It's very difficult to get a perfect digital playback on a PC.Most of the times, you play 44.1 kHz and get 48 kHz instead in the digital output. And the conversion is lossy.You can rule out all soundcards by Creative, Turtle beach, or Hercules (exept maybe used with ASIO support, like jrbamford says).
The 24/96 soundcards by M-Audio and Terratec support perfect digital playback in Windows 98/me. Not sure about 2000.
FWIW, I've got a Marian Marc 2, surprisingly capable of playing perfect digital in WinXP (as advertised), but the drivers are, well, barely drivers. DirectSound support is broken, no midi, no CD input, no gaming possible... I've heard (in here too, but I'm too lazy to search the post) that a very good soundcard, by RME, has similar drivers.
It's very difficult to get a perfect digital playback on a PC.Most of the times, you play 44.1 kHz and get 48 kHz instead in the digital output. And the conversion is lossy.
@jrbamford: I was re-reading the link I provided, and noticed that it is explicitly about recording from SPDIF-in. Before, I concluded this would be so for all audio-streams on the board, but perhaps that's not true for the outputs...?
Bypassing kmixer is possible with DirectSound.The soundcard just needs to support hardware mixing.
add: if impossible, please suggest a soundcard that CAN do this properly
- Terratec DMX6fire can output 44.1kHz digitally bit perfect as 44.1kHz without resampling. I've tested this myself. Sorry! Can't remember if Sensaura was on or off (I *think* OFF, but can't be sure anymore).
What are the settings/drivers etc with which I can make my sound blaster audigy output an EXACT digital copy of the digital data winamp (or foobar2k) outputs. I do NOT want it to resample etc etcadd: if impossible, please suggest a soundcard that CAN do this properly
Am I missing someting?
What are you doing with Quad speakers and an Audigy sound card?!
I think all so-called professional or semi-professional cards can give you bit perfect output through ASIO. They can also output windows sounds. No need to have two cards.