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XM Sound Quality: XM Direct vs. XMPCR?

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  • XM Sound Quality: XM Direct vs. XMPCR?

    I'm afraid that I already know the answer to my question but I want to ask anyway:

    I currently own and use an XMPCR with optical-out mod. The sound quality difference of the optical out as compared to the analog out is like night and day. The analog line out is horrible sounding, and the optical out sounds really, really nice!.

    The problem is that the optical mod is turning out to be very limiting for me. I'm in the process of upgrading my car pc, and it seems like everything I choose, I have to do so working around the need for an optical input for my XMPCR. Seems like the choices for that are either the Audigy 2NX USB sound card, or a few PCI sound cards out there (but the Audigy 2 NX seems to be the only one that allows you to use Optical In completely un-buffered, and passthrough to the analog output of the card). And XM is what I use most in the car

    So, all that being said, I'm just trying to weigh my options and determine whether the XM Direct is something that I can even consider? Has anyone here used both the XM Direct and the PCR? Is the analog line out sound quality of the Direct any better than the analog line out sound quality of the PCR?
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  • #2
    Quality will be the same, you will see the most quality gain with the type of connector (optical v regular)
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    • #3
      Did you figure out an answer to this Nola? I'm torn between buying the the XM PCR and the XM Direct and don't know which one to get. I am currently using the Roadie sound card and hoping it will work well with Road Runner.
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      • #4
        The bandwith of the sat. stream itself is the limiting factor. You cant "upscale" audio like that. It will sound the same going out of either box.
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        • #5
          the XMD def. sounds like poo so i'd stick to what u have.
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          • #6
            I'm using the XMPCR. The sound quality isn't so good in its basic setup. I tried using it with optical and didn't notice any improvement, so to keep things simple in my setup I went back to the basic setup. The one thing I did which makes a huge sound improvement in XM is installed the "Enhancer" DSP plugin for Winamp. By using that in conjunction with the line-in plugin the sound quality of the XM output is improved considerably. It also makes a huge improvement in the sound quality of MP3 playback. Some people are purists and wouldn't consider using a DSP, but Enhancer is a really good one and makes dramatic improvement IMHO. Check it out at http://www.winamp.com/plugins/details/81361. The many positive user reviews are consistent with my experience.

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            • #7
              Optical out for XMPCR makes a significant difference. If you didnt hear the difference its either your ear or other audio equipment that is preventing you from doing so.

              Back in 04 when this mod came out, there was a sound spectrum anaylsis somebody posted between the analog vs. digital - the difference was apparent.
              G945GLCF2 | 512MB RAM | 160GB HD | Holux GPS w/ Routis | XMPCR w/ TOSLINK mod | Audigy 2 NX | | Xenarc 700TSV |Opus 150W PSU.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by blazinlow View Post
                Optical out for XMPCR makes a significant difference.
                To each his own. I was using the same setup as you, including the Audigy, and noticed little, if any, difference. FWIW, there's not a thing wrong with my ears.

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                • #9
                  The fact that the Toslink mod eliminates that annoying background hum makes the mod worth it, regardless if the sound quality increases.

                  Perphaps your stereo is the limiting factor. I know on my system, which is MB Quart/Eclipse/Phoenix Gold the difference was remarkable.
                  G945GLCF2 | 512MB RAM | 160GB HD | Holux GPS w/ Routis | XMPCR w/ TOSLINK mod | Audigy 2 NX | | Xenarc 700TSV |Opus 150W PSU.

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                  • #10
                    I'm with blazin, kbreeden. If you truly didn't notice a drastic difference, something HAS to be up with your system, somewhere.
                    My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nola111 View Post
                      I'm with blazin, kbreeden. If you truly didn't notice a drastic difference, something HAS to be up with your system, somewhere.
                      lol he has a TL that i've listened to.. his system is just fine. But i agree with him in that the enhancer plugin is pretty sweet.. i cant even listen to winamp without it.
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                      • #12
                        How are you sending it through winamp plugins? I using RoadRunner for my XM PCR playback. Where does winamp plugins come into play?
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by diosagain View Post
                          How are you sending it through winamp plugins? I using RoadRunner for my XM PCR playback. Where does winamp plugins come into play?
                          There is a Winamp line-in plugin that allows any signal coming into your puter from the line in port to be played through Winamp. This means that if you have a Winamp DSP plug like Enhancer, the signal from line-in will be processed. Years ago I downloaded the line-in plugin from the Winamp plugins section, but I think it now comes with the newer versions of Winamp such as 5.13 and can be installed during Winamp installation.
                          RRConfig has a checkbox in the XM/Sirius where you can then tell RR that you want to use the line in plug.

                          So to get your XM signal to run through Enhancer in RR you would:

                          1. Make sure you have the line-in plug installed in Winamp (Options/Preferences/Input - see if it's listed. If not, I'm sure you can figure out how to install it);

                          2. Download and install the Enhancer DSP plugin from link above;

                          3. Configure the Enhancer plugin to your personal preference from within Winamp (I generally use the General Improvements preset and make sure that I have boost turned on);

                          4. Hook your XMPCR to the line in port on your soundcard;

                          5. Make sure "Use Line-in Plugin" is checked in the XM/Sirius portion of RRConfig (leave the default string in the box next to it).

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                          • #14
                            i have an XMPCR and done like it at all..
                            will it show you the xm channels in roadrunner?
                            or do you have to use the little crappy app that came with it?

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                            • #15
                              russoxley, if you dont like the XMPCR application and are not using a frontend

                              check out www.xtremepcr.com
                              G945GLCF2 | 512MB RAM | 160GB HD | Holux GPS w/ Routis | XMPCR w/ TOSLINK mod | Audigy 2 NX | | Xenarc 700TSV |Opus 150W PSU.

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