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For those that don't know, tl;dr means too long; didn't read. Most of you may fall into this category since I'm a bit too long-winded in this post. Please discontinue reading if you have an average attention span.

I'm sortof merging posts; one is a post to convince onboard sound people that that 50-80 bucks for a decent soundcard is a good investment. The other post is a question about xonar presets. Why am I merging unrelated posts? My kid's at his grandparents and my co-workers and I went out after work to celebrate Christmas. That, and I can't justify a "you should buy a soundcard" thread all by itself.

Ok. I had the xtrememusic. Non-modded.

First time I installed it, I about fell down. Reason I still post in sound cards section: decent soundcard killed my old live! soundcard and onboard audio. It's like taking a stout drink of some decent liquor for the first time.

But I ****ed up. My xtrememusic was 2nd-hand from a fellow Overclock.net person (he sold me a great psu, I do NOT fault him) and it had... issues.

It developed more issues. I had this idea that connecting the 4-pin floppy power cable made it more likely to be recognized. Random testing semi-proved my idiotic theory; idiotic since the floppy power was only needed for a front io port, which I do not own and do not intend to take advantage of, and the "proof" was a 60-40 success rate without enough tests to actually arrive at 60-40 with any reliability.

So, while trying to get it to work in my comp I managed to connect the 4-pin for the 1000th time... but it was dark and I was frustrated and I set it 1 pin off and started myself a little fire to warm my bones with.

So I got this new xonar d1 (note that it does not require a 4-pin floppy power connector as the dx does - my floppy cable is a bit abused at the moment, and i didn't want a pci-e card anyway)... now I know, I had a used xtrememusic that had issues. I should not judge one versus the other, even though I've read the reviews that all had the xonar beating out its equal competition (equal competition being above the xtrememusic, not at its level).

But DAMN this card sounds good. Words seriously cannot describe. My sennheiser 201's aren't even in; i'm listening on a friggin logitech headset! And this sound is acres of real estate versus a small apartment.

To reiterate: there are sounds I didn't know existed emanating from my crappy headphones. Sounds from songs I've listened to a thousand times. There is no direct comparison that can convince you of the difference I'm experiencing.

However, I can't get a balanced setup to save my life. It all sounds great, just great in a "wow this is crazy" way. The xonar d1 software has many presets, but the best preset is the classic preset (classical music?) and the rest are waaaay off balance. And the classic is off as well. And I'm talking indie bands, industrial music, prog rock, etc... no preset (even default) is as good as classical, and it still sounds off. I've messed with settings, taking bars to different levels... it would seem simple but it isn't. I've messed with "room-type" settings but those don't help either (the generic sounds best).

Does anyone have a good user preset for the xonar series that he or she might share with me? Or any ideas as to how to balance the db +20 or -20 that range from 30 to 16k? I used to mess with settings on my old boomboxes or car stereos, but those were hatchet settings... and these scalpels I'm trying to work with are beyond me (presidential politics reference, sorry)

Each preset is like a different song.... it sounds great on classic, but not as intended.

Sorry for the word volume. I'm a writer by trade and prone to garrulousness when... having gone out with co-workers.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E2180 @ 3.56 (Stable) 445*8 1.262v DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL MSI GTX260 G.SKILL 2 x 2GB DDR2 1000 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB 32MB cache Windows 7 x64 19" from 1999 (1600x1200) BFG GS-550 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E2180 @ 3.56 (Stable) 445*8 1.262v DFI BloodIron P35-T2RL MSI GTX260 G.SKILL 2 x 2GB DDR2 1000 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB 32MB cache Windows 7 x64 19" from 1999 (1600x1200) BFG GS-550 
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