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Old November 7, 2011, 05:54 PM
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Default Asus or Auzentech Sound Card? Help!

Hi everyone.

I'm looking at getting an Asus Maximus Extreme-Z and it doesn't have any PCI slots.
I currently have a Auzentech Prelude PCI card.

So, I'm looking at upgrading my sound card, to a PCIe 1x - Should I go asus or auzen?
I really like the auzen sound quality, excellent bass and treble etc.
I'll be normally running an Edifier S550 5.1 system, and some of the time using a Y splitter to run my Z2300 with it (does this degrade sound quality...?)

I will be using the sound card for listening to music primarily, but I do game often too.

How are the Asus drivers? Is it possible to change the bass and treble amount via the software, and separate speaker sound levels? I really like the auzen drivers, and have had no problem with them.

Can anyone recommend a solid sound card for me? (I don't know which opamps etc etc are better/worse than each other!)

Some sound cards out of say...
- Asus Xonar Xense
- Asus Xonar D2X
- Asus Xonar HDAV1.3
- Auzentech X-Fi Home Theatre HD
- Auzentech X-fi Forte
- Auzentech X-fi Bravura

Money isn't too much of a problem, I just want the highest quality audio solution I can get!

Thank you so much for reading this :)
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Old November 7, 2011, 06:00 PM
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Honestly, it doesn't get much higher quality than the Prelude. For a 5.1 card it is fantastic. The Xonar D2X will beat it slightly IMO in terms of sound quality. But then you get no X-Fi if that is your thing. The Forte is still a capable card though. Slightly weaker surround DAC's than the Prelude, but still pretty decent.
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Old November 7, 2011, 06:18 PM
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I have the Auzen Hometheater HD and been my favorite card to date.

I originally bought it for bitstreaming HD audio over HDMI to my AVR but ATI released bitstreaming cards shortly after and at first I was fairly butthurt. Then I decided to move the card to my main machine that has analog computer speakers and hooked it up and found that it can still decode HD audio and pass it to analog. I immediately upgraded OPamps on the surrounds and center to some good ol LM4562's, and have been rocking it ever since.

I have also been really impressed with the headphone amp. Sure there are better ones to be had, but I have some Pioneer HD2000's and they sound fantastic and they pound hard when I want it too.

If HD codecs are not an issue I would agree strongly with Lowfat. Get a Prelude and enjoy. I had one (modded it too) and loved it. I just wanted to leave PCI in the past, but still isnt an issue.

I have had a couple Asus cards and never really cared for the drivers. It was a while back so they may have improved greatly. I will also admit I was just so used to creative based drivers that it could have been me just bing a bit anal.



Edit: Here is a little info on the Hometheater HD

Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD Review (Page 2 of 12) | APH Networks
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Last edited by turtletrax; November 7, 2011 at 06:42 PM.
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Old November 7, 2011, 06:51 PM
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ASUS drivers are ..passable at best let's say. It's best to leave everything off And yes you can make those adjustments, but the only thing I would play with is the EQ...every "enhancement" sound terrible.

I'm just gonna say that I have the D2X and it's a great card by its own right. I replaced my prelude with it before for the same reason that I didn't have any PCI slots available...and to be honest, I consider the d2x pretty much equal to the prelude for most parts.

The Auzen HT HD is also a great card, and is MUCH more versatile than the d2x. The only reason I haven't tried it is..well I spent my money on a STX.

also I wouldn't get so riled up in OPamp choices tbh. Most of them will color the sound slightly, but I would say most consumers don't even care.
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Old November 7, 2011, 10:27 PM
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Thank you very much for the responses, much appreciated!

Ya, the enhancements do sound pretty bad, all I use is x-fi crystallizer and made up an equalizer. Other than that I'm unsure which encoder would be best for me (ie dolby digital live / dts) and my sound system doesn't have optical.

That Auzen Hometheatre HD does look very nice. How would this compare to say the Asus Xense? I can get the Auzen Hometheatre card for around $340 NZ and the Xense for $420, and the D2X around $250.

I really do love my prelude, it sounds excellent, but if I want the motherboard I'm looking at, I won't be able to use the PCI :(

Also, on the auzen hometheatre, I don't really understand what those HDMI ports are for, one to the graphics card and what about the second one?

Sorry about the lack of knowledge :(
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Old November 8, 2011, 06:49 AM
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The HDMI ports on the Auzen HTHD are designed to take DVI to HDMI cable from your GPU to the HTHD, then add the audio streams and go HDMI out to your AVR for full bitstream. Like I said every gpu does this now so not a huge factor, but if you want multichannel decoding of Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD output to analog speakers(or you have an AVR that doesn't support hd codecs) and a great headphone amp, you will like the Hometheater.

I also have never seen a nicer PCB. It borders on a work of art IMO.
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Old November 8, 2011, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TangedAs View Post
Thank you very much for the responses, much appreciated!

Ya, the enhancements do sound pretty bad, all I use is x-fi crystallizer and made up an equalizer. Other than that I'm unsure which encoder would be best for me (ie dolby digital live / dts) and my sound system doesn't have optical.

That Auzen Hometheatre HD does look very nice. How would this compare to say the Asus Xense? I can get the Auzen Hometheatre card for around $340 NZ and the Xense for $420, and the D2X around $250.

I really do love my prelude, it sounds excellent, but if I want the motherboard I'm looking at, I won't be able to use the PCI :(

Also, on the auzen hometheatre, I don't really understand what those HDMI ports are for, one to the graphics card and what about the second one?

Sorry about the lack of knowledge :(
I have both of those cards. In my opinion,the Xonar Xense is the absolute best card for gaming. It's a super card for music and movies too. Problem is,trying to find one without the PC 350s that come with it. However,the Prelude is no joke. It too, will do pretty much everything you want, as I'm sure you already know. If you are going with a mobo that won't let you use the Prelude,you can still get a VERY good price for it. Then,find a Xonar Xense,and you will never be sorry. You can find one without the headphones,you just have to look a bit. Well worth the effort.
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Old November 8, 2011, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TangedAs View Post
Thank you very much for the responses, much appreciated!

Ya, the enhancements do sound pretty bad, all I use is x-fi crystallizer and made up an equalizer. Other than that I'm unsure which encoder would be best for me (ie dolby digital live / dts) and my sound system doesn't have optical.

That Auzen Hometheatre HD does look very nice. How would this compare to say the Asus Xense? I can get the Auzen Hometheatre card for around $340 NZ and the Xense for $420, and the D2X around $250.

I really do love my prelude, it sounds excellent, but if I want the motherboard I'm looking at, I won't be able to use the PCI :(

Also, on the auzen hometheatre, I don't really understand what those HDMI ports are for, one to the graphics card and what about the second one?

Sorry about the lack of knowledge :(
If you are not using high impedance headphones, then Xense = D2X

The 2 HDMI ports on the Auzen is In and Out. The one closer to the RCA is output
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Old November 8, 2011, 05:17 PM
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Yep the Home theatre does look very nice! I currently have the Prelude on my bottom PCI slot in my P80R nicely lit up by some blue cold cathodes :D

So it looks like it will be be between the Home theatre and xense. The headset with the Xense would be nice, would probably only use it for the mic and possibly headphones for late at night, not sure if I like the molex power also!

With the Xense at $420 and home theatre at $340, it makes me wonder if the xense has lower quality parts since the headset would be pretty expensive too, but I don't know.

I should also mention that I do not have a receiver, and play music in 320kbps and FLAC through the analogue (I believe?) connections to my Edifier S550's

:)
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Old November 8, 2011, 05:35 PM
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It honestly doesn't make sense to me to buy either of those cards. The HT is actually a downgrade from the Prelude in terms of SQ. When it was released it was one of the few cards that could bitstream, but now any videocard can do this, so honestly it has no place anymore, not for its price. As for the Xense, unless you specifically want the headset it isn't worth the price. A Xonar D2X has stronger surround channels than the Xense anyways, plus it under half the price.

Go w/ either the Xonar D2X or the Auzen Forte. The Forte has slightly more poor surround DAC's than your current Prelude, but nothing you should notice all that much. Every other card besides these is pretty much a downgrade from the Prelude.
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