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Awesome sound from the Phillips Acoustic Edge (£32)

Discussion in 'Computer Components' started by reggs, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. reggs

    reggs
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    After being thoroughly disappointed with the sound output from my HTPC, via an Audigy 2 or
    SBLive and the on board AC97 soundcards, I decided to try a cheap Phillips soundcard after
    reading a thread over on AVS. I only want the cards digital pass-through direct in to an external
    decoder (via Coaxial), so just needed as good a digital output as possible.

    Well all I can say is that the Phillips Edge Card sold by Scan.co.uk, absolutely annihilates the
    Soundblasters for sound quality. The sound is still not quite as good as my Pioneer 747 DVD Player,
    but has certainly made a vast improvement to my HTPC.
    Far more depth and clarity right through the audio spectrum and tons more bass through the sub.
    Excellent stereo audio and very clean DTS / 5.1 audio from movies. Considering this OEM card costs £32,
    turns out to be the
    Acoustic Edge (706), comes with the SPDIF mini din cable to phono leads (amongst a few
    others) I think Creative need to get back to the drawing board - FAST!

    My Audigy 2 cost me £140 and will shortly appear on Ebay!

    NICE ONE PHILIPS!
     
  2. olaiho

    olaiho
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    You're saying that your Philips Acoustic Edge sound card produces "better" ones and zeros than the Audigy? =)

    You're transferring a digital signal. It does not get any better, no matter what sound card or DVD player you are using.

    Regards,
    Olaiho
     
  3. reggs

    reggs
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    Might I suggest that you read some of the forum posts on the subject before talking rubbish :clown:
    How are the ones and zeros produced, encoded, decoded etc. etc....? :rolleyes:
     
  4. olaiho

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    Sorry if I sounded rude, that was not my intention. However, I do know what I am talking about.

    When using a digital output to pass through DVD sound from a HTPC, the sound card does not alter the contents of the digital bit stream that is recorded on the DVD.

    The audio decoder in your DVD player app transfers the digital signal as it is on the disc, to the sound card. The audio decoder does not post-process the digital sound in any way.

    But enough with the bickering, nice to hear that you are getting successful DD/DTS passthrough, which isn't necessarily a given in the HTPC world.

    Best regards,
    Olaiho
     
  5. reggs

    reggs
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    Not only did you sound rude (apology accepted BTW), but you are also still very wrong.

    There are numerous threads about this topic here and over on AVS. Try this one -
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=54621

    Don't get me wrong, by no means would I ever claim to be an 'expert', but I do not need to be an expert in order to have heard the difference personally and to have read the threads and quoted reference material in order to gain a deeper understanding of the issues involved.

    You assume you know what your talking about, please don't claim to know what your talking about unless you do.

    'using the appropriate measuring equipment'
    ... I'd also be interested in knowing, what 'someone who knows' would use for this little experiment?

    Anyway, this threads kind of getting off topic.

    For those who are interested, the on board decoding is damn fine too and kicks the Audigy2 and SB Live and AC97 also.
     
  6. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Not only does the soundcard make a difference to DD/DTS passthrough quality, so does the OS, the drivers and the decoder filter. In similar fashion standalone DVD players also have varying quality passing DD or DTS to a receiver, i.e a Goodmans DVD player does not sound the same as a TAG.
     
  7. Flimber

    Flimber
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    The original "Live !" cards did 48kHz upsampling on all inputs and resampled this if you needed anything other than 48k. Bit of a theoretical nuisance for purists. Do the Audigy's do this too ?

    Mike.
     
  8. JSW

    JSW
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    Reggs glad your happy with your Acoustic Edge

    I had one in my amd pc for 12 months imported it from the states when it first came out, full retail pack and because it was unheard of here I couldn,t convince anyone how damn good it was.

    I use an Audigy 2 in my htpc though as the analogue is superior imo and DVD Audio is as good if not better than my standalone Tosh SD900e :D
     
  9. reggs

    reggs
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    JSW - Was the sound out of your Philips poor for DVD?
    Just wondering why you switched to the Audigy2.
    The Acoustic Edge I bought has the new Thunderbird processor which people seem to think is pretty good.

    I have quite a nice stereo setup. Its a Marantz CD6000OSE KI Signature CD player, Sony STRDA50ES used as a pre-amp and an imported Odyssey Stratos Power Amp. Thats all fed into a set of KEF reference series speakers. The speaker cables are hand made "UBYTE-2" cables.
    I've 'personally' not heard a system that can touch this combination, but I'm sure there are a few out there ;-)

    I don't think comparing this setup to a PC would be a fair comparison.
    When I want to leave just something on in the background, then its just MP3's via the HTPC at pretty low volumes which is fine via whatever soundcard, as the source is poor in comparison to start off with - but its damn convenient and definitely has its place in my setup.

    I really wanted the soundcard to perform well with movies (HTPC afterall!) and I guess thats why it was more of a problem for me.
    BTW - I also have a Tosh110 and the Audigy2 is easily as good 'sonically' as that.
     
  10. JSW

    JSW
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    Hi,

    Im referring to DVD Audio Discs not dvd video discs with audio.

    Cheers
    Bry
     
  11. Dangerous

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    Reggs
    I hope you are right about this sound card. I've been looking to replace my SBlive with something to do my system justice, so I've just ordered a retail version from Dabs.£56.

    I'll be back!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. reggs

    reggs
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    How come you chose not to use Scan? Its £41.13 ALL IN. You'll almost certainly want to get the latest drivers anyway, so getting them shipped in pretty box doesn't seem to be worth another £20.
    Anyway, the 706 sounds way better than both the Live! and Audigy2 in my opinion, but the final say will be with your ears I guess! Good luck.
     
  13. Dangerous

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    Two reasons. One I have a dedicated HCPC connected to my 10ht and I can't be bothered to swap it with my pc that is connected to the net and the other is because I want to make sure that I get all the software and cables etc. just in case I might want them. I guess a fool and his money are easliy seperated.

    Hasta la vista baby!
     
  14. reggs

    reggs
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    You do get all of the 'right' cables thats one of the most impressive things about the soundcard package. After having always used Soundblasters, at last a manufacturer has decided to pack some useful AV ones in with the card. All the drivers and bundled software is on the Philips website. You should probably download the latest versions anyway.

    Good luck.
     
  15. Richard Harnwell

    Richard Harnwell
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    This could be the card for me...

    One quick question - does it handle Dolby Digital from DVD software and digital stereo from something like Winamp without reconfiguring then rebooting in between?

    I know that sounds like a stupid question, but that's what I have to do with my Hercules Fortissimo II - absolutely dreadful!
     
  16. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Ditto that with my Hercules Game Theater XP7.1. I think it must be a Hercules thing.:mad:
     
  17. reggs

    reggs
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    Please note that I only use the digital out and don't have the standard analogue out hooked up (like on every normal PC in existence).
    If I swap between DVD 5.1/DTS and digital stereo out, I have to double click on the setup icon and change the output option which is
    another 1 click. There is certainly no reboot required.
    If I hooked up the analogue line-out (as normal) then I imagine that I wouldn't need to follow this procedure.
    I will test this tonight (Mrs permitting) just to confirm.
     
  18. Dodgey

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    Hey Reggs, I told a friend about your post and he ordered the OEM card from scan.co.uk (and a dvd / CDR combo).

    The card turned up in a used (crumpled and opened) anti static bag with no leads, drivers or anything! The DVD / CDRW was in cling-film with no leads drivers, software again!

    Were they better for you?

    (He has called them and they are sending the leads in the next day or so)
     
  19. reggs

    reggs
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    Thats bloody terrible! What are Scan playing at?!:confused:

    I got the card in a anti-static bag as expected as it was OEM, but it came with 2 bundles of phono/digital leads and the internal CD and SPDIF leads. I had to download drivers from Philips but again that was expected as it was OEM.

    All I can say is that I watched Minority Report on DVD last night via HTPC and just couldn't tell the difference between the card and my Pioneer 747 DVD Player. Just stunning performance.

    By the way, the line jack out worked fine in my setup which means I don't need to switch configs.
     
  20. MuFu

    MuFu
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    Interesting. Was that using a receiver for decoding?

    MuFu.
     
  21. Pootle

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    JSW, are you playing DVD audio through your PC? I didn't think that could be done! What's your setup?

    I have some DVD's with serious recordings on them (24bit DTS - 1.5Mbps for the audio), but they're still really normal DVD's.
     
  22. JSW

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    Pic one in htpc link in sig has setup.

    Only diff to that is the plextor drive has come out and a vivastar dvd writer put in as the plextor wont play dvd audio discs, plextor engineers are looking into it though.

    No probs with the vivastar plays dvd audio discs great.
     
  23. reggs

    reggs
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    Yes, thats my setup.
     
  24. Dangerous

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    Reggs
    I forgot to tell you the third reason why I didn't order from scan.co.uk and Dodgey hit the nail on the head when he told about his friends experience, they don't call it scam.co.uk for nothing. Maybe you were lucky but everything I've heard about them says stay well clear. But that’s not really why I am posting, I have my card from dabs and it does indeed sound better than the sblive, but I haven't had a chance to do a full evaluation yet as I'm still trying to get a suitable din plug to fit to the end of my interconnect. My interconnect has a mono mini-jack which doesn't fit into the sound card as the spdif out is a mini-din of some sort, so I have had to use one of my other interconnects to plug into phono end of the supplied cable, which by the way is only about a foot long. So anyone out thinking of buying this card make sure you have an interconnect spare or you pc had better be very close to your amp!

    Dave
     
  25. Jeff

    Jeff
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    The edge 4.1 card has a proper RCA coax digital out. PCworld sell them for £29.95 incl VAT.
     

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