Go Back   Hardware Canucks > HARDWARE > Audio

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 24, 2009, 02:43 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Canada > Quebec
Posts: 93
Question Question about Auzentech Prelude and Opamps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
Auzen did this very thing on the Prelude. Used a LM4562 for the front channels and OPA2134s for the rest. Opamps are usually very cheap unless you go with very,very high grade and usually you won't notice a big improvement anyway. Not to justify such a large cost.
1- So if I understood well, the stock Prelude use the (LM4562) for the front and the (OPA2134s) for the rest?

2- How much Opamp there is in total on the card and how much of them are swapable?

3- Is it easy to swap? I'm very good at assembling computers so I guess I should be more able to do it than somebody who never messed inside his computer case but still, I'd be afraid to do something I've never done mostly on such an expensive sound card.

4- The stock ones must be pretty good already and they better be when the card is like 150-180$Can so I'm really wondering if it's worth it that much to swap them or not. Usualy this is only a thing that few rich and crazy sound enthusiast do just to gain some quality that most people wouldn't even notice versus stock. I'm using the (Logitech Z-5500) speakers in DTS Digital through optical cable which is already better than analog. I've been told by somebody that on the Prelude we can only change the L/R channel and that it's ONLY worth it if you listen stuff at high volume. He also said that it depends on the "637" opamp that you choose since Auzentech sells the opa637AU at 70$ but also the opa637SM at 250$ which that alone is much more than what the whole stock card is worth ! He said that for Z-5500, the first one at 70$ should be well enough though it's hard to tell when you never heard the SM of 250$. Heck I paid my speakers 280$... lol.

5- So I see that they use a better chip for the front only. That's kind of lame but oh well. My 5th question is, if I listen to music with (Surround-Stereo 50%) in order to get my front speakers duplicated on the rear and feel like if I would be in the middle of the music.. would the rear sound as good as the front since it's in fact the front that is "copyed" on the rear? 0_o


Thanks in advance for the replies
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 1, 2009, 07:23 AM
Robscix's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 762
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PanzerIV View Post
1- So if I understood well, the stock Prelude use the (LM4562) for the front and the (OPA2134s) for the rest?
That is correct
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanzerIV View Post
2- How much Opamp there is in total on the card and how much of them are swapable?
There are four stereo opamps however, you can only change the opamp in the front channels. THis opamps is for both front channels and headphones of course.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanzerIV View Post
3- Is it easy to swap? I'm very good at assembling computers so I guess I should be more able to do it than somebody who never messed inside his computer case but still, I'd be afraid to do something I've never done mostly on such an expensive sound card.
I think they are very easy to swap out. They are a small 8 pin chip.
Remove the card. Use a chip puller or a small knife or screwdriver and lift one end of the chip just a bit and then the other. If you pop up one end too much you will bend the pins. You usually just need to loosent it with the knife or screwdriver and use your fingers to remove it. Be carful of static etc. Touch the metal on the PC chassis before you remove the card.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanzerIV View Post
4- The stock ones must be pretty good already and they better be when the card is like 150-180$Can so I'm really wondering if it's worth it that much to swap them or not. Usualy this is only a thing that few rich and crazy sound enthusiast do just to gain some quality that most people wouldn't even notice versus stock. I'm using the (Logitech Z-5500) speakers in DTS Digital through optical cable which is already better than analog. I've been told by somebody that on the Prelude we can only change the L/R channel and that it's ONLY worth it if you listen stuff at high volume. He also said that it depends on the "637" opamp that you choose since Auzentech sells the opa637AU at 70$ but also the opa637SM at 250$ which that alone is much more than what the whole stock card is worth ! He said that for Z-5500, the first one at 70$ should be well enough though it's hard to tell when you never heard the SM of 250$. Heck I paid my speakers 280$... lol.
The stock opamps are decent audio quality opamps sure. However, you can get a better opamps for the front channel. The units offered at Auzentech would all be considered better by those with knowledge of opamps. As you mentioned though, you might want to look at upgrading your speakers first before you get into upgrading your source. I have tested all of the Auzentech opamps and they are all exceptional audio opamps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanzerIV View Post
5- So I see that they use a better chip for the front only. That's kind of lame but oh well. My 5th question is, if I listen to music with (Surround-Stereo 50%) in order to get my front speakers duplicated on the rear and feel like if I would be in the middle of the music.. would the rear sound as good as the front since it's in fact the front that is "copyed" on the rear? 0_o

Thanks in advance for the replies
Yes, something like that. I am pretty sure the audio is just mirrored.
To note, The origninal X-Meridian allowed changing of all the opamps. I design consideration I hope Auzentech starts adding back to their cards.

Last edited by Robscix; June 1, 2009 at 07:29 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old June 1, 2009, 05:29 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Canada > Quebec
Posts: 93
Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
The stock opamps are decent audio quality opamps sure. However, you can get a better opamps for the front channel. The units offered at Auzentech would all be considered better by those with knowledge of opamps. As you mentioned though, you might want to look at upgrading your speakers first before you get into upgrading your source. I have tested all of the Auzentech opamps and they are all exceptional audio opamps.
Hmm but the choice in high-end speakers for computers is very rare. There is the extremly rare and overpriced (Creative Gigaworks 7.1) that doesn't even come with a decoder, else all that come to my mind is the (Logitech Z-5500 5.1). Yes the (Razer Mako) is prolly better than both of these but since it's only 2.1 I don't really value it that much. So am I wrong if I think that the only way of really getting something better would be to buy or customize a real home theather like we see for TV? Hell, my dad had a JVC 5.1 of 600watts then his subwoofer died and he replaced it with a JBL sub of 300$ and the whole thing now sound at least 3x better than before! Also the price of that sub alone is worth my whole Z-5500 heh.

Anyway since I'm not in my own house yet, I can't really upgrade my speakers. My PC is set up in a small corner of the living room but if I would have a big room just for me, I could get a Onkyo 606, a 300$ sub then get 5 good speakers and now I would prolly enjoy the full potential of my X-Fi prelude I guess.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old June 1, 2009, 07:03 PM
Robscix's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 762
Default

OK, The decoder in the Z-5500 is low grade and if your using a modern soundcard, a digital connection would actually be a down grade over analog.

Your right, HT gear is the way too go. PC speakers are always limited in their sound quality.
Wait until y ou have the room, buy the receiver, the sub and the speakers and conenct the Prelude up through analog and you have amazing sound quality compared to anything meant for PC.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old June 1, 2009, 07:33 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Canada > Quebec
Posts: 93
Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
OK, The decoder in the Z-5500 is low grade and if your using a modern soundcard, a digital connection would actually be a down grade over analog.

Your right, HT gear is the way too go. PC speakers are always limited in their sound quality.
Wait until y ou have the room, buy the receiver, the sub and the speakers and conenct the Prelude up through analog and you have amazing sound quality compared to anything meant for PC.
Very interesting, thanks a lot for the good information.

However.. isn't the whole point of using an expensive decoder/receiver such as the (Onkyo TX-SR607) is to be able to use the digital function of it such as DTS? Hell, I would swear for my Prelude & Z-5500, that since I've been using "DTS Connect" instead of "Analogue" that I get even better sound. The difference is indeed not very huge but the first thing I quickly noticed is the surround seem more accurate.. like I can tell easier from where a sound come from in a game, also the music have a punchier/better bass. Also no matter how high I raise the volume, the static noise doesn't increase so that's great too when you are in a very silent room with no noise at all.

Last edited by PanzerIV; June 1, 2009 at 07:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old June 1, 2009, 07:39 PM
Robscix's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 762
Default

Many modern soudncards will have DAC that can surpass the units in the receivers. So using digital over analog will be a downgrade. This depends on the unit but in many -low-mid and some high end units, the S/Pdif input section aren't all that good. No that they are bad just the newer cards are pretty good. I usually just tell people to try both analog and digital and use the one that sounds the best.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old June 1, 2009, 08:19 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Canada > Quebec
Posts: 93
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
Many modern soudncards will have DAC that can surpass the units in the receivers. So using digital over analog will be a downgrade. This depends on the unit but in many -low-mid and some high end units, the S/Pdif input section aren't all that good. No that they are bad just the newer cards are pretty good.
Hmm, if the DAC of a 150$ soundcard surpass the one inside a 650$ receiver, then I really don't understand why anyone would want to buy such an expensive receiver . Also since most new receivers are really pushing HDMI output instead of S/Pdif and that only HDMI can manage to handle "HD audio content", then why don't they make HDMI outputs on high-end soundcards so we can hook them on high-end receivers since S/Pdif is getting not that good "showing it's limit"?

I'm not sure also about what I'm going to say but ain't I using the DAC from my Prelude if I'm not using the decoder as in "pass-through"? Because I remember when I was using Spdif to my Z-5500 but without checking the "DTS" checkbox -----> there, the sound was much worse than before so I thought that it was because when it was in "pass-through", that it was using the DAC from my Z-5500 instead of the one from my Prelude. If so it would be quite logic, else I don't really get it.. because in "pass-through" it was really like if it wasn't using my sound card's capacity at all.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old June 1, 2009, 08:24 PM
Dave510's Avatar
MVP
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Markham, Ontario
Posts: 276

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PanzerIV View Post
Hmm, if the DAC of a 150$ soundcard surpass the one inside a 650$ receiver, then I really don't understand why anyone would want to buy such an expensive receiver . Also since most new receivers are really pushing HDMI output instead of S/Pdif and that only HDMI can manage to handle "HD audio content", then why don't they make HDMI outputs on high-end soundcards so we can hook them on high-end receivers since S/Pdif is getting not that good "showing it's limit"?

I'm not sure also about what I'm going to say but ain't I using the DAC from my Prelude if I'm not using the decoder as in "pass-through"? Because I remember when I was using Spdif to my Z-5500 but without checking the "DTS" checkbox -----> there, the sound was much worse than before so I thought that it was because it was in "pass-through" and using the DAC from my Z-5500 instead of the one from my Prelude. If so it would be quite logic, else I don't really get it.. because in "pass-through" it was really like if it wasn't using my sound card's capacity at all.
I'm about 99.9999% sure that there are no commercial speakers capable of directly playing sound from digital signals. That means if you use coaxial or optical (which must be digital signals), then your speakers will receive digital signals, and since the speakers can't play digital signals directly, they'll have to convert them into analogue signals. The only way they can do that is to use the DAC in the speaker itself.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old June 3, 2009, 08:29 PM
TopDogZero's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ajax, Ontario
Posts: 558

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Hmm, if the DAC of a 150$ soundcard surpass the one inside a 650$ receiver, then I really don't understand why anyone would want to buy such an expensive receiver
I'd say because of the amplifier in the receiver. IMO!
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old June 4, 2009, 01:21 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Canada > Quebec
Posts: 93
Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by TopDogZero View Post
I'd say because of the amplifier in the receiver. IMO!
Oh really! Heh I'm happy now to know that I'll never need a receiver as I would have wasted about 600$ otherwise .

Seriously why that many people want to get a receiver if all it does is pretty much give you a higher volume limit? It's so overkill for 99% living room unless you live in a 1 millions house. Most people barrely use it to 50% of the volume capacity so what's the point of a receiver. Is it because without a receiver you cannot plug speakers at all? I noticed that behind te JVC receiver from my dad's setup there is black and red clips to put the copper wire from the speaker inside... while on my pc speakers (Logitech Z-5500) these clips aren't on the small decoder/receiver, it's directly behind the subwoofer.

1- So how the hell would I be able to plug the speakers without any receiver/amp???

2- If the quality of a high-end pc sound card is better than those from 600$ receivers.. then wouldn't I just be better to buy a cheap computer to make an "HTPC"? If the answer is yes, then how would I manage to plug home theather speakers? I also wouldn't be able to use S/Pdif for DTS since I would need a receiver to do that.

3- So if I really get it... I have no choice but to have a receiver if I want to be able to use real hifi speakers instead of computer spreakers. It would also be the only way to achieve DD/DTS since else I would be stuck with analogue. I finaly found out that there is now 1 sound card that haves HDMI 1.3a I/O, it's the (Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheather HD). So I would need to get that card instead of the Prelude if I'd want to use DTS-HD since S/Pdif only do standard DTS. However I don't get it... on that new sound card there's an input and an output for HDMI. What's the diffrence between both?

4- If all I care for is DTS-HD and that I don't need any amp inside my receiver just to be able to make my ears bleed if I want to, can I buy some kind of receiver which doesn't include an amp since the amp is what makes a receiver cost over 500$?

5- If I use an HTPC, is it better to buy an internal bluray drive at 145$ or a standard one outside the computer like say.. this at 275$???


Thanks A LOT in advance if you can give me an answer to these 5 questions. It really start to be a huge mess when you want to get into "high quality stuff"
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[FS] Auzentech X-Fi Prelude Bojamijams Buy/Sell & Trade 9 February 17, 2009 01:10 PM
Auzentech Prelude question Shadout Audio 8 December 24, 2008 07:28 PM
Auzentech Prelude Vs X-Fi Titanium TuX Audio 11 August 4, 2008 09:14 AM
Auzentech X-Fi Prelude richuwo11 Audio 10 September 29, 2007 07:30 PM