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UPDATED 1/12/12: X-Fi Bites the Dust - Titanium HD vs. Essence STX Comparo - Page 2

post #11 of 173
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm;13133652 
I own both and the only conclusion I can come to in regards to 2 channel audio is it will boil down to individual preference. Both are high fidelity grade cards with 2 distinct sound signatures.

I think the big problem with Creative is there naming scheme. They should have named the Titanium HD something completely different since it seems that using the old generation name has lead people to believe or associate the HD with the previous cards.
This is true. While both are high quality cards, it is noticeable which card is which.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epitope;13133914 
So is the testing going to be 100% opinion and subjective hearing based or are you actually going to compare harmonic distortion and quantifiable specs?
Testing is 100% opinion but I will do my best to eliminate bias and will show my driver settings so that you can reproduce this on your own. I'm trying as hard as possible to level the playing field so I'll conduct one sample with stock opamps on both cards and one with LME49720NAs (TiHD will retain two LME49710NAs for buffering due to the 49720 being the dual opamp version of the 49710 but will have the JRC2114 replaced).

You can find RMAA charts anywhere on the Internet but it still won't tell you which is better for gaming. As an electrical engineering graduate, I understand the importance of using graphs and diagrams for documenting the differences between two devices. However, you can't "measure" soundstage and the THD/SNR of both cards are low/high enough that it wouldn't be audible anyway.

EDIT: Added a list of songs and games to the OP.
Edited by RallyMaster - 4/15/11 at 5:04am
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post #12 of 173
IM is more important than THD. But however both having the same default opamps and same DACs so they should be very similar. the only difference would be the circuit design and in terms of gaming, it would be how effective each surround sound DSP is.
post #13 of 173
I'm so subbed even though I'm getting a receiver. You might want to add Holst's The Seven Planets: Mars. Great piece.
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post #14 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore;13143551 
I'm so subbed even though I'm getting a receiver. You might want to add Holst's The Seven Planets: Mars. Great piece.

Agreed. Haven't heard it in a while. Totally bombastic.
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post #15 of 173
looking forward to your impressions
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post #16 of 173
Thread Starter 
Just played Bad Company 2 with both cards on the same day. Impressions from that game are now up. Added two tracks to the Music section which is next priority.
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post #17 of 173
Subbed...I'm very curious to see your impressions. I went with the Titanium HD myself...but I find myself listening to music more than gaming.
    
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post #18 of 173
I spent a few weeks testing both of these myself. I had a very difficult time making decision based on reviews alone.

It might be worth mentioning any quirks in software or card itself. For example the Creative Titanium HD does NOT have a way to switch between rear RCA and rear headphone jack. Instead it just detects when headphone jack is connected and mutes the RCA. The only way to "unmute" it is to unplug your headphones- which is a huge pain in the ass if you frequently swap between headphones and speakers.

A rep on creative forums claims it was designed this way at the hardware level to improve sound quality. Their only suggested work around was to use front headphone jack and manually unplug headphones to make the switch. Depending on your case and wiring, it's possible for this front panel to have static in it and other sound anomalies.

The Asus Essence STX uses mechanical relays (you can hear them click) to swap between RCA and headphone amp on the back. Very easy to do in the software.

This was almost a deal breaker for me as I swap between headphones and speakers a lot. However:

-In my testing with my setup, I couldn't hear any differences between front panel and rear headphone jack

-And I was blown away by positional performance of titan HD
(actually the other guys were blown away:D gunner2.gifeek.gifeek.gif)
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post #19 of 173
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChris2233;13162565 
I spent a few weeks testing both of these myself. I had a very difficult time making decision based on reviews alone.

It might be worth mentioning any quirks in software or card itself. For example the Creative Titanium HD does NOT have a way to switch between rear RCA and rear headphone jack. Instead it just detects when headphone jack is connected and mutes the RCA. The only way to "unmute" it is to unplug your headphones- which is a huge pain in the ass if you frequently swap between headphones and speakers.

A rep on creative forums claims it was designed this way at the hardware level to improve sound quality. Their only suggested work around was to use front headphone jack and manually unplug headphones to make the switch. Depending on your case and wiring, it's possible for this front panel to have static in it and other sound anomalies.

The Asus Essence STX uses mechanical relays (you can hear them click) to swap between RCA and headphone amp on the back. Very easy to do in the software.

This was almost a deal breaker for me as I swap between headphones and speakers a lot. However:

-In my testing with my setup, I couldn't hear any differences between front panel and rear headphone jack

-And I was blown away by positional performance of titan HD
(actually the other guys were blown away:D gunner2.gifeek.gifeek.gif)

Very true. I was about to write about that but I guess you did it for me. Mind if I use your post?
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post #20 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyMaster;13163035 
Very true. I was about to write about that but I guess you did it for me. Mind if I use your post?

Nope. Feel free to dissect as necessary to get the info you desire.
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