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Old 28th September 2009, 4:39 PM   #121
jalyst
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I don't think they're anticipating much of an interest in the H6 so people who were really holding out for this expandability need to make it known buy filling out an Asus support form; this will get redirected to the main reps in Oz.

Last edited by jalyst; 28th September 2009 at 4:48 PM.
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Old 28th September 2009, 9:02 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by GreasyBear View Post
Anyone had experience with Onkyo sound cards?

I'm looking for a nice 2 channel one.

Suggestions?
Yeah, I've got the SE-200PCI and it has been doing brilliantly playing music for me.

Drivers are a no frills stock standard VIA affair on 64bit. Feature wise, basically what you get with an onboard system.

Unfortunately the 64bit drivers also don't have an option to use 176.4k sampling rate that this card offers, but fortunately the 44.1k performance is superb anyway so you won't need to use upsampling on most of your media.

Regarding the moddability, you'll notice from the pictures that there are 6 DIP-8 opamp IC's on the board, but they are all soldered on, so replacement and other experimentation in that vein will require desoldering. If you're willing to sift through Japanese websites there are a fair many people who have done mods to the card, but most of which don't really require much explanation (replacement of opamps, installation of capacitors of exterme height, etc.)

As I only have onboard (VT1708B) and an iriver E100 to compare to, I'll only give a few brief comments regarding sound quality. I've had the SE-200PCI for a while but I mainly listen to speakers off them. The E100 I listen to headphones off of.

With headphones -
Whilst I don't think the SE-200PCI's output is actually headphone oriented, it still manages to best the E100's by a mile (in terms of residual noise) with my IEMs. With the ATH-M50's the noise difference is less profound but the clarity of the singers do suffer a hit on E100, and the E100 itself is generally less lively. Onboard is a no compete here, BUT its detriment is nowhere as severe as the ipod nano (see note below)

With speakers -
The liveliness and detail of the Onkyo is simply beyond the VT1708B. The E100's case is actually rather similar to the headphone situation with the musicality, however I would say that overall I could get used to either the E100 or SE-200PCI's sound signature quite easily, given a couple of hours use.

However, as there are no defining features to having the SE-200PCI as a sound card inside the PC, you might want to consider some of Onkyo's external sound offerings. Do note however that the features on one of the USB DAC units contains a different circuitry to the SE-200PCI as well as components so will probably have an overall different sound signature, but I doubt you can go particularly wrong with the Onkyo's anyway. The reviews (in japanese) do show their cards and USB DAC's to be received fairly well.

Overall recommended, does not disappoint, however the Onkyo external USB offerings may be a more flexible option given the card doesn't do any DS3D/EAX acceleration.

Quick Notes:
ATH-M50 -
Good phones, very revealing, but also very bass heavy. I apply roughly -6dB to frequencies below 120Hz on these phones, which actually lets them sound quite good. Even for $160 think twice; I don't know how the people on Head-Fi managed to downplay/ignore the overbass. Prepare to have a permanent bass reduce EQ applied if you're not a basshead.

E100 -
I actually did a comparison between this and my mate's ipod nano as we were curious to see the SQ differences between the Nano and E100. Simply put, the lacking nature of the Nano was so damned obvious, we both caught wind of the difference in the moment we traded players and snapped our headphone plugs in. It wasn't just because the volumes weren't matched either, even afterwards the lifelessness of the Nano's musical abilities were just as apparent.

Speaker system -
Tannoy E11's connected with TDA2050's in a LM1875 datasheet circuit. Preamp unit has a basic active Baxandall tone control with 2x NE5532 and 1x LME49720. I do have enough LME49720's to fill the preamp but why I didn't is a discussion for another thread.
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Old 20th December 2009, 11:27 AM   #123
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After reading the OP, i'm pretty sure I want an Asus Xonar Essence STX. Only problem is my video card is covering the only PCI-E slot on my mobo so i'm stuck getting the ST which is the exact same thing apart from being PCI. Apart from the difference in connection type, is there any difference between using PCI and PCI-E. For some reason I think the PCI-E would be better as its a quicker bus type then PCI? I'm abit of a noob so got not idea to be honest.

Im mainly after music with a little of of gaming on the side although im not a serious gamer. Running Audioengine A5's atm and will be adding a sub to the setup within the next month or two. Anyhelp would be great.
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Old 4th January 2010, 3:32 PM   #124
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Can someone please tell me how the Auzentech Prelude stacks up Vs the Forte and/or the other cards listed here. Is it a good sound card?
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Old 4th January 2010, 3:42 PM   #125
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'Specs-wise' I believe the Essence ST + H6 is the best multi-channel analogue-out atm.
But that's 'specs-wise', I don't know how it compares in reality to some of these other contenders.
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Old 10th January 2010, 1:40 PM   #126
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Anyone know how the Prelude compares to the Forte?
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Old 10th January 2010, 2:24 PM   #127
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Try head-fi, lot of comparative analysis of discrete sound-cards there.
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Old 30th March 2010, 2:59 PM   #128
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Right, so my AV710 just died.... what do I replace it with? Kind of want something just as cheap but that sounds just as good... does such a thing exist?

Thanks guys
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Old 30th March 2010, 3:16 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreasyBear View Post
Anyone had experience with Onkyo sound cards?

I'm looking for a nice 2 channel one.

Suggestions?
I have the SE-90, which I like a lot. It is 2 channel only, but thats perfect for what I wanted it for (ie music). FWIW I run Win7 x64, and the drivers are fine (using the Onkyo ones anyway, Via's drivers didn't work on x64 without hacks, although some new ones have just been released which are supposed to).
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Old 30th March 2010, 3:48 PM   #130
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Prolly the best card around atm for stereo (can be upgraded multi-ch) is the Essence ST.
Fine for most games too, considering EAX is slowly becoming redundant....
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Old 26th April 2010, 12:54 PM   #131
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Hey guys. I am looking for a soundcard upgrade (something good, but maybe used for the cheaper price. ebay?) from my cheap x-fi. It's better over onboard and was well worth the $50 i paid for it but i want something better.

Trying to keep it as cheap as possible with a modest upgrade from the xtreme audio.
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Old 26th April 2010, 2:07 PM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linkin View Post
Hey guys. I am looking for a soundcard upgrade (something good, but maybe used for the cheaper price. ebay?) from my cheap x-fi. It's better over onboard and was well worth the $50 i paid for it but i want something better.

Trying to keep it as cheap as possible with a modest upgrade from the xtreme audio.
I have the Xonar Essence STX in one machine and its good. In the other I have the X-fi and while not as good as the STX the difference is not that staggering. Now if you have money to spare then go for the STX but if you dont have it then stick to what you have and maybe get some decent speakers or headphones
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Old 26th April 2010, 3:00 PM   #133
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I have the Xonar Essence STX in one machine and its good. In the other I have the X-fi and while not as good as the STX the difference is not that staggering. Now if you have money to spare then go for the STX but if you dont have it then stick to what you have and maybe get some decent speakers or headphones
I'm using logitech ls21's right now. got them as a present. any recommendatiosn for speakers then?
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Old 26th April 2010, 4:10 PM   #134
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I'm using logitech ls21's right now. got them as a present. any recommendatiosn for speakers then?
Not really , depends a lot on your setup and room. I would definitely go for some good headphones

I have the audio-technica AD700's and they are good but there are plenty on the market that are good
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Old 26th April 2010, 5:40 PM   #135
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I'm using logitech ls21's right now. got them as a present. any recommendatiosn for speakers then?
Best have a read of the speaker sticky if your after speaker recommendations. Might also help to figure out the most you're willing to spend (then increase that by 20% )

Generally speaking you'll get more for your money in upgrading from lower-end speakers then you will upgrading your source.
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