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I haven't seen much discussion of the Xonar lately, or this review in particular:

http://techreport.com/articles.x/13874


From what I can tell, their tests seem to show that the Xonar has superior sound quality in the RMAA tests than both the Prelude and X-fi Fatal1ty, but I came across a post on another board that said they wouldn't trust these results because they didn't "properly test the cards".


I just wanted some others to weigh in with their opinions on the testing as I am considering both cards (xonar and prelude). I'm leaning towards the xonar, but the prelude does have the upcoming HDMI add-on board.


Speaking of this, will all the fancy DACs and OpAmps on these boards matter when HDMI is used? I.e., will the soundcard be doing any D->A conversion when the audio signal is sent over HDMI, or will it all be done by the receiver (or whatever it is plugged into)?


Finally, has anyone changed out the 4580 opamps on the xonar for better ones? I saw some discussion of it in the Xonar thread, but nothing concrete.


Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Speaking of this, will all the fancy DACs and OpAmps on these boards matter when HDMI is used?

no... HDMI is digital all the way to the DAC's in the reciever/display

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cghebert /forum/post/12974973


I haven't seen much discussion of the Xonar lately, or this review in particular:

http://techreport.com/articles.x/13874


From what I can tell, their tests seem to show that the Xonar has superior sound quality in the RMAA tests than both the Prelude and X-fi Fatal1ty, but I came across a post on another board that said they wouldn't trust these results because they didn't "properly test the cards".


I just wanted some others to weigh in with their opinions on the testing as I am considering both cards (xonar and prelude). I'm leaning towards the xonar, but the prelude does have the upcoming HDMI add-on board.


Speaking of this, will all the fancy DACs and OpAmps on these boards matter when HDMI is used? I.e., will the soundcard be doing any D->A conversion when the audio signal is sent over HDMI, or will it all be done by the receiver (or whatever it is plugged into)?


Finally, has anyone changed out the 4580 opamps on the xonar for better ones? I saw some discussion of it in the Xonar thread, but nothing concrete.


Thanks!

I reviewed one of the Xonar cards and they have a internal routing scheme for legally copying audio -so they say. There is a procedure for RMAA testing the Xonar in the manual and it uses this internal routing. It is true the Xonar measures very,very well, Given the way the card internally routes audio signals I would say the findings are a bit suspect. I mentioned this in my review. Those 4580 opamps are IMO, the one place ASUS slipped on the design of the XOnar. The front channels use a LM4562 which has about $5 price tag per chip and the 45XX series opamps are about .20 Cents each. -these are commonly seen on low-end offerings from Creative and others.

The Xonar and the Prelude are meant for very different applications, if your having trouble deciding you need to figure out what you really want from a soundcard and go from that point. If I owned the XOnar I would have somebody change the 4580's to LM4562's or other better grade amps.
 
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