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Audiophile Soundcard Anyone ????

Wharfedale Evo 4.2

soundsgreat

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Hi,

Before I start Mods if this is not the right place for this thread please feel free to move it (I couldn't a appropriate enough section for this apart from the current one ;))


Ok here we go,Was doing my usual research on the Net and found this cool thing :licklips: !

I've been reading lot of thread related to a good soundcard, So thought to share with you guys !

Its a Audiophile Grade Stereo Soundcard Moded to the gills :yahoo: !! A but on the pricey side but hey when has anything costed cheap for Us ??

Here's the Spec of the product :

Prodigy HD2 shows the latest technology in high end audio playback for audiophile users.

Prodigy HD2 supports 192 kHz at 24-bit with a sensational dynamic range of 120dB(a) for playback - no other hardware in this price range provides this high level of output quality. Even better: the hardware is equipped with 3 OpAmps on sockets, this makes it possible to swap and exchange the OpAmps based on specific requirements.

Prodigy HD2 is a Low Profile PCI card, shipping with a metal bracket for a conventional PCI slot and with a bracket that allows the installation in Low Profile slots - this makes Prodigy HD2 perfect for media center and home theater solutions where small PC cases are used.

The included driver software is providing perfect compatibility (ASIO, GSIF, WDM) under all current Windows versions including Windows Vista 32-bit & 64-bit, offering high performance and low latency operation. DirectWIRE 3.0 support in the driver allows you to virtually patch your digital audio sources internally between different software applications running at the same time.
# PCI audio interface based on VIA VT1721 (Envy24HT-S)
# PCI card supplied with standard and low profile metal bracket
# 24 bit / 192kHz playback (analog & digital)
# 24 bit / 96kHz recording
# high quality AKM AK4396 120dB(a) S/N ratio DA converter for extremly high quality 2 channel audio playback via RCA output connectors (5Hz - 40kHz frequency response)
# triple OpAmp design for audio output with three extreme quality Burson Audio Dual OpAmps
# headphone output with 1/8" connector routed via JRC4580 dual OpAmp
# analog line input with 1/8" connector via AKM AK5353/7 102dB(a) S/N ratio AD converter (20Hz - 40kHz frequency response)
# optical S/PDIF digital output following IEC-958C standard, can be used for stereo audio playback (PCM) and multichannel streams from such sources (AC-3 or DTS data)
# EWDM driver based on ESI technology for all current Windows Versions


2210100007.jpg


Sound_0020_card_0020_package.jpg


Its currently available only on the net via following website (they have tonnes of Audiophile Stuff but on the expensive side !!

Audiophile Soundcard

Please do post your feedback's and opinion on this !!

Regards.
 
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rikhav

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Another great find by you Sreekanth :)

Had never heard about the opamps used in the soundcard but i was told that OPA627 are one the best. If they beat them, they should be quiet good
And yes, all other hardware on the site is super expensive. I think this would make as a superb source with the right softwares used for for playback
 

Thad E Ginathom

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It's not particularly expenisve, as higher-grade soundcards go.

Best get the tape out and measure up the inside of the cabinet before buying, though --- that's quite some space taker!
 

soundsgreat

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Hi,

Another great find by you Sreekanth

Had never heard about the opamps used in the soundcard but i was told that OPA627 are one the best. If they beat them, they should be quiet good
And yes, all other hardware on the site is super expensive. I think this would make as a superb source with the right softwares used for for playback

Thanks Rikhav,you know me ;) !! as I said earlier I've been reading bout these cards here hence thought many would be interested !! On the OpAmp comment of yours,I say yes they are good no doubt !! but if these guys have put this in place of that then there must be something (these guys are not some two bit guys to suspect foul play ;)) !

Also noteworthy is the use this new DAC Chip AKM AK4396,Which Am seeing in quite a few designs offlate (some on DIYA too) so defiantly something to look forward to !!

It's not particularly expenisve, as higher-grade soundcards go.

Thad Am glad you feel that way coz the same cannot be the case with likes of me :p !!

Best get the tape out and measure up the inside of the cabinet before buying, though --- that's quite some space taker!

You've said it :eek:hyeah: !! It sure takes up SOME SPACE ;) !!


Regards.
 

gobble

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In terms of specs, I think the Xonar essence stx has a SNR of 124db which beats the specs of this card ... correct me if I am wrong ... ?

Regards
 

reignofchaos

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There are two versions of this card I believe - one with cheaper components and there is a premium edition or something with better components.

The picture you posted is not the stock card. It is modified by someone. Those are discrete opamps which cost 50+ dollars each.

A friend of mine in chennai has it card and is pretty happy with the sound quality.
 

Thad E Ginathom

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This is a modified card from ESI. There's one with plug-in amps, yes? They've plugged in something rather fancy.

I like the sleeving on those leads! Reminds me of old-fashioned radios :)
 

soundsgreat

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Hi,

In terms of specs, I think the Xonar essence stx has a SNR of 124db which beats the specs of this card ... correct me if I am wrong ... ?

Regards

Rahul My friend just 4dB of SNR Margins doesn't make the Xonar THE BEST !! its not just bout that ! if you read the whole thing on their site you'll know what exactly this card is all about !!

There are two versions of this card I believe - one with cheaper components and there is a premium edition or something with better components.

The picture you posted is not the stock card. It is modified by someone. Those are discrete opamps which cost 50+ dollars each.

Som, yes this is not the stock which I have very clearly mentioned in the first post ;) (the very same is also reflected in their write-up regarding the card on their site ) !! if it were the regular stock card then there was no need for this thread :p!!

This is a Special version moded to the max by these guys keeping pure audio in mind and such !

Regards.
 

kaushik

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I also spotted that card a while ago ...


There the opamps are removed and added well designed discrete stages... looks like the burson auudio op-amps.

I wonder why those opamps use all thru hole transistors ..
 

psychotropic

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again, correct me if i am wrong but 120 dB is the dynamic range of the prodigy, and 124 dB is the SNR of the xonar, and there's some subtle difference between the two if i understand correctly....can cranky or someone enlighten?

In terms of specs, I think the Xonar essence stx has a SNR of 124db which beats the specs of this card ... correct me if I am wrong ... ?

Regards
 

thevortex

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again, correct me if i am wrong but 120 dB is the dynamic range of the prodigy, and 124 dB is the SNR of the xonar, and there's some subtle difference between the two if i understand correctly....can cranky or someone enlighten?

I think both numbers are just SNR ratios.

This choice between sound cards is becoming a chore really. There is no idea to take a call without listening and there is no way in the world to obtain an audition of computer related equipment. This has to change someday.

I am sure the DAC sound signatures of both the cards would be different. And there probably will be people swearing by either card.
 

Kamal

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It would be interesting to read reviews of this card.
John Atkinson has reviewed the Asus Xonar Essence ST/STX in the Jan issue of Stereophile.
Venkat had reproduced excerpts in some thread,but it would be very interesting to read what lontime audiophiles think of "computer stuff".
 
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