the digital out from my mobo? Thanks :-)

THE ONLY thing that you would gain from this card at that point is hardware ENCODING of DTS/DD. This allows you to take multichannel games that are not natively DD or DTS and encode them to DD/DTS and send them over the digital out. No soundcard can send multichannel information that is not either encoded DTS or DD over the digital output. Other than that, the Chaintech 710 or a lower end X-Fi card (for the processing power to lower the CPU utilization).
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post #30 of 2138 Old 01-31-2007, 07:27 AM
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I've been lurking here for a long time and I've been following the X-Meridian threads for a while. I've been using the Echo Gina 3G for a while and I thought I'd try the XM since it is praised by a lot of people. Well, I finally got it this weekend and I had the chance to listen to a lot of music since then as well as a few movies. I also upgraded the opamps to the LM4562 discussed in the other thread (X-Fi vs X-M).

I used the analog outputs to connect to a Rega Mira intergrated-amp and a pair of PMC FB speakers. For software I used MCE2005 and for movies TheaterTek. To make the story short, the X-Meridian was not even close to the Gina 3G, especially in the low frequencies. The sound was always thin compared to the Gina 3G. I went back and forth between the cards and the difference was very obvious, especially with music. With movies the difference wasn't very big and the XM had an interesting sound, not necessarily worse.

Now I wouldn't say that the XM sounded bad because I did manage to get used to it fairly quickly and it was so much better than the integrated sound card. It also projected a pretty wide sound stage, very similar to the Gina 3G and the midrange was decent. The Dolby Digital Virtual speakers feature was pretty interesting with movies and I thought it sounded better with it on (on 2 speakers). For movies, the difference between XM and Gina 3G was not very obvious but still the Gina3G's sound was more solid.

I'll probably keep the XM in my HTPC for a few more days and after that I'll move it to my other computer (gaming and work) where I'm sure I'll get a lot of benefits over the integrated one. It's a good enough card that I'll keep it. I'm also going to replace Gina's opamps with the LM4562s this weekend (they're not the DIP type so I have a friend doing it for me) and see if its sounds any better.

For those wondering how the XM will stack up to the Lynx2b I think the answer is pretty clear since the Lynx is supposed to be much better than the Gina 3G.
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