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I was in amidst of purchasing the Z-5500's last night when I had started thinking about how I can create a digital connection to my Xtreme Music card. I then realized, or I should say remembered, that there are not any optical or coaxial ports on the backplate of the card. Sure, I could go analog and use the supplied minijacks, but if the digital option is there I cannot pass it up. And of course my Xtreme Music card did not come with the I/O expansion drive.

So that leaves me with a problem. I need to find the best solution, *hopefully* without breaking the wallet. I have done a bit of research and I noticed I could spend about 5 dollars on a coaxial minijack adapter, but I just can't believe that it will leave me with the best sounding audio. Quality of the audio is of upmost importance. I am also aware from reading around on these forums that my Xtreme Music card is not the best sound card out there, at least not for music. I also have read the guide on this forum to hotmod an XFI card, but I don't have any experience with soldering so that isn't exactly an option for me.

So what do I do, or should I do? Should I get that expansion I/O drive for my current Xtreme Music card? Or should I go ahead and just buy a new and different sound card altogether. Remember, if I'm going to be buying those Z-5500's (which I want oh so badly), I need to achieve the best sounding audio possible. The speakers, for now, would be used with my PC only, primarily for music listening. I will also be using them for gaming, but the quality of my music is much more important to me than that of gaming. Thanks, your input is appreciated!
 

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Well.......
depending on who you ask you get better sound through analog sources to begin with. You state that you want the best audio quality...you should stick with as much analog as possible. Granted since it is coming from a computer you are going to have a digital source but I doubt that it will be a problem.
And oh man. If you haven't bought the Z-5500's yet and you want the best audio in computer speakers (without getting an external stereo amp) then try and look for some Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1's. And they only have analog input so you don't even have to worry.
They don't make them anymore but you can still find them on Amazon.

My vote? Keep your soundcard and buy the Klipsch speakers and then save up for an Auzentech sound card.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Zulli85
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I have heard about those Klipsch speakers. I compared them to the Z-5500's a while back and opted for Logitechs for a number of reasons. Aesthetics was a big one as well as some of the other specifications.

Oh. I was under the impression that sound quality was the number one goal, not aesthetics.

Which the Klipsch aren't exactly lacking in.
Oh well. To each his own.

No matter what you end up getting, as long as it sounds good to you, that's all that matters.
 

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your XtremeMusic does have digital coax out. It uses the mic in/digital out flexijack. You just need an adapter or a special digital coax cable to use it. It just so happens that I have a spare cable. PM me if u want it. I'll sell it cheap
 

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Sound Quality is your goal and you are getting an X-Fi? Get an Asus Xonar D2* or D2X** when they come out and get Logitech Z-5500's. They are better than any Klipsch 2.1/5.1/7.1 Speakers.

*D2 = PCI
**D2X = PCI Express-1x
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Quote:


Originally Posted by soloz2
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your XtremeMusic does have digital coax out. It uses the mic in/digital out flexijack. You just need an adapter or a special digital coax cable to use it. It just so happens that I have a spare cable. PM me if u want it. I'll sell it cheap

Will that adapter or coaxial cable affect the quality of my sound? Also, Ninja_Boy, I have had this Xtreme Music card for a while. I've had it way before I decided I want the Z-5500's.
 

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Since it's digital... no. Analogue is much more heavily affected by things like adapters.

What exactly will you be using your sound system for? If it's just for music and movies that's great but if you want to game, remember that there is no way to get 5.1 out of the digital connection on the X-Fi. Other cards can, but the X-Fi definitely can't.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aaronman View Post
Since it's digital... no. Analogue is much more heavily affected by things like adapters.

What exactly will you be using your sound system for? If it's just for music and movies that's great but if you want to game, remember that there is no way to get 5.1 out of the digital connection on the X-Fi. Other cards can, but the X-Fi definitely can't.
Oh wow I didn't know that. The system will be used primarily for music listening and I will be gaming as well. The quality of my music is much more important to me though.
 

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You realize that the audio you're hearing through the digital connection is still analogue audio because there still has to be a DAC in the Logitech system.

The question is - Is the DAC in the X-Fi or the Logitech better? If the X-Fi one is better, than analogue is probably going to sound better. I'm trying to find out which DAC the z5500 has built in. I'll get back to you when I find out.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by aaronman
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You realize that the audio you're hearing through the digital connection is still analogue audio because there still has to be a DAC in the Logitech system.

The question is - Is the DAC in the X-Fi or the Logitech better? If the X-Fi one is better, than analogue is probably going to sound better. I'm trying to find out which DAC the z5500 has built in. I'll get back to you when I find out.

the DAC in the X-Fi is very, very good... but the analogue output stage after the DAC is very, very crappy. I haven't broken into my 5500's, but I have a feeling the analogue stage is better.

And digital cables can still change your sound, they just don't have as large of an impact as analogue cables do. That's why it's very important to get as close to the 75ohm spec for a digital coax cable. most so-called coax cables are not 75ohm if you measure them.
 

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So basically a modded X-Fi (you can mod all of the opamps for 5.1 right?) with analogue connections to the z5500's would be the stuff huh?
 

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For music, the digital coax. But for gaming, the analogue is better hands down.
 

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Ummm, use the analogue? Sorry but the X-Fi without the front panel is pretty limited when it comes to connectivity.
 

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