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Thread: Is there an ultimate PCI soundcard thread?

  1. #11
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rubidoux, CA
    Posts
    241
    ASIO does nothing for sound quality. ASIO's improvement over standard DirectSound, or WDM, is that it has strict latency reporting requirements. This is important in recording situations, where playback and recording have to be perfectly synced. In a playback only situation, it is not necessary in the least.

    As for The best card to use, none but the most expensive EMU type cards here have anywhere near the customization possibilities that you can get from using an older SoundBlaster Live or Audigy card, with the kX Drivers. They allow full customization of all paths and effects in the DSP. You can route sound to whatever speakers you like, have individual EQ's for each speaker, tunable crossovers, etc.

    I'm using a Sound Blaster Audigy for my system. I am only using a 4.1 setup (4 identical speakers in the doors, and the factory sub/amp). I have used the kx drivers for a lot of nice features, including adjusting the sub's crossover point, having my navigation voice prompts automatically attenuate the front audio, while voice is talking out the front speakers, etc. And the cost is spot on.

    If you really wanted to get a noise free setup, you could built/purchase some SPDIF to Line level adapters, and use the SPDIF outputs on the Audigy do input directly at the amp, eliminating pretty much all potential car noise. I haven't gotten there yet on my setup.
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer - Bi-Fuel Gasoline/CNG
    Intel D945GCLF2 w/512MB RAM, CL Audigy w/KxProject, M2-ATX, Lilliput EBY701

  2. #12
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    33
    My requirements may have changed a little now. I may only need a stereo output and no need for onboard processing. but I'm not 100% sure yet.

    However, I thought ASIO was one way of achieving bit-perfect sound? Thats what the FAQ says. So how can ASIO have no effect on sound quality if it enables your computer to play the media in a bit-perfect way? If I go the stereo and no onboard processing route...I'll still need the computer to output bit-perfect sound so I'd still need ASIO correct? I've been all through the FAQs and Wikis and for some reason I dont get them. Its like they are explaining things to people who already know and understand it. But not people like me who just can't grasp the whole idea...lol. I'm trying though...I've been reading these forums since Jun 08 when I joined.

  3. #13
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rubidoux, CA
    Posts
    241
    Are you going to be playing back from a bit perfect source? Also, WDM also supports bitperfect playback, it all depends on the drivers.
    2000 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer - Bi-Fuel Gasoline/CNG
    Intel D945GCLF2 w/512MB RAM, CL Audigy w/KxProject, M2-ATX, Lilliput EBY701

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