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Sound Advice

DegsC

Active Member
My current system comprises of the following


- HTPC windows media centre PC
- B&W speakers (DM603 range) 5.1
- REL sub
- Sony STR-DB930 Dolby Digital/DTS receiver

I'm currently using the on board motherboard sound card (K8N4-E Deluxe (AMD Socket 754 Athlon 64 - NVIDIA® nForce™ 4 4X -Realtek ALC850, 8-channel CODEC))


If I buy a auzentech X-Meridian 7.1 sound card will there be any noticeable difference in sound quality given I've connected my HTPC to amp via digital cable ???

Is the auzentech X-Meridian 7.1 sound card much better than SoundBlaster x-fi range ???




Thanks

DegsC
 

mannyo

Active Member
I dont think you will see any difference to be honest, the main thing would be if you had analogue speakers connected but as you havent I think it will sound the same.

I just upgraded mine from onboard sound to a creative audigy card and the sound is exactly the same to my ears.
 

peskywinnets

Active Member
I can't see how there's be any difference whatsoever if you're simply passing the digital signal (which originated from source), onwards to your Amp for decoding.

I think the only difference it would make is if you were actually decoding the audio stream within your PC (ie via the soundcard) & outputting the 5.1 anaolgue to your amp, as then the quality of the soundcard's D/A converters would come into play.
 

stegalv

Active Member
degsc,you said that you have connected your sound card via digital cable to your amp,does this give you 5,1 if you play a 5,1 source.
the reason i ask is that i have just bought a sound card with digital out but it will only output stereo via dilgital.
 

PeteD64

Active Member
The main thing with that card is the Dolby Digital Live feature. Means it can encode the sound into Dolby Digital format ready for your amp to decode into the discrete channels. Only really useful for games as DVDs already contain the DD signal & music is normally in stereo only.

The website makes some fairly bold claims about sound quality so you may hear some improvements over the onboard sound chip but then again that might only apply to the analogue connections. If you go for it I would suggest trying an analogue connection to the amp for music playback (still need optical for movies etc). It might sound better that way.
 

clockworks

Well-known Member
degsc,you said that you have connected your sound card via digital cable to your amp,does this give you 5,1 if you play a 5,1 source.
the reason i ask is that i have just bought a sound card with digital out but it will only output stereo via dilgital.

You probably need to change some settings in your DVD player software, possibly in the soundcard software as well. Look for settings to do with "AC3".
 

DegsC

Active Member
Sorry for the delay....
Thanks Manno & Peskywinnets just settling a score with a mate who said my system could be improved with a decent sound card.....

Panny300 I'm no expert in the matter but I think your problem is a codex / decoder problem. To pass 5.1 to my amp I'm running Nvida pure video but I think Power DVD offers the same functionality.
Also check out this site for details..... http://www.videoscreencast.com/Default.aspx?tabid=64


DegsC
 

Oldalez

Standard Member
Sorry if this qualifies as a hijack, but I too am looking for a soundcard. I'm less concerned about digital output ( happy to let the amp look after that ) and more concerend about analogue quality

I'd like my HTPC to replace my existing DVD and Arcam CD72 player and looking for something that come as close as possible to the analogue quality of the Arcam

Any views?

Thanks
 

DegsC

Active Member
Sorry if this qualifies as a hijack, but I too am looking for a soundcard. I'm less concerned about digital output ( happy to let the amp look after that ) and more concerend about analogue quality

I'd like my HTPC to replace my existing DVD and Arcam CD72 player and looking for something that come as close as possible to the analogue quality of the Arcam

Any views?

Thanks

Oldalez

the two sound cards I mentioned in my original post I believe are two of the best hifi quality sound cards on the market check out a review here.

DegsC
 

PeteD64

Active Member
If you're just interested in analogue audio quality then the 2 cards that get mentioned on here quite a lot are the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 & RME 9632.

The M-audio card is releatively cheap. RME card is about £300 but I've seen some comments that say it compares well with similar priced & above CD players.
 

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