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Which sound card to purchase?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, thanks for the great reading. I am getting ready for a new build, and am agonizing over which sound card to get. Sound quality is very important to me. I am currently using an Asus Xonar D2, which of course is an old pci slot card, connected to a Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1 Multimedia Speaker System. I do a lot of gaming with headphones, and switch between my Grado PS 1000's and Sennheiser HD 800's. I have enjoyed this Asus card immensely, it replaced a Creative X Fi Fatal1ty which I really was not fond of. I swore years ago I would never use another Creative sound card.

Has the quality of Creative cards changed much in the last few years? Do they still have crappy drivers and support?

I do not want to get a sound card that prohibits connecting my Klipsch speakers. But I want a sound card that will also do my headphones justice. I am not on a restricted budget, nor am I an audiophile, just an average guy who enjoys good quality sound.

Any helpful recommendations would greatly be appreciated.

Many thanks in advance for your time.
post #2 of 9
Here's a fairly decent comparitive site i use for a multitude of things, this is the link for the soundcards http://sound-cards-review.toptenreviews.com/ they compare everything and the reviews are pretty decent. You can make a fully informed decision that way thumb.gif
post #3 of 9
What's your budget? Which OS are you running? What do you intend to do (Gaming, music, movies, home theater) ?

If you're saving, wait for the Asus Essence STX II to be available in retail/online channels. It will probably cost as much or a little more than the ST/STX when they were released. I would be surprised if it was cheaper.

That, or buy an ST / STX and upgrade the op amps (the ones I used offer much better clarity and tight bass)

The ST / STX have RCA out, not 3.5mm. 6.3mm for microphone and headphones.


General advice for configuring a sound card:

Leave all the extra wankery off. Room modes, Dolby effects, whatever. It's all junk and gets in the way of a clean recording
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeviousAddict View Post

Here's a fairly decent comparitive site i use for a multitude of things, this is the link for the soundcards http://sound-cards-review.toptenreviews.com/ they compare everything and the reviews are pretty decent. You can make a fully informed decision that way thumb.gif

Thanks DA, I will check it out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by linkin93 View Post

What's your budget? Which OS are you running? What do you intend to do (Gaming, music, movies, home theater) ?

If you're saving, wait for the Asus Essence STX II to be available in retail/online channels. It will probably cost as much or a little more than the ST/STX when they were released. I would be surprised if it was cheaper.

That, or buy an ST / STX and upgrade the op amps (the ones I used offer much better clarity and tight bass)

The ST / STX have RCA out, not 3.5mm. 6.3mm for microphone and headphones.


General advice for configuring a sound card:

Leave all the extra wankery off. Room modes, Dolby effects, whatever. It's all junk and gets in the way of a clean recording
No budget Link, Window 8.1 64 bit, and only PC gaming and occasionally music on the PC
post #5 of 9
No worries Lonestar. I'll try to help anyway i can.
I currently have the Creative titanium HD and it took a while to get the right driver but once that was sorted it's worked perfectly fine. The X-Fi side of it though is a complete faf so i don't bother with it.
post #6 of 9
I have the same Grado's, along with the GS1000/RS1/others, and for all around use ranging from gaming to audio production, I have yet toffind a better rounded card than my Titanium HD. Just my opinion, but I have had the STX/Halo.
   
Z77 Bench-a-lot
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 3930K @ 4.92Ghz Asus Rampage 4 Extreme EVGA GTX670 FTW 2GB  EVGA GTX780Ti Classified K|ngp|n Edition @ 1483... 
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WD10EALX 1TB HDD Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 1TB WD3200AAKS 320GB HDD WD5000HHTZ 10krpm 500GB VelociRaptor 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
LG/Hitachi Slim DVD-R/W Custom MB-Backside VRM-sinks (Copper) 3x NZXT RF-FX140LB 1-2krpm 98.3CFM Case Fans 2x Corsair SP120-PE Case Fans 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Heatkiller GTX680 "Hole Edition" Block + Backplate XSPC Single-Bay Res (Single 5.25 bay) EK Multioption Res X2 - Advanced 150 DD "Fill-Port Res" + Fill-Port Fitting (Red) 
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Z77 Bench-a-lot
(31 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 3930K @ 4.92Ghz Asus Rampage 4 Extreme EVGA GTX670 FTW 2GB  EVGA GTX780Ti Classified K|ngp|n Edition @ 1483... 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
EVGA GTX780Ti Classified K|ngp|n Edition @ 1483... 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws-Z @ DDR3-2248 9-10-9-26 1T Samsung 830 256GB SSD WD10EZEX 1TB HDD 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
WD10EALX 1TB HDD Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 1TB WD3200AAKS 320GB HDD WD5000HHTZ 10krpm 500GB VelociRaptor 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
LG/Hitachi Slim DVD-R/W Custom MB-Backside VRM-sinks (Copper) 3x NZXT RF-FX140LB 1-2krpm 98.3CFM Case Fans 2x Corsair SP120-PE Case Fans 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Heatkiller GTX680 "Hole Edition" Block + Backplate XSPC Single-Bay Res (Single 5.25 bay) EK Multioption Res X2 - Advanced 150 DD "Fill-Port Res" + Fill-Port Fitting (Red) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2x MCP35X + Heatsinks/80x15mm Fan XSPC EX420 Alphacool NeXXos UT60 240 6x Bgears Blasters 140mm 1800rpm Fans 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
4x Koolance 120x25mm 2600rpm Fans Comp/Rotary Fittings (BP/XSPC/Monsoon) Primoflex Pro LRT - White (1/2x3/4) Windows 7 Professional 64bit  
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
Dell P2210Hb 21.5" 1920x1080p Viewsonic VA2012WB 20.1" LCD 1680x1050 Dell U3014 Eizo 27" 1440p 10bit RGB-LED Backlit AH-IPS Panel 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
55" LG HDTV (their top 2014 model) Ducky Mechanical (Browns) NZXT HALE90 850W + 8 blown-up AX1200/i's NZXT Switch 810 (White) 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
R.A.T.3 + MX510 My Desk GRADO RS1i Headphones Grado PS1000 Headphones 
OtherOtherOtherOther
Bitfenix Hydra Pro Fan Controller 5ch 30W/ch Bitfenix Alchemy Individually-Sleeved Extension... NZXT Individually-Sleeved Front Panel Wires (Bl... Phobya Sleeved 1x3pin-to-4x3pin Fan Splitter 
OtherOtherOther
Sleeved Wires w Paracord myself (no Heatshrink) Custom Front and Top Panels w HexxMesh *In Prog... Working on Custom Pedestal Prototype 
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post

I have the same Grado's, along with the GS1000/RS1/others, and for all around use ranging from gaming to audio production, I have yet toffind a better rounded card than my Titanium HD. Just my opinion, but I have had the STX/Halo.
Thanks for the input nleksan, much obliged.
post #8 of 9
No budget...yeah, I think I'd at least wait until the STX II hits just to see how it turns out. And, worst case, you can probably get a deal on somebody's used ZXR if/when they inevitably sidegrade...the ZXR, the Xonar ROG Phoebus, the STX II, and probably the aforementioned X-Fi Titanium HD are pretty much it for high-end dedicated sound cards at this point. (And there's the Xonar Xense, I guess, but who actually owns one of those?)
post #9 of 9
I like their ideas, send me your d2 when you upgrade K thanks.
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Shadow Trooper
(23 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k (5.0ghz) ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 powercolor devil 13 7990 crucial ballistic tactical 2x4gb 1866 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
seagate barracuda  corsair neutron gtx samsung dvd xspc raystorm intel  
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
coolermaster sickleflow blue 120 xspc rs 360 2 corsair 140mm case fans for intakes nzxt fz 140 mm fan  
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
windows 7  dell st2421  microsoft sidewinder x4 corsair tx 850 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
corsair 800d logitech g400 steel series mobile mat  logitech z 2300 
OtherOtherOther
scythe fan controler master kleer tubing  belken nostromo n52 speed pad 
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