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Direct to power amp: best audio card? - Page 2

post #31 of 108
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-10440755-47.html

http://sound-cards-review.toptenreviews.com/

http://compreviews.about.com/od/multimedia/tp/SoundCards.htm

It's amazing what Google can do for you.wink.gif

FYFI, here's a thread posted on the main page of this forum that didn't even require a search to find it:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1426304/audiophile-sound-from-htpc-sound-card-hdav1-3-or-is-there-another-option
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdkhang View Post

For those that harp on about how PCs are not for audio reproduction etc. Consider that a processor/avr is basically a very specialised PC. Also consider that all the music and movies you hear are mixed on PCs and that a properly designed PC does not have any of those unwanted qualities you speak of. I can put my ear up to my speaker and hear barely any noise coming out of it. Get a good PSU and motherboard and you are usually set.
You've just confirmed what I've been saying all along. While there may be hardware out there that actually provides audiophile quality sound (which, in itself, is highly subjective), professional hardware is priced in the stratosphere and not affordable for most of us. An outboard preamp/processor would be more cost effective if you're looking for this level of sound quality. The links I provided above should satisfy anyone with less discriminating tastes and a more modest budget.

To the OP - I don't recall whether you said what kind of audio you wanted to output to the amplifiers. If you plan on Blu-Ray playback then the Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe with the daughter card is the only choice I'm aware of that will decode HD audio and provide discrete analog outputs for each channel via gold plated RCA jacks. This card is no longer in production but can be found on ebay. Otherwise, you're limited to either Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 audio, probably via 3.5mm mini jacks using some kind of dongle.

The main question is what kind of control is available for the outputs? Can you calibrate each output individually via an included app? Is some sort of bass management included? These are crucial for proper surround playback. If you only want stereo outputs then any of the cards linked above will probably do what you want since you can control the volume directly using the Windows volume control.

I did some searches for RMA and Lynx sound cards just to see what they offered and what kind of prices they go for. While price information is a bit sketchy (it was a quick search), it appears that most models are designed for mastering and mixing and not really consumer oriented. Prices were in the range of $500 and up.

FWIW, Emotiva has their UMC-1 preamp/processor on sale for $499, which would probably be a nice complement to your Emotiva amps.
Edited by captain_video - 8/27/12 at 5:46am
post #32 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

...

Please stop posting nonsense, will you? Thanks. (I always thought trolls were teenagers...)
post #33 of 108
And what part of that is nonsense? Did you actually read any of the above? Everything in that post was meant to be helpful and is exactly what you were asking for.
Edited by captain_video - 8/27/12 at 5:47am
post #34 of 108
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

Did you read any of the above? Everything in that post was meant to be helpful and is exactly what you were asking for.
No, it was not. You keep repeating the same nonsense again and again. You point to unreliable sources and links. You have no idea what you're talking about.

You're polluting an otherwise helpful thread.

Would you please stop? Thanks (again).
post #35 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-10440755-47.html
http://sound-cards-review.toptenreviews.com/
http://compreviews.about.com/od/multimedia/tp/SoundCards.htm
It's amazing what Google can do for you.wink.gif
FYFI, here's a thread posted on the main page of this forum that didn't even require a search to find it:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1426304/audiophile-sound-from-htpc-sound-card-hdav1-3-or-is-there-another-option
You've just confirmed what I've been saying all along. While there may be hardware out there that actually provides audiophile quality sound (which, in itself, is highly subjective), professional hardware is priced in the stratosphere and not affordable for most of us. An outboard preamp/processor would be more cost effective if you're looking for this level of sound quality. The links I provided above should satisfy anyone with less discriminating tastes and a more modest budget.
To the OP - I don't recall whether you said what kind of audio you wanted to output to the amplifiers. If you plan on Blu-Ray playback then the Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 Deluxe with the daughter card is the only choice I'm aware of that will decode HD audio and provide discrete analog outputs for each channel via gold plated RCA jacks. This card is no longer in production but can be found on ebay. Otherwise, you're limited to either Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 audio, probably via 3.5mm mini jacks using some kind of dongle.
The main question is what kind of control is available for the outputs? Can you calibrate each output individually via an included app? Is some sort of bass management included? These are crucial for proper surround playback. If you only want stereo outputs then any of the cards linked above will probably do what you want since you can control the volume directly using the Windows volume control.
I did some searc hes for RMA and Lynx sound cards just to see what they offered and what kind of prices they go for. While price information is a bit sketchy (it was a quick search), it appears that most models are designed for mastering and mixing and not really consumer oriented. Prices were in the range of $500 and up.
FWIW, Emotiva has their UMC-1 preamp/processor on sale for $499, which would probably be a nice complement to your Emotiva amps.

Nowhere did I mention my parts as being stratospherically expensive.

As for bass management, it can be done via audio decoders anyway, so now there is less of a need for in driver bass management.

In any case, you are not really posting anything of value since the OP already mentioned that all those extra features are irrelevant. It is a pure HTPC source system keeping everything in the digital domain. So the only question left remaining is sound quality, which can be done at many price ranges. Also, that Emotiva UMC-1 preamp does not compete in SQ with many of the soundcards mentioned, it is also known to be buggy and it's room correction is useless.
post #36 of 108
Thread Starter 
Thanks hdkhang.

My last concern, actually, is if there's anything between the Asus/Omega cards (around $200-$250) and the Lynx/RME ($1000 and above) cards. I checked M-Audio's site and there seems to be no current option for a six channel output card, although their site is huge and maybe I got lost there.

Is there anything in the middle of those two ends?

(I must say, I'm almost settled on the Asus solution, for price reasons, but it's alwasy nice to have a broader picture.)
post #37 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdkhang View Post

Nowhere did I mention my parts as being stratospherically expensive.
As for bass management, it can be done via audio decoders anyway, so now there is less of a need for in driver bass management.
In any case, you are not really posting anything of value since the OP already mentioned that all those extra features are irrelevant. It is a pure HTPC source system keeping everything in the digital domain. So the only question left remaining is sound quality, which can be done at many price ranges. Also, that Emotiva UMC-1 preamp does not compete in SQ with many of the soundcards mentioned, it is also known to be buggy and it's room correction is useless.
OK, that response was totally out of context. The only part of it that related to your post was the part where I quoted and agreed with what you were saying. The rest was provided for the benefit of the OP. The links pointed to reviews of sound cards, which the OP asked for, and a similar thread the OP said he couldn't locate. The spirit of the post was to answer the OP's original question and provide assistance in selecting a sound card to do what he was asking.

The processing is all done in the digital domain, but at some point the output has to become an analog signal. I fail to see how you can consider proper calibration of a surround system as being irrelevent unless you really don't care about proper reproduction in your listening environment. I would like to assume that any multi-channel sound card has some venue for providing control over each channel's output levels. Simply feeding the analog output straight to a power amplifier without proper balancing of the sound levels is just plain nuts.

I only mentioned the Emotiva preamp/processor because the OP mentioned he has Emotiva amps and the pre/pro was on sale. I have no familiarity with the unit whatsoever so I can't vouch for it's sound quality.
post #38 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by comomolo View Post

Thanks hdkhang.
My last concern, actually, is if there's anything between the Asus/Omega cards (around $200-$250) and the Lynx/RME ($1000 and above) cards. I checked M-Audio's site and there seems to be no current option for a six channel output card, although their site is huge and maybe I got lost there.
Is there anything in the middle of those two ends?
(I must say, I'm almost settled on the Asus solution, for price reasons, but it's alwasy nice to have a broader picture.)

What I like about ASUS cards, is the company isn't going anywhere. And the software seems to be well thought out.

In addition, you can tweak them with the Opamps.

I found the H6 daughter card on eBay for $75...
post #39 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by comomolo View Post

No, it was not. You keep repeating the same nonsense again and again. You point to unreliable sources and links. You have no idea what you're talking about.
You're polluting an otherwise helpful thread.
Would you please stop? Thanks (again).
Hmmm. I did a google search for PC sound cards and came up with several links that contained reviews and comparisons. Here's your original post in case you forgot what it was you were asking:
Quote:
Originally Posted by comomolo View Post

So I'm looking for the best 5 (or 6) channel PCI/PCIE card out there.
I'd be happy with a 6 chan DAC converter too, but I'd rather get a PCI/PCIE card instead if available.
Thanks for any help.

The last link I provided was to a thread located on the same page as this thread. You indicated you couldn't find any threads on the topic that were less than 2 years old so I thought I'd help you out and point you to one. I'm sure I can find quite a few more, but since you don't seem all that interested I see no point in wasting my time.

Part of my response was directed towards hdkhang, as indicated by the quote. Apparently he thought it was more fitting to pile onto your flaming responses rather than actually read the content in the proper context. The remainder of my post was simply asking for clarification as to what you wanted with caveats about a few things to look for.

I apologize for including the info regarding the Emotiva pre/pro since it's obvious you're not interested. Based on the prices I was seeing for high end audio cards it seemed like a cost effective alternative.

Believe it or not, I was actually trying to help, although I may have gotten off on the wrong foot initially. I'm an old school audiophile and the thought of going directly from a sound card to an amplifier just never set well with me, hence my suggestion to consider a separate preamp/processor even though you indicated you weren't interested in an AVR. I won't broach the topic again since you appear to take great offense to the suggestion.

Peace.
post #40 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

OK, that response was totally out of context. The only part of it that related to your post was the part where I quoted and agreed with what you were saying. The rest was provided for the benefit of the OP. The links pointed to reviews of sound cards, which the OP asked for, and a similar thread the OP said he couldn't locate. The spirit of the post was to answer the OP's original question and provide assistance in selecting a sound card to do what he was asking.
The processing is all done in the digital domain, but at some point the output has to become an analog signal. I fail to see how you can consider proper calibration of a surround system as being irrelevent unless you really don't care about proper reproduction in your listening environment. I would like to assume that any multi-channel sound card has some venue for providing control over each channel's output levels. Simply feeding the analog output straight to a power amplifier without proper balancing of the sound levels is just plain nuts.
I only mentioned the Emotiva preamp/processor because the OP mentioned he has Emotiva amps and the pre/pro was on sale. I have no familiarity with the unit whatsoever so I can't vouch for it's sound quality.

Apologies, I was in a poor mood at work and should not have posted what I did.

All audio cards drivers have per channel levels, heck windows mixer will do it for you if you don't want to install the cards software.

As for room correction, you can do calibration in the digital domain, there are ways to do it if one is so inclined. It restricts the available options and requires more processing power from the CPU. The main point was that all the value add that one gets from a high end AVR/pre-pro may not be of much use to the OP. The Emotiva pre-pro won't hold up to a similarly priced soundcard when comparing sound quality (which is subjective anyway so if you are happy enough with it, then by all means), and since many people don't find their room correction to be up to scratch, then that really only leaves multiple inputs and ease of use as being a reason to go with the Emotiva.

I am not against AVRs/Pre-pro's. If you look back in this thread I already mentioned I am considering a good AVR when the time comes to upgrade simply because the advances made in that space seemed to have outweighed what has happened in the PC space and the room correction for all sources is something I think will become very noticeable to me over and above absolute sound quality. However I do understand the reasons someone might want to go with the PC direct to power amp route as it is still something I would consider if all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.
post #41 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by comomolo View Post

Thanks hdkhang.
My last concern, actually, is if there's anything between the Asus/Omega cards (around $200-$250) and the Lynx/RME ($1000 and above) cards. I checked M-Audio's site and there seems to be no current option for a six channel output card, although their site is huge and maybe I got lost there.
Is there anything in the middle of those two ends?
(I must say, I'm almost settled on the Asus solution, for price reasons, but it's alwasy nice to have a broader picture.)

I think I may have mentioned this before but the other one I know if are the E-MU 1616 cards. I run a E-MU 1212m in 2 channel HTPC and the sound quality is very nice.

The 1616 costs more because of the output box and so I would still tend towards the ASUS cards, their sound quality is already very good and unless doing a blind listening session to verify which is better (since I don't know and have not seen many comparisons), the additional trouble of using the E-MU card might not be worth it (tricky drivers but very powerful once you know how). Worse comes to worse, offloading the Asus card should not be hard if you decide to try something else. If I had some time on my hands I'd like to try the E-mu 1616m and in conjunction with proper measurement tools, can add filters to each channel to do a basic room calibration.
post #42 of 108
Thread Starter 
@captain_video: the whole problem comes with your "high horse" attitude despising PCs and PC cards as proper audio components. That's a very common attitude among old school enthusiasts and I'm honestly sick and tired of it. You also suggested I was poor at searching by pointing to a thread that was newer than mine. And finally you provided Google links to places such as Cnet, which I would never trust for audio reviews (neither would you). You simply destroyed any resemblance of reputation with these moves. After all that I wouldn't even try to read what you posted. Thanks anyway for the useful bits of info I have got from your posts.

@hdkhang: thanks for the E-MU suggestion. That looks very interesting.


Proper calibration and equalization is essential to any setup and of course can (and IMO should) be done inside the PC. That's one of the many advantages of using a powerful digital system. Not only CPUs but now also GPUs can do calculations that may serve to improve audio quality. That's a field I'm researching now.
post #43 of 108
The link to cnet was merely to provide a list of sound cards that are currently available and not so much for the reviews. I also would never use cnet as a source for audio reviews, but it was only meant to be a starting point since you were asking what was available. I didn't have time to run a complete search and just posted the first few pertinent links that popped up. I believe the list of cards it presented covered just about every card that's been mentioned here and in the other current thread.

My "high horse" attitude comes as a result of decades of exposure to high end audio equipment and 35 years of working in the electronics industry. Take whatever I say any way you want, just stop being a dick about it. Your attitude about the links I posted just shows the pot calling the kettle black.

As for the link to the other thread, which I see you are now participating in, it was available at the time you indicated you couldn't find any other threads, regardless of when it was initiated. Apparently you gave up looking too soon. Like I said, threads like this show up on a regular basis in this forum. There are at dozens of similar threads that have been posted over the past 2 years if you simply looked a little harder. Your question has been asked and answered many times before.

FYI - I made a comment about input and output impedance values of audio equipment in a previous post and you asked me to cite sources. Take a look at the specs on any piece of audio equipment you own and it lists the impedance, sensitivity (input,) and output level values for line level connections. Unfortunately, this data tends to be lacking when dealing with audio sound cards for a PC, which is why I brought it up. Input impedance values for a power amp are typically in the range of 10 times higher than the output of a preamp or other component. It's rare that two audio components will have the same output impedance and signal levels since circuit designs vary so widely. It's the reason why different components can have different volume levels when you switch inputs on the preamp. Line level connections tend to fall within a range of impedance values and don't have one set value for all audio components.

My brother-in-law has been a professional musician most of his adult life. His high frequency hearing is pretty much shot at this stage, which is clearly evident by the sounds I can hear that he can't. I can hear high frequencies quite well, which is surprising at my age, although I can't hear a conversation in a crowded room with a lot of background noise. You said you are a musician in the other thread and claim to have excellent hearing. I have no idea what kind of music you play, but it makes me wonder just how good your hearing really is based on the number of musicians I know personally, a lot of whom are younger than you.
post #44 of 108
Thread Starter 
Whatever.
post #45 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by comomolo View Post

@captain_video: the whole problem comes with your "high horse" attitude despising PCs and PC cards as proper audio components. That's a very common attitude among old school enthusiasts and I'm honestly sick and tired of it. You also suggested I was poor at searching by pointing to a thread that was newer than mine. And finally you provided Google links to places such as Cnet, which I would never trust for audio reviews (neither would you). You simply destroyed any resemblance of reputation with these moves. After all that I wouldn't even try to read what you posted. Thanks anyway for the useful bits of info I have got from your posts.
@hdkhang: thanks for the E-MU suggestion. That looks very interesting.
Proper calibration and equalization is essential to any setup and of course can (and IMO should) be done inside the PC. That's one of the many advantages of using a powerful digital system. Not only CPUs but now also GPUs can do calculations that may serve to improve audio quality. That's a field I'm researching now.

HomeTheatreShack have a lot more resources on using the PC for Room correction (equalization).

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/bfd-electronic-equalization-devices/46616-room-equalization.html

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/rew-forum/7347-using-convolver-universally-htpc.html

This post specifically is what I based my E-Mu 1616m suggestion for room correction on:

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/rew-forum/54708-how-do-i-analyze-effect-room-correction-2.html#post495884

I would love to be able to find time to do this all properly, but the cost of the E-mu 1616m is quite high, and only outputs 6 channels (enough for my needs for now I guess), if you want say 7.1 or more, you'd need two of the E-mu cards, I'm not 100% on this but I think you can run two and route the audio appropriately so you can have a 10.2 or 11.1 channel system by using their patchmixing drivers to say mix 50% of front L with 50% of center to create a L-center channel (similar to Sony's 5 front speaker setup they use in some cinemas) and so on and so forth.

Bass management can also be handled in this way by patching in the various channels into a LFE channel in the cases where you want system wide bass management and not have to rely on the media player filters etc.
post #46 of 108
comomolo,

I'm interested in what finally did as regards this. I too want to set my HTPC up with a direct feed into a multichannel power amp.

It looks as though several people are already doing this but I'd like to know what pitfalls there are (if any) and what software is best to enable this.
post #47 of 108
Well, I plan on doing the same thing (I've already made the transition of getting rid of all of my sources). My next move is to purchase a HT Omega Claro Halo XT - this card will give me the 8 analog outputs while my pc handles all processing, PEQ, room correction, and Bass Management through JRiver. (I use Media Center for my Cable Card enabled PC - Cable TV and I use JRiver for everything else - BD's, music, ect.) I have a Rosewill Windows Center Remote that will allow me to switch between media center apps (WMC for TV and JRiver for all others). After this, I can sell my Onkyo receiver that I use as a prepro. That would give me the shortest path for the signal - direct into my amps, and JRiver gives me independent volume control for each channel.
post #48 of 108
I've been going straight from PC to Power amps to Klipsch Heritage speakers in our 5.1 system for over two years now. We have an Asus Essence ST with HD daughter card and have been very pleased with it. Have been using JRiver Media Center. It has tremendous audiophile capabilities including Bass Management.

Desertdome on this Forum has been doing it for longer. He had the same card and about a year ago upgraded to an external Stienberg.

Another budget high quality one to look at is the external Echo AudioFire 8. They also make a 12 channel version.

With the tremendous digital power available with inexpensive PC's, good moderately priced sound cards, and excellent software such as JRiver Media Center, I see no reason for a preamp, pre/pro or receiver for many HT systems.

Rod
post #49 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwboater View Post

I've been going straight from PC to Power amps to Klipsch Heritage speakers in our 5.1 system for over two years now. We have an Asus Essence ST with HD daughter card and have been very pleased with it. Have been using JRiver Media Center. It has tremendous audiophile capabilities including Bass Management.
Desertdome on this Forum has been doing it for longer. He had the same card and about a year ago upgraded to an external Stienberg.
Another budget high quality one to look at is the external Echo AudioFire 8. They also make a 12 channel version.
With the tremendous digital power available with inexpensive PC's, good moderately priced sound cards, and excellent software such as JRiver Media Center, I see no reason for a preamp, pre/pro or receiver for many HT systems.
Rod

Thank you for the feedback.

I'm close to executing my plan for HTPC-> amps. I too, had intended on going with the Essence ST and H6 Daughter card.

I'll look into the Echo Audiofire 8... never heard of it...

Question about JRiver... why? Doesn't the software supplied with the Essence allow for room correction? Bass management? I've been playing with JRiver for a bit (and XBMC HD audio version too) and cannot see a clear reason to use JRiver.... Although it is a nice application, I haven't yet found something it does better than anybody else...
post #50 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

Thank you for the feedback.
I'm close to executing my plan for HTPC-> amps. I too, had intended on going with the Essence ST and H6 Daughter card.
I'll look into the Echo Audiofire 8... never heard of it...
Question about JRiver... why? Doesn't the software supplied with the Essence allow for room correction? Bass management? I've been playing with JRiver for a bit (and XBMC HD audio version too) and cannot see a clear reason to use JRiver.... Although it is a nice application, I haven't yet found something it does better than anybody else...

My understanding is the room correction/bass management in JRiver is way better, from an audiophile perspective that the card software.

Have you taken a look yet at JRiver tools/ Options/Audio/DSP & Output Format? It does a lot, including a major PEQ. All computations in 64 bit including their excellent volume control. Also if you want to get really serious about room correction the somewhat expensive Audiolense software works well through the JRiver Convolution Engine.

JRiver very well worth the small $50 cost, and it's constantly being updated/improved.

Rod
post #51 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwboater View Post

My understanding is the room correction/bass management in JRiver is way better, from an audiophile perspective that the card software.
Have you taken a look yet at JRiver tools/ Options/Audio/DSP & Output Format? It does a lot, including a major PEQ. All computations in 64 bit including their excellent volume control. Also if you want to get really serious about room correction the somewhat expensive Audiolense software works well through the JRiver Convolution Engine.
JRiver very well worth the small $50 cost, and it's constantly being updated/improved.
Rod

Yep, I've played a bit with the DSP engine. Speaker crossover frequency, remixing the LFE, etc.

Don't get me wrong, I like JRiver. It's a nice interface and seems to allow a lot of flexibility.

I just don't understand HOW the room correction is better than what comes with the Essence ST.

Speaker level is speaker level
Speaker distance is speaker distance
Sub crossover is sub crossover

I do see that JRiver is much more advanced if you want to set highpass/lowpass filters for each channel. But I'm not sure if that's a feature I need...
post #52 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

Yep, I've played a bit with the DSP engine. Speaker crossover frequency, remixing the LFE, etc.
Don't get me wrong, I like JRiver. It's a nice interface and seems to allow a lot of flexibility.
I just don't understand HOW the room correction is better than what comes with the Essence ST.
Speaker level is speaker level
Speaker distance is speaker distance
Sub crossover is sub crossover
I do see that JRiver is much more advanced if you want to set highpass/lowpass filters for each channel. But I'm not sure if that's a feature I need...

When you get your Essence ST, if that's what you do, it might be interesting for you to do an audible comparison between the ST software and the JRiver software. Let your ears be the judge.

Rod
post #53 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwboater View Post

When you get your Essence ST, if that's what you do, it might be interesting for you to do an audible comparison between the ST software and the JRiver software. Let your ears be the judge.
Rod

Can you tell a difference?
post #54 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

Can you tell a difference?

I haven't done that comparison. When I started with the Essence ST desertdome had done quite a bit of testing and was very persuasive in his arguments in favor of the JRiver Bass Management. I was already using JRiver so I didn't need a lot of convincing. He is way more advanced in such things than I am and has done a lot of work with JRiver as a Beta Tester in advancing their audio capabilities. On the JRiver forum he is 'mojave'.

I suggested it as a test for anyone who is having trouble deciding.

Rod
post #55 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwboater View Post

I haven't done that comparison. When I started with the Essence ST desertdome had done quite a bit of testing and was very persuasive in his arguments in favor of the JRiver Bass Management. I was already using JRiver so I didn't need a lot of convincing. He is way more advanced in such things than I am and has done a lot of work with JRiver as a Beta Tester in advancing their audio capabilities. On the JRiver forum he is 'mojave'.
I suggested it as a test for anyone who is having trouble deciding.
Rod
Mojave over at the JRiver forum is a BEAST!!!! That guy knows his stuff!!!!
post #56 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwboater View Post

I've been going straight from PC to Power amps to Klipsch Heritage speakers in our 5.1 system for over two years now. We have an Asus Essence ST with HD daughter card and have been very pleased with it. Have been using JRiver Media Center. It has tremendous audiophile capabilities including Bass Management.
Desertdome on this Forum has been doing it for longer. He had the same card and about a year ago upgraded to an external Stienberg.
Another budget high quality one to look at is the external Echo AudioFire 8. They also make a 12 channel version.
With the tremendous digital power available with inexpensive PC's, good moderately priced sound cards, and excellent software such as JRiver Media Center, I see no reason for a preamp, pre/pro or receiver for many HT systems.
Rod
I'm running Klipsch Heritage up front myself smile.gif !!!!
post #57 of 108
So, I am finally graduating from using Altec Lansing 5.1 computer speakers in our family room for sound from HTPC to a Denon 1612 Amp and Pioneer speakers that I recently aquired from a few slick deals.

When I connected the AMP va HDMI, it only showed up source as 2 ch stereo. Google search revealed that my motherboard based on AMD 785 chip (ATI Radeon 4250 Video) does indeed support more channel's but it can not be selected in Windows.

So, my next step is to connect via Optical from the on-board sound card to the amp, which should support all 8 channels that the sound card is capable of producing, even though I am only going to be using 6 of them with this particular amp.

Am I looking at it from a wrong perspective?
post #58 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

So, I am finally graduating from using Altec Lansing 5.1 computer speakers in our family room for sound from HTPC to a Denon 1612 Amp and Pioneer speakers that I recently aquired from a few slick deals.
When I connected the AMP va HDMI, it only showed up source as 2 ch stereo. Google search revealed that my motherboard based on AMD 785 chip (ATI Radeon 4250 Video) does indeed support more channel's but it can not be selected in Windows.
So, my next step is to connect via Optical from the on-board sound card to the amp, which should support all 8 channels that the sound card is capable of producing, even though I am only going to be using 6 of them with this particular amp.
Am I looking at it from a wrong perspective?

Your post has nothing to do with this discussion.

You'd have better luck making a new thread, asking your question. It'll get more views, and you'll get solid feedback.
post #59 of 108
Hi Comomolo,

I have used a M-Audio Revolution 7.1 for many years and the now the X-Meridan 7.1 with upgraded OP amps. I like the sound quality into my Marantz 8500 connected via 7.1 analog cables.
There is no pop when the PC boots and I believe the X-Meridan 2G is slighty better that the orginal.

PS The OP amps tend to the same price as the card purchase.

I hope this helps finding something you like.
post #60 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorCalJason View Post

Your post has nothing to do with this discussion.
You'd have better luck making a new thread, asking your question. It'll get more views, and you'll get solid feedback.

Sorry, I thought with so many experts already here, someone would see it, rather than my question getting lost as a new post.
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