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  • dandart
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Best mid range audiophile sound card
What in your opinion is the best mid-range (up to £160) consumer available audiophile sound card? I don't need EAX or any of that rubbish. I just want to listen to FLACs.

If it matters, my platform is Linux.

I have heard M-audio delta 44 and 2496 are very nice. but has anyone done comparisons?

  • /mnt
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Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #1
If it matters, my platform is Linux.


Sorta does since sound card drivers under can be a pain under Linux i.e Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi cards. And also now with major Linux distros shoving that god awful piece of crap down every users throats called Pulse Audio  .

I've heard alot of good things about the Asus Xonar D2X and the Asus Xonar D1. Also there based on C-Media's Oxygen HD chips, which has good open source drivers.
  • Last Edit: 14 July, 2009, 05:16:12 PM by /mnt
"I never thought I'd see this much candy in one mission!"

  • dandart
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Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #2
Haha. Pulse sucks. I won't be using it. ALSA or JACK.

X-Fi drivers suck because Creative can't be bothered to get off their arse. But that's the only real sound card that I've heard makes bad drivers.

Thanks, I'll check them out.

  • /mnt
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Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #3
X-Fi drivers suck because Creative can't be bothered to get off their arse. But that's the only real sound card that I've heard makes bad drivers.


True, 2 years late 64bit only and god dam buggy which reminds me of the days when i had a ATi Radeon 9600 Pro under Linux. Then Creative gave up and released a GPL driver and gave the ALSA devs the docs to clean up their mess, those cheeky bastards . Sadly i got one, mainly because of its hardware mixing support and i play games under Windows.
  • Last Edit: 14 July, 2009, 05:48:12 PM by /mnt
"I never thought I'd see this much candy in one mission!"

  • dandart
  • [*]
Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #4
Yeah, I play games under Linux. I have about 25 first person shooters, but I find their sounds are fine as they are without EAX. I love to play Quake most, so it won't be a problem. I just like to audiophile. Any more suggestions for a great sound card? Every one I've ever used has been supported on Linux because it's the best and the one that supports the most hardware. The M-Audio for example, uses the Envy24 chipset, a well supported one.

As for the Xonars, they're PCI or PCIEx4 right? My x16 is used up by my 8500GT.

  • /mnt
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Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #5
As for the Xonars, they're PCI or PCIEx4 right? My x16 is used up by my 8500GT.


I think the Asus Xonar D2X is PCI only, while there is PCI-E and PCI versions of the Asus Xonar DX1.
  • Last Edit: 14 July, 2009, 06:14:36 PM by /mnt
"I never thought I'd see this much candy in one mission!"

  • dandart
  • [*]
Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #6
I see they're 7.1. Are they the best sound quality? Because that's all I'm after even if it has 2 outputs.

  • /mnt
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Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #7
I see they're 7.1. Are they the best sound quality? Because that's all I'm after even if it has 2 outputs.


There's plenty of reviews on those cards that had RMAA tests that outperformed Sound Blaster X-Fi cards.

A review by techreport.com
"I never thought I'd see this much candy in one mission!"

  • dandart
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Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #8
I'd expect anything would outperform X-fi, since X-fi doesn't make good enough drivers.

  • cpchan
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Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #9
Sorta does since sound card drivers under can be a pain under Linux i.e Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi cards. And also now with major Linux distros shoving that god awful piece of crap down every users throats called Pulse Audio  .


Agreed. Pulseaudio is the worst piece of crap that I have ever seen. This is the first thing that I uninstalled on a new system. Unfortunately, I have to recompile a lot of stuff to get rid of every trace of it.


  • /mnt
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Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #10
Agreed. Pulseaudio is the worst piece of crap that I have ever seen. This is the first thing that I uninstalled on a new system. Unfortunately, I have to recompile a lot of stuff to get rid of every trace of it.


I tried that with Fedora 11, but Pulse Audio seems to be built deep down onto the whole distro unlike Ubuntu (well atm). Even when i managed to remove it, I did get sound but the GNOME volume control panel won't work and the whole system unstable. IMO Fedora 11 has to be one of the worst Linux distros i've ever used because of Pulse Audio and it's god awful partion manager on Anaconda; it just felt like a beta build.
"I never thought I'd see this much candy in one mission!"

  • cpchan
  • [*][*][*][*]
Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #11
I have heard M-audio delta 44 and 2496 are very nice. but has anyone done comparisons?


For you needs, the Delta 44 (both the Delta 44 and the 2496 uses the some chipset- ICE1712 (Envy24))  is overkill. I would go for the 2496. Another good card, within your price range, is the ESI Juli@. You can buy it here.

If you do choose to go with another card, please check the ALSA SoundCard Matrix before buying.


Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #12
What in your opinion is the best mid-range (up to £160) consumer available audiophile sound card? I don't need EAX or any of that rubbish. I just want to listen to FLACs.

If it matters, my platform is Linux.

I have heard M-audio delta 44 and 2496 are very nice. but has anyone done comparisons?


Is the M-Audio AP 24/192 in your price range?

Otherwise I would recommend the 2496, having compared it to the Delta 66.

  • cpchan
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Best mid range audiophile sound card
Reply #13
I tried that with Fedora 11, but Pulse Audio seems to be built deep down onto the whole distro unlike Ubuntu (well atm). Even when i managed to remove it, I did get sound but the GNOME volume control panel won't work and the whole system unstable.


You will need to recompile the whole GNOME multimedia subsystem, including Gstreamer, and most likely every single multimedia program that you have.

Quote
IMO Fedora 11 has to be one of the worst Linux distros i've ever used because of Pulse Audio and it's god awful partion manager on Anaconda; it just felt like a beta build.


I can't comment on this, since I haven't used a Redhat distro since the Bob Young days.