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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there folks I've got a question for you all if you can put up with a newbie hehehe.


I have an extensive mp3 collection :eek: and I'm planning on spending a few thousand on a good stereo system. 99% of the music I'm going to be listening to is going to come off the computer. I know it might seem stupid to be using a 2500$ sound system to listen to mp3s but who knows maybe the stereo will ween me off the. My question for you is this, can you suggest a goo sound card and, how important is optical out. See right now I have a little 5.1 computer system with satellites, I use an optical connection and it doesn't have that -6db which I like, but I've been looking at the new creative soundblaster x fi soudcard to work with this new system I'm buying. trick is the ones that don't come with the front panel that has all the inputs and outputs etc are a lot cheaper and they just have a regular 1/16th inch jack. is spending an extra 100 for the ability to use optical outputs worth it? and also if I'm just going down the wrong direction what other cards should i be considering?


(sorry if there are spelling mistakes I'm at work, no time to read over.)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
anyone? is the x fi a good card? is optical really any better than regular 1/16th inputs with a good cable?
 

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I don't know how picky you are, but I've got a chaintech av710 (based on recommendations from this forum) running an optical to my system and it sounds fantastic. These cards are $25 at Newegg.


Stu
 

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A creative card is the last thing I would use for a HTPC for audio. There drivers and included software is bloat and cr*p!


I would get any sub $50 card with optical or coax digital out. You said you were getting a new amp and 95% of decent amps have coax digital in, and even more have optical digital in. Good motherboards also have very good digital outs on them too. Remember, the sound card is just being used to transfer the stream to your amp, digital is lossless.
 

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If you want high quality analog out to your system onkyo makes both a 2 channel and a 7.1 channel sound card that should be nice...i believe they are the SE-90PCI and the SE-150PCI...i think those model numbers are right.


Digital out just use the chaintech to start.
 

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ahhh interesting that onkyo make some.


right now I'm already using the optical out on my stereo into my 5.1 pc speaker system. What I was thinkginab out was the D/A converters and how the x fi is apparently a whole new design for soundblaster and has decent D/A converters and then I was just also wondering what cards out there have good D/A conversion. But I guess all in all it doesn't really matter my amp is clearly going to have better converters any soundcard is going to have.
 

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My vote is for the mAudio Revolution 5.1.


Honestly, don't touch Creative. They haven't had a decent card since their Sound Blaster 16 days. ;)
 

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Consider the Xmystique, the X-raider or the Xplosion all from Bluegears. People here are reviewing them with extremely favorable results.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FusionRx
Consider the Xmystique, the X-raider or the Xplosion all from Bluegears. People here are reviewing them with extremely favorable results.
Over Digital Out....apparently the Analog out has some minor issues with certain frequency ranges...there's a thread somewhere around here showing the spikes/response vs expected response. i'll try to find it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubervegan
I know it might seem stupid to be using a 2500$ sound system to listen to mp3s but who knows maybe the stereo will ween me off the. My question for you is this, can you suggest a goo sound card and, how important is optical out. See right now I have a little 5.1 computer system with satellites, I use an optical connection and it doesn't have that -6db which I like, but I've been looking at the new creative soundblaster x fi soudcard to work with this new system I'm buying. trick is the ones that don't come with the front panel that has all the inputs and outputs etc are a lot cheaper and they just have a regular 1/16th inch jack. is spending an extra 100 for the ability to use optical outputs worth it? and also if I'm just going down the wrong direction what other cards should i be considering?


(sorry if there are spelling mistakes I'm at work, no time to read over.)
tubervegan,


You should re-encode your MP3s with a lossless codec, first. If you physically own the albums, you can do that for free - you'll just need more hard drive space. That will give you most noticeable improvement in sound quality.


I would then use the majority of your budget and get a better pair of loudspeakers or studio monitors. Keep driving those with your Onkyo receiver.


You will probably not be able to hear/discern differences between interconnect with your current setup, so I wouldn't worry too much about 1/16 analog vs coax/SPDIF.


In my opinion, the source material is really important - garbage in, garbage out.


- Steve O.
 
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