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CDP vs Sound Card - Page 2

post #31 of 75
Thread Starter 
1st off my Yamaha AX-497 is by no means a cheap receiver (it's actually a HI-FI AMP)
It maintains a THD of 0.019. Your best A/V/R recievers cant match that.
In my opinion AVRs are for the average consumer. So much money is spend on all the HDMI connections, the panels, 3D crap, multiple audio channels, blah blah blah. What im getting at is they dont spend there money on the "sound". As long as sounds comes out 99% of the general public are happy.


Even the most high end audio stores ive been to STILL run cd players and amps.

I even compared the xonar vs my on-board Realtek ALC888 chip-set and I can honestly say it's more accurate than the xonar.

The ST just sounds "tangy" a common misconception of quality.

I A/Bd three of my friends including myself using the Asus Xonar ST vs the simple cd player and all 3 came to the same conclusion.

The CD player sounds better.
post #32 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by peck1234 View Post

1st off my Yamaha AX-497 is by no means a cheap receiver (it's actually a HI-FI AMP)

I even compared the xonar vs my on-board Realtek ALC888 chip-set and I can honestly say it's more accurate than the xonar.

The ST just sounds "tangy" a common misconception of quality.

I A/Bd three of my friends including myself using the Asus Xonar ST vs the simple cd player and all 3 came to the same conclusion.

The CD player sounds better.

If you had an onboard c media chip, I might agree with you, however.. A Realtek alc888 isn't a stellar performer. Some guys just won't let go of analog, lol. I would also question how youre outputting the sound through the computer...
post #33 of 75
Thread Starter 
iTunes>Xonar
Also I tried the asio with foobar, no difference what so ever.
post #34 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by peck1234 View Post

I A/Bd three of my friends including myself using the Asus Xonar ST vs the simple cd player and all 3 came to the same conclusion.

The CD player sounds better.

So use the $35 CD player? What's the question again?
post #35 of 75
Thread Starter 
No question about it, I will, a few members wanted to see if it was just a "personal preference" or me just being biased, so I figured id add to it.
post #36 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

If you had an onboard c media chip, I might agree with you, however.. A Realtek alc888 isn't a stellar performer. Some guys just won't let go of analog, lol. I would also question how youre outputting the sound through the computer...

+1

This definitely sounds like some kind of problem related to your PC. The Xonar is a proven much better performer than the ALC888. If nothing else, could be your machine is one of those rare cases where the electronics are interfering with the sound card. When I was researching the Essence STX before I bought it, I even read of one case where the card worked fine in one machine someone owned, but not another.
post #37 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by peck1234 View Post

Even the most high end audio stores ive been to STILL run cd players and amps.

Of course. They are in the business of selling CD players. They'll also sell you expensive power cords for audio equipment, which has been proven to be snake oil in ABX testing
post #38 of 75
OP - what sample rate/bit depth?

Also, did you try the card on another PC?
post #39 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by peck1234 View Post

Well, regardless im going to be looking for an external DAC to run an optical out to now.

Any Reccomendations?

This:

http://qlshifi.com/en/wzcapi/ng94_dac.htm

Cheap but awesome and even cheaper on Ebay. Just check out the specs...
post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

This:

http://qlshifi.com/en/wzcapi/ng94_dac.htm

Cheap but awesome and even cheaper on Ebay. Just check out the specs...

You can certainly recommend a better dac then that one. Ng94 is the cream of the crop to crappy Chinese build quality. Everyone I know who has bought one, about 6 guys, all either had a Doa unit out of the box, defective right or left channel or it fried their headphones. Just the frustrations of shipping it back to china to get an exchange, makes it worth staying away from.

I'm not an authority on dacs. But I do know, this is this one to stay away from. Look at getting a Beresford TC-7520 DAC or a VDAC if your budget is under $300
post #41 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venomous View Post

You can certainly recommend a better dac then that one.

Thanks for the info! Which better one would you recommend?
post #42 of 75
Thread Starter 
The Xonar ST beats the pants off my ALC888 in terms of seperation/bass there is no comparison. I just feel the overall tonality of the ALC888 and dynamics is more accurate at high volume than the xonar, which Is why I'm going to refund it.

For those of you with expensive DACS/Digital Transports/High End Receivers etc. I HIGHLY encourage you to take that old cd player out of storage to burn a few discs and compare the quality of audio against...
post #43 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by peck1234 View Post

The Xonar ST beats the pants off my ALC888 in terms of seperation/bass there is no comparison. I just feel the overall tonality of the ALC888 and dynamics is more accurate at high volume than the xonar, which Is why I'm going to refund it.

You realize that you're going by "feel" instead of data right? Something that many in this site have a hard time accepting as fact. Thus it is better to avoid using the term "accuracy" unless you have the graphs etc to prove it. An accurate sound may sound worse or boring compared to a slightly altered one. For example the sound of the Xonar without using Asio to my ears is superior but I know without Asio it's most likely inaccurate with boosted midrange.
post #44 of 75
It is just impossible to accept that perhaps the OP really does think that his cheap cdp sounds better than the sound card? This could, of course, be caused by many different factors, but, I know that for myself, I prefer the sound of my cdp over computer based audio when playing the same songs. Could it be because the cdp is louder? Could it be that the sound card is more accurate and that I like a little color to my recordings? Could it be because I am biased? The answers to all of those questions are all YES! I can't explain it, nor can I validate my reasoning in coming to the conclusion that I prefer my cdp over my sound card, but with all of that being said, I like what I like, and, that is all that matters, especially to me!
post #45 of 75
That was my point earlier on. Whether the OP is correct or not, he is now beyond being convinced of anything; just let him be happy with the CDP. We're already at the stage of one has more bass and separation and the other has more accurate tone and dynamics (sorry OP). All stuff that would be easily measured (you can't change tone without changing how it measures) yet when measurements wouldn't detect anything, we'd all be told to trust our ears. Let this thread die.
post #46 of 75
I have zero issue with anyone preferring a cheaper component or inferior tech. But when someone says more this and that without facts to back it up then we can all say it could be the different cable he's using that makes that cd player sounds better. LOL!
post #47 of 75
I don't think it's cabling, but he's not going to be convinced of anything. I wouldn't want to leave future thread readers with the impression that a $35 CDP is better than a media server configuration, but I don't think that's going to happen either.
post #48 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by psgcdn View Post

I wouldn't want to leave future thread readers with the impression that a $35 CDP is better than a media server configuration, but I don't think that's going to happen either.

Agreed. I have a good Denon DVD/CD player. Haven't used it to play a CD in years
post #49 of 75
Well some are also are used to how their current setup sounds. When one upgrades to better audio components from crappy onboard stuff, the change can be pretty dynamic. People can get used to crappy output and think quality output sounds worse because of the accurate representation of their media.

I saw this quite often when nvidia was smacking the hell out of creative labs with their nforce chipsets with their kicksss onboard sound. Let's not forget aureal either. Analog sounds richer if your dac isn't up to snuff. I find spending more than $300 on a desktop dac is asinine though. Finding that happy medium is critical.
post #50 of 75
Thread Starter 
As of now, im think im happy with my onboard Realtek ALC 888. Onboard sound has came a long way in the last decade.
post #51 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by peck1234 View Post

Well, regardless im going to be looking for an external DAC to run an optical out to now.

Any Reccomendations?

http://www.amazon.com/HRT-Music-Stre...ata/B0038O4UFQ
post #52 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Just bought the DAC.

Will update thread when it comes in.
post #53 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by peck1234 View Post

As of now, im think im happy with my onboard Realtek ALC 888. Onboard sound has came a long way in the last decade.

The ALC888 is not that new. It's a seven year old technology, and it performs significantly worse than the Xonar DX, Asus's middle tier sound card.
post #54 of 75
Who else besides Asus makes truly good worthy soundcards?
post #55 of 75
You bought a DAC, so now you just want to get the bits off the PC to the DAC without resampling. Or are you asking as a side question?
post #56 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veda View Post

Who else besides Asus makes truly good worthy soundcards?

Look into the HT Omega Claro series. I went with the Xonar because I've been building my own PCs for years with Asus components, and I have an Asus laptop and two different model Eee PCs (I know, some brand loyalty going on there). But there seems equal love out there for HT Omega when it comes to sound cards.
post #57 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by psgcdn View Post

You bought a DAC, so now you just want to get the bits off the PC to the DAC without resampling. Or are you asking as a side question?

No i bought the music streamer.
post #58 of 75
I just wonder why you would use a PCI based soundcard when there is a PCI-Express? Motherboards for the last several years do not have native PCI slots. They use a PCI to PCI-Express bridge. Its just one more step in the chain where PCI-Express has direct access to the chipset.

Although I sold my Xonar a year ago and went to HDMI. So much easier to play multichannel music.
post #59 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by 51dueller View Post

I just wonder why you would use a PCI based soundcard when there is a PCI-Express? Motherboards for the last several years do not have native PCI slots. They use a PCI to PCI-Express bridge. Its just one more step in the chain where PCI-Express has direct access to the chipset.

Although I sold my Xonar a year ago and went to HDMI. So much easier to play multichannel music.

Some manufacturers do not have PCIe cards yet. All these PCI interfaces are important if you do recording and mixing. They will guarantee low and constant delay.
post #60 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by 51dueller View Post

I just wonder why you would use a PCI based soundcard when there is a PCI-Express? Motherboards for the last several years do not have native PCI slots.

They do when you build your own. There wasn't a whole lot of pci-e sound cards on the market at the time. Hell, there were more pci-e network and raid cards then sound cards... It's even still that way. I've had the HT Omega since it came out and it's an awesome card. It was the only one working with 64bit windows back in the day too. They now have a pci-e model now.

Asus is still relatively new to the sound card market and they are beginning to put out some nice cards.
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