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Old February 28, 2009, 11:19 PM
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Default The BEST Sound card?

The title says it all, I can't figure out which one's the best one on the market. No, I don't want any $1,000 crazy german or Yamaha one, I'm thinking more like SoundBlaster, Xonar, that type of stuff. I won't be recording or anything, but I AM going to be hooking up my computer soon to the HDTV with a 7.1 Surround sound sytem, and I'd like to be able to use that to it's full, absolute potential.
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Old March 1, 2009, 12:32 AM
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Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Elite
Auzentech X-Fi prelude
Asus Xonar Essence STX

Come to mind...
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Old March 1, 2009, 12:37 AM
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I'd suggest the Xonar Essence STX, which you can read about @ Xonar Essence STX: Sneak Peak! - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio

That has to be one of the longest threads I've come across but if you want a quick review, I'd suggest the following:

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Sound Card :: TweakTown
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Old March 1, 2009, 01:35 AM
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Sounds like the STX to me, I think I should be able to hook it into the receiver no problem. I'm a bit miffed though...it only has the R+L and SPDIF, wouldn't it lose some ground in the sense that it has no optical output?

@JakeHT:

Yeah, like I said same things come to mind, but which out of those is the best, I'm talking no-holds barred, best card out of the regular bunch. I love that smiley avatar, it always makes me feel...at peace.... >.>

Sorry, I'm major sound noob, I got no time for sound (normally) but now I'm so excited about using my comp on a big 52" and 7.1 surround sound!
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Old March 1, 2009, 06:48 AM
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I just ordered an ASUS Xonar Essence STX from NCIX and you're to blame Actually I've been sitting on the fence post for the last couple of days about buying this card, until I stumbled across your post last night and said what the heck.

Based on the review that Alydon did @ Xonar Essence STX: Sneak Peak! - Page 51 - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio (second post from the top) I also ordered 3 of the upgraded opamps from Digikey. Which you don't really need, unless you're going to be using the head phones out a lot.

If you scroll ~ 3/4 down that page you'll see a photo of exactly where the opamps are located and a quick tutorial on how to change them.

BTW, if anyone's interested the opamps parts are 2 each of LM6172IN-ND and 1 each of LT1361CN8#PBF but again, these mods are for headphones.
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Old March 1, 2009, 08:06 AM
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Personally, I would have gone with the HDAV Deluxe, as you can changethe opamps on ALL channels, plus get DTS/DolbyHD...the essence STX is directed purely at headphone users.


At this point and time, there is NO perfect soundcard..each is designed for specific uses.
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Old March 1, 2009, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca View Post
Personally, I would have gone with the HDAV Deluxe, as you can changethe opamps on ALL channels, plus get DTS/DolbyHD...the essence STX is directed purely at headphone users.


At this point and time, there is NO perfect soundcard..each is designed for specific uses.
In that case, what's the BEST consumer-high-end sound card for gaming on a 7.1 system w/o headphones?

No, I never, ever use headphones, and I can't see myself buying a good pair in the forseeable future.
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Old March 2, 2009, 05:46 AM
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During my dd I ran across 2 cards from Omega that you might want to consider.

The HT Omega Clario Plus $218.99

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.ph...1&limitstart=7

Customer Reviews Of HT OMEGA CLARO Plus+ 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail

The HT Omega Clario $199.99

Bjorn3d.com -HT Omega CLARO 7.1 Channel Sound Card, Satisfying Your Daily Tech Cravings Since 1996

Customer Reviews Of HT OMEGA CLARO 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail






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Old March 2, 2009, 06:05 AM
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+1 for the Claro. I have the non-plus and it sounds amazing, a huge difference from my old X-Fi XtremeMusic. It also lets you take 7.1 sound from a game and down-convert it for headphones, and it really sounds like its 7.1.
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Old March 2, 2009, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmaPC View Post
In that case, what's the BEST consumer-high-end sound card for gaming on a 7.1 system w/o headphones?

No, I never, ever use headphones, and I can't see myself buying a good pair in the forseeable future.
My previous recommendation that you quoted stands. I thoroughly enjoy mine, and my D2X...the HDAV Deluxe gets my vote due to the RCA-out and changable opamps on the daughtercard, as well as HD-audio functions. Works great in games, although if in XP, I'd be recommending the X-FI. Like I said, a card for every situation, specialized...

If using a receiver with HDMI-in and HD-audio decoding then the regular HDAV would get my vote.
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