Originally Posted by droht
I'm looking to "custom build" a mid-level media PC on Tiger Direct. Is there a sound card or two that are recommended for best stereo music performance? Planning to hook up a pair of good powered speakers.
Thnx for any feedback!
Rather than a PCI soundcard, if you really want the best music, you might want to look at the Slim Devices Squeezebox
It uses the PC as a server/storage only (flac files, or mp3's if desired) and connects through a wired or wireless network. It has it's own Burr-Brown 24-bit DAC and outputs to a receivers analog inputs, or I imagine to the powered speakers you are planning on, as it has a volume control. You can control it via a custom web interface, the supplied remote control (so you don't have to turn on the TV/monitor to listen to music) or even with a PDA through a wireless network. I got one a couple months ago and, as you can probably tell, love it. Costs $250 - $300 though. They have a $2K audiophile model too.
I'm not positive about it working with the powered speakers and you would still need a sound card for home theater, but this would give you great music.