Something to compete with the Essence XT

Wharfedale Speakers

magma

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i found a soundcard PCI version which has the specs to compete with the XOnar Essence ST

it uses a AK4396 dac chip as compared to the texas instruments pCM chip as the asus
the AK 4396 is also the same chip used in the very popular Emu 404 USB external SC and DAC

check out the link
HT Omega - Claro halo XT

the price is about 200$ on newegg but i heard it can be had in 180
50$ extra for the daughter board thou
 

rikhav

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Hi Ali
This SC seems to be really good. Pardon my ignorance, I am not so up to date with the sound cards but just wanted to confirm that this card provides a front panel where as the Asus does not?
And the daughter card is only required if you need surround sound?
 

anm

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at that price point they should not just compete, but beat xonar to topple it from it tried and tested position.
 

magma

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guys on other forums havent directly compared to the xonar yet
(at least no reliable source)
but as far as other cards like the emu m-audio and Xi preludes are concerned this card tops them

there is one member who says its better than the Xonars and theres one member saying its comparable
so no definite verdect as yet

the dac chip is definetely more advanced than the Xonars
the final sound outputted is yet debatable since no direct comparison is availble from reliable / fair sources
 

venkatcr

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Though the cards from HT|Omega have good specs, they seem to lack HD Audio support as well as HDMI I/O. For two channel audio, purely on audio quality, there a number of others cards that could be way better. In my mind this card is stuck in between. It is neither the top end for two channel, nor does it provide all the features in 7.1.

Creative's X-Fi native-PCI Express audio processor is supposed to be the fastest in the world and employs very little CPU time. Auzentech has a card that is fully 7.1 and HD Audio compatible and uses Creative's sound processor. The board has a THD of 0.001% (A-weighted (@ -3dBFS) for Analog outputs) and uses Cirrus Logic 114db 24/192 CS4382A DAC chip. It features the following:

  • Blu-ray support via Cyberlinks latest PowerDVD application (available separately)
  • Support for PCM 8 channel, 24-bit/192kHz
  • 24p True Cinema Output
  • Blu-ray Audio with no down sampling
  • High bit-rate audio, such as Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream
  • Dolby Digital Live for Windows and Vista
  • DTS Neo:pC & DTS Interactive for Windows Vista
  • EAX Advanced HD 5.0

In addition to working very well in an HTPC, this card should be very good for gaming. Visit Auzentech, Inc. X-Fi Home Theater HD : World First soundcards for Music, HTPC, and Gaming. for more details. I have a suspicion that Auzentech and Asus are sister companies.

Cheers
 

magma

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. For two channel audio, purely on audio quality, there a number of others cards that could be way better.

Cheers

is this what you consider top class for 2 channel audio then?
Creative's X-Fi native-PCI Express

what other cards do you consider way better/?
 

venkatcr

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As I said before, Creative rules the market for gaming audio. If you want really high quality sound from your PC, you have to look elsewhere. Some possibilities are:

  • CDX-01 CardDeluxe from digital Audio Labs
  • EMU 1212M/1820M
  • Lynx AES16e (erstwhile LynxTWO) (AES16e)
  • RME HDSP (also known as Hammerfall)
  • M-Audio Delta 1010LT (M-AUDIO - Delta 1010LT - 10-In/10-Out PCI Virtual Studio)
  • MOTU 2408
  • MADI XTreme 64
  • Echo MIA series of Cards
  • Apogee Symphony (PCIe)
  • Digigram VX series (PCIe)

This list was actually published by another member (Unfortunately I don't remember who - Cranky or Mars?)

Cheers
 

magma

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As I said before, Creative rules the market for gaming audio. If you want really high quality sound from your PC, you have to look elsewhere. Some possibilities are:

  • CDX-01 CardDeluxe from digital Audio Labs
  • EMU 1212M/1820M
  • Lynx AES16e (erstwhile LynxTWO) (AES16e)
  • RME HDSP (also known as Hammerfall)
  • M-Audio Delta 1010LT (M-AUDIO - Delta 1010LT - 10-In/10-Out PCI Virtual Studio)
  • MOTU 2408
  • MADI XTreme 64
  • Echo MIA series of Cards
  • Apogee Symphony (PCIe)
  • Digigram VX series (PCIe)

This list was actually published by another member (Unfortunately I don't remember who - Cranky or Mars?)

Cheers


thanks venkat ji


please do remember i am looking for a PCI card for pure 2.0 channel audio ( under 200$ please!)

await your reply
and cranky's too if hes reading!
 
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venkatcr

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Well the following three cards are under 200$.

E-MU 1212M
M-Audio Delta 1010LT Sound Card
Echo MiaMIDI Sound Card

If you can add another 200, go for Cardeluxe from DAL. It is literally the industry standard and (literally) the best you can get in the world. It is used by Stereophile as reference to test music from PCs. It was selling for 699 sometime ago, and they have reduced the price to 399. Some on-line stores may offer at lower price.

Cheers
 

thevortex

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Well the following three cards are under 200$.

E-MU 1212M
M-Audio Delta 1010LT Sound Card
Echo MiaMIDI Sound Card

If you can add another 200, go for Cardeluxe from DAL. It is literally the industry standard and (literally) the best you can get in the world. It is used by Stereophile as reference to test music from PCs. It was selling for 699 sometime ago, and they have reduced the price to 399. Some on-line stores may offer at lower price.

Cheers

Would you say for sure that this card - DAL Cardeluxe - better than Xonar Essence for stereo audio reproduction? As you know I have no use for HD Audio or the other whiz bang stuff.
 

venkatcr

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In the link provided by Rem, more than I, you can see that Stereophile is singing praises about it.

For creating and playing two channel music from your PC, it is my strong feeling that a card optimised for two channel will be far better that any multichannel card. It is the same logic as between a AVR and a stereo amp.

Cheers
 

thevortex

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In the link provided by Rem, more than I, you can see that Stereophile is singing praises about it.

For creating and playing two channel music from your PC, it is my strong feeling that a card optimised for two channel will be far better that any multichannel card. It is the same logic as between a AVR and a stereo amp.

Cheers

Yes, I did read that review, but the thing is there is no real comparison between this and the Xonar Essence. Plus the fact is that the Essence too is no multichannel card. It is also a card for serious stereo music fans.

I wonder if there is someplace where there has been a shootout between these two.
 

venkatcr

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I doubt you will find a shoot out anywhere. Both cards have good reviews and I suppose either can be used comfortably.

Cheers
 

magma

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the card delux is definetely superiror to the xonar and any of the emu,m audio cards
its a card that is used for mastering

however
i await venkats reply in reagurd to the fllwoing

is not the M audio delta 1010LT a specialist multichannel card than a 2 channel dedicated one?
wouldnt the M audio Audiophile 192 be a better choice for 2 channle over the 1010lt

spec wise does the Xonar not sound better than the Echo miamidi?

also what are your inputs over the ESI juli@(i think it costs about the same as the other 3 cards)

the Emu 1212 is a super card.it should be better than the Xonar
reports are that evn the Emu 404 usb may be better
however a fellow member has given me a heads up on driver and controller issues ( for a person who has no expeirnce with emu or mixrs)
 
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venkatcr

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i await venkats reply in reagurd to the fllwoing

is not the M audio delta 1010LT a specialist multichannel card than a 2 channel dedicated one? wouldnt the M audio Audiophile 192 be a better choice for 2 channle over the 1010lt

As I said before, another member had sent this list and I am just repeating it. But I will try to answer your questions.

Amongst the M-Audio cards, the Audiophile 192 is the simplest and best for stereo use. The 1010LT was recommended as I was then looking for a multi channel card.

spec wise does the Xonar not sound better than the Echo miamidi?

Yes they are. Look at the following:

Asus

Frequency Response: 10Hz-90KHz
Linearity: 124dB
Dynamic Range: Not provided
THD+N at 1kHz: 0.0003% (-110dB) for Front-out
Sampling Rate: 192KHz

Echo

Frequency Response: 15Hz-22kHz, 0.25dB (plot)
Linearity: -110dBFS-0dBFS, 0.8dB (plot)
Dynamic Range: 106dB A-weighted
THD+n: <0.0035%, 20Hz-22kHz A-weighted (plot)
Sampling Rate: 96KHz.

I am bit sceptical about Asus mention of THD at 1KHz. Compared to this, Echo provides a THD across the complete frequency range. You can expect to get a nearly flat response curve from the Echo, while the Asus could introduce unknown distortions at various frequencies.

also what are your inputs over the ESI juli@(i think it costs about the same as the other 3 cards)

The ESI@Juli is a superb card. IF you can get it under 200, then you should certainly look at that option.

Cheers
 

thevortex

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Thanks, Venkat.

Magma - I believe there have been some shoot outs between the Esi Juli and the Xonar. The Juli is said to have a fantastic SPDIF output quality but for analog output, the Xonar Essence still beats it. That is what I remember.

I wonder if the said M-Audio's and E-MUs are better than the Essence in analog output. If so, then why are more people gravitating towards the Xonar solution and not the other two? I would love to hear if somebody has had personal experience with all these cards (at least the above mentioned three).
 

magma

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Thanks, Venkat.

Magma - I believe there have been some shoot outs between the Esi Juli and the Xonar. The Juli is said to have a fantastic SPDIF output quality but for analog output, the Xonar Essence still beats it. That is what I remember.

I wonder if the said M-Audio's and E-MUs are better than the Essence in analog output. If so, then why are more people gravitating towards the Xonar solution and not the other two? I would love to hear if somebody has had personal experience with all these cards (at least the above mentioned three).

the M audio vs the Xonar does nothave many reviews
but the Emu 1212 is not only better speced than the Xonar but most reviews have it topping the xonar

the reason Emu cards are not preferred isbecause the mixer software isdifficult to use.
there are driver problems. a PC nut would easily sove it but due to these issues other cards are preferred over the Emu

However if you can corretly use the software and driver the Emu i belive would top the Xonar
however ROC does think the opposite
im just stating what most users on head fi and comp audio asylum believe

yes the Xonar should top the Juli on analogue audio, however not by much.
on my basic rig i may not tell too much diff hence i may lean toward the Juli
Also the characteristics of the Juli complemnt my amp well
 
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