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Which sound card?

  • Musiland Monitor 02 US

    Votes: 1 5.9%
  • Asus Xonar Essence STX/ST

    Votes: 15 88.2%
  • X-fi Bravura

    Votes: 1 5.9%
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Discussion Starter #1
This is seriously driving me crazy. I just cannot decide which soundcard to buy to replace my Xtreme Music. I've narrowed it down (i think) to:

Musiland Monitor 02 US
Asus Xonar Essence STX/ST
X-fi Bravura

I'd say gaming/music is a 50/50 split so I want the best compromise, problem is some people have said those "gaming" features are useless, but then again others swear by them. These will be used with a my Audioengine A5 paired with a Velodyne Impact 12 sub just as an FYI.

Please help me make the right choice!
 

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The Xonar. Creative drivers tend to be buggy and extremely bloated with crap you don't want. I've owned an Auzentech Forte (X-fi), Fatal1ty (X-fi), and my current Xonar D2X (not X-fi) and I wouldn't trade it for another X-fi if they paid me. The Asus driver has plenty of features and everything in the GUI works. They're great cards.
 
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Musiland Monitor 02 if you want the best deal for audio quality, but it will pull down FPS on a computer like mine. You shouldn't have a problem, however.

I love mine, it sounds great, I have no problems with it at all.

If you need a mic input, get the Xonar, but if you want great SQ, I see no reason to skip over the Musiland.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:


Originally Posted by Kaldari
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The Xonar. Creative drivers tend to be buggy and extremely bloated with crap you don't want. I've owned an Auzentech Forte (X-fi), Fatal1ty (X-fi), and my current Xonar D2X (not X-fi) and I wouldn't trade it for another X-fi if they paid me. The Asus driver has plenty of features and everything in the GUI works. They're great cards.

Yeah I'd have to agree on the drivers point. Stuff doesn't work sometimes or even changes settings just...randomly. Pretty annoying.

Thanks for your input.


Quote:


Originally Posted by HoldYrPistlstr8
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Musiland Monitor 02 if you want the best deal for audio quality, but it will pull down FPS on a computer like mine. You shouldn't have a problem, however.

I love mine, it sounds great, I have no problems with it at all.

If you need a mic input, get the Xonar, but if you want great SQ, I see no reason to skip over the Musiland.

How are the drivers in general for the Musiland? You're also not the first person to note an FPS decrease, though you could be right, maybe the P4 is the cause?
 

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everywhere i look xonar is getting reccomended, though i can not personally endorse it bc i have not bought mine yet

i do however own a creative xfi gamer, and it is not great/not terrible, it does the job, drivers have lots of wierd bloatware, do have some bugs that make me crash some times (and make my ears bleed a little)
 

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Asus Xonar
You should add a poll lol
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ljason8eg View Post
How are the drivers in general for the Musiland? You're also not the first person to note an FPS decrease, though you could be right, maybe the P4 is the cause?
Oh, they're excellent. I do have problems getting foobar2000 and YouTube to work at the same time because I'm using WASAPI to play files in foobar2000, but then again, who's dumb enough to do that at the same time?


No bloatware, just simple and lightweight. Shows Sample rate and a mixer, that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Quote:


Originally Posted by Tha_Real_Smurf
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Asus Xonar
You should add a poll lol

Lol good idea. Added


Quote:


Originally Posted by HoldYrPistlstr8
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Oh, they're excellent. I do have problems getting foobar2000 and YouTube to work at the same time because I'm using WASAPI to play files in foobar2000, but then again, who's dumb enough to do that at the same time?


No bloatware, just simple and lightweight. Shows Sample rate and a mixer, that's it.

Sounds good. Yeah, WASAPI mutes all other audio other than Foobar. Its normal. Does the same for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Quote:


Originally Posted by HoldYrPistlstr8
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You should ask this at Head-Fi, although all you would get is a plethora of "MUSILAND! MUSILAND!" responses


Yeah I was thinking about that and IIRC, their whole focus is headphones and I don't even own a pair. Just speakers for me lol. I think I'll ask anyway and we'll see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quote:


Originally Posted by HoldYrPistlstr8
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Is your speaker setup 2.1? The Musiland should be fine for that.

Yeah it's 2.1. That's why I included the Musiland and STX in my list.


I guess the real question is, what am I missing out on by going with the Musiland and not the STX? Anything worthwhile?
 

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The ASUS has extra features, I guess. I've never used the Xonar, just went straight to the Musiland. The Musiland is pretty bare-bones, no frills.

If you want the extra features (and a mic in) that an Xonar has, go for it. If you want slightly better audio quality, get the Musiland.

Also, PCI-e/PCI > USB 2.0.
 

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I'd really like the see some measurements on the Musiland 02. There seems to be some pretty incredible claims about this product.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Quote:

Originally Posted by astrallite View Post
I'd really like the see some measurements on the Musiland 02. There seems to be some pretty incredible claims about this product.
I would too. Naturally I'm a skeptic about well..anything that seems too good to be true. I mean for ~$130 is it really as good as everyone says? If I go by what head-fi thinks in their thread...hell yes it is. Measurements would be nice though.
 

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For every second you wait on buying a Musiland 02, a baby fox is killed




But you wouldn't go wrong buying the STX, especially if you use headphones cuz of the built in amp. It still supports 2.1 setups like a pro though. It's the 5.1 setups that don't perform exceptionally well. You'll need the attachment for 5.1. But you already know this


My question is gaming for the Musiland 02. I never had the chance to hear how it performed in games. Only heard music on it for a while and it was perty nice.

Never got to hear the STX, only hear good things about it from most people.
 

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Here's one (that means nothing):

The good old jitter measurement



Reason why it means nothing is that jitter is inaudible below -75 dB and all audio source devices measure below this these days. Also the Musiland only has 2 RCA output.
 

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Since you prollly wouldnt care about gaming features then the Xonar ST/X. Then I do own a Auzentech Bravura my self. It works great for me and I not having any issues with it.I been using it for music uses besides my gaming. It headphone amp handles up to 600ohms. I not having any driver issues either.

But if you use ASIO for your bitmatch playback,Or might wanna use Asio for music creation or whatever. The Bravura doesnt have ASio and you would need to use Asio4all.

Bravura does bitmatch playback or whatever it called thru WASAPI and not ASIO, Wasapi bitmatch playback is in its drivers.Bravura software is just the entertainment thing thats it other then Alchemy,Unless you install the other stuff that is optional.

Xonar ST/X op-amp sockets when your using the headphone amp, you just need to replace both I/V's when your rolling op-amps. Unless you was using its Line out. Then you would need to replace I/V as well as the Buffer. But the spacing of the op-amp sockets makes it hell to use DUal Op-amp adaptors for single channel op-amps in the I/V. Buffer has no issue of fitting those adaptors in it.

Bravura has the spacing for Dual op-amp adapters, Tho all of its op-amp sockets is not like the layout of the Xonar ST/X. Tho you Just would to use One op-amp if it dual channel op-amp or two if there single by either using a adaper or a dual adapter.

Bravura is cheaper and goes for $129 , you might get lucky and find some one selling a used ST/X for $150 unless you go on ebay. They normally goes for 199.

I suggest you get the Xonar ST over the X as it has the jitter thing as well as H6 board pin outs.The H6 board is on newegg finally. So in the future if you add the rest of the speakers to your receiver or so forth. You can attach the H6 board to the Xonar ST.

One more thing DSGX 2.5 isnt pefect some games will get pissed off when DSGX2.5/GX is enabled. Tho DSGX2.5/GX controls the D3D to OpenAL calls for Xonars, as well as EAX5 emulation. I had issues like this when I had my Xonar HDAV1.3 related to DSGX2.5 in certain games.

Actually Bravura and Xonar ST/X would both would be good choices so you cant go wrong with either of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hmm...I might just have to bite the bullet and order a Musiland and an ST and return the one I don't like the best.
 
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