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I was wondering if anyone knows of a good sound card for around $100 or less. The sound quality is VERY important to me. This will be my first HTPC, so any recomendations would be great.


I running this to my Pioneer Dobly Digital/DTS Reciever, and will need to support both these.


Thanks Alot, Jeff
 

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You also might want to consider the Audiotrak Maya 7.1 .


"The newest addition to the MAYA line, the MAYA 7.1 is the culmination of years of refinement to an already successful and proven design. Distilled to an essence, the MAYA 7.1 is the best sounding, most versatile 48 kHz PCI card on the market today. Delivering true 5.1 up to 7.1 surround sound, MAYA 7.1 transforms a PC into a desktop home theatre system (DTHT)....The MAYA 7.1 comes with 2-In and 8-Out analog connectors along with an S/PDIF optical output to connect an external AC3/Dolby Digital/DTS decoder."
 

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It may matter which Pioneer you have. I have the Pioneer 810 and use a Hercules Game Theater XP ( around $90 OEM from Newegg)


It does DTS-ES through either Power DVD or WinDVD by bypassing the digital signal to the receiver. But it also does 6.1 analogue out from Soundcard into the 7.1 analogue inputs of the receiver. So I suppose you could use it either way but I have the analog path reserved for computer sounds other than digital from DVD; such as PC games and media player; etc.
 

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I wouldn't suggest the Game Theater XP... to many compromises, one of them being sound quality. Besides, if you need a game/theater card, get a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz.


And if you want something where you don't need gaming, it looks like that Maya and that Nightengale look interesting...
 

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Quote:
I wouldn't suggest the Game Theater XP... to many compromises, one of them being sound quality. Besides, if you need a game/theater card, get a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz.
Gluegun - perhaps you could provide some links/reviews to support your comment above. I was a little taken aback by it so I did try to look into it a little bit. From this Tom's Hardware review; http://www6.tomshardware.com/video/0...925/index.html

directly comparing the GT XP and the TB Santa Cruz the comment was that the sound quality was indistiguisable (as expected based on use of the same sound chip) and that the GT XP would win out in the high end (compared against SB live plantinum) and the the Santa Cruz would be around the top of the next category middling cards.


My point was that if/when you can get such a card around $90 you are getting extra value with the GT such as the 4 extra USB ports and the Power DVD pro software and all the other connection capability.


None of these cards are for the high end audiophyle - but the question was phrased around less than $100. And if all you want to do is pass the digital signal to your receiver then it seems like you don't need more than the Nightengale as they will all be the same in that case.
 
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