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Windows 7: Sound Card for playing music in Stereo

04 Nov 2013   #1
Indianatone

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and numerous virtual machines
 
 
Sound Card for playing music in Stereo

Hi.
Advice needed. I have a new motherboard in my machine, an ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS - Newegg.com and my 2 soundcards the older Adigity 2 ZS with all the bells and whistles locsk up the machine and the X Fi Gamer SB 0730 in the PCI slot has very low audio to the stereo system. Another PC with he same card is considerably louder. I had a PCI e Recon 3D but it had a faulty line input so I could not plug my other PC into it (essential). It was plenty loud enough but not hi fi. I have a Yamaha 100 RMS per channel surround sound hi end unit RX V2090 and a pair of B&W DM6 monitor loudspeaker which I listen to music on from CD and the computer FLAC, 320kbs mp3 and some lower resolution (not many). Another machine hooks up as a media center for surround sound from Blu Ray, DVD's and HD over the ai TV and Netflix. Amazon etc. I am looking for the sound card in this machine to be for Stereo playback only. The other machine does the home theatre movie experience. I sometimes listen to cheapo headphones at low volume late at night but mainly this will be fairly moderate listening levels. I have read about Asus cards and some of them suffer from high pitched whistling and hum from ground loops. I am interested in the obliviously being phased out Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card powered by THX TruStudio Pro - Newegg.com. I also like the Assus ASUS Xonar Essence STX 124 dB SNR / Headphone AMP Card - Newegg.com but do not want to have to replace the tweeters again in my B&W DM6 speakers as they are no longer available and I spent $100 and a lot of research coming up with a suitable replacement from Dayton Audio. Anyone got any experience with those cards from a stereo point of view.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Nov 2013   #2
Indianatone

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and numerous virtual machines
 
 

OK so I took my own advice and ordered the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card powered by THX TruStudio Pro - Newegg.com
I have installed it and I am testing it through the hi fi whilst tweaking options, the driver disk I got seems to be bang up to date with Windows 8 7 drivers only and more updated than drivers on the web. I'll post a further diagnosis after a few days of testing but I am impressed and that is pretty hard to do to this old fart.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Nov 2013   #3
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

My Asus P9X79 WS has pretty good onboard audio but the Asus Xonar Essence STX I popped into my rig is significantly better, even when using computer speakers. Of course, the speakers are a Corsair SP2500 2.1 system (I don't have room to properly set up 5.1). which beats out many, if not most, compact bookshelf speakers. With the monster sub it has, it beats out the Pioneer towers I used to have. It also beats out the Logitech 5.1 system it replaces.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Nov 2013   #4
Indianatone

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and numerous virtual machines
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
My Asus P9X79 WS has pretty good onboard audio but the Asus Xonar Essence STX I popped into my rig is significantly better, even when using computer speakers. Of course, the speakers are a Corsair SP2500 2.1 system (I don't have room to properly set up 5.1). which beats out many, if not most, compact bookshelf speakers. With the monster sub it has, it beats out the Pioneer towers I used to have. It also beats out the Logitech 5.1 system it replaces.
I kept going back and forth between that card you have and the Creative. I wanted it specifically for driving the Hi Fi and my B&WDM6 30 year old monitor speakers that sound absolutely superb. I have read some (taken with a pinch of salt) issues with both of them but went for the Creative for Speakers. If I was a headphone person I would have gone for the Asus as at the time they were both the same price. What sweetend the deal was NOT the free headphones but the $20 less on the asking price. I am sure your card is superb as it is very highly rated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Nov 2013   #5
rvcjew

WIN 10 Pro x64
 
 

I use an Stx in this board and why was your zx locking it up? You sure you had it on the right slot? Any way for music I use j river with wasapi and have windows sound set to 24bit 44khz unless listening to certain music then jriver will set it up to 192 if it needs to. Oh and almost all of my music is flac lol.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2013   #6
Indianatone

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and numerous virtual machines
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rvcjew View Post
I use an Stx in this board and why was your zx locking it up? You sure you had it on the right slot? Any way for music I use j river with wasapi and have windows sound set to 24bit 44khz unless listening to certain music then jriver will set it up to 192 if it needs to. Oh and almost all of my music is flac lol.
Erm well I'll answer you about the right slot. Not hard to do seeing as there was only 1 PCI slot on the board . It was an PCI Adigity 2 ZS card (circa 2006) which works OK in a slightly older motherboard. My new card is a PCIe card and is in the lowest slot PCIe 4. The more I listen to the music the more I love the neutral sound coming from it. Very clean and my amp and speakers are very analytical.
I have been re ripping my CD's to FLAC, been through this before 160 to 320 MP3 and now to FLAC using Exact Audio Copy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2013   #7
rvcjew

WIN 10 Pro x64
 
 

Now just use a audio player that
Doesn't use direct sound and your golden. Gotta love neutral sound signatures.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2013   #8
Indianatone

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and numerous virtual machines
 
 

OK so I have been a registered user of Winamp for over 10 years and love the program. I however notice it is using direct sound as default. I have used open AL but cannot tell any difference and it is not 24 bit. What do you suggest for optimum sound quality?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2013   #9
rvcjew

WIN 10 Pro x64
 
 

if using winamp i suggest you use Maiko WASAPI output plugin for Winamp http://maiko.elementfx.com/software/out_maiko.zip its old and still great though, if you want true wasapi out without any compromises you need something like j river or foobar since they use the new waspai that supports event and non event(your card should be able to do event). but you can try it for your self and see the difference in winamp. put the file in location below then in winamp preferences in plugin/output pick wasapi and click configure then choose your playback device then on the next tab you can choose exclusive mode if you want it takes over all sounds so be wary of that and if you do i suggest you have also the disable volume control checked as well. then in the next tab don't change anything but your bass cutoff if you are using a sub you can set it to your subs cutoff if you want. then close and reopen winamp and try to play some music. also make sure your windows playback settings have your speakers set as full size so your driver sends all of the frequencies to your speakers/sub if you have one.
I hope that was not to technical.
rvcjew


Attached Thumbnails
-plugin.jpg   -config.jpg   -config2.jpg   -config-3.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Nov 2013   #10
Indianatone

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate and numerous virtual machines
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rvcjew View Post
if using winamp i suggest you use Maiko WASAPI output plugin for Winamp http://maiko.elementfx.com/software/out_maiko.zip its old and still great though, if you want true wasapi out without any compromises you need something like j river or foobar since they use the new waspai that supports event and non event(your card should be able to do event). but you can try it for your self and see the difference in winamp. put the file in location below then in winamp preferences in plugin/output pick wasapi and click configure then choose your playback device then on the next tab you can choose exclusive mode if you want it takes over all sounds so be wary of that and if you do i suggest you have also the disable volume control checked as well. then in the next tab don't change anything but your bass cutoff if you are using a sub you can set it to your subs cutoff if you want. then close and reopen winamp and try to play some music. also make sure your windows playback settings have your speakers set as full size so your driver sends all of the frequencies to your speakers/sub if you have one.
I hope that was not to technical.
rvcjew
Nope not to technical, talking to an engineer here Thanks for the advice. I'll rep you on that as it is good to know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Sound Card for playing music in Stereo




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