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Old 13th March 2008, 20:23   #1
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Default which sound card for pc

hi i want to improve the audio quality of my pc . i have pentium 4 2.6 ghz with intel 845 chipset . i want to buy a good sound card mainly for 2.1 speaker system 5.1 will do but not the necesiity. not much into gaming just for music and songs. which is most bang for money.
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Old 14th March 2008, 12:21   #2
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More Money >>> More Bang

What is your budget?
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Old 14th March 2008, 12:42   #3
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max 10k and that too if you convince me that they are worth every penny
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Old 14th March 2008, 13:56   #4
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I've always been a fan of Creative Labs cards. Yes I know,
some models have been plagued by driver issues, but still.

I'm using an Audigy 2 card in my main PC. I've connected it to
a digital 2.1 speakerset using the digital out of the Creative card.
Sounds great!

Have a XiFi card from Creative fitted in my PVR (Personal Video Recorder)
aka Multimedia PC. It's also connected digitally to my Sony home cinema receiver. This card sounds even better!

TDR
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Old 14th March 2008, 17:02   #5
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Yes, creatives are good. I have used SB Live Value and SB Live 5.1. Both are too good. And there's a whole range of higher-end models.
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Old 14th March 2008, 18:46   #6
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Hi rupinder,
what is your onboard sound ?
it should be realtek/soundmax/sigmatel ( increasing order of sound quality)

and what 2.1 speakers do you have/plan to buy?

imho, onboard + good speakers will sound much better than a good soundcard and average speakers.

for 10k, an audigy value(1.7k) and an altec lansing MX 5021(6.5k~8k) should do

EDIT: Oh dear, I read elsewhere that you have bose speakers. I have a feeling that the MX5021 will be a painful experience for you

Last edited by greenhorn : 14th March 2008 at 18:52.
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Old 14th March 2008, 19:05   #7
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Default yes u r right

yes i have bose companiion series3 ii . speakers they are nice . but the onboard card is realtek which is good for 128 kb mp3 but cant do justice to 192 and higher bit rate mp3 and other cdda file .i have just seen creative audigy 7.1 card .but have not seen its performance . how is it and is there something equally good quality audio with less price
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Old 14th March 2008, 19:29   #8
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for music, you can get semi pro stuff - M audio, E-MU, ESI are the brands that come to mind, be prepared for 5-10k prices.

PS: have you triend using foobar with the SSRC resampling and Kernel streaming plugins? The increase in sound quality is incredible
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Old 14th March 2008, 19:52   #9
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sorry buddy have no idea what u said dont know how to do those .will a separate software be needed sor just tweaking the old system
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Old 15th March 2008, 16:57   #10
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I've pm'd you a link
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Old 15th March 2008, 20:24   #11
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rupinder, if you have some one returning from the US, try getting a ASUS Xonar via that source. Xonar is the best soundcard available for for prosumer operations; the M-Audio delta and EMU are entry-level professional cards.
The creative X-fi is basically a gaming card; the only exception is the X-fi elite pro, which is horrendoulsy expensive.
read more on Xonar here:
ASUS Xonar D2 Ultra Fidelity 7.1 PCI Sound Card - HotHardware
more on X-fi here:
ASUS Xonar D2 Ultra Fidelity 7.1 PCI Sound Card - HotHardware
@greenhorn, post the link in forum buddy...it will be usefull for everyone, even guests.
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Old 15th March 2008, 20:37   #12
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It's a guide that i wrote a while ago

Improve your music playback - TechEnclave

didnt want to sound like too much self promotion
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Old 16th March 2008, 06:25   #13
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I've made so many mistakes in previous post (post #11) and sorry sbout that...

the link to X-fi:
X-bit labs - Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Sound Card Family Review

Pl read my post like this way guys:
The ASUS Xonar is the best audio card available for normal PC audio usage (2.1, home theater etc.). AFAIK this baby is not available in India yet.

The creative X-fi elite pro is a prosumer card that you can buy in India, one that can somewhat match with the Xonar. But, mind you, the xonar is 192KHz @ 24bit while the entire X-fi family is 96KHz only. The elite pro is very expensive and a poor bang-for-bucks choice.

If you are willing to spend that much of money, pl look at M-Audio delta or Emu; both are entry level cards for professional use. You can also view them as top-end cards for home use or "recording studio in bedroom". Do not expect things like DTS decoding from them however.

M-AUDIO - Delta 1010LT - 10-In/10-Out PCI Virtual Studio

Amen.

@greenhorn, terrific post there (I think I have read that post last year, nice to meet you!) ...the coming week's long-weekend is going to be dedicated for foobar experimentaion, so that I can have some better-sounding happy hours with my PC audio.

Last edited by sandeepmdas : 16th March 2008 at 06:42.
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Old 16th March 2008, 08:28   #14
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I would echo the advice to stay away from the consumer computer stuff. My card is RME, and it turned my PC into the best CD player I ever had! It is very simple, two channels only, analogue and digital in/out and cost equivalent of around Rs8000 about five years ago.

That card is obsolete now --- but that doesn't stop it working!

If you are going to buy pro sound stuff, be very careful about the 'ins and outs'. You could find yourself with something that will only connect, via balanced connections, to pro sound gear!

My guess (haven't looked/listened for anything for some years) is that M-Audio, as previously recommended, would be a good choice.

When I did last read up this stuff, external USB-connected kit was not recommended.

I also agree you should try out different software. Windows Media Player, the standard, does not (IMHO) give good results, and I suspect that is because it puts too much effort into visualisations and stuff like that. Foobar is a boringly simple, audio-only player that just plays music and plays it well.
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Old 17th March 2008, 17:38   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
Hi rupinder,

EDIT: Oh dear, I read elsewhere that you have bose speakers. I have a feeling that the MX5021 will be a painful experience for you
Being a proud owner of an MX 5021 who has had an opportunity to listen to this Bose stuff I can safely insure you that the opposite of what you have said above might be true, atleast thats what my ears seemed to suggest during the BOSE audition where they clearly were outclassed by the Altec in the LFE, mid bass departments along with the fact that the Altec was a tad louder as well. Regarding the sound card bit like Thad said it is better to get a stereo sound card rather than 5.1 ones, Onkyo offers one. However if one still wants a 5.1 souncard I would recommend the M-audio revolution series.
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