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  #41 (permalink)  
Old July 21, 2007, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Petey View Post

ps. Nice to see that that b1lk1 finally listened to Rob ;) I was already afraid that you would not understand that Digital audio signal HAS TO be converted to analog before you can hear it ;) And Z-680 are not honestly that "Hi-Fi"... DDL/DTS encoding actually makes the quality worse as the signal is packed in a lossy format.
When it comes to dedicated computer speakers, Z-680's are about as HiFi as it gets. Since you will only get better sound by spending 3times the money or more on quality stereo components, I am beyond certain I made a good choice and that my sound is far superior than 99% of any PC specific systems.

As for the sound, I still get better quality sound from the Digital DDL/DTS streams for music and movies. My only issue is that it uses CPU cycles which I was under the false assumption that the chipset did all the work. Games sound better under analog, but still not by a large margain. You strike me as the type of guy that bases his opinions on reviews and not real world use. You may be using high end stuff, that I do not know. But you definitely have NOT used the stuff I am or you would not be making such wrong assumptions about it.

As for listening to Rob, he made some very valid points, so I decided to try a few things. I wish I had the $$$ to get the X-Meridian since it looks to be a better soundcard on the analog side than my current card. Then I could really put the analog VS digital question to rest. Otherwise, I am still not 100% convinced this X-FI based card is gonna offer much more than an improved version of a Creative card. It is gonna be all about the driver set. If Auzentech makes their own custom drivers, then I say this card is a serious contender. If they are forced to use Creative drivers, it quickly falls on my ignore list.

Once again, thanks Rob for all the info. It is very refreshing to have so much insight as to how this card and the other Auzentech cards work. As of right now, the X-Meridian is on my list. Once I see what they do driver wise, I might change my mind......
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old July 22, 2007, 10:33 AM
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The X-Meridian may be a great card for you if your not that interested in higher levels of EAX or OpenAL. Then again I have EAX 1,2,3,4 and OpenAL coming through my X-Meridian 7.1! When I can't use surround speakers, I love playing games using EAX 3 or 4 and using Dolby Headphone. I was interested to see if the Sondigo's DAC's were higher quality then the DAC's of the Z-680's. You found they are about the same.
If you get a X-Meridian you will find the analog is higher quality then most tested PC audio system's DAC's and has a tested higher quality level then alot of tested mid level Receivers, external DAC's and Pre/Pro's. Within reason of course it has been noticed the X-Meridian 7.1 offers sound quality far beyond it's price range. I am hoping we will get similar results with the Prelude.
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Old July 22, 2007, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by b1lk1 View Post
When it comes to dedicated computer speakers, Z-680's are about as HiFi as it gets.
Only since Creative and Klipsch discontinued their higher end models, because of too little consumer demand for the higher quality/price point.
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Old July 22, 2007, 04:01 PM
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@ Robscix: I was afraid the dacs on my soundcard were weak. After all, it is a low end card with a high end chipset. They had to trim the fat somewhere to make it affordable. I am heavily leaning towards the X-Meridian right now, but either way, my next card (in the very near future) is going to be Auzentech.

@ Mars: Klipsch satellite's were the best ever dedicated speakers ever produced, but their subs were dreadful and extremely fragile due to a very poor design. Creative's models were good but overrated in terms of power. Logitech easily outdoes Creative speakers while Klipsch are only better when they actually work.

My whole point and debate about "Hifi" PC speakers is that you need to spend alot of money to get something that sounds a little better and you need to spend a LARGE amount of money for something really special, no matter what you are listening to. I just think it is amusing when these supposed audiophiles pop in berating PC speaker systems with their long winded self important rants, when most anyone with common sense knows that PC speakers are easily bested by a quality component audio system. Considering I paid $300 for my Z-680's 2 1/2 years ago and they still perform as new, I easily got my money's worth and would most definitely recommend them or Z-5500's to anyone not able to spend $1K on audio components. Spend any less than that on components and you will be disappointed to say the least.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old July 23, 2007, 01:11 AM
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Rob:
So you use your Audigy2 through this software that outputs the sound from X-Meridian? What was the proggie called and does it work perfectly? If so I might be a "copy-cat" and do the same.


[off-topic]
Quote:
Originally Posted by b1lk1
just think it is amusing when these supposed audiophiles pop in berating PC speaker systems with their long winded self important rants, when most anyone with common sense knows that PC speakers are easily bested by a quality component audio system. Considering I paid $300 for my Z-680's 2 1/2 years ago and they still perform as new, I easily got my money's worth and would most definitely recommend them or Z-5500's to anyone not able to spend $1K on audio components. Spend any less than that on components and you will be disappointed to say the least.
No need to start a fight here ;) I assume you pointed that quote'd text "against" me, for saying that your speakers are not actually that "Hi-Fi". To get a good sound, speakers and acoustics play a much bigger role than the Soundcard. It is all about having a balanced system, no use having a superb soundcard if your speakers can't put out the signal properly. I hope you know/understand what I mean. And it is true, you can get "PC speakers" much cheaper than quality audio system, that is the point of them. And probably most people are very happy with them.


And about my system, I use these speakers (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/8030A/) and this subwoofer (http://www.bkelec.com/HiFi/Sub_Woofers/XLS200-DF.htm)
[/off-topic]

Last edited by Petey; July 23, 2007 at 01:17 AM.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old July 23, 2007, 05:51 AM
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Your problems is the way your posts sound condescending. Not everyone has $3000+ to spend on speakers like you did. In fact, that is very unrealsitic to even expect .01% of the world to spend that. And I disagree with your sound card assessment. A great soundcard will make lousy speakers sound good and will make good speakers sound great. A cheap soundcard will make excellent speakers sound cheap. Either way, my speakers, which have been modified for better sound, still perform far above average and if I were to want higher end audio, I'd not be purchasing speakers with built in amps for one. It's all good you could afford that, but for much less, a stand alone hi-fi system could be built that would put it to shame.
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Old July 24, 2007, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petey View Post
Rob:
So you use your Audigy2 through this software that outputs the sound from X-Meridian? What was the proggie called and does it work perfectly? If so I might be a "copy-cat" and do the same.
You got it backwards. When I play games, the audio goes to the Audigy 2 first to be processed and effects added for EAX/OPenAL. The audio is then intercepted and transfered into my X-Meridian 7.1. Games sound rather good. I use the Audigy 2 as a gaming DSP and the XM as the output section. For music and movies the sound goes straight to the X-Meridian. I need to change nothing it is fully integrated.

What cards do you have?

Last edited by Robscix; July 24, 2007 at 03:21 PM.
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Old July 25, 2007, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
You got it backwards. When I play games, the audio goes to the Audigy 2 first to be processed and effects added for EAX/OPenAL. The audio is then intercepted and transfered into my X-Meridian 7.1. Games sound rather good. I use the Audigy 2 as a gaming DSP and the XM as the output section. For music and movies the sound goes straight to the X-Meridian. I need to change nothing it is fully integrated.

What cards do you have?
Yes sorry for my bad English (not my native language), I meant that the other way exactly as you explained. :) Already found out that the program was called Velbac and you were involved in making it. I also have Audigy2 and still pondering on whether to get Meridian, Prelude or Xonar... Meridian seems like the best option FOR ME, actually I already have one reserved and three samples waiting to be sent from National once I decide to take/buy them. Seems that the only better things with the Prelude vs. Meridian is the better ADC and Mic input, don't know about condensers and such stuff if they are any different?
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Old July 25, 2007, 08:15 AM
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Yeah, There was a few of us involved in making it and it is a great little application. Aslong as your base card is a creative card like your Audigy 2 you can put any other card as the output. I wanted to make this app becasue I wanted people to have EAX they wanted BUT I didn't like the output section on the Creative cards. I wanted full EAX/OpenAL and the sound quality and features of my X-Meridian. It also give me the ability to play games over digital in surround something Creative cards cannot do.
Currently the App only works in XP BUT we are working on it right now for
Vista. I am gonna put a thread in this forum about Velbac so guys can find the info when needed. Do you understand how it works?

Actually stock the Prelude and the X-Meridian will sound very similar. The Prelude will sound a bit better in STOCK form given the opamp choices BUT if you put a new set of amps in the X-Meridian it will sound better I think. It is really hard to say. They are both great cards.
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Old July 26, 2007, 05:17 PM
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Robscix, will this program work with my current soundcard if I added a X-FI to my system? I can't afford the Meridian as of now, but I would love to add a cheap X-FI for EAX to my system and retain DDL/DTS streaming.
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