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some advice please...

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by darhart, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. darhart

    darhart
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    I want to use my pc to drive my Ae100, as from what i've been reading HTPC is the way to go. I would like some advise on a sound card to feed my receiver a digital signal for it to do the decoding, i've seen them for £30 or so are they up to the job? or will i need to spend some more? Also with DVD ROM drives, are they all of the same kind of picture quality, or should i be looking at a particular model?

    thanks Darren.
     
  2. buns

    buns
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    sound cards are up to you on how much you want to spend.....

    If you have £150 you are willing to spend, the opinion is that the m-audio 2496 is the way to go.

    ad
     
  3. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    As mentioned, the M-Audio range get rave reviews, so are definately worth considering.

    I myself am using a lowly Aureal SQ1500 which cost me £18 from the US, and it passes DD/DTS ES/EX to my Denon amp via spdiff. I'm quite happy with it, but not having compared it with the M-Audio, I can't say how big the difference is between them.

    Others are using Sounblaster 4.1, 5.1, Fortissimo etc, so you've a few to choose from.

    The Liteon 163 or 165 seem to do quite a good job with DVDs and are pretty quite when playing disks. They can also be made region free so are quite popular. I think in most cases you'd be ahrd pushed to see any image difference between players though.

    HTH

    Gary.
     
  4. darhart

    darhart
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    thanks for the reply's. Gary you say your happy with aureal card, but haven't compared it to somthing like the m-audio, could you tell me how it compares to the sound from the digital out on your dvd player (assuming you have one).

    thanks.

    (or anyone else that has done a comparison between a cheap card and a dvd players sound)
     
  5. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Darhart,

    What receiver do you have?

    IMO software compatibility is more important, the Maudio cards did have compatibility issues with some of the latest DXVA based DVD players. Hopefully these have been fixed now. I haven't followed sound cards much lately since my HTPC doesn't have a sound card.
     
  6. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi Dahart,

    I compared it with my old Samsung 709 and it sounded better - more clarity and better top end.

    Steering seems pretty good with old favourites like the Bullet Time sequence sending sounds from all speakers correctly.

    EX and ES also works well - my amp is a Denon 3802 btw.

    I haven't compared it with the M Audio cards, but I believe they can send out the bitstream via spdiff as well as 6 individual signals for power amps or the individual speaker inputs.

    M-Audio now do a card for $99 here and looks like a good deal. I've bought from Digital Connection myself in the past, and can vouch for their customer service too. Highly reccommended.

    HTH

    Gary.
     
  7. darhart

    darhart
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    blimey, thanks for the fast replys.

    ok, 1) my receiver is a yamaha dsp a595a
    2) i will use either power DVD 4, or the msi dvd player that came with my graphics card. (i think).
    3) just read some threads on the new m-audio revolution card
    it looks good (and i must say im tempted) but if the cheap £18 card sounds better than the dvd player is it realy worth paying the extra £80 ???

    thanks.
     
  8. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I often wonder that myself with some things, sound cards being one of them.

    I've not heard other cards, but I think it can also boil down to how much of an audiophile you are. Hearing a difference is one thing, but determining which is better is another.

    The SQ1500 is no longer in production, so getting a second hand one would be the only way. The Soundblaster 4.1 can be got for around £25, and there are other cards in the market for around that price, so the choice is yours!

    I think that if you're only really going to be using it for DVDs, than any spdiff card should be OK.

    Use the search both here and at avs for more views on why you should spend a bit more on the sound card, then you'll get a better picture.

    Gary.
     

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