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USB SQ Sound Card battle - Consumer level

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  • USB SQ Sound Card battle - Consumer level

    I'm really interested on what Soundcard would be more appropriate in terms of SQ on a consumer level budget...

    We have:

    1. Creative Audigy 2NX
    2. Creative X-Fi Xmod
    3. M-Audio Transit


    Which one do you think provides the best SQ of the three? I'm only using stereo, so 5.1 is not really necesary.
    Renault Megane...the OEM look

    The Lost in Europe Ford Escort

  • #2
    Personally... M-Audio transit. It's more straight forward, has a better driver set, and also works incredibly well for measurements. I use it as the input/output device for a measurement rig with a Behringer ECM-8000 and always get nice results.
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    • #3
      Doaes the Transit offer the Time Alignment option?
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      The Lost in Europe Ford Escort

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      • #4
        Hippo Hi Fi Bloat.

        Its anywhere from $200-250 depending on options, and has the best sound quality, by far.


        Website is here
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cris View Post
          Doaes the Transit offer the Time Alignment option?
          Not in it's native driver set. It supports ASIO though so it can be used with something like Console and VST plugins to do time alignment among other things.

          I personally use a SB Audigy 2 ZS with the KX driver set for my Car PC, like I mentioned before I primarily use the Transit for measurements or at home 2-channel playback.
          98' Honda CR-V
          http://www.superbluecrv.com

          *OBDMPG, the RR OBD Plugin*

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          • #6
            That's a nice little unit there...unfortunatly it's not available over here.


            I don't know why, but I'd still go for the Audigy 2NX...many people around here have them, and although some aren't really satisfied with it, the rest seem to be.

            I'd also like to have the time scalling option, as my audio system is a full active 4way, and for a better sound stage time scalling is pretty important.
            Renault Megane...the OEM look

            The Lost in Europe Ford Escort

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            • #7
              Well, you won't be able to use the NX with the KXdrivers to do a complete 4way active setup, but it will allow time alignment and a basic crossover between mains and subwoofer with it's own driver. You need to supply the NX with power too-not powered via USB.

              Are you running this to an external processor/crossover via analog or digital?
              System always under construction


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              • #8
                For the time being it's analog, running from the soundcard straight into 3 amps...one for the tweets, a 4ch one for midbas and midrange, and one for the sub.

                So what if I use just a simple stereo out from the NX...will I be able to use time aligntment? Or must I run the sub from the subwoofer ouput, the midbas from the front output, mids from the rear output and tweets from the side outputs?
                Renault Megane...the OEM look

                The Lost in Europe Ford Escort

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                • #9
                  Yes, as long as you use every analog output and run the card in 7.1 CMSS stereo mode, then you can use the time alignment feature (THX console IIRC) for each channel, otherwise in 2 channel mode you can only correct for the L and R channesl as a whole.

                  Are you using the filters/crossovers built into the amps to split the frequency bands then? Do your amps have bandpass/high pass/low pass options?
                  System always under construction


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                  • #10
                    Yes, I'm using the active crossovers on the amps...

                    Here's the setup:

                    Helix DB4 running Focal Polyglas midbas and DLS Iridium Midrange
                    Helix DB2 running DLS Iridium tweets
                    Phase Linear RS1 amp running a 15" Phase Thiller Pro15


                    So, you think it's a better ideea using the 7.1 that the plain stereo? I'm asking because, first off all the sound stage in my car could do for much improvement, and second because I'm afraid that in 7.1 the NX would cut the frequency to the "satelite" speakers too high...or is this adjustable via software?
                    Renault Megane...the OEM look

                    The Lost in Europe Ford Escort

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                    • #11
                      I actually have a USB Hercules Muse LT card now that I got for testing and it doesn' sound bad...I'm assuming the NX2 would sound much better...
                      Renault Megane...the OEM look

                      The Lost in Europe Ford Escort

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                      • #12
                        I had the NX and X-Fi, and what sounded the best was both of them together! Since the X-Fi is very limited on its I/O options, I went with the NX at first. The SQ of the NX is very good, but I really liked what the X-Fi Crystallizer did for my mp3's. So, I decided to run the output of the NX into the input of the X-Fi to be able to use the Crystallizer function (using the X-Fi in standalone mode, where it's not connected to the PC via USB at all). I had the X-Fi mounted on my console and used it as my main volume control. It sounded awesome.

                        One thing to consider though is to use the X-Fi in standalone mode, you have to supply it with 5 volts in some other way than from your pc's USB port. If the X-Fi is plugged in to a USB port, standalone mode does not work. I tapped into my cigarette lighter line with a 5v resistor and got everything all nice and neat and tucked away. It worked very well and sounded awesome.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cris View Post
                          So, you think it's a better ideea using the 7.1 that the plain stereo? I'm asking because, first off all the sound stage in my car could do for much improvement, and second because I'm afraid that in 7.1 the NX would cut the frequency to the "satelite" speakers too high...or is this adjustable via software?
                          Yes, I double checked and you should be able to adjust the filter frequency.

                          The only thing I do not see in the manual is the "THX console". If it does not have this, it does not have the time alignment/speaker distance adjustment. Someone who owns the card needs to verify this, because that is the ONLY advantage to using this card in 7.1 mode IMO, otherwise there is no clear benefit.
                          System always under construction


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                          • #14
                            I see.

                            To my knoledge the 2NX has 2V preaout. What about the Transit, how many V doaes it have?
                            Renault Megane...the OEM look

                            The Lost in Europe Ford Escort

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                            • #15
                              Still undecided between the Transit and the 2NX... I'm also contemplating with the idea of using it's optical output into an Alpine processor with the RUX controller...but again...don't know which one...

                              Also, does the Audigy 2NX support the ASIO drivers?
                              Renault Megane...the OEM look

                              The Lost in Europe Ford Escort

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